On August 13, 2019, over 165 veterans, active duty personnel, reservists, military spouses, and energy professionals convened in downtown Chicago for the Atlantic Council Veterans Advanced Energy Summit to discuss the intersection of national security and advanced energy. In addition, thanks to the generous support of Exelon Corporation, over forty veterans from twenty states and the District of Columbia received travel scholarships to attend. The Summit addressed key energy sector developments, both domestic and global, enabled participants to engage with business, military, and political leaders, and provided jobseekers and interested individuals with new opportunities in the clean energy field.
The impressive lineup of nearly twenty speakers included elected officials from both sides of the aisle, headlined by Representative Sean Casten (D-IL-6) and former Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), along with decorated admirals and generals, successful veteran energy entrepreneurs, US government and private sector experts, and leading energy journalists. Drawing upon their careers and experiences, the speakers and panelists discussed current energy market dynamics and advanced energy technologies, as well as the impact of US clean energy leadership on economic competitiveness and national, as well as global, security. As the key motif of the event, a strong focus was placed upon the role of veterans and active duty in the clean energy transition, and the transferability of skills learned while deployed to the advanced energy industry. In building off the Summit’s success, the Atlantic Council has launched a new body of work which will include year-round programming and further showcase the importance of US clean energy leadership to national security and military success.
The Summit would not have been possible without the support of a diverse group of generous sponsors: MacArthur Foundation, Exelon, Invenergy, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum, McCormick Foundation, American Wind Energy Association, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Truman National Security Project’s Operation Free, Environmental Entrepreneurs, and GlidePath. The Summit was also proud to work with a committed team of strategic partners, including: The Bunker Labs, Clean Energy Leadership Institute, Energy News Network, American Resilience Project, Clean Energy Trust, The Payne Institute, and Chicago Council on Science and Technology.