News Details

How Julie Cerqueira, Chair of Mission Innovation, is Meeting the Moment for Our Net-Zero Future



Julie Cerqueira is bringing her skills and expertise to Mission Innovation to position it as a global clean energy force to deliver solutions and meet its ambitious clean energy technology targets.

In her role as the Chair of Mission Innovation, Ms. Cerqueira has a new set of goals to make Mission Innovation’s work more impactful.

“Mission Innovation is making big leaps in clean energy research and development,” she said. “It’s time we start showing the rest of the world how our Missions and the work led by our member countries is driving technology innovation.”

One of Ms. Cerqueira’s goals is to diversify and expand the coalition’s reach. Attracting new countries, especially from emerging markets, who will bring fresh perspectives and generate new solutions.

Her vision for Mission Innovation doesn’t stop there. To help the Missions deliver on their ambitious goals, she plans to leverage the Steering Committee members’ policy expertise to provide strategic direction to each Mission and play a larger role in accelerating progress.  Incorporating the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) into deliberations will also allow TAG members to share their expertise and valuable insights that will maximize the Missions’ impact.

However, none of these changes matter if the Missions don’t have the resources they need to achieve their objectives. This is why Ms. Cerqueira wants to find better ways ensure the Missions have adequate financing and support. She also intends to work with international financial institutions to ensure MI’s work can eventually attract financing for implementation and help to transition technologies from innovation to deployment.

“Mission Innovation has already done so much to drive forward a net-zero future,” she said. “I am excited about the opportunity to continue building on this momentum.”

Ms. Cerqueira has been actively involved in Mission Innovation since her U.S. presidential appointment as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs in September 2021. In addition to serving as the U.S. Department of Energy’s Senior Representative at the 2022 Annual Gathering, she also led planning for the Global Clean Energy Action Forum in Pittsburgh last September, leading an effort to mobilize $94 billion for clean energy technologies demonstrations. The event was the first of its kind to jointly convene the 7th Mission Innovation Ministerial and the 13th Clean Energy Ministerial, attracting over 4,000 participants from around the world.

Having spent the past decade in the clean energy space, Ms. Cerqueira brings a breadth of experience to the Chair role. As the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, she oversees a wide variety of international programs and initiatives. Prior to this appointment, she served as the Executive Director of the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition for governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. At this organization, she played an integral role in building the coalition from the ground up and provided the tools, resources, and technical expertise to help two dozen governors deliver on their climate and clean energy priorities. She also worked at the U.S. Department of State as a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change.

Following the Annual Gathering in Rio, Ms. Cerqueira is motivated now more than ever to take these conversations and feedback and turn them into a meaningful, positive actions with the rest of the Mission Innovation team.

Her next stop on the road to making a difference: Goa.