Americans for Energy Leadership — one of the nation’s foremost energy policy think tanks and advocacy groups led by young people – is seeking applicants for the New Energy Leaders Project, an initiative to empower young thought leaders and help define the next national energy and economic agenda.

What: Selective program for young leaders to engage in high-level writing, research, and discussion at the intersection of energy, economic, and national security policy.

Why: The old energy and climate agenda has failed, and the United States needs a new generation of thought leaders to challenge conventional wisdom and shape the next agenda.

Who: Graduate students, undergrads, and young professionals

Positions: Policy Fellows, Featured Columnists, and Contributors

When: October 2010 – February 2011

Deadline for applications is October 1st, 2010

See full description below, download as a PDF, or view online here.



The global clean energy movement is at a crossroads. For over a decade, the primary goal of American clean energy advocates has been to establish a strong carbon pollution cap and a binding global emissions treaty.  With major electoral victories in Congress and the White House, advocates had one of the best opportunities in a generation to achieve these goals.

This agenda has collapsed. In the aftermath of Copenhagen and the current Congress, it is clear that serious carbon caps will be delayed indefinitely, even while global carbon emissions continue to skyrocket.  Meanwhile, as the U.S. economy stagnates, our nation is rapidly falling behind in one of the largest growth industries of the century.

How should the United States proceed, and who will lead the next energy movement? What ideas will define the next energy and climate agenda?  And what will it take to finally secure American leadership in the most important industry of our generation?

Empowering New Energy Leaders

The moment is critical, and America needs new energy leadership. The United States must quickly pursue a new and aggressive clean energy innovation agenda. We believe this represents one of the nation’s most important challenges, and that today – at the crossroads of U.S. energy and economic policy – a new generation of leaders must rise to the challenge and help define the next national agenda.

Americans for Energy Leadership (AEL) – the nation’s foremost energy policy think tank and advocacy group led by young people (see more below) – will help meet this challenge by launching the New Energy Leaders Project this fall. In partnership with Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, Scientists & Engineers for America, among other allies, this project will engage a group of the nation’s best and brightest young minds toward the following ends:

  • Fostering new thought leaders: Develop new thought leaders who understand the energy innovation imperative; who are capable of grappling with complex and interdisciplinary energy issues; and who have the potential to rise within the ranks of energy policy development and analysis;
  • Providing commentary & analysis: Provide commentary and analysis on the development of the next energy and economic agenda; make the case for an energy innovation agenda in a variety of publications and outlets; and promote the efforts of our partners and other groups to advance this approach at the federal level;
  • Creating a central online hub for young thought leaders to learn about the energy innovation imperative, discuss the future of energy and economic policy, develop innovative campus-based initiatives, and connect with other organizations and career opportunities;
  • Building a cohesive national network and constituency of young people who support an energy innovation agenda, and who can be called upon to support legislative and electoral education efforts in the future;

Positions & Application Instructions

Americans for Energy Leadership is seeking up to 10 Policy Fellows, 10 Featured Columnists, and 20 Contributors for the program.  Selected individuals will engage in high-level readings, writing, research, and discussion at the intersection of energy, economic, and national security policy.  These positions are designed particularly for graduate students, upper-class undergraduates, and young professionals.  The positions will last until February 2011, with the possibility of extension.  Beyond the activities described below, the program will culminate with a national summit to bring together all participants and partners, discuss next steps, and connect with leading experts and allies.

All applicants should have strong skills in writing and critical analysis, and have experience or education related to public policy and energy-related issues.  Applicants should  appreciate the role of government investment to drive innovation and economic competitiveness, especially in clean energy, and understand the limits of conventional environmentalism and market ideology.  Additional skills and experience such as political organizing and other relevant areas will be considered.

Policy Fellow: Policy Fellows will engage in independent and original research to produce an individual or group report on energy innovation policy, in addition to related research memos.   These reports will be published and publicly released by Americans for Energy Leadership, and potentially co-authored with other think tanks.  Policy Fellows with research management experience will have the option of recruiting research fellows to aid with their project.   They will have the opportunity to contribute periodic articles to the website as well.  Applicants should work well independently, have some background in energy and economic issues, and have research experience related to policy.  Applicants who have previously co-authored policy-related reports are preferred.   Graduate students, young professionals, and upper-class undergraduates will be prioritized.

Featured Columnist: Featured Columnists will write op-eds and news commentary for the homepage, with opportunities for publishing and cross-posting in significant outlets.   Columnists will write a 500-1,000 word article at least once every two weeks, including independent and suggested topics.  These pieces will be generally consistent with AEL’s approach, and columnists with work on editing with AEL staff.  Featured columnists will also be expected to help edit the writing of their colleagues.  Applicants should have significant writing experience, preferably as a columnist, editor, reporter, or blogger.   Applicants with a background in energy and policy-related issues will be prioritized.

Contributor: Contributors will receive a contributor account to write for the general AEL blog, with opportunities for featured writing on the homepage.  Contributors are expected to write news commentary or op-eds for the blog at least once per month, and to engage in online discussion.  Applicants should have relevant experience in writing, policy, and energy. 

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and three writing samples to by 5pm EST on October 1st.  Applicants for the Policy Fellowship should include at least two research-intensive writing samples; applicants for Featured Columnist and Contributor positions should include two op-ed or journalist-style writing samples.  Cover letters should be at least 500 words and describe your background, experience, and reason for applying.  Please format the email subject line as “Application for [Insert Position].”  Any questions can be submitted to Daniel Goldfarb

Strategic Partners


Roosevelt Institute Campus Network is a national student initiative that engages young people in a unique form of progressive activism that empowers them as leaders and promotes their ideas for change. Through communication and coordination with political actors and community members, students identify pressing issues facing their towns, counties and states. Taking advantage of the unique resources on their college campuses, they engage in policy research and writing and then connect that research to the political process, delivering sound, progressive proposals to policymakers and advocacy groups.

Scientists & Engineers for America is an organization that seeks to bridge the gap between science and policy using today’s technology, including efforts to raise the level of debate on science and policy in elections and beyond; encouraging people with training in science and engineering to run for office; facilitating the participation of scientists and engineers in politics and civic life; and providing timely information on the science policy positions of elected officials and candidates for elected office.

About Americans for Energy Leadership

Americans for Energy Leadership ( was founded at Stanford University in 2009 as the country’s first organization led by young people working to develop and advance a national clean energy innovation agenda.  Over the past year, AEL has established a national voice through the following activities:

  • Organized and co-hosted an energy conference and student roundtable at Stanford University with U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and DOE Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, among others; the conference reached 2,000 direct attendants, and live video was featured at and the DOE homepage, receiving nearly 150,000 views.
  • Organized a nation-wide campaign in support of clean energy science and engineering education, including a letter to Congress from over 100 university student governments, representing more than one million students; the campaign helped advance DOE’s RE-ENERGYSE proposal, and signatories included Historically Black Colleges & Universities.
  • Hosted a 10-week summer fellowship program in Washington, DC with seven top young clean energy leaders, including a two-week training program; the fellows engaged in energy policy research, development, commentary, and outreach.  Upcoming AEL reports include one on green mercantilism with ITIF, DOD energy innovation, university energy innovation, and more.
  • Generated media coverage in numerous outlets, including New York Times Dot EarthTime Magazine, Discovery Channel, The New Republic, Forbes, Miller-McCune Magazine, University Business News, Good Magazine, The Stanford Daily, and other sources.  On multiple occasions,NYT Dot Earth cited AEL’s ideas as representing a new agenda for U.S. energy policy, and Time Magazine featured AEL in the Special History Cover Story.
  • Produced a joint policy report with Breakthrough Institute, “The Power to Compete,” providing the first independent analysis of how the Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act would impact U.S. clean energy innovation; the report was used by the American Energy Innovation Council for Congressional and White House meetings.
  • Provided ongoing energy policy news coverage and commentary on our blog and in several publications, including National Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes, Grist, Stanford Daily, DailyKos, Stanford Review, and elsewhere, along with a national television appearance on RT America.
  • Contributed to high-level policy forums at the White House, Department of Energy, Aspen Institute, Senate briefings, Bipartisan Policy Center, Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, Energy Sciences Coalition, and elsewhere.
  • AEL’s founder co-authored a widely-acclaimed report by the Breakthrough Institute and ITIF, called “Rising Tigers, Sleeping Giant,” providing the first comprehensive benchmark of clean energy competitiveness in the U.S. and Asia; it generated widespread coverage, including features by Time’s “Top 10 Green Ideas of 2009” and by the National Academies’ Issues in Science & Technology journal.

1 Response » to “Calling Young Leaders: Apply for the New Energy Leaders Project”

  1. [...] I’ve initiated a fruitful e-mail exchange among a variety of people immersed in energy technology, climate policy and related fields and will post some of that string of thoughts before the week is out. Others are weighing in elsewhere on the merits of pollution taxation and how to build a new generation of energy innovators. [...]