Chris Nichols has worked in the energy industry for more than 30 years with Federal agencies, corporations, contractors and national non-profit advocacy organizations. She currently leads Renewables Forward, a national nonprofit collaborative of industry leaders who are committed to driving action for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the clean energy industry. Previously, Chris served as the Senior Program Director for Groundswell, a non-profit solar and economic justice organization focusing on increasing access to clean energy for low-income households through community solar. From 2010-2017 she led market solar workforce and market transformation within the Solar Energy Technologies Office of the Department of Energy, creating the Solar Ready Vets program and the Solar Instructor Training Network; managing the Grid Engineering for Advanced Renewable Energy Development; and establishing Veterans in Energy with a national coalition of energy utility associations. In 2016-’17, Chris served as the Senior Advisor for Energy Workforce within the DOE’s Jobs Strategy Council under Secretary Moniz, supporting all DOE technology offices in economic and workforce development, and publishing the first US Energy and Employment report. Earlier in her career she led national communications for the Federal Energy Star® program. She created and led the “City Tour for Solar” with SunEdison in 2008-’09, an early champion of solar at the commercial and municipal scale, and later served as the Green Jobs Advisor for the Department of Labor under ARRA. Chris obtained her undergraduate degree from Duke and her MBA from the University of Maryland.