The Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) Initiative was launched in 2010 by the Clean Energy Ministerial, a global consortium with representation from 24 countries plus the European Commission. In 2016, the International Energy Agency agreed to host the C3E Secretariat. The C3E initiative was born out of recognition that the ideas and talents of all members of society are essential to meeting our future clean energy challenges. Women make up substantially less than half of the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields and across the clean energy sector. Closing the gender gap and increasing women’s participation and leadership in these fields are the goals of the U.S. C3E program, which is led by the U.S. Department of Energy in collaboration with the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy, and the Texas A&M Energy Institute.


The Four Pillars

The U.S. C3E program, launched in 2012, has four pillars:



The C3E Women in Clean Energy Symposium is an annual event bringing together professional women and students, as well as representatives from partner governments. In addition to exploring current topics in clean energy and recognizing accomplished women awardees, the symposium builds a strong and interconnected network.



The U.S. C3E Awards recognize mid-career women who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and accomplishments in clean energy. The awards, underwritten by MITEI, the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy, and Texas A&M Energy Institute, are made in eight categories at the annual symposium. Each Awardee receives a cash gift of $8,000 to further the goals of the C3E Initiative.



The C3E Ambassadors are a group of more than 40 distinguished senior professionals who represent the C3E Initiative at public forums and work to strengthen the recruitment, retention, and advancement of highly qualified women in the energy field.

Ambassadors select the annual U.S. C3E Award winners and serve as advisors for the U.S. C3E Awards program and other aspects of the C3E initiative.

Along with their counterparts named by partner governments within the Clean Energy Ministerial, Ambassadors are part of the International C3E Ambassador Corps.



The U.S. C3E Program’s social media presence provides women from around the world who are working in clean energy fields with information, insight, inspiration, and an opportunity to engage with peers and mentors.



The 5th Anniversary Book

The U.S. C3E 5th Anniversary Book was created to celebrate the program’s first five years of progress and to inspire current and future generations of leaders to pursue careers in clean energy. The book features a collection of personal narratives and quotes from the C3E Awardees, Lifetime Achievement Honorees, and Ambassadors. They share their motivations for pursuing clean energy careers, highlighting the challenges and successes encountered along the way and provide advice for young professionals. These rising and established leaders are having an impact across clean energy fields: creating breakthroughs in science and technology, forging pathways to shape demand, increasing energy access in underserved communities, building and expanding markets, and preparing the workforce for today and tomorrow.