James L. Connaughton

JAMES L. CONNAUGHTON is a globally distinguished energy, environment, and technology expert, corporate leader, and prominent White House policymaker. He served for eight years as chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality under President George W. Bush. In that role, he worked directly with the president, the Cabinet, Congress and the states to develop and implement energy, environmental, natural resource, and climate change policies.

Mr. Connaughton played a leading role in the bipartisan enactment of the Energy Security Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007; legislation addressing brownfields cleanup, ending overfishing, and restoring forest health; and regulation cutting harmful air pollution and protecting wetlands. He led the creation of and represented the president in the Major Economies Meetings on Energy and Climate, laying the groundwork for new international agreement and cooperative action on energy security and climate change. He also chaired the U.S. Cabinet Committee on Ocean Policy and development of the U.S. Ocean Action Plan, and led the establishment of four of the largest and most ecologically diverse marine resource conservation areas in the world.

Mr. Connaughton is CEO of Nautilus Data Technologies, a water-cooled, ultra-efficient, high performance data center company. From 2013-2016, he was executive vice president at the enterprise artificial intelligence company C3.ai. Prior to that, he served as executive vice president and senior policy advisor at Constellation Energy and Exelon.

Mr. Connaughton is an advisor to X (Google’s Moonshot Factory), Shine Technologies, and the ClearPath Foundation. He serves on the boards of Resources for the Future, Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy, Yale Center on Environmental Law and Policy, and American Conservation Coalition.

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