Next is Marian Van Pelt, vice president of climate change and sustainability at ICF, and a finalist for Climate Change Executive of the Year, Public Company category. Here, she shares proud career moments and how she helps shape the next generation of industry leaders.
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
Leading a team of 2,600+ climate, energy, and environmental experts dedicated to impactful climate projects over the last 20+ years, I am most proud of our contributions in the design and implementation of some of the most transformational U.S. federal climate change projects of this generation.
Our work, recognized with a Nobel Prize as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change among many others, leverages our deep climate and energy expertise combined with cutting-edge technology to allow our clients to gain critical insights and drive effective decision-making.
We have recently launched proprietary climate science platforms which empower organizations and leaders to quickly find and implement pathways to decarbonization, assess climate risks, and accelerate the clean energy transition.
These tools underscore our commitment to driving innovation and achieving meaningful progress toward aggressive national and global climate goals.
And this year alone, we have helped the U.S. Department of Energy finance the world’s largest clean hydrogen storage facility, produced the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s 5th National Climate Assessment; developed the U.S. Department of Transportation’s new, groundbreaking fuel economy standards; and analyzed the cost of electrifying the U.S. Postal Service’s mail truck fleet, one of the largest in the nation.
How do you help shape the next generation of industry leaders?
I place a strong emphasis on empowering and cultivating innovation within our organization, acknowledging its pivotal role in shaping the future of our leaders to accelerate their impact in generating scalable climate solutions.
To do this, it’s imperative that we purposefully create teams that are diverse—in every sense of the word—to challenge assumptions, drive creative change, and bring interdisciplinary perspectives to today’s most critical challenges.
As part of this, we established an internship program for ICF’s Climate Center that provides the next generation with hands-on project experience and innovative tools such as our climate risk assessment platform, ClimateSight. Interns have the opportunity to engage in meaningful research and bring their fresh perspectives and experiences to our efforts.
This initiative reflects my commitment to inspiring young adults to consider how to bring their passion and energy toward a career in climate.