David Danielson

Managing Director, Breakthrough Energy Ventures

Dr. David Danielson is a Managing Director at Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a new Bill Gates-led $1 billion dollar investment fund focused on building the breakthrough energy technology companies of tomorrow. He also currently serves as a Precourt Energy Scholar at the Precourt Insitute for Energy at Stanford University, where he teaches a course on energy entrepreneurship. He is considered a global expert in the development of next generation clean-energy technologies and the creation of new R&D and organizational models for high-impact clean energy innovation.

Prior to joining Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Dr. Danielson served for four years as the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), where he led the world’s largest government clean-energy innovation funding organization. At EERE, he directed the Obama Administration’s innovation strategy in the areas of sustainable transportation, renewable power, energy efficiency, and clean-energy manufacturing, investing approximately $2 billion annually into American clean-energy innovation.

Before joining EERE, Dr. Danielson was employee #1 at the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency– Energy (ARPA-E), a highly successful funding agency that focuses on the development of high-risk, high-reward clean-energy technologies. Prior to his government service, he was a clean-energy venture capitalist at General Catalyst Partners and, as a PhD student at MIT, was the founder and president of the MIT Energy Club. He holds a PhD from MIT and BS from UC Berkeley, both in the field of Materials Science & Engineering.