Cory Connolly has been named the climate and energy advisor at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). Connolly, most recently vice president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC), brings a wealth of experience developing public policy solutions for Michigan companies in the clean energy sector and working toward broad climate action in a variety of other roles.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer created the Office of Climate and Energy in February 2019 when forming EGLE via Executive Order 2019-6. The office coordinates Michigan’s response to climate change across state departments and agencies and provides recommendations, guidance and assistance on climate change mitigation, adaptation and resiliency strategies.
Connolly will play a key role in formulating and overseeing implementation of Gov. Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate plan, a roadmap to reducing greenhouse gas emissions statewide. The state’s Council on Climate Solutions is currently reviewing workgroup and public recommendations on the formulation of the plan.
“Cory joins the state at a critical moment for moving Michigan forward toward a carbon-free future,” said Liesl Clark, EGLE director. “His skill in bringing together diverse interests will be essential for creating momentum toward successful carbon reduction.”
Connolly has a track record of building and managing successful projects and campaigns with people and organizations from a range of backgrounds and interests.
In addition to coordinating clean energy companies through his role at Michigan EIBC, he founded the Michigan Clean Energy Leaders Project to build a more diverse and collaborative community working toward a cleaner energy future. As chief operating officer at Levin Energy Partners/Lean & Green Michigan, he coordinated local governments and private companies to create energy-saving projects, and as senior research associate at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C., he organized the Mexico-US Climate Law Network, an effort to support the Mexican government in implementing climate change legislation.
In his role at Michigan EIBC, Connolly developed and advocated for policy solutions on behalf of 140 Michigan companies working toward clean energy solutions that result in carbon reductions, coordinating with a wide range of stakeholders.
“I’m honored and inspired by the opportunity to help execute Governor Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate plan with the incredible team at EGLE, across state government, and with the many individuals, organizations, communities and businesses whose buy-in is critical to success,” said Connolly. “Tackling the climate crisis and moving to a carbon-free economy is absolutely urgent, and I’m looking forward to working with Michigan’s advocates, communities and businesses to mitigate and adapt to climate change in a way that protects and empowers all Michiganders.”
Connolly earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Michigan State University and has a Clean Energy Project Finance and Development certificate from Yale University.
He currently lives in Detroit and grew up in Northport, Michigan. He spends his free time playing basketball and tries to travel to Latin America whenever possible