Brenda Haendler

Director of Technology Management, Breakthrough Energy Fellows

Brenda Haendler, PhD, joined the Breakthrough Energy team in 2021 as the Director of Technology Management at the Breakthrough Energy Fellows program. Her work focuses on technical support of the Fellows and connecting them with other Breakthrough Energy resources. Brenda is passionate about developing technologies which can address the most challenging energy and climate-related hurdles.

Prior to Breakthrough, Brenda was with Booz Allen Hamilton for 13 years. She focused on growing and leading a team supporting the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) which funds high-risk applied research and development energy projects. Brenda also worked as a project engineer at PolyFuel, a direct methanol fuel cell start-up and as a geosynchronous satellite payload designer at Boeing Satellite Systems.

Brenda was a 2006 recipient of an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Science Policy fellowship and worked for two years at the Department of State learning about international energy policy and how the world is working together to meet our shared energy needs. She was also a 2017 Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) Energy Security Fellow, studying the connections between energy and security.

Brenda earned a bachelor's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master's and a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, all in mechanical engineering. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, hiking, and exploring the sites around Washington, DC with her husband, two daughters, and goldendoodle.