Our Team

Jim VandePutte

Associate, Breakthrough Energy Fellows

Jim joined Breakthrough Energy in May 2020, where he helped establish the Breakthrough Energy Fellows program. This program is designed to support the best and brightest innovators working to develop, scale, and commercialize technologies that have the potential to reduce carbon emissions by at least 500 million tons per year by 2050. The program ensures early-stage innovations have the resources they need to reach a path to commercialization without straying from critical climate goals.

Jim was responsible for many aspects of the initial design and implementation of the Fellows program, including recruitment, selection, onboarding, technical focus areas, data management, curriculum development, operations, and campaign messaging. The program is set to begin in 2021 and Jim will likely take a stronger role in recruitment and selection of future cohorts.

Prior to joining Breakthrough Energy, Jim worked on the Science and Solutions team at the Climate Reality Project, specializing in research, validation, and renewable energy campaigns. Before that, he served as a contractor for the Water Power Technologies Office within the Department of Energy, specializing in program management, budgeting, and data analytics pertaining to burgeoning technologies. He has also served as a consultant for a variety of federal agencies including the Federal Aviation Administration and the Veteran’s Administration.

Jim holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from Indiana University’s School of Public Affairs and a B.S. degree in Environmental Science and Political Science from the University of Michigan. Jim lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Katie. He enjoys golfing (poorly), board games, and trying new recipes. He also is a diehard fan of the Michigan Wolverines and the Detroit Lions (regrettably).