As the Biden administration fails to live up to its promises of transparency, one new office tucked away in the State Department has garnered attention for being even more secretive than others in the administration. The Office of the Special Envoy for Climate (SPEC) raised eyebrows when first announced with the public asking what the office would accomplish and what authorities it would have. Not surprisingly, the White House did not have much to say about that. Led by failed presidential candidate and former secretary of state John Kerry, SPEC has acted more as a comms shop for promoting anti fossil fuel policies as well as jetting Kerry around the world to lavish vacation spots to talk about climate change. This office appears more as a retirement gift to Kerry than a productive and functioning government office.
But, of course, this office needs staff to fill it. This would usually be the part where we’d give metrics on how many people are staffers in this office, how much they’re being paid etc. However, SPEC refuses to disclose who works in this office and their titles. They have fought FOIA’s requesting these disclosures from multiple groups including the Boston Herald who first submitted their request back in May of 2021. Other government offices would provide these names with no issue but why is John Kerry refusing to release the names of his staff? Who is working for him? What is he hiding? Fortunately, Inside Biden’s Basement is here to provide some of those answers. Our research team has discovered the names of employees within SPEC and information on who these officials who are making sure your energy costs remain high are.
1. Varun Sivaram – SPEC Senior Advisor for Climate
Previously served as Chief Technology Officer for the multibillion-dollar renewable energy firm, ReNew Power Limited based in India. Has his own website where he promotes his own books under his government title (no potential ethics problems there, right?).
2. Claire Wang – Policy Advisor to SPEC
Formerly a policy advisor at Rocky Mountain Institute, which adamantly opposes Nuclear Energy while at the same time advocating for zero carbon solutions. Was a Policy Lead at Evergreen Action, which is a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a left-wing lobbying organization.
3. Lizzie Hunsaker – SPEC Special Advisor on Innovation
Prior to joining SPEC, worked at Citizen’s Climate Lobby, a non-profit that has volunteers lobby members of congress to put a price on carbon. Former Chris Coons (D-DE) staffer.
4. Giulia Christianson – SPEC Senior Advisor
Worked at the World Resources Institute, a group that made headlines when it was revealed that then board member Bill Richardson was named in the Jeffery Epstein case.
5. Reed Schuler – SPEC Managing Director and Senior Advisor
While at the State Department during the Obama administration under then-Secretary of State John Kerry, was a member of the team that negotiated the Paris Climate Accords.
6. Elliot Diringer – SPEC Senior Policy Advisor
Former White House Deputy Press Secretary under Clinton. Former Director of International Strategies at the Pew Center.
7. Jesse Young – SPEC Senior Advisor
Previously a Legislative Assistant for Senator Chris Murphy. Former employee at Oxfam, a group known for its staff members paying survivors of the earthquake in Haiti for sex back in 2011.
8. Leonardo Martinez-Diaz – SPEC Senior Director for Climate Finance
While serving in the Obama administration, Martinez-Diaz negotiated the financial aspects of the Paris Climate accords which many see as holding the US back economically. Former board member of the Green Climate Fund, a UN-backed climate fund that John Kerry has promised a $2 billion contribution funded by US tax payer dollars.
9. Madison Freeman – SPEC Senior Advisor on Innovation
Before joining the administration Madison worked at Energy Impact Partners, an investment fund that manages around $2.5 billion in assets with the goal of creating a zero-carbon world. Criticized Trump admin oil sanctions on Iran in NPR op-ed yet continues to push for a fossil fuel free world.
10. Gwynne Taraska – SPEC Managing Director for Cross-Cutting Climate Issues
Former Director of the Ocean Conservancy, a group that has been criticized for promoting policies that weaken the fishing industry. Former Director of International Climate Policy at the Center for American Progress, a left-wing think tank founded by Clinton family confidant John Podesta.
11. Annie Hills – SPEC Senior Advisor
Spent 5 years at Boston Consulting Group working in multiple positions that focused on climate and sustainability. Worked as a manager at Bloomberg Associates working in their sustainability practice.
12. David Livingston – SPEC Senior Advisor
Was a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council prior to joining Biden administration. Served as a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
As you suffer the effects of runaway inflation combined with food and fuel shortages this winter, you can be comforted knowing that John Kerry is safely gallivanting to vacation spots around the world in yachts and private jets, planning our nation’s abrupt transition away from cheap, reliable energy to intermittent, expensive, and unreliable sources. There’s a hard-working team behind the scenes in his office making sure that all of this happens. Inside Biden’s Basement is proud to introduce you to some of the members of SPEC who are ensuring your life is short and painful while their boss has access to all the comforts befitting a failed presidential candidate.