The U.S. C3E Awards recognize outstanding mid-career women making an impact in clean energy. Awards are a component of the U.S. implementation plan for the international C3E Initiative.

Review the FAQs and Guidance Document.

What is the deadline for award nomination submissions?

Nominations for the 2017 U.S. C3E Awards are currently closed. The nomination period was February 1, 2017, to March 20, 2017.

Who may submit nominations?

Nominations may be submitted by employers, universities, professional societies, membership organizations, associations, community groups, individuals, or other sponsors. Nominators should know the accomplishments and capabilities of nominees firsthand. Re-nominating a previous nominee with an updated nomination is encouraged. Self-nomination is not allowed. Nominators of the award winners are invited to the annual C3E Symposium.

What are the criteria for nominees?

Note: federal, state, and local government employees and contractors are eligible. This includes employees and contractors of the Department of Energy and the National Laboratories.

Nominees should have a record of significant accomplishment, leadership qualities and other relevant attributes, mentorship of women and girls, and be in good standing in their field, with colleagues, and in their community. In addition, nominees will:

  • Be mid-career and have outstanding professional experience.
  • Use their talents to advance clean energy sources, technologies, practices, and policies, such as via efforts to increase renewable sources of energy or reduce energy use, energy-related environmental impacts, or energy system costs.
  • Have made a compelling impact in their fields—working within a company, team, university, government agency, non-government organization, professional community, or as an individual.
  • Have accomplishments sufficient to merit national recognition.
  • Be emerging leaders with a demonstrated, strong commitment to advancing clean energy in their areas of work/expertise/experience.
  • Be inclusive leaders who have helped to mentor women and develop future leaders in their professions, avocations, or communities.
  • Have a minimum of five years of professional experience in clean energy.
  • Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Note: Women with executive-level experience in clean energy can be considered for inclusion on a future C3E Ambassadors candidates list. Please send contact information for potential ambassadors to If it is not clear whether someone is mid-career or executive level, please submit an award nomination using the online form and the current C3E Ambassadors will make the determination.

What information does a nominator need to submit?

Nominators will need to obtain the following information from a nominee:

  • Contact information for the nominee.
  • Contact information for 2 references (in addition to you) who can verify the information provided and have agreed to be contacted, if needed.
  • Years of experience working in clean energy.

To submit a nomination, nominators will also need to:

  • Certify that the nominee has agreed to be nominated and can be contacted.
  • Certify that the nominee is a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident.
  • Certify that they know the nominee’s accomplishments and capabilities firsthand.
  • Select one of eight award categories.
  • Describe why you believe the nominee is mid-career. Mid-career is defined as past entry level and having expertise and experience with significant opportunities to grow before the end of her career. The C3E Awards are intended to contribute to advancing the careers of awardees into more senior leadership and executive-level positions.
  • Describe the nominee’s accomplishments (300 words or less), leadership qualities (300 words or less), and provide additional background information (300 words or less). Tailor the nomination to the category selected and answer the questions in the nomination guidance template.

What information will a nominee need to submit?

After a nomination is submitted, nominees will be emailed and asked to submit the following by March 27, 2017:

  • 200 words (or less) describing how the $8,000 gift might be used to advance women in clean energy. For example, a nominee may invest in her own work (if applicable), support a nonprofit focused on gender and/or energy issues, contribute ideas for building the C3E network, or start something new. Nominees will be asked to indicate if there is a chance the funds cannot be accepted; for instance, due to company policy.
  • A current one-page resume (including years for education and employment) in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format. Longer submissions will not be accepted.
  • A list of colleges and degrees (if applicable), as well as home city and state.

For additional questions, check out our FAQs.


The U.S. C3E Awards for outstanding leadership and extraordinary achievement are given in the eight categories described below. The Awards are intended to spotlight mid-career women who have professional experience working in clean energy. Please read the descriptions of all the categories and select the one that best describes the nominee’s work area. The nomination should be tailored to the category selected.

  • Advocacy: This award recognizes clean energy advocates working as individuals, through nongovernmental organizations, or clean tech incubators who have driven greater uptake of clean energy policies and technologies in society.
  • Business: This award recognizes leaders within private entities of any size, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations. Strong candidates will have accelerated or expanded the adoption of clean energy within their own business footprints or portfolios.
  • Education: This award recognizes teachers or instructors, including those who teach STEM subjects, who have helped to increase clean energy literacy, with a focus on teaching at the K‐12, technical school, undergraduate, or graduate levels.
  • Entrepreneurship: This award recognizes entrepreneurs who have developed and demonstrated innovative clean energy technologies or business models that have the potential to drive market transformation toward clean energy.
  • Government: This award recognizes local, state, or federal government employees (e.g., civil servants, regulators, or elected officials) and contractors who have advanced policies, regulations, or incentives to support the development, deployment, and diffusion of clean energy.
  • International: This award recognizes those who have worked to develop and diffuse clean energy products and services in emerging economies toward the Sustainable Energy for All goals of increasing access, promoting efficiency, and expanding clean energy around the world.
  • Law & Finance: This category recognizes lawyers, finance professionals, or academics at professional schools who have enabled or advanced the development and deployment of innovative clean energy financing solutions or enabling regulatory structures.
  • Research: This award recognizes scientists and researchers working at universities, national labs, or in industry who have developed advanced innovative clean energy technologies with the potential for demonstrable and scalable impact.