Distinguished Alumnus and Circle of Honor


2012-Dan E. Arvizu, BSME

Dan Arvizu has been the director and chief executive of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory since 2005. NREL, in Golden, Colo., is the DOE’s primary laboratory for energy efficiency and renewable energy R&D. NREL is operated for DOE by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC. Arvizu is president of Alliance.

Dan E. Arvizu

Dan E. Arvizu

After more than three decades of professional engagement in the clean energy field, Arvizu has become one of the world’s leading experts on renewable and sustainable energy. He has briefed Congress numerous times and given state-of-technology presentations and keynote addresses at dozens of national and international conferences. He has established and implemented a new institutional strategy to position the lab for higher impact and contributions to national and global energy challenges. During his tenure, he has overseen an R&D budget with a contract value of more than $2.5 billion including more than $500 million for infrastructure improvements. NREL is one of the most sustainable energy efficient campuses in the U.S., including NREL’s Research Support Facility, the largest net-zero energy building in the world powered by 2.5 MW of solar photovoltaics.

In 2004, Arvizu was appointed by President George W. Bush for a six-year term on the National Science Board and in 2010 was reappointed by President Barack Obama to a second six-year term. In 2012, Arvizu was elected by his peers as chairman of the NSB, the governing board of the National Science Foundation with an annual budget of $7.5 billion, and the national science policy advisory body to the President and Congress. Arvizu serves on a number of boards, panels and advisory committees, including more than 10 years on NMSU College of Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Advisory Boards.

Prior to joining NREL, Arvizu was the chief technology officer with CH2M HILL Companies, Ltd. Before joining CH2M he was an executive with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. He started his career and spent four years at the AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Arvizu has a bachelor’s degree from NMSU and master’s and doctoral degrees from Stanford University, all in mechanical engineering.