Associate Professor Tony Reames will return to SEAS after serving at the Department of Energy
Associate Professor Tony Reames will be returning to the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) from his leave of absence at the Department of Energy (DOE), where he served as the Principal Deputy Director for State and Community Energy Programs and the DOE’s Deputy Director for Energy Justice.
Reames will become the Tishman Professor of Environmental Justice at SEAS and serve as the new Director of the SEAS Detroit Sustainability Clinic, effective January 2024. In terms of teaching, advising, and student mentoring, Reames will be on sabbatical through September 2024 and will resume these activities in Fall 2024.
With his energy and environmental justice, community engagement, and program implementation expertise, Reames can deepen and expand relationships with Detroit communities, government, businesses and other key stakeholders that will lead to a lasting difference in the city. He is uniquely positioned to lead the Clinic, which has a mission of advancing climate resilience and equity in historically underserved communities in Detroit — the neighborhoods that bear the greatest burdens of the climate crisis. The Clinic provides resources, support and multi-year, collaborative engagement opportunities that foster long-term relationships. Its goal is to connect U-M partners with Detroit leaders, activists and visionaries, and place community priorities at the forefront of all its work to create positive, meaningful change.
For the last two and a half years, Reames has led the development of the DOE’s plan to implement President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative to deliver at least 40% of the benefits of Federal climate and energy investments to disadvantaged communities. To accomplish this mission, he established the first-ever Office of Energy Justice Policy & Analysis. Most recently as the Principal Deputy Director for State and Community Energy Programs, Reames was responsible for the deployment of $16 billion in state, local, and tribal government programs to accomplish everything from weatherizing homes to making schools more efficient to local clean energy planning. As more Federal dollars from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act flow to communities across the country, Reames’ experience at DOE will ensure that U-M can support Detroit as it takes advantage of its share and deploys resources in a data-driven, community-led way. Michigan’s new clean energy bills also offer a major opportunity to leverage state and federal resources for equitable and just climate action in Detroit like never before.
In his capacity as the Director of the Clinic, Reames will also serve as a liaison for SEAS with the U-M Center for Innovation in Detroit and will play a crucial role in building connections and collaborations for SEAS and the new center.
Since Fall 2021, Kerry Duggan served as the Clinic's Founding Director. Under her leadership, the Clinic has worked with the City of Detroit and community partners to help the city mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change on residents, energy and water infrastructure, and businesses - and achieve the goals of the Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda. Duggan will continue to be involved in SEAS in many ways, including her role as a lecturer, student mentor, and advisor.