Wisconsin Energy Institute Welcomes Mary Blanchard
January 23, 2014
UW-Madison got a boost this week in its efforts to lead the world in clean energy research. Mary Blanchard, a biofuels industry professional and former executive at Virent, Inc., joined the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI) as the new associate director. Blanchard, whose career portfolio spans business development, industrial and governmental relations and marketing, makes a promising addition to the WEI.
Formerly the Director of Marketing and Governmental Affairs at Virent, Inc., Blanchard brings to the WEI extensive knowledge of the biofuel industry and a broad understanding of the economic, social and environmental opportunities created by sustained, cross-disciplinary research on energy.
“Innovative energy technologies can save money, increase productivity and create jobs, while reducing the environmental impacts of energy use,” Blanchard says. “Making these discoveries is essential for a sustainable and prosperous future for Wisconsin and beyond.”
Twenty years of industry experience have taught Blanchard the value of creativity and versatility in approaching scientific projects aimed at complex industrial markets.
“Mary’s track record of outreach and collaboration with energy leaders and investors will be a tremendous asset as she works to leverage new opportunities to expand the world-class energy research that is underway at UW-Madison,” says Mike Corradini, WEI director and Wisconsin Distinguished Professor of engineering physics. “We’re excited to have Mary join the team.”
Blanchard holds bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and English from the University of Notre Dame, an MBA in marketing from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics.
“The WEI has built a strong foundation of leadership in energy research, education and community engagement,” Blanchard says. “I am privileged to join the team, and look forward to helping build innovative partnerships that support not only research, but a robust public dialogue on the issue of energy.”