WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), the leading national women’s organization advancing policy that enhances people’s freedom, opportunities, and well-being, announced the launch of its Center for Energy and Conservation. 

IWF’s Center for Energy and Conservation will reshape the conversation about American energy and the women and men who work in the energy sector. It will educate the public about the benefits of modern energy, including thriving economies, lower costs, and healthy communities. The center will also level-set fear-based rhetoric surrounding the climate and cultivate meaningful policies that lead to cleaner air, cleaner water, and a lower emissions future. Importantly, the Center will connect the role our modern energy industry has played in successful environmental outcomes and in reducing poverty and creating prosperity in the United States and around the world. 

IWF’s Center for Energy and Conservation will be led by energy and environment policy expert Mandy Gunasekara. Gunasekara previously served as chief of staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and majority counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. She’s worked for numerous non-profits including the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Energy 45, and the Heritage Foundation.  She’s an experienced communicator, writer, and back-up radio host for her home-state station, Supertalk Mississippi. She is the mother of two young children and lives in Oxford, Mississippi.

“The most effective path to a cleaner planet alongside thriving communities is through balanced environmental standards,” said Gunasekara. “The Center for Energy and Conservation will advance a better, more prudent path on these issues. It will also change the public discourse that has been largely defined by extremists using the environment as a tool to push bad ideas that make us poorer, more vulnerable, and sadly, don’t even deliver in terms of environment.” 

“Our country is blessed with the resources and the innovative spirit to build a better environmental future,” added Gunasekara. “This does not require banning gas stoves, shutting down the fossil fuel industry, or villainizing hard-working Americans. It will be built on the conservative principle of doing more with less, strengthening our energy systems, supporting innovation, and celebrating the men and women that make our modern life possible.” 

What others are saying:

Andrew Wheeler, Former U.S. EPA Administrator:

“For too long, energy and environmental issues have been portrayed in opposition to each other. We need fresh new voices, and the Center for Energy and Conservation can bring common sense solutions to these important topics.”

Cynthia Lummis, U.S. Senator (R-WY):

“Wyoming can power the nation, and the U.S. can power the world thanks to the hardworking men and women in our domestic energy sector. American energy is the cleanest in the world, and radical environmental policies are actually harming the environment because our nation is relying on countries with lower environmental standards for importing energy. I’m glad the Independent Women’s Forum is opening the Center for Energy Prosperity to help push back on the anti-American energy rhetoric created by the left.”

Liz Bowman, AXPC vice president of communications and IWF Center for Energy and Conservation advisory board member:

“IWF brings balanced, practical solutions to key issues affecting Americans’ lives, and there is nothing more important or foundational to our lives than American energy. The Center for American Energy and Conservation will spur important conversations about the strategic value American energy provides our economy, our environment, and our national security.”

Dan Turner, Executive Director of Power the Future and IWF Center for Energy and Conservation advisory board member:

“I’m thrilled to join IWF and Mandy in helping advance the national conversation on energy. Not only does our economy and national security depend on abundant, domestic energy but it also provides dignity to the life of every American. An energy-rich America is a peaceful, prosperous America, and we need more people engaged on this most critical issue.”

Mike McKenna, former Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs and IWF Center for Energy and Conservation advisory board member:

“At this crucial juncture, the creation of the Center for Energy and Conservation is essential and welcome.  The Center will be a resolute advocate for policies that make sure abundant, affordable, and reliable American energy — which is and has been a blessing to all of us — will continue to form the basis of our shared prosperity.  The Center will always strive to make sure that decisions about what kinds of energy Americans use, what kind of appliances Americans have in their homes, and what kinds of cars and trucks Americans can buy will remain in the hands of individuals and families, and not governments. I look forward to contributing to this journey and this effort in whatever way I can, and I encourage all Americans to join with us.” 

Christian R. Palich, Vice President Taft Advisors, former Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Interior, and IWF Center for Energy and Conservation advisory board member:

“Energy is the backbone to our economy, and without affordable and reliable energy from coal as well as other abundant resources blessed to our country, we cannot compete on a global scale. The time is now to develop thoughtful, reasonable policies that help us unleash America’s energy potential, not put unnecessary roadblocks in place that kills jobs and stifles development.” 

Donna Jackson, Director of Project 21, National Center for Public Policy Research and IWF Center for Energy and Conservation advisory board member:

“Energy and conservation are the most important issues of the 21st century. The Independent Women’s Forum is known for fresh thinking on a number of issues, and I look forward to their efforts here. Energy policies can be opportunities or barriers to economic upward mobility for countless low-income and minority communities. That’s why it’s important to have a reasonable approach, and I am confident IWF will make a valuable contribution to the debate.”

Learn more about IWF Center for Energy and Conservation Director Mandy Gunasekara: Link to Bio.

Related work:

Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.
Advancing our energy potential, protecting the environment, and promoting healthy communities.