Offshore wind expert Ohleth named executive director at SIOW

Special Initiative Offshore Wind is policy group for offshore wind stakeholders

Kris Ohleth has been named executive director of the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind, a policy group providing expertise, analysis, information sharing and strategic partnership support for key offshore wind stakeholders — many of which are increasing their efforts in South Jersey.

Ohleth, a 15-year veteran in the offshore wind industry, previously served as senior manager of stakeholder engagement at Ørsted Offshore North America, the company that won New Jersey’s first offshore wind solicitation in June 2019.

SIOW, based at the University of Delaware, has been as a clearinghouse for offshore wind policy and research — taking a cross-sector approach and convening policymakers, industry, nongovernment organizations and other offshore wind stakeholders to better coordinate strategy, policy and industry developments.

SIOW founder Stephanie McClellan said she’s pleased to be able to add Ohleth.

“This is a pivotal time for U.S. offshore wind, and I am delighted Kris is taking the helm at SIOW,” McClellan said. “The offshore wind farms that are in the development queue will create thousands of good clean energy jobs and are critical to states achieving their climate goals. This is the moment to propel the industry forward, and Kris’ background makes her extremely well-positioned to lead SIOW during this important phase.”

Ohleth will draw on the accumulation of her long history in the sector, which includes senior positions with environmental organizations and offshore wind energy companies.

“Offshore wind provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help solve societal issues such as threats from climate change and a slowed economy,” she said. “I look forward to my new role at SIOW to support the responsible advancement of offshore wind.”

David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America, said the company will miss Ohleth, but knows she is going to a good place.

“SIOW does a great job of highlighting the economic and environmental benefits of our industry,” he said. “While we will miss Kris on our team, we know that SIOW is gaining an incredibly talented and driven offshore wind expert who is motivated by the launch of this new American industry.”