03/02/16 :

2016 Unsung Hero Awards: Passionate Winners Advancing Energy Efficiency Policy

Since 2004, the Alliance to Save Energy has provided Unsung Hero Awards for those who go “above and beyond” on a daily basis to further energy efficiency, but who have not received recognition commensurate to their contributions. Through the 2016 Unsung Hero Awards, the Alliance is delighted to bring attention to the commendable work of four outstanding awardees. The Alliance was joined by key industry leaders at the March 1 Unsung Heroes Reception at the Capitol Visitor Center to honor the 2016 awardees.

The four Unsung Hero Awardees included:

From left to right: Robert Diznoff, Blaise Sheridan, Jennifer Loraine, and Christopher King (Photos by Alliance to Save Energy)

  • Robert Diznoff, Democratic Staff Director on the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and Senior Counsel for Ranking Member Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). Presented by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)
  • Christopher King, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy. Presented by Kevin Knobloch, U.S. Department of Energy Chief of Staff
  • Jennifer Loraine, Senior Energy Advisor and Counsel in the office of Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and staffs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Presented by Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colo.)
  • Blaise Sheridan, Legislative Assistant in the office of Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.). Presented by Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.)


Robert Diznoff

Robert Diznoff currently serves as the Democratic Staff Director on the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee for Ranking Member Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). Diznoff also serves as Senator Shaheen’s Senior Counsel, where he manages a staff focused on issues related to energy efficiency, advanced manufacturing, renewable energy and innovation. Prior to this position, Diznoff worked as Senator Shaheen’s Senior Policy Advisor, covering energy, environment, climate change and natural resources policy.

Before joining Senator Shaheen’s office, Diznoff was Energy Counsel for Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), advising the Senator on all matters related to the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Diznoff began his career on Capitol Hill working for the late Senator Robert C. Byrd and then as a Legislative Assistant for West Virginia’s interim Senator Carte Goodwin covering energy, environmental and labor issues. Diznoff has an undergraduate degree from the Ohio State University and a law degree from the University of Miami School of Law in Coral Gables, FL.


Christopher King

Christopher King is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy. Here King provides strategic advice to the Secretary and Departmental leadership on engagement with the U.S. Congress, state, tribal, city and county governments, other Federal agencies, and key external stakeholders, enhancing the Department’s relationship with these decision-makers as central components of the national clean energy agenda.

King joined DOE in 2013 and has since served in a variety of capacities—most recently as a Senior Advisor in the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis (EPSA) and prior to that as the Director of Policy and Analysis for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Before joining the Department, King spent over a decade on Capitol Hill, including as the Energy and Environment Subcommittee Staff Director for the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee. During his tenure with the Committee, King was the chief advisor on Department of Energy matters and led a number of successful legislative initiatives, including passage of the America COMPETES Act and the establishment of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). King is a proud Texan and graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.


Jennifer Loraine

Jennifer Loraine currently serves as Senior Energy Advisor and Counsel for Senator Gardner and staffs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Loraine worked briefly for Missouri Secretary of State's Office then came to work on Capitol Hill for Senator Roy Blunt in January 2011. Loraine spent a little over a year in Senator Blunt's office as a Legislative Correspondent, then moved to then-Congressman Cory Gardner's office as a Legislative Assistant in 2012. Loraine staffed Rep. Gardner on the Energy and Commerce Committee and became Counsel for the Congressman in 2014. Loraine graduated (Bachelor of Arts) summa cum laude from Saint Louis University and received a J.D. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Loraine is from Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.


Blaise Sheridan

Blaise Sheridan serves as a Legislative Assistant in the Office of U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), where his portfolio includes energy, environment, agriculture and innovation. Sheridan also serves as Sen. Franken’s advisor in his role on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. In his current role, Sheridan helps to advance the Senator’s energy efficiency and clean energy priorities, including a national energy efficiency resource standard and incentives for benchmarking building energy usage.

Prior to this position, Sheridan served as Legislative Aide for Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), where he covered energy, environment, agriculture, and transportation issues. Before his Senate tenure, Sheridan worked at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) as an Energy and Climate Policy Associate. Sheridan has a Master’s Degree in Marine Policy from University of Delaware and a B.S. in Engineering from Swarthmore College.


In addition to the four Unsung Hero Awardees, Representative Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) was honored during the reception’s festivities with the Recognition of Service Award for his years of service to the Alliance and for his unwavering commitment to advancing energy efficiency policy during his tenure in the House. First elected in 2000, Rep. Israel has worked to promote energy security over his time in Congress and has identified energy efficiency as one of the key drivers to achieving it. Rep. Israel is a leader on U.S. energy security, reducing dependence on foreign oil, lowering energy costs and creating an innovative clean technology economy.

Click here to see the gallery of photos on Flickr.