Posted September 18, 2019
Harvard Business School Impact Stories: Claire Broido Johnson
“I’ve worked for organzations outside of Baltimore, but it feels good to focus more locally."
When Claire Broido Johnson (MBA 2002) arrived at Harvard University as an undergrad, she wanted to focus her studies on climate change—so she worked with professors and administration to help create the environmental science and public policy concentration. Then, in her first job out of HBS, she found herself wishing she worked for an organization with a stronger commitment to renewables—so she launched SunEdison with a partner, then asked Brian Robertson (MBA 2004) to join. They expanded the solar energy company from 2 to 300 employees, creating a $290 million valuation by 2008.
“I’m an operations, builder, fixer, get-it-done person,” Broido Johnson says by way of explaining a résumé that, while including stops at multiple clean energy businesses, has the nitty-gritty work of transformation at its core. Public service has also been something of a theme, with a stint as acting program manager in the Department of Energy’s Office of Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs from 2009 to 2010. “I hadn’t ever considered myself suited to work in government, but it was an opportunity to serve my country that I couldn’t pass up,” says Broido Johnson. Initially engaged as an energy efficiency advisory, she was soon asked to oversee the disbursement of $11.3 billion in clean energy grant monies from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.