LaVera played a key role in steering DOE’s response to the collapse of Solyndra, the solar-panel company that went under in 2011 after receiving a half-billion-dollar DOE loan guarantee in 2009.
Solyndra’s demise occasioned high-profile GOP congressional probes and fueled intense election-year political attacks against the Obama administration by Republicans and conservative groups that say White House green energy programs haven’t worked.
DOE officials said Solyndra’s collapse and the bankruptcy of a few other federally backed companies should not obscure the overall success of loan and grant programs that have supported scores of green-energy companies and projects.
LaVera has also worked for the State Department and the American Bar Association. He has a bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University and a master’s degree in security policy from George Washington University.
LaVera isn’t the only DOE aide heading for New York state.
Richard Kauffman, a top adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, is leaving to become New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) “energy czar.”
Chu himself is widely expected to step down soon as part of the broader second-term turnover in President Obama’s Cabinet.