Kiernan has headed the National Parks Conservation Association for 15 years. He was also a senior official at the Environmental Protection Agency under President George H.W. Bush, among other earlier jobs.
AWEA spent $330,000 on lobbying in the first quarter of 2013, according to disclosure filings.
The group lobbied on topics including, the production tax credit and proposals to enable use of the "master limited partnership" tax structure for renewable energy projects (a topic E2-Wire has more about here).
Kiernan said in a statement that he’s “honored and excited” to take the new job.
“With wind energy building over 40 percent of new electrical generation in the U.S. last year, the massive public support for more renewable energy, and the recent extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) by Congress and the President, we have a unique opportunity to work together to make wind energy a more integral part of our national energy portfolio,” he said in a statement.
He replaces former AWEA CEO Denise Bode, who resigned several months ago.
This post was updated at 10:42 a.m.