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2023, 2024 Cleantech Keynote Speaker

Henry McKoy

Director, Office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP)

United States Department of Energy


Dr. Henry C. McKoy, Jr. is the inaugural Director of the Office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP) in the United States Department of Energy.   The newly created Office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP), within the Office of the Under Secretary for Infrastructure, manages $16 billion dollars in federal funding and supports the transition to an equitable clean energy economy by working with community-level implementation partners and State Energy Offices. SCEP manages the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), State Energy Program, Community Programs, and Energy Future Grants.

Dr. McKoy a seasoned professional in business, community and economic development, policy, government, energy, finance, philanthropy and the academic worlds.  Prior to his Presidential appointment at the U.S. Department of Energy, Dr. McKoy served as the lead entrepreneurial faculty and Director of Entrepreneurship at North Carolina Central University School of Business in Durham, North Carolina.  He also served as Managing Director of the North Carolina Central University Eagle Angel Network. McKoy also served on the faculty of the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was Professor of Practice in Strategy and Entrepreneurship.  In addition, he held simultaneous academic appointments in Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and in Duke’s Executive Leadership Institute where he taught on Public-Private Partnerships.  Henry has been a Fellow of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as an Aspen Institute Scholar.  He completed a two-year appointment (2019-2021) at Harvard University Kennedy School’s Ash Center Innovations in Government program, where he was appointed in June 2019 as the first Associate Fellow of Municipal Innovation, leading the effort to launch a national and international network of economically and entrepreneurially inclusive and equitable cities, based on his research as a leading scholar in the subject area.  He has also held an affiliated faculty appointment at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, where he was a Lecturer and Senior Research Scholar.

He served from 2010-2012 in the North Carolina Department of Commerce where he was appointed by the Governor Beverly Perdue as Assistant Secretary of Commerce. At Commerce he was the top Community Development official and representative in North Carolina government.  In Commerce, he oversaw Community Development as the top community economic development professional in the state of North Carolina.  He oversaw five divisions and over 100 staff members within N.C. Commerce including: 1) Appalachian Regional Commission; 2) Community Investment & Assistance; 3) Community Planning; 4) Rural Development; and 5) Urban Development.  His divisions, with more than 100 employees, in seven regional offices across North Carolina, managed a community development portfolio of over $1 billion dollars in investments (federal and state dollars) across hundreds of projects in 100 counties for low-moderate income communities in areas of infrastructure, affordable housing, construction, nonprofit engagement, human services, sustainable community and economic development, and small business.  This leadership included management of the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Certified Retirement Community Program focused on designing communities across North Carolina that were attractive to the growing retirement population as an aging-in-place and economic development strategy for the state based on this growing demography.  It also included development and management of several new programs and initiatives for the Governor’s office, including the Certified Entrepreneurial Community and Small Business Community Award programs.  His divisions supported the planning and investment of over 550 communities across North Carolina.  He has worked extensively with federal, state, and local government agencies and officials including Mayors, City Council and County Commissioner members, City and County staff, state representatives and agencies, Congressional offices, and the White House. He has been an innovative policy maker conceiving of, crafting, designing, and implementing economic policy at all levels of government.

Prior to entering government, Henry was an award-winning business and banking leader with more than fifteen-years of banking and community financial development experience at the local, regional, and national levels.  He spent more than a decade as an executive with Central Carolina, National Commerce, and Suntrust Banks, as they grew from small regional state banks to one of the top 12 largest financial institutions in the United States, being promoted and receiving progressively more responsibility while growing and leading several multibillion dollar divisions for the bank including a major banking turnaround that also included introducing impact and sustainability operations and metrics to the institution.  This stint included executive level management in operations, finance, and information technology, as well as working with national partnerships including Walmart, Kroger and Harris Teeter stores.

Since leaving Suntrust in 2004, Henry has also been a successful entrepreneur, founding several businesses, including a successful exit and sale in 2010.  Henry has served as founder and Chief Executive of a national consulting and financial advisory firm that has advised many clients including local, state, and federal governments, as well as corporations such as SAS and Google, high-achieving and low-achieving public school districts, and agencies such as HUD, EDA, NSF, DOT, and the White House Office of Domestic Policy, and hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors focused on sustainability and social innovation.

Henry has served on over 50 public and charitable boards and commissions from the local to the international level including the NC Economic Development Board, the NC Energy Policy Council, Stop Hunger Now, the Durham Workforce Development Board, the Southern Growth Policies Board, and the NC Community College Foundation, among others.  He is considered a thought leader on social entrepreneurship, sustainability and impact investing, being invited by numerous organizations from local chambers to the White House to discuss the topic. He is considered a global thought leader in those areas and their connections to community and economic development. He has worked both nationally and internationally in these areas, and his research has formed the basis for several national initiatives.  Henry has been involved with nearly 200 non-profits since 1993, serving on boards and volunteering at the local, statewide, national, and international level.

McKoy has won many awards and honors, including being named Raleigh News and Observer’s Tarheel of the Week; being selected as a William C. Friday for Human Relations Fellow of the Wildacres Leadership Institute; and a LEAP Global Nonprofit Ambassador.  His work in social entrepreneurship was featured in the 2014 book, Hope’s Daughters: A Helping a Day of Wisdom and Hope.  McKoy has been a sought-after consultant by both government and private industry regarding inclusive entrepreneurship and economic development policy.  He has also been an active economic development professional, focused on economic inclusivity in mixed-use real estate projects.  He is a regular contributor to media – television, radio, and print.  Dr. McKoy engages in over 120 media interviews annually with local, state, regional, national, and international media.  He speaks on dozens of academic and public panels a year speaking on his research across the United States, and publishes in peer-reviewed journals, as well as mass media publications.  His most recent writing appears in the new book The Pandemic Divide: How Covid Increased Inequality in America (Duke University Press, November 15, 2022), where his chapter, Race, Entrepreneurship, and COVID-19: Black Small Business Survival in Prepandemic and Postpandemic America analyzes and speaks on the impact that COVID has had on the Black economic landscape.

Dr. McKoy has a BSBA from Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Masters Degree in Environmental Management, Policy and Leadership from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, and a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Department of City and Regional Planning program with a concentration in economics, economic development, entrepreneurship, and impact investing.