The Center on Global Energy Policy's Women in Energy program hosted a dinner and roundtable discussion with Kate Burson, Northeast U.S. Market Development Lead, Tesla. Ms. Burson discussed her job history, career paths, and perspectives on what it means to be a female leader in the energy industry.


Kate Burson has devoted her career to working at the intersection of business, policy and law – as a catalyst to expand and encourage sustainable development. Recognizing that energy storage is an essential element in the global transition to clean energy, Burson joined Tesla in 2016 to help develop the market and business for their energy storage products, the Powerwall and the Powerpack.

Prior to joining Tesla, Burson co-led energy policy for New York state. Working with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Chairman of Energy and Finance Richard Kauffman, Burson developed and deployed a new strategy for an electric grid power by clean energy. This initiative grew into the State’s Reforming the Energy Vision, REV, which Burson co-developed and managed.

Between the years 2013 and 2015, Burson served as Chief of Staff to the Chairman of Energy & Finance for New York State, and was responsible for overseeing the state utility regulatory agency, two public power companies, and the state's energy research and development institution. Under Burson’s direction, New York became a leader in clean energy: restructuring New York State Energy Research and Development authority (NYSERDA), creating a $5 billion clean energy fund, and establishing the nation’s largest public financial institution dedicated to clean energy finance.

Previously, Burson served as an Assistant Attorney General for New York state, where she prosecuted securities fraud. She has also held positions at the World Wildlife Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the National Women’s Law Center. Burson attended Vanderbilt University where she graduated magna cum laude and was awarded All-American and Academic All-American honors for her achievements as a Division I tennis player. She received her law degree from Washington University in St. Louis.