CRES Adds to Growing Team, Hires Shawn Affolter as New Vice President of Government Relations

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2021 — Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) today announced that Shawn Affolter, former deputy assistant secretary for U.S. Senate affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), has been hired to serve as vice president of government relations. Additionally, the organization’s communications intern Emily Hannah, a 2021 graduate of Virginia Tech, will join as communications coordinator beginning June 1.

“Shawn’s substantive knowledge of energy policy and years of experience working with Congressional leaders is a tremendous asset to the growing CRES team,” said Heather Reams, executive director of CRES. “His role in the Energy Act of 2020 and familiarity with CRES’ clean energy priorities—from energy storage to critical minerals—will be extremely important as we work to advance commonsense solutions through Congress.”

As vice president of government relations, Affolter will serve as CRES’ top congressional advocate and will promote clean energy and climate policy on behalf of the organization on Capitol Hill. Serving as the deputy assistant secretary for Senate affairs at DOE for three years, Affolter was the agency’s principal liaison to the U.S. Senate and provided strategic advice to departmental leadership on congressional matters, including the Energy Act of 2020 and National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“As one of the most crucial organizations focused on conservative energy and environmental issues, CRES is more than a typical issues-based advocacy in Washington,” Affolter said. “I’m excited to be part of such a smart, strategic team helping Republican lawmakers lean in, engage and lead on clean energy and climate policy.”

Prior to his work at DOE, Affolter worked for his home state Senator, John Hoeven (R-ND), helping to advance key energy priorities—including infrastructure policies, public-private research partnerships, next-generation energy technology initiatives, and federal permitting reform.

On June 1, Emily Hannah, who served as a communications intern this past semester will rejoin CRES as communications coordinator, supporting the communications team with research, social media management, writing and project coordination.

“From the very beginning of her internship Emily impressed us with her ability to work hard, develop new skills, and find opportunity in the face of challenging circumstances. In a very short period of time she’s become an invaluable asset to the CRES communications team, which will no doubt continue as her career and professional abilities grow,” said Ross Gillfillan, Vice President of Communications for CRES.

Hannah graduated earlier this month from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and public relations. While in school Hannah worked as a social media and marketing associate at Design TLC, a freelance writer for Parks Zeigler, PLLC, a public relations intern at The KBD Group, LLC, and was the managing editor for the Virginia Tech newspaper, the Collegiate Times.



Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) engages Republican policymakers and the public about responsible, conservative solutions to address our nation’s energy, economic, and environmental security while increasing America’s competitive edge. For more information, visit

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