Charles (Chuck) Zelek

Special Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy
U.S. Department of Energy

Charles (Chuck) Zelek, Ph.D., is a Special Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy. Chuck joined the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 2009 and served as the director of energy markets for the analysis team at the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh PA, followed by a position as a senior economist in DOE HQ in Washington D.C., and transitioning to his current role in late 2019.


Prior to DOE, Chuck was a senior economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington D.C., focusing on energy- and climate change-related USDA programs and policies. While at USDA, Chuck helped support the Energy Title of the 2008 Farm Bill and sections of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, as well as numerous climate- and energy-related program implementation plans. At the beginning of his civil service career, Chuck was USDA’s state economist for Indiana.


Chuck earned his doctorate in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Purdue University as well as a Master of Science in Resource Economics from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from The Ohio University.