Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL)
Congressman Sean Casten is a member of the Congressional Freethought Caucus.
Sean Casten represents Illinois’ 6th Congressional District, located in suburbs west of Chicago, and is serving as a freshman in the 116th Congress. As a scientist, clean energy entrepreneur, author, and now as a Member of Congress, Casten has dedicated his life to fighting climate change. In Congress, Sean currently serves on the House Financial Services Committee, the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, the Select Climate Crisis Committee, and is a Co-Chair on the New Dems Climate Change Task Force.
A resident of Downers Grove, Illinois, Rep. Casten earned a Bachelor of Arts in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Middlebury College in 1993, and then worked for two years as a scientist at the Tufts University School of Medicine in a laboratory investigating dietary impacts on colon and breast cancer. In 1998, he earned a Master of Engineering Management and a Master of Science in Biochemical Engineering from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. While at Dartmouth, he did fundamental research in thermophilic fermentation technology to produce cellulosic ethanol and engineering analyses of integrated ethanol, heat and power plants.
Casten worked as a clean energy consultant and manager at Arthur D. Little from 1997 to 2000. From 2000 to 2006, he served as the president and CEO of Turbosteam Corporation, which focused on utilizing energy recycling technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by generating heat and power from previously wasted energy. In 2006, Casten co-founded Recycled Energy Development (RED), which focused on recycling wasted energy and converting energy facilities to cleaner, more economic uses. RED built, owned, and operated industrially-sited waste energy recovery plants throughout North America. RED was sold to Ironclad Energy Partners in 2016.
Casten was a founding chairman of the Northeast CHP Initiative, a nonprofit advocacy organization with a mission to advance policies that favor energy efficiency in the Northeast United States. He was a lead negotiator on the Massachusetts interconnection standard and participated in multiple utility rate cases. For his advocacy of clean energy policies and technology, Casten was named to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Emerging Leaders Class of 2011. Casten has authored a number of articles on clean energy technologies and the United States electricity grid, as well as energy policy and regulation.
Sean and his wife Kara live in Downers Grove, Illinois, with their two daughters, Gwen and Audrey, who attend the local public schools. The Castens understand the pivotal role of public education in preparing America’s children to compete in a global economy. Kara is a marketing professional and currently works for a global insurance company in Schaumburg.
While working diligently in Washington on behalf of Illinois’ 6th Congressional District, Rep. Casten is also committed to keeping in close contact with his constituents, believing in the benefit of hearing the views and ideas of all of the people he represents.