Nora Maccoby was born in Mexico City, raised in Washington DC, and began making short films when she was in her early teens. Trained in theater directing and playwriting at Oberlin College, she earned her MFA in Film Directing from The American Film Institute, winning the Leopard of Tomorrow for her film, "Dropping the Bomb on My Street" at the Locarno Film Festival. She co-wrote "Bongwater", (starring Jack Black, Luke Wilson, Andy Dick, Brittany Murphy) and "Buffalo Soldiers", (Joaquin Phoenix, Ed Harris, Anna Paquin), which was nominated for 6 Independent Spirit Awards and won the Evening Standard Award for Best Screenplay in 2003.
In 2002, while researching a film on the 1983 US invasion of Grenada, West Indies, she began working with the local government to develop clean energy solutions. Realizing that this was a global issue, and that the environmental stakes were too high to dismiss, she returned to her hometown of Washington DC. In the spring of 2004, Nora began working with leaders inside the Beltway to create a bipartisan energy literacy initiative (Nature's Partners) and create common ground for a national energy conversation. A Democrat, Nora partnered with Rachel Pearson, a Bush Republican White House liaison, and the VPs of Exelon and Florida Power and Light, to craft a curriculum, and then, with a growing non-partisan network inside the Department of Defense including Amory Lovins, Scott Sklar, James Woolsey, Mitzi Wertheim and others, to message the fact that energy is a national security issue.
In November 2005, Nora led a three week international clean energy delegation with the International Fund for China's Environment (IFCE), meeting with Chinese mayors, business leaders, provincial government leaders, and NGO and Chinese Government Planning and Reform Commission members to discuss energy projects, diplomacy and way ahead strategies to develop international clean energy partnerships and alliances. With a US-China cooperation strategy in place, Nora was able, in December 2005, to interface directly with then Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Her briefing resulted in Rumsfeld throwing significant support behind the movement in the form of two Defense Science Board Reviews, the genesis for Energy Security offices in each branch of military, and the funding through the Office of Force Transformation, for The Energy Conversation (www.energyconversation.org). In late January, Nora received credit for President Bush's State of the Union line when he declared, "America has a problem. We are addicted to oil."
From 2007 - 2010, Nora served as Senior Communications Specialist for The Energy Conversation, a partnership of 29 government agencies and departments, working together to achieve smart energy policy. Her book, The Energy Conversation, published by Center for Naval Analysis (CNA) details the first 4 years of the clean energy movement within Washington DC.
Nora is a champion of clean energy technologies and a strategist for bringing them to the public. She has appeared on C-Span, led workshops internationally, brought together leaders in the investment world with green technology experts; organized and co-hosted the Washington D.C. Green Salon and Blue Salon symposiums devoted to the world’s energy and water problems and solutions, in collaboration with the Swedish Embassy’s “House of Sweden” and in 2010 with the New York Academy of Science. With the IFCE, she organized and moderated a panel on Low Carbon Development at the World Bank U.S. - China Green Development Symposium on June 10, 2011 and led the panel on Green Banks and Financing at the IFCE's 2012 Forum.