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Clean Economy Conference
The 75th Governor of Rhode Island
On January 6, 2015, Gina M. Raimondo became the 75th Governor of Rhode Island and the state’s first female governor. During her time in office, Governor Raimondo has kick-started the state’s economy and created thousands of jobs. Rhode Island’s unemployment rate—the highest in the country during her first campaign for governor—is now in line with the national average and the lowest it’s been in three decades. She’s made record investments in infrastructure, education and job training. Under her leadership, Rhode Island became the fourth state in the country to offer tuition-free community college to every high school graduate.
Governor Raimondo knows that climate change is a major threat to the Ocean State and its 400 miles of coastline. When the Trump administration pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, the Governor committed Rhode Island to meeting its goals. Unlike leaders in Washington, Gina knows that the future of energy is offshore wind, not offshore drilling. Rhode Island is the first–and still only–state in America with an offshore wind farm and thanks to the Governor’s leadership, by 2023, Rhode Island will be able to power half its homes by wind alone. Rhode Island is now a member of RGGI, a regional climate alliance that seeks to curb carbon emissions. The Governor has also taken executive action to combat the issue of plastic pollution, and supports investments to preserve Rhode Island’s state parks and beaches.
Before becoming Governor, Gina served as Rhode Island’s General Treasurer. She has a background in venture capital and holds degrees from Harvard, Oxford and Yale. Gina and her husband Andy live in Providence with their two kids, Ceci and Tommy, and their rescue dog, Sparky.
Co-Founder and CEO of Closed Loop Partners
Ron is the Co-Founder and CEO of Closed Loop Partners, an investment firm focused on the development of the circular economy via investments in sustainable consumer goods and packaging companies, innovative recycling technologies and advanced supply chains. Prior to Closed Loop Partners, Ron was the Deputy Commissioner of Sanitation, Recycling and Sustainability for New York City, as well as the Co-Founder and CEO of RecycleBank. Ron received an MBA from Columbia Business School, and has been an Adjunct Professor at his alma mater since 2010.
Peter Damgaard Jensen
Chief Executive Officer, PKA
Since 2001 Peter Damgaard Jensen is the CEO of PKA.After graduating in 1981 from The University of Aarhus as a master of Political Science he joined the Association of County Councils in Denmark. In 1985 he moved to the Danish Nurses Organization in Denmark where he had different management positions. He left the Danish Nurses Organization in 2001 to join PKA.
Peter is a member of the board in The Danish Insurance Association and has previously been chairman and vice chairman of the board.
He is the vice chairman in Forca Ltd (a company in the pension fund and life insurance industry).
Peter was a member of the Board in DEAS (Dan-Ejendomme) – Denmark’s biggest property management company – in the period 2001-2006.
Peter is a member of the advisory board of The Danish SDG Investment Fund for SDG investments in emerging markets and member of the advisory board in Axcel Ltd (leading Danish private equity Company).
Since January 2017 Peter is the Chair of IIGCC. Peter had been an IIGCC Board Member since December 2013. Peter is a member of the “Global Commission on Adaption”. The commission was founded in October 2018 by the Dutch government. The commission will be working with reports and action tracks in 2019 and 2020.
Chair of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities
Matthew Nelson was appointed Chair of the Department of Public Utilities in February 2019. Nelson began his energy career at the DPU in 2007 in the Natural Gas Division. Subsequently, Nelson served as the Supervisor of Regulatory, Policy, and Planning for Eversource Energy as part of the nationally recognized Mass Save program. Returning to the DPU, Nelson became the Director of Electric Power, as well as the director of Regional and Federal Affairs. During Nelson’s time at the DPU, he investigated a wide range of utility issues, including grid modernization investments, general rate case issues, solar and renewable energy development, energy efficiency, climate strategies, competitive supply, and storm restoration issues. Nelson’s work at the DPU and elsewhere has focused on reducing costs to ratepayers, while improving reliability and continuing to drive down greenhouse gas emissions. Nelson is a graduate of Stonehill College, and holds a Master’s degree in economics from Tufts University.
Director for New Energy & Blockchain in IBM’s Energy, Environment & Utilities Industry
Mr. Gerber is the Director for New Energy & Blockchain in IBM’s Energy, Environment & Utilities Industry. He is responsible for the development of solutions for non-traditional utility functions, specifically focused on integrating distributed energy resources and the industry’s blockchain strategy and execution globally.
Previously he was the Director of the Smart Lifecycle Asset Management (SLAM) initiative. In this role he was responsible for the Strategy, Sales, and Solution Development of SLAM solutions. SLAM is focused on asset intensive clients across the Aerospace, Automotive, Electronics, Manufacturing, Energy & Utilities, Oil & Gas, and Travel & Transportation industries. SLAM solutions seek to leverage information across an asset’s lifecycle through information management, advanced analytics, and optimization.
Prior to that, Mr. Gerber was the Power Generation Leader for the Energy & Utilities industry at IBM. In this position he was responsible for devising, developing and executing the solution portfolio strategy and capabilities for all of IBM’s power generation business. This includes capabilities for fossil, nuclear, and renewable generation areas.
Mr. Gerber has over 30 years of industry experience providing advanced solutions to the utility industry. He has been deeply involved in electric utility solution development and implementation, as well as having served in executive management positions. Prior to working at IBM Mr. Gerber was the CEO of a power plant simulation company, which was successfully sold to a major control system company, where the business continues to operate to this day. Mr. Gerber also served as the VP of operations and strategy for an internet-based file storage company. Mr. Gerber has a Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters of Control System Engineering degree from Stanford University.
Richenda Van Leewen
Managing Director for Empowering Clean Economies at the Rocky Mountain Institute
Richenda is the Managing Director for Empowering Clean Economies at the Rocky Mountain Institute. She joined the Institute in May 2019 from the non-profit Global LPG Partnership where she had served as Chair, International Institutions since 2016, working with African governments and other partners on residential energy solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has also served for the last three years as a member of the World Bank's Energy Program's (ESMAP) Technical Advisory Group (TAG), providing strategic oversight of their $135 million energy portfolio.
From 2010-2016 she founded and led Energy Access at the United Nations Foundation including its engagement with the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. She established the “Energy Access Practitioner Network” which rapidly grew to over 2,300 members delivering a range of off-grid and mini-grid renewable energy solutions to address lack of electrification in many developing countries.
Richenda has more than 25 years of executive management experience and previously worked in private equity and as an impact investor on a range of emerging markets renewable energy solutions. She served as a founding board member of the Good Energies Foundation which supports a range of energy access solutions in East Africa, South Asia and, at that time, in Central America. She also served as CEO of international women’s micro-entrepreneurship NGO, Trickle Up, for nearly five years.
Richenda is currently a board director of SELCO India and Energy 4 Impact and since 2010 has served as a founding U.S. Women’s Clean Energy Ambassador” within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Energy, Education and Empowerment (C3E) initiative.
The Executive Director of Clean Energy NH (CENH)
Madeleine Mineau is the Executive Director of Clean Energy NH (CENH)
Clean Energy NH (CENH), a membership-based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting clean energy and technologies through education and advocacy for a stronger economic future.Madeleine represents the organization and over 500 members on policy matters at the NH legislature and Public Utilities Commission. Prior to joining Clean Energy NH, Madeleine was co-president of Granite State Hydropower Association, the trade organization for small hydropower owners and operators in New Hampshire.She was also the Waterways Manager for the City of Nashua, New Hampshire’s second-largest city. Madeleine has a PhD in ecology and was an academic researcher before making a career shift to energy.
Robert C. Armstrong
Director, MIT Energy Initiative
Robert Armstrong directs the MIT Energy Initiative, an Institute-wide initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology linking science, technology, and policy to transform the worlds energy systems. A member of the MIT faculty since 1973, Armstrong served as head of the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1996 to 2007. His research interests include energy, the rheology of complex materials, and polymer fluid mechanics.In 2008, Armstrong was elected into the National Academy of Engineering for conducting outstanding research on non-Newtonian fluid mechanics, co- authoring landmark textbooks, and providing leadership in chemical engineering education.Armstrong received the Warren K. Lewis Award in 2006 and the Professional Progress Award in 1992, both from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the 2006 Bingham Medal from the Society of Rheology, which is devoted to the study of the science of deformation and flow of matter. Armstrong was a member of MIT’s Future of Natural Gas and Future of Solar Energy study groups and is co-chairing the Future of Storage study currently underway. He co-edited Game Changers: Energy on the Move with former Secretary of State George P. Shultz.
The Mayor of Montpelier, Vermont
Anne Watson is the Mayor of Montpelier, Vermont. Prior to her election as Mayor, she served as a City Councilor in Montpelier and as a member of the Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee. Anne has been a strong advocate for the city’s net-zero energy goal.Since Anne joined the council, the city has made significant energy infrastructure investments that resulted in a 56% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between 2011 and 2016. Anne co-wrote the document that led to a one megawatt solar array for the City of Montpelier. As Mayor, Anne continues to champion energy policy and sustainability efforts for the City of Montpelier. Anne is also an award winning high school science and math teacher.She has taught physics, engineering, and math at Montpelier High School for the past fourteen years. She has a BS in physics from Penn State and an MEd in Secondary Education from the University of Vermont. Anne is a 2015 Rowland Fellow and a Senior Knowles Fellow.
Head of Sustainable Mobility at Ingka Group
Angela Hultberg is the global Head of Sustainable Mobility at Ingka group (formerly IKEA Group). She is in lead of efforts related to the sustainable mobility agenda, reducing customer and co-worker travel emissions as well as achieving zero emission home deliveries and services.Previously, Angela was leading the sustainability work within Customer Fulfilment, focusing on creating a truly sustainable multichannel network for Ingka Group. This included lowering emissions, working with circular initiatives and waste reduction, supply chain management and much more.Angela holds a masters of law degree from Lund University and has worked for PwC and Scania before joining Ingka Group.
Vice President of Battery Energy Storage Systems, Ameresco
As the Vice President of Energy Storage, Jacqueline is strategically driving energy storage project development opportunities for Ameresco, a leader in the distributed energy space. Jacqueline is a Board member for the national Energy Storage Association (ESA).
Prior to joining Ameresco, Jacqueline was the Vice President of Emerging Technologies, at Customized Energy Solutions (CES) where she advised clients on how to value energy storage resources and interpret the changing market rules. She worked directly with her clients on interconnection, pricing, contract evaluation, and requirements for participation in the wholesale markets. During her tenure, CES was recognized by the ESA with the Brad Roberts Outstanding Industry Achievement award.
Jacqueline has over 25 years of experience in the electric power industry. She worked for the California ISO in the areas of policy and market design. She also worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on international power sector restructuring efforts. She has earlier career experience working for an independent power project developer, and she began her career at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Jacquie has a B.A. from Rutgers University and an M.B.A. from George Washington University.
Senior Vice President, Policy & Research, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
Carolyn Ryan oversees the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s public policy and research department, which develops and advocates for policies that contribute to the economic success of our region. Since joining the Chamber in 2015, Carolyn has developed the organization’s policy priorities and positions and elevated its role in public policymaking.Previously, Carolyn was a policy analyst at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (MTF) where she focused on issues of tax and municipal finance, among other areas. Prior to MTF, Carolyn was a consultant with Public Financial Management in Philadelphia where she was a member of the state-appointed financial oversight teams for Pittsburgh and Reading, Pennsylvania. She previously held positions with the Office of the Legislative Counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Harvard University development office.Carolyn holds a B.A in English from Williams College, where she was co-captain of the women’s varsity volleyball team, and an M.P.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, where she received the Audrey Miller Poritzky award for leadership. She is a board member of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership and an advisory board member for the New England Public Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
President, Second Nature
Dr. Carter received his Ph.D. in Ecology with distinction from the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia (UGA) and completed his B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He was a faculty member at UGA, and was the founding Director of Butler University’s Center for Urban Ecology (CUE). Since 2014, Dr. Carter has served as president of Second Nature where he helped develop and implement strategy and programs that accelerate climate action in, and through, higher education.
General Counsel & Vice President for Legal, External Affairs & Communications, Braskem
America Nick is Braskem North America’s Vice President for Legal, External Affairs & Communications. Over the past eight years, he has helped lead Braskem’s growth strategy in the United States, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. Additionally, Nick serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of love.futbol—a non-profit dedicated to partnering with underserved communities throughout the world to plan, build and manage safe spaces for youth. There he has helped lead the organization’s growth strategy to 6 new countries on 5 different continents in partnership with Nike, ESPN, City Football Group, Coca-Cola and other leading brands in sports.
Senior Director of Utility and Technical Services, Blue Wave Solar
Dr. Kavita Ravi is the Senior Director of Utility and Technical Services at Blue Wave Solar, where she is responsible for interconnection and energy storage in Blue Wave’s solar plus storage projects. Previously, she led programs to demonstrate viable business models for energy storage at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). In 2016, she co-led the State of Charge report that explored the market opportunities and barriers for energy storage in Massachusetts. At MassCEC, she also established a program to support universities and companies leverage clean energy funding opportunities.Prior to MassCEC, Kavita worked on microgrids and energy access issues with the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. From 2011 through 2013, she served as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the U.S. Department of Energy where she led market transforming programs to promote energy efficiency. Kavita has a Ph.D in Computer Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder and worked for several years in the private sector commercializing the technology of her doctoral research.
Vice President of Commercial Strategy and Customer Experience, Bloom Energy
Asim is the Vice President of Commercial Strategy and Customer Experience at Bloom Energy, a provider of breakthrough solid oxide fuel cell technology that generates clean,
reliable, and highly-efficient power onsite. Asim’s responsibilities at Bloom Energy include new market development, commercial execution and strategy, market research and analysis, customer engagement and experience, and corporate marketing.Prior to Bloom Energy, Asim worked for CURRENT Group, a Smart Grid solutions provider, as the Chief of Staff for the CEO focused on building the executive team and strategic planning as well as marketing and business development activities. He previously also advised electric utility and telecommunication clients on strategy and systems integration initiatives while working for Deloitte Consulting.Asim earned a BS in Commerce with Distinction from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.
Director of Sustainability & Infrastructure
Sourcing at T-Mobile
Chad Wilkerson is the Director of Sustainability and Infrastructure Sourcing for T-Mobile US. With over a decade of experience in energy markets and procurement, Chad develops and implements sustainable strategies to address the unique challenges presented within the telecom sector. He seeks to make a positive impact on our community, environment and society, all while achieving our business goals and providing excellent service to our customers. Chad is responsible for overseeing the procurement of energy through a variety of strategies across the T-Mobile network to minimize cost
and manage risk. Additionally, he identifies and leads initiatives to increase energy efficiency in retail stores, commercial buildings, data
centers, and network locations. Chad’s mission is to seek out
innovative ways to reduce the waste generated through operations. As the Director of T-Mobile’s sustainability program, Chad sets the direction of goals across the environmental, social, and governance spectrum. He directs the generation of T-Mobile’s sustainability reporting as well as cross-functional projects to achieve the enterprise targets set. Chad holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting is a Certified Sustainability Practitioner and Certified
Technology Procurement Executive. He resides in Dallas, Texas with his wife and two dogs.
Global Head of Sustainable Finance at ING
Leonie Schreve (Managing Director) is responsible to drive, promote and generate sustainable business opportunities for ING’s Wholesale Bank globally. This includes accelerating innovative business opportunities like circular economy, green bonds and loans and more established business like green buildings, energy efficiency, renewables, water, etc.
Before joining the commercial side of the bank Leonie headed the Environmental Social Risk Management team and introduced the new topic of
sustainability risk management. Leonie represents ING in the board of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP FI Banking Commission) and has acted as Chair of the Equator Principles Steering Committee till 2013.
Leonie joined ING in 2004. Before that she was Management Consultant at a
technical consultancy and independent consultant in Costa Rica. She has significant international experience working with private and public sector clients on sustainability. She pioneered in the early days of Sustainability and led change processes by setting up the ESR and Sustainable Finance team at ING. Leonie holds a Master in Environmental Science, Business Ethics and International Sports Management.
Chief of the Office of Fleet & Asset Management
at the California Department of General Services
Evan Speer serves as the Chief of the California Department of General Services (DGS) Office of Fleet and Asset Management (OFAM). In addition to managing its own fleet of approximately
4,500 vehicles, OFAM also functions as the oversight agency for all 50,000 of the State of California’s fleet assets. In his role, Evan works extensively on policy, outreach, technology, and education efforts to further the adoption of zero-emission vehicles in the state fleet.
Prior to stepping into his current role, Evan worked for DGS as a Special Projects Managers on efforts such as the state fleet’s renewable diesel purchasing mandate and a multi-agency effort to establish a nationwide aggregated zero-emission vehicle purchasing program. Evan holds a BA in International Relations and an MPA from the University of Southern California.
Net Zero Energy Planner for the City of Cambridge Community Development Department
Seth Federspiel is the Net Zero Energy Planner for the City of Cambridge Community Development Department, where he works on energy efficiency and renewable energy outreach, implementation, and policy development. He is responsible for carrying out the 25-year Net Zero Action Plan to phase out greenhouse gas emissions across the Cambridge building community. Key initiatives include enabling energy efficiency in existing buildings, developing net zero building standards for new developments, and achieving decarbonization of the energy supply. Prior to Cambridge, Seth worked for the Climate Strategies Division of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Policy and Analysis group in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Seth holds a Master’s degree in environmental policy from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment and a Bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Brown University.
Jeffrey R. Diehl
CEO & Executive Director of Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank
Jeffrey R. Diehl is the CEO and Executive Director of Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, a quasi-public corporation whose mission is to invest in key infrastructure in the State of Rhode Island including programs focused on clean water, drinking water, road and bridge, brownfield remediation, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for municipalities, quasi-state agencies, commercial and
residential property owners. Mr. Diehl has over 35 years of experience in public finance and prior to this role was the Managing Partner of Strategic Sovereign Advisors LLC, a consulting firm advising governments and financial institutions. Previously, he held various senior positions at HSBC, a global financial institution, including Vice Chairman – US Public Sector and Global Head of Public Sector Banking. He holds BA and MBA degrees from the University of Michigan.
Electric Vehicles & Emerging Technologies Manager at Austin Energy
Karl Popham is the Electric Vehicles & Emerging Technologies Manager at the nation's 3rd largest city-owned utility in the country, Austin Energy. Karl has been the Principal Investigator on three U.S. Department of Energy grants advancing transportation electrification and grid modernization. Karl is co-author of "Smart Cities” a book published by Springer. He was a core team member of the Mayor’s Smart City Challenge Team and is the electrification lead for Austin’s Smart Mobility Roadmap that includes electric and autonomous transportation. Previously he served as Austin Energy’s interim Chief Information Officer, a Managing Director at Hewlett-Packard Services, Director at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, and a Captain in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
Director of Emerging Technologies at
Customized Energy Solutions
Mike joined CES in 2014 in the Emerging Technologies group and is a recognized leader in the energy storage industry. Mike assists his clients by providing market intelligence, guidance for project development, and market analysis. Mike is an expert in FERC-related energy storage issues, and has specialized expertise in the PJM and New England markets. Mike’s work supports clients engaged in the advancement of nondiscriminatory and efficient wholesale market rules for electric storage resources.
Previously, Mike was Manager of Regulatory Affairs at a leading energy storage developer and was very active in promoting rules to enhance market opportunities for storage resources. He also helped bring new energy storage projects online, and assisted with their operational and financial management. Prior to that, Mike held various energy consulting positions in the private and public sectors. Mike holds an MS in Technology and Policy from MIT and a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Wesleyan University.
Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program Lead, Eversource
James Cater is the program lead for Eversource’s EV charging station program, which is driving the installation of more than 3,500 electric vehicle charging stations across Massachusetts. Prior to leading the EV charging station program, James was the Eversource energy efficiency liaison for the City of Boston. James currently serves on the Cambridge New Mobility Blueprint Advisory Group and is recognized locally and nationally as an expert on topics related to EV infrastructure and utility-customer partnerships to achieve carbon reduction goals.
Director of the Office of Environmental and Energy Programs at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Christine Weydig is the Director of the Office of Environmental and Energy Programs at the Port Authority of NY & NJ where she leads efforts to achieve the Agency’s ambitious sustainability commitments to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement and achieve long-term greenhouse gas reductions. In this role, Ms. Weydig designs and manages programs to improve environmental performance for a transportation infrastructure agency with a nearly $40 billion capital plan and annual budget of $8.5 billion. She develops agency-wide sustainability policies and ensures integration of sustainable design and operations into major capital projects that include modernization of the NY-NJ region’s airports, seaports, bridges, tunnels, rail systems, and transportation hubs. Ms. Weydig’s past public sector experience spanned several years in federal government at the US Department of Energy's Office of Policy and International Affairs and the US Embassy in Baghdad, where she covered the energy portfolio. She has over ten years of consulting experience in emerging markets and change solutions, working for clients such as the US Department of State, US Agency for International Development, the United Nations Development Programme, the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Ms. Weydig holds a Master's Degree in Public Affairs, concentrating on International Energy Management and Policy, from Columbia University; and a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University. She received a US Department of State Meritorious Honor Award for her work in Iraq, and was also selected as a Presidential Management Fellow by the US Office of Personnel Management. While much of her prior career entailed working in developing economies and post-conflict zones, she has returned to her native Queens, New York to raise her three children with husband, Ron. Ms. Weydig is a former NCAA competitive gymnast and a certified yoga instructor.
Director of Business Development at Opendatasoft
As the Director of Business Development at Opendatasoft, Rachel is responsible for defining growth. She helps organizations with their digital transformation efforts, developing data sharing products and services. Previously, she was at the US Treasury, Office of the US Trade Representative, the U.N., and the Clinton Foundation. Earlier, Rachel worked with Mercer/Oliver Wyman. Rachel is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Kennedy School. She is currently a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.
Vice President of Smart Cities at Willdan
Dr. Ganji is a Vice President at Willdan Group. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago. He has involved in numbers of DOE-funded projects at the Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation at IIT. He joined Willdan to develop the Advanced Grid Technologies team—with a particular emphasis on the power system and grid resiliency, reliability improvement, and smart grid technologies. He is also Smart Grid Ambassador, collaborating with Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) on several smart grid research and implementation projects. Demand response and ancillary services procurement, electrical vehicle fleet as mobile storage units, transactive energy, energy management systems, and optimal load scheduling in commercial and residential-based microgrids are his top areas of interest. He was the technical lead for 8 NY Prize Community Microgrid studies. He has been an active member of IEEE 2030.7 Group for the development of comprehensive standard specifications for microgrid controllers.
Deputy Director of the International Council on Clean Transportation
As Deputy Director of the ICCT, Rachel serves as a close partner to the Executive Director in the development and implementation of program strategies to eliminate the climate and health impacts of the transportation sector. She also works to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization’s operations. Rachel was previously the Program Director overseeing ICCT's Heavy Duty Vehicle and Compliance and Enforcement programs. Rachel came to the ICCT from the University of Houston, where her research focused on NOx and PM emissions reduction for diesel applications as well as full-scale vehicle and engine testing of heavy-duty vehicle technologies and fuels. Rachel holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering with a focus in catalysis and reactor engineering from Tulane University, an MBA from The University of Houston, and a BS in Chemistry from the University of Miami (go 'canes!).
President and Chief Executive Officer of Viking Cold Solutions
James joined Viking Cold Solutions in 2014 as President and was appointed CEO in 2015. He brings leadership skills and expertise honed from 25 years in operating companies, investment banking, and the U.S. military. His success in building businesses spans the energy and finance industries and his leadership and capabilities were developed during his career as a Marine Officer. Mr. Bell received his BA from Texas A&M University and earned a jointly-issued TRIUM MBA from NYU Stern, HEC School of Management in Paris, and the London School of Economics.
President of Aegis Energy
Appointed as President in 2013, Mr. Vardakas is responsible for all facets of the growing organization and has been instrumental in Aegis Energy's success as leader in small-package cogeneration (CHP) in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
With over three decades of experience in the CHP industry, Lee is uniquely qualified to create and guide the vision for the growing company and is a sought-after resource for policy makers and regulators in the distributed energy industry.
Mr. Vardakas holds a degree in economics from The University of Rochester and is a member of the Western New England chapter of the Young Presidents Organization.
Committed to world-class service and innovation in the on-site combined heat and power markets, Lee and his team have received multiple “Super 60” awards from the Springfield Regional Chamber and the Siemens Customer Excellence Award for demonstrated commitment to clients.
Director of Public & Industry Affairs
in North America at Danfoss
John Sheff is the Director of Public & Industry Affairs in North America for Danfoss, a global company engineering climate-friendly solutions for infrastructure, food supply and energy efficiency. Prior to joining Danfoss more five years ago, John worked on energy, climate and sustainability issues in the office of Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. He holds an MBA and a Masters Degree in Sustainable Development, both from the University of Maryland, College Park. John currently lives in Baltimore with his wife, Zoey and his son, Sam.
CEO of Groom Energy Solutions
As CEO of Groom Energy Solutions, Jon is responsible for strategy, overall operations and corporate development. Prior to co-founding Groom Energy, Jon was a general partner at Charles River Ventures (CRV), a leading venture capital firm with $2 billion under management. At CRV, Jon was an active lead investor, board member or advisor for high profile software and service companies such as BeFree (acquired by ValueClick), eDocs (acquired by Siebel Systems), Vignette (VIGN), Virtusa (VRTU) and Xign Corporation (acquired by JP Morgan Chase).
Before CRV, Jon held senior management positions at Open Market, a start-up ecommerce software company that went public in 1996. Prior to joining the early Open Market team, Jon served in a variety of senior product marketing and sales management roles with both Hewlett Packard and J.P. Morgan.
Jon earned his MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Duke University, where he graduated with distinction. He is a co-founder and Board Member of Digital Lumens, an LED lighting company he co-founded in 2007. Jon is also a past member and committee chair of Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering Board of Visitors as well as the Board of Visitors at The Museum of Sciences Boston.
Director of Business Strategy at Slipstream, Member of the City of Newton Citizens Commission on Energy
Puja Vohra is the Director of Business Strategy at Slipstream, where she focuses on leading the expansion of Slipstream's clean energy program offerings and consulting services in the Northeast. An 18-year veteran in the energy sector, Puja has extensive experience leading energy efficiency and sustainability in the built environment, strategic planning for utility program design, green building technology research, energy codes and policies. Prior to Slipstream, she was a principal analyst overseeing the commercial and industrial energy efficiency portfolio planning for National Grid’s Rhode Island programs. Prior to her utility experience she worked as an energy and sustainability consultant. Puja has a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and a Master of Science degree in energy and climate. She currently serves as a board member at MA Climate Action Network and serves a member of City of Newton’s Energy Commission, where she contributed her expertise towards Newton’s Citizens Climate Action Plan.
Former Mayor of Cambridge, MA
Henrietta Davis is the former mayor of Cambridge and long-time city councilor. In January 2014, she retired from elective office after serving on the City Council for 18 years, ending her service in the position of mayor. She is a member of the Cambridge net zero task force. In addition, she currently serves on the board of MCAN (the Mass Climate Action Network), the board of USGBC-MA (the green building council) and is a member of that organization's net zero committee. She is also on the board of the Institute for Market Transformation, a national organization promoting energy efficiency in buildings. Henrietta attended the Paris Climate Talks and became more convinced than ever that it's up to cities and states to take action. Further that they should begin with the built environment: 40% of carbon emissions in the US come from buildings. 82% of Cambridge carbon emissions come from buildings!
Mayor of the City of Newton, MA
Mayor Ruthanne Fuller is the thirty-first Mayor of Newton and the first woman Mayor in Newton’s history. Mayor Fuller has passionately served Newton, from leading her neighborhood association, analyzing Newton’s finances on commissions, and serving eight years as a City Councilor at Large for Ward 7 before becoming Mayor on January 1, 2018.
A graduate of Brown University and Harvard Business School, Mayor Fuller has decades of experience as a strategic planner in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Since taking office, Mayor Fuller has pursued an ambitious range of programs and initiatives to address climate change including: Newton Power Choice, a municipal energy aggregation program which provides the equivalent of 60% of Newton’s power from renewable sources as the standard package, expansive solar panel installations, transitioning 100% of the municipal fleet to electric vehicles, and developing Newton’s first climate action plan with a goal of being a carbon-neutral Newton by 2050.
Vice President of Business Strategy & Regional Operations at Slipstream, Former Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Chicago
Karen Weigert is the Vice President of Business Strategy and Regional Operations at Slipstream. Karen provides leadership in the areas of strategy development and execution that grows Slipstream’s impacts focused on decarbonization and resilience. Karen’s experience includes serving as Chief Sustainability Officer for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. During her tenure, she developed the 2015 Sustainable Chicago Action Agenda, which outlines ambitious sustainability goals for the city, as well as a roadmap to help residents and businesses contribute. A leader in clean energy advocacy and volunteerism, Weigert co-founded Chicago Women and Green and the Greencorps Chicago's youth program. Additionally, she produced "Carbon Nation," a documentary film that focuses on positive solutions to climate change. as a new product steward at ShoreBank, as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, as an expert at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and as a business builder at Slipstream. Her speaking engagements include the Chicago March for Science, interviews with CBS This Morning, Chicago Tonight and NPR, and commentary in the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune and Crain’s.
Head of Americas at BloombergNEF
Ethan Zindler is Head of Americas at BloombergNEF, a provider of insight, data and news on energy, advanced transportation, commodities, and emerging technologies. He manages analyst and commercial teams in New York, Washington, San Francisco, and Sao Paulo while also overseeing Climatescope (www.global-climatescope.org), a project profiling clean energy conditions in developing countries.
He joined BNEF (originally known as New Energy Finance) in 2005 as its first U.S. employee and has held several positions with the group. His prior employment includes stints at The Cape Cod Times, the White House, and MTV. Zindler is a Senior Associate (non-resident), at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Energy and National Security Program.
Zindler holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from Georgetown University.
Director, Building America Program, U.S. Department of Energy
Eric Werling is National Director for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building America program. Since 2011, he has worked with Building America partnership teams and DOE national laboratories to transform building science knowledge and innovations into proven best practices for the housing industry, saving Americans $30+ for every $1 spent on Building America research. Eric is currently focused on addressing new challenges including bringing deep energy retrofits to scale, and emerging technologies that can make our homes smarter and more resilient. Prior to his DOE service, Eric served the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where he launched the Indoor airPLUS program in 2009, and from 1995 to 2004 at ICF Consulting, where he helped EPA develop and implement the successful ENERGY STAR for New Homes program. Eric holds a MS in Architectural Engineering and a MBA, both from Penn State University, and a BS from the U.S. Naval Academy.
David W. Cash
Dean of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston, Founding Dean of the Sustainable Solutions Lab
David W. Cash is the Dean of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston and a founding Dean of the Sustainable Solutions Lab. From 2004-2015, he worked in senior positions in Massachusetts state government in catalytic roles helping to transform the commonwealth’s climate, energy and environmental policy and regulatory landscape. His job history includes being a commissioner at both the Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Public Utilities, and Undersecretary of Policy at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. In these roles, he helped develop and implement nation-leading science-based environmental, climate, and clean energy programs; innovative renewable energy and grid modernization efforts; and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative–the nation’s first CO2 cap-and-trade program. He earned a PhD in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, concentrating in environment and natural resources. He also completed an MAT in science education from Lewis & Clark College and a BS in biology from Yale.
Global Director, Strategy & Operations, Government & Public Sector; Global Co-Leader, Future Cities
Meghan is the Global Director of Strategy & Operations for EY’s Government and Public Sector practice, which includes more than 7,500 professionals across mature and developing markets providing advisory, audit, transactional and taxation services to clients. She is responsible for driving the development and execution of the sector’s strategy globally. Meghan works with EY clients and industry leaders to identify public sector trends and lead the development of new client solutions, including Future Cities.
As the Co-Leader of EY’s global Future Cities program, Meghan leads a cross-sector, -region, -function team of innovators to build, test and deploy a solution that addresses the diverse needs of cities and citizens, such as mobility, infrastructure, education, sustainability, energy, security and quality of life. EY’s solution integrates benchmarking and diagnostic tools, public and private sector collaboration, emerging technologies (e.g., IoT, Intelligent Automation), marketing campaigns, sales initiatives, and learning and development simulations.
During her 18 years with EY, Meghan has held various business development leadership roles, focused on client relationship development, strategy execution and sales operations.
Co-founder & Managing Director, Clean Energy Ventures
Daniel Goldman is co-founder and managing director of Clean Energy Ventures, a $100 million early-stage, advanced energy technology venture fund. He has over 25 years of energy industry operational and investment experience, having been involved in over $4 billion of energy infrastructure and venture finance transactions. Prior to the fund, Mr. Goldman co-founded CEVG, one of the most active early-stage clean energy investors in the US with over 35 portfolio investments during 2007-18. Previously, he was president and CFO at GreatPoint Energy, a venture/strategic-backed clean energy technology company which raised $280 million to commercial gasification technology, and prior to that served in executive positions in Asia and the US at InterGen, a global power development company. Early in his career, Mr. Goldman was a member of the energy consulting team at Arthur D. Little, based in Cambridge and Singapore. He holds board roles at REsurety, SparkMeter and LineVision as well as a number of board observer and advisory positions. He also serves as vice-chair of the board of the Northeast Clean Energy Council. Mr. Goldman received a B.S. from Cornell and an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and is a member and the past chair of the board of Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. He lives in Newton, MA and is a competitive masters’ road cyclist and world qualifying triathlete.
President of NECEC
Peter Rothstein is President of NECEC, combining two sister nonprofits – the Northeast Clean Energy Council, a 501(c)(6) business-member organization that is the lead voice for hundreds of clean energy companies across the Northeast; and NECEC Institute, a 501(c)(3) that leads programs in Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Policy Development and Market Development across the region. NECEC’s members and partners cut across dozens of cleantech sectors and stages from startups to emerging companies and market segment leaders. NECEC is widely-recognized for its policy and regulatory advocacy and initiatives, its regional innovation cluster initiatives, as well as stakeholder convenings which advance the Northeast (NY and New England) clean energy economy.
Mr. Rothstein has over 30 years of venture, entrepreneurial, executive and deal experience in cleantech venture and high tech markets. Before assuming leadership of NECEC in 2010, Mr. Rothstein was part of the Flagship Ventures team, and also founded Allegro Strategy as a consultant, advisor and executive with early-stage cleantech start-ups. Mr. Rothstein has been a member of a National Academies of Sciences committee, co-authoring a recent report on the “Power of Change, ” describing strategies for an increasingly clean energy system. Earlier, Mr. Rothstein was an entrepreneur and executive in the software and Internet industry, including as a Lotus/IBM Vice President of Strategy and leader of an internal Lotus incubator accelerating knowledge management ventures. He has a Masters Degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management with a concentration in Energy Economics, and a Bachelors in Environmental Design from Clark University.
Chairman and CEO of Nexamp
Zaid Ashai serves as Nexamp’s Chairman and CEO, providing the vision and leadership to drive the company’s continued growth and innovation. Before joining the management team, Ashai oversaw Nexamp as a General Partner at venture firm Point Judith Capital.
Previously, he worked at Good Energies, where he was elected a Kauffman Fellow and focused on investments in next-generation energy efficiency technologies—including Nexamp, 3TIER, Emergence Bioenergy, Everpower, and Kalpan in India. He joined Good Energies from Harbourvest Partners and was previously an investment banking analyst in Credit Suisse’s Technology Group.
Ashai holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an MPA from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University. At Harvard University, he was selected as a Zuckerman Fellow. He has an AB in International Relations and Economics, with honors and Phi Beta Kappa, from Brown University. He has served as a judge and mentor for the New England Cleantech Open and has served as guest faculty member for the Pennsylvania Power Law Conference hosted by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Ashai currently serves on the boards of SEIA, NECEC and Vote Solar.
Director Emeritus-Senior Advisor, McKinsey & Company
Scott is a Director Emeritus-Senior Advisor in the management consulting Firm McKinsey & Company. He serves energy and industrial companies on matters of strategy, organization, and performance improvement. He has assisted integrated oil and gas companies, National Oil Companies, power companies/utilities, independent downstream, midstream, and upstream oil and gas companies, as well as private equity and industrial companies that serve the energy industry.
He joined McKinsey in 1984 and worked in McKinsey's London office until 1998 when he moved to McKinsey's Houston Office. He has led McKinsey's European and America's Oil and Gas practices, and co-led both McKinsey's Global Energy and Materials sector and McKinsey's Sustainability and Resource productivity practices. He has been on McKinsey's board of Directors and a member of McKinsey's committees that review the performance of its partners. He has been on the extended board of the McKinsey Global Institute, which is McKinsey's internally funded think tank. Scott has led many internal research projects on topics related to oil and gas, sustainability and resource productivity, and the US economy.
Before joining McKinsey, Scott obtained an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, worked for Exxon Production Research in Houston, and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering.
Scott is a member of the Shareholder Committee of Wintershall DEA, Europe’s leading independent gas and oil company. His Houston community involvement includes memberships on the Greater Houston Partnership Board of Directors, Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business Council of Overseers, the University of Houston Energy Advisory Board, the Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston Advisory Board, and the Houston Symphony Board of Trustees.
Senior Sales Manager, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind
Christopher Long is a Senior Sales Manager for MHI Vestas Offshore Wind. Christopher has an extensive background in sales, market development and policy. Prior to joining MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, he held sales roles in several innovative software companies focused on helping utilities to reduce customer energy consumption.
Christopher previously served as Manager of Offshore Wind at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) where he lead all aspects of AWEA’s offshore wind advocacy. Prior to joining AWEA, he served as policy advisor to several Rhode Island governors where his responsibilities included the state’s efforts to develop offshore wind.
Vice President, Policy & Government Affairs at NECEC
As Vice President, Policy & Government Affairs, Jeremy leads NECEC's policy and government affairs team. Prior to joining NECEC, he served as Commercial Business Development Manager at SunBug Solar. Before joining SunBug, Jeremy advised Acadia Center on organizational and operational priorities, having previously spent six years there as a Staff Attorney and then Massachusetts Director. He also served three years as Senior Director for Innovation and Industry Support at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, where he led and executed programs to advance clean energy development within the Commonwealth.
Senior Vice President, Development,
AlphaStruxure / Schneider Electric
Steven works with organizations to increase their energy reliability resilience, predictability and sustainability while lowering costs. Previously the CEO of Horizon Energy Group where he directed the DOE’s national Modern Grid Strategy, his career spans more than 40 years in utility industry operations, maintenance, engineering, microgrids and renewables project development. He has extensive experience in smart grid and renewables strategies, energy technologies, power system optimization and microgrid development, having designed more than 65 unique microgrids. Steven is former Chair of the IEEE PES Intelligent Grid Coordinating Committee and is currently a member of the Transactive Energy Association and an advisor to the Microgrid Institute. He holds both a BS and MS in Engineering.
Elyena de Goguel
Sustainability Strategy Manager, City of Providence, RI
As the City of Providence’s Sustainability Strategy Manager, Elyena de Goguel runs communications for the City’s Office of Sustainability, works across departments to integrate sustainability and equity into policy and programming, monitors and reports on the City’s climate and sustainability goals and Elyena helped develop the City’s first Climate Justice Plan, a set of targets and strategies designed to put Providence on the path to becoming an equitable, carbon neutral and climate resilient city.
Elyena is an award winning freelance writer, the rising Chair of the Communications Committee for the Rhode Island Food Policy Council, and a core member of the Zero Waste Providence Compost group. Elyena has a BSc in International Media & Communications from Ithaca College (class of ‘10), and in 2018 she received an MSc in Development Practice from Trinity College Dublin where she focused her research on sustainable and resilient food systems, sustainable urbanism, the food-water-energy nexus, and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology. Elyena lives in Providence’s Fox Point neighborhood with her dog, Basil.
Head of Impact Investing Research at Cambridge Associates
Liqian joined Cambridge Associates in 2011 and has more than 10 years of investment and impact experience. As Head of Impact Investing Research, Liqian leads the team in identifying and researching new impact investment ideas and works with a variety of clients to build portfolios focused on impact and sustainability. He also specializes in constructing custom private investment portfolios and serves as a member of the firm’s global private investment ratings committee.
Liqian is a frequent speaker at client and industry conferences and regularly contributes to firm research on impact investing trends and strategies. In 2015, he authored the report, Risks and Opportunities from the Changing Climate: Playbook for the Truly Long Term Investor. He also oversees the Cambridge Associates Clean Tech Benchmark.
Prior to joining Cambridge Associates, Liqian was a finance associate at GreenerU, where he worked on developing a private investment vehicle to finance energy efficiency projects on university campuses. Previously, he was a financial analyst in the Investment Management Division at Goldman Sachs. Liqian earned an MBA and BA in Economics from Harvard University.
Co-Founder & Executive Director, SeaAhead
Alissa is Co-Founder and the Executive Director of SeaAhead, Boston’s bluetech innovation hub. At SeaAhead, the team supports ocean-related innovators as they seek to scale, and connects corporations with entrepreneurs that can enhance their businesses – from offshore wind, to fishing & aquaculture, shipping & ports to plastic pollution and coastal resiliency. Alissa was most recently the VP of Product Marketing & Planning at NanoSteel, an advanced materials company creating scalable solutions for vehicle lightweighting and 3D printing. Prior to NanoSteel, Alissa was Director of Product Marketing & Business Development at Primus Power, a venture-backed grid-scale energy storage technology company. Through her work at NanoSteel and Primus, she has managed business development, strategic planning, marketing, government relations and M&A. Prior to her startup experience, Alissa was a consultant in McKinsey’s Global Sustainability & Resource Productivity Practice in the US and Europe. She serves as a mentor through the Cleantech Open, MIT Clean Energy Prize and Year Up. Alissa holds a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and a BS in Civil Engineering from Duke University.
- Where Climate Goals Translate Into Solutions, Innovations, Investments, and Partnerships-