Alex Zorniger is the Vice President of Business Development at Power to Hydrogen, a startup commercializing green hydrogen and reversible fuel cell technology. Alex has been involved in sustainability efforts for nearly a decade since studying Social Entrepreneurship at Tufts University for his undergraduate degree. He has held executive level positions for multiple startups helping to lead fundraising, revenue growth, and go-to-market strategies. Before joining the Power to Hydrogen team, he completed his MBA at the Ohio State University.
Jason Woods is a senior researcher in NREL’s Building Energy Sciences group. He leads modeling and experimental projects on thermal energy storage and novel air conditioning technologies, which include multidisciplinary research spanning materials development to systems integration.
Dr. Woods is an expert in numerical and experimental heat and mass transfer, primarily for building applications. His research interests include novel thermal energy storage materials and systems, membrane-based HVAC processes, heat and mass transfer enhancements, liquid desiccant and absorption air conditioning, and moisture adsorption and transport in materials.
Dr. Woods has three issued patents, with several pending, in the fields of thermal energy storage and sorption-based air conditioning processes. He has received several awards, including an R&D 100 Award (2012), an NREL President’s Award (2019), NREL Rising Star Award (2016), NREL Outstanding Mentor Awards (2019, 2020), and a University of Colorado Outstanding Dissertation Award (2011).
Dr. Ryan Wiser is a Senior Scientist in and Senior Advisor to the Electricity Markets and Policy Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is also currently on detail to the U.S. Department of Energy, in the Office of Policy. Ryan helps lead a 40-person department that seeks to inform public and private decision making within the U.S. electricity sector through research on electric system planning, reliability and regulation as well as on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and demand response. Ryan specifically manages a research program on renewable electricity systems, including on the costs, benefits, impacts and market potential of renewable electricity sources; on electric grid operations and infrastructure impacts; on public acceptance and deployment barriers; and on the planning, design, and evaluation of renewable energy programs.
Ryan has been a lead author for two reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and he has offered invited testimony to the U.S. Senate. He was a founding member of the academic advisory board for the University of San Francisco’s Master of Science in Energy Systems Management; serves on the board of directors for the Clean Energy States Alliance; serves as a United States representative on a multi-country IEA Wind collaboration on the cost of wind energy; and is an advisor to the Energy Foundation’s China program. His work has received awards from the Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group, the American Real Estate Society, the Wind Powering America Program, Institutional Investor News, the American Wind Energy Association, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Ryan has published more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, 20 book chapters, and 400 other conference papers, magazine articles and research reports. His work has been quoted in or by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, USA Today, Fox News, Washington Post and numerous other publications, and he has been featured on radio and broadcast news. Ryan regularly advises public and private entities on issues related to renewable energy.
Ryan has been a consultant to, among others, the California Energy Commission, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the International Energy Agency, the World Bank, the Center for Resource Solutions, and several private companies. Prior to his employment at Berkeley Lab, Ryan worked for Hansen, McOuat, and Hamrin, Inc., the Bechtel Corporation, and the AES Corporation.
Ryan holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mike Whittaker is a research scientist in the Energy Geoscience Division in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and an affiliate in the department of Earth and Planetary Science at the University of California, Berkeley.
He is the Co-Founder and Director of the Lithium Resource Research and Innovation Center (LiRRIC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, whose mission is to power the resource-to-recharge revolution. We are accelerating the transition to renewable energy by enabling the efficient use of unconventional domestic resources. LiRRIC scientists leverage a deep knowledge of environmental systems to develop efficient and sustainable extraction technologies, and use these technologies to establish supply chains for the advanced manufacturing of next-generation energy storage materials. LiRRIC promotes energy justice through life cycle assessment and techno economic analysis that help ensure that the shovel-ready solutions we develop are equitable for all.
He received BS/MS degrees from the University of Utah in Materials Science and Engineering in 2012, and Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Materials Science and Engineering in 2017 with advisor Derk Joester. Mike worked as a postdoc in the nanogeoscience group in the Energy Geoscience Division from 2017-2020 with Benjamin Gilbert and with Jill Banfield at UCB.
Jonathan Weisgall is Vice President for Government Relations for Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. He joined CalEnergy (Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s predecessor company) in 1993 as Vice President for Legislative and Regulatory Affairs.
Weisgall also serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies and vice chairman of the Geothermal Rising’s Policy Committee. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught a seminar on energy issues since 1990 and recently received the Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award as outstanding adjunct professor of the year. He has also guest lectured on energy issues at Stanford Law School, Haverford, and the Johns Hopkins Environmental Science and Policy Program. He has been named one of the top Washington, DC corporate lobbyists by The Hill since 2004.
Weisgall graduated from Columbia College and from Stanford Law School. He previously practiced law in Washington, D.C. at Covington & Burling, has written several law review articles, and has published articles in Legal Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, Johns Hopkins SAIS Review, and The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Adam Z. Weber holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Tufts University, the latter under the guidance of Professor Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos. Next, he earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering under the guidance of John Newman at the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation work focused on the fundamental investigation and mathematical modeling of water management in polymer-electrolyte fuel cells.
Dr. Weber continued his study of water and thermal management in polymer-electrolyte fuel cells at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he is now a staff scientist and Group Leader of the Energy Conversion Group. His current research involves understanding and optimizing fuel-cell performance and lifetime, including component and ionomer structure/function studies using advanced modeling and diagnostics, understanding flow batteries for grid-scale energy storage, as well as analysis of solar-fuel generators where he is a Thrust Coordinator at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP). Dr. Weber is also the Deputy Director of the DOE Fuel-Cell Performance and Durability (FC-PAD) consortium as well as Deputy Director of the HydroGen – Advanced Water Splitting Materials Consortium.
Dr. Weber has authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles and 10 book chapters on fuel cells, flow batteries, and related electrochemical devices. He has developed many widely used models for fuel cells and their components, and has been invited to present his work at various international and national meetings. He has also been the recipient of a number of awards including a Fulbright scholarship to Australia, the 2008 Oronzio and Niccolò De Nora Foundation Prize on Applied Electrochemistry of the International Society of Electrochemistry, the 2012 Supramaniam Srinivasan Young Investigator Award of the Energy Technology Division of the Electrochemical Society, a 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the 2014 Charles W. Tobias Young Investigator Award of the Electrochemical Society and the 2016 Sir William Grove Award of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy. He is also a Kavli Fellow. Dr. Weber is also on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Applied Electrochemistry and is past chair of the Energy Technology Division of the Electrochemical Society.
Richard Wang is the Founder and CEO at Cuberg, a startup commercializing a next-generation lithium metal battery that delivers a generational improvement in battery performance. In 2021, Cuberg was acquired by Northvolt to commercialize this technology and serve as Northvolt’s Advanced Technology Center in Silicon Valley. While at Cuberg, Richard raised $16M in private investment and grant funding from Northvolt, Boeing, the California Energy Commission, the Department of Energy, and others. Richard graduated with his PhD in materials science & engineering from Stanford in 2016, where his research with Prof. Yi Cui was supported by the NDSEG and NSF graduate research fellowships. He graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 2011 and was selected for the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Energy in 2017.
Dani Ushizima is a computer scientist who investigates computational approaches based on machine learning to interface data-driven models to materials characterization toward self-driving labs. Main expertise is on computer vision applied to high-resolution data for measuring 2D and 3D structure across spatial and temporal scales. Her research work has advanced the design of new materials imaged using instruments reliant on x-ray, electron, confocal, and other light-matter interactions. Current focus is on deep learning algorithms for improved quality control and decision making applied to samples, such as lithium metal batteries and biofuel plants. Dr. Ushizima is also a faculty affiliated to the Berkeley Institute of Data Science, at UC Berkeley, and the Bakar Institute, at UC San Francisco.
Bethel Tarekegne joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in 2021 and is an energy equity and renewables researcher. Tarekegne’s work focuses on understanding the social equity implications of renewable energy technologies. She is currently exploring the equity and justice implications of energy storage for the Department of Energy, Office of Electricity’s Energy Storage program, discovering ways that energy storage can benefit underserved communities. Bethel’s work in this space sets the framework for applying energy justice principles to storage technologies. She is also investigating how storage can provide local non-energy benefits by developing fundamental data and metrics to measure these benefits.
Mr. Tanner is an experienced executive in the renewable energy industry with experience in scaling both hardware and software technologies. Specifically, he has more than 20 years of experience leading the commercialization efforts for early-stage clean technology companies. Mr. Tanner is a professional engineer who has led commercial teams in U.S. and Australian markets, overseen the deployment of utility scale CSP technology, led the design of CPV and heliostat technologies, developed renewable energy projects and developed energy management software for energy storage systems. Prior to Yotta, he held senior management roles at Geli and GreenSync, both of which were successfully acquired. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA both from The University of Sydney. Mr. Tanner is also the co-inventor of three issued patents.
Kelsey Tamborrino is a reporter covering clean energy at POLITICO. She was previously the author of the Morning Energy newsletter and host of the POLITICO Energy podcast.
Dr. Esther S. Takeuchi is a SUNY Distinguished Professor and the William and Jane Knapp Chair in Energy and the Environment at Stony Brook University. She holds a joint appointment at Brookhaven National Laboratory as Chief Scientist and Chair of the Interdisciplinary Science Department. Previously, she was employed at Greatbatch, Inc., where her achievements in lithium batteries led to several technological innovations. Her work was instrumental in the development of the lithium/silver vanadium oxide battery, the power source of life-saving implantable cardiac defibrillators. Dr. Takeuchi is a prolific inventor with > 150 patents.
Dr. Takeuchi is a member of National Academy of Engineering, the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is a Charter Member of the National Academy of Innovation and was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. She received the E. V Murphree and Astellas Awards from the American Chemical Society and the Electrochemical Society (ECS) Battery Division Technology award. She is a Fellow of the ECS, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has received the European Inventor Award, the Sigma Xi Walston Chubb Innovation Award, an honorary Doctorate in Engineering from Notre Dame University, the ECS Edward G. Acheson Award and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is the recipient of the 2022 National Academy of Sciences Chemical Sciences Award.
Dr. Takeuchi received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania with a double major in chemistry and history and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Ohio State University.
For more than twenty years, Mark Takano has worked to improve the lives of Riverside County residents, both as an elected official and as a teacher at Rialto High School. Born and raised in Riverside, Mark’s commitment to public service began at an early age. His family roots in Riverside go back to his grandparents who, along with his parents, were removed from their respective homes and sent to Japanese American Internment camps during World War II. After the war, these two families settled in Riverside County to rebuild their lives.
Mark attended La Sierra High School in the Alvord Unified School District, and in 1979 he graduated as the school’s valedictorian. Mark attended Harvard College and received his bachelor’s degree in Government in 1983. As a student, he bussed tables to help make ends meet. During his senior year, he organized a transcontinental bicycle ride to benefit the international development agency Oxfam America.
Upon graduation, Mark returned home to Riverside and began teaching in the Rialto Unified School District in 1988. As a classroom teacher, Mark confronted the challenges in our public education system daily.
In 1990, Mark was elected to the Riverside Community College District’s Board of Trustees. At RCC, Mark worked with Republicans and Democrats to improve higher education for young people and job training opportunities for adults seeking to learn a new skill or start a new career. He was elected Board President in 1991 and helped the Board and the District gain stability and direction amid serious fiscal challenges.
In 2012, Mark became the first openly gay person of color to be elected to Congress.
Mark Takano represents the people of Riverside, Moreno Valley, Jurupa Valley and Perris in the United States House of Representatives. He serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and as a member of the Education and Labor Committee.
Engineer involved in the oil/gas industry as facilities engineer and project manager for both onshore and Deepwater offshore facilities. Now developing large scale energy storage using underground pumped storage hydroelectric with salt dome caverns.
Dr. C. Anna Spurlock is an environmental and behavioral economist conducting research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She is currently a Justice40 Fellow on Detail half time to the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity under Shalanda Baker, the Secretarial Advisor on Equity and Deputy Director for Energy Justice at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In addition to working on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Justice40 implementation plan, as part of this role she is also serving as the representative for the DOE on the Technical Working Group for Discounting, Equity and Risk Aversion in support of the Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases, and the Distributional Analysis Subgroup in the Office of Management and Budget process for Modernizing Regulatory Review. She has a leadership role in the LBNL Sustainable Transportation Initiative, and is PI for multiple large-scale transportation modeling and simulation projects funded by both the Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies office and the National Highway Administration.
Kelly Sarber is a veteran executive with a successful track record developing projects and operating businesses in solar, offshore wind and energy storage, solid waste and recycling, wastewater, and alternative energy industries. Sarber founded her consulting company, Strategic Management Group (SMG), in 1990 to create a specialized business development service for clients who wanted to benefit from her extensive industry contacts, investments, and experience nationally, with focus in California, New York and Arizona. In 2017, Sarber sourced one of the nation’s largest renewable energy projects – a 3,200 MW solar with 800 MW of battery storage in Western Arizona set to start construction soon. With more than $5 billion asset value created, her complicated projects require a matrix of skill sets – including finance, regulatory and permitting approvals, crisis media and marketing, the design and implementation of media and political campaigns and tax equity to support efficient financing of deals. She brings a developers’ perspective to the energy storage space, coupled with her deep knowledge and understanding of how to develop this pivotal technology leading to some of the largest sites in development today.
Sarber’s management consulting company is considered one of the nation’s pioneers developing public private partnerships for the energy storage industry in congested, urban settings.. With long term, client relationships with key utilities like Southern California Edison and Sempra, municipalities like Los Angeles County, and private companies including Hanwha 174 Power Global, and Starwood Power, she brings her vast knowledge in one of the fastest growing sectors of energy today. Sarber recently was voted to the board of NY-BEST and has in development, the largest energy storage project in New York in addition to several projects in California.
Ben Richardson is the Director of the Energy Portfolio at the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). Ben and his team are responsible for delivering strategic energy and materials capabilities to the military by accelerating the adoption of commercial technology and strengthening the national security innovation base. The Energy Portfolio is focused on two primary lines of effort: Installation Resilience and Operational Energy.
Prior to joining DIU, Ben served in various senior positions in the Pentagon to include the Director of Critical Technology Protection in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and the Director of Global Markets and Investments in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.
Outside of his government experience, Ben has also been a consultant managing regulatory and financial risk for private equity clients. Ben started his career as an intelligence officer in the United States Marine Corps, to include multiple overseas tours. He continues to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel in the reserves where he has held multiple positions with the intelligence community.
Dr. Prakash Rao is a Research Scientist within the Energy Technologies Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California. Prakash conducts research and analysis into the potential for reducing the energy consumption and water use impacts of the US industrial sector while maintaining its productivity. Dr. Rao received his doctorate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Rutgers University and his bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
Karthick Ramakrishnan is professor of public policy at the University of California, Riverside, and serves as the executive director of California 100, a transformative statewide initiative focused on building a shared vision and strategy for California’s next century that is innovative, sustainable, and equitable.
Ramakrishnan also founded the Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside, and AAPI Data, a national publisher or demographic data and policy research on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). He has published many articles and 7 books, including most recently, Citizenship Reimagined (Cambridge, 2020) and Framing Immigrants (Russell Sage, 2016), and has written dozens of opeds and has appeared in nearly 3,000 news stories. Ramakrishnan was named to the Frederick Douglass 200 and is currently working on projects related to racial equity in philanthropy and regional development. He holds a BA in international relations from Brown University and a PhD in politics from Princeton.
Ramakrishnan serves on the Board of The California Endowment and the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni, chairs the California Commission on APIA Affairs, and serves on the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee (NAC). Ramakrishnan also founded Census Legacies, which builds on the foundation of census outreach coalitions to build more inclusive and equitable communities, and the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics, an official section journal of the American Political Science Association.
Dr. Natalie Popovich is a Research Scientist in the Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts (EAEI) Division at Berkeley Lab and a Justice40 Fellow for the Department of Energy Office of Economic Impact and Diversity. She is an environmental economist whose research focuses on the interactions of land use, networks, and travel behavior. She examines how transportation systems affect community resilience and accessibility. Her current focus is on potential grid resilience impacts of battery-electric rail and marine modes. She completed her PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics and her MS in Transportation Policy at UC Davis.
Mary Ann Piette is a Senior Scientist and the Director of the Building Technology and Urban Systems (BTUS) Division in the Energy Technologies Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
She oversees Berkeley Lab’s building technology research activities for the U.S. Department of Energy which covers appliance standards, technology analysis and tools to accelerate deployment, new building technologies, modeling and analysis, commercial and residential building systems integration, grid interactive communications, and integration with EVs, storage and PVs. Her most recent work is exploring how to accelerate decarbonization while ensuring equity and affordability. The BTUS Division also conducts research in data center energy efficiency, industrial energy efficiency, and federal energy management programs. BTUS partners with dozens of public and private sector partners around the US and internationally, including universities, control and HVAC companies, windows manufacturers, utilities, state agencies, aggregators, non-profits, and many others.
Mary Ann also leads the new California Load Flexibility Research and Deployment Hub (CalFlexHub) which will pioneer new technologies, and advanced communication and controls to enable buildings to receive automated dynamic pricing and GHG signals.
She has been a visiting researcher at both the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Newcastle, Australia and the Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Building Services Engineering in Gothenberg, Sweden.
Mary Ann has authored over 95 peer reviewed publications related to energy efficiency and demand response and has worked at LBNL since 1983. She is a board member of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy where she chairs the Research Advisory Board. She is also on the Board of the OpenADR Alliance. Mary Ann has an MS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley and a Licentiate in Building Services Engineering from the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.
[ Bio coming soon. ]
Kristin Persson is the Director of the Molecular Foundry, a user facility at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley and a Faculty Senior Scientist at LBNL. She is the Director and co-founder of the Materials Project (www.materialsproject.org); one of the most visible of the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) funded programs attracting >200,000 users worldwide with thousands of unique users accessing the site every day. She is a leader in the MGI community, and applies modeling and data-driven methodologies to the innovation of materials for energy storage and production. She serves on the advisory board of NanoHub and FAIRmat and she is the appointed MGI ambassador for The Metal, Minerals, and Materials Society (TMS). She has received the 2018 DOE Secretary of Energy’s Achievement Award, the 2017 TMS Faculty Early Career Award, the 2020 Falling Walls Science and Innovation Management Award, the LBNL Director’s award for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (2013) and she is an 2021 APS and 2018 Kavli Fellow. She holds several patents in the clean energy space, and is among the world’s 1% most cited researchers. She has co-authored more than 230 peer-reviewed publications (h-index 81). Persson obtained her Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden in 2001.
Silvia Paz is the elected chair of California’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Lithium Extraction, also known as the Lithium Valley Commission. She was appointed to the Commission by Governor Gavin Newsom.
Silvia is also Executive Director of Alianza Coachella Valley. Under her leadership, Alianza grew out of the Building Healthy Communities initiative into a long-term sustainable organization. Notable accomplishments during her directorship include changing Coachella Valley Water District from at-large voting to district voting, ensuring fairer electoral representation for residents; the placement of a County Medically Indigent Services Program enrollment counselor in the rural community of Mecca, thus reducing barriers to access critical medical services for the uninsured population; and the implementation of restorative justice, an alternative to punitive discipline practices, at East Coachella Valley schools.
Prior to joining Building Healthy Communities, Silvia worked for the California State Legislature specializing in housing, infrastructure, economic development, renewable energy, and the Salton Sea in the 56th Assembly District. In 2013, she was elected to represent Division One of the Desert Recreation District and has since worked with her board colleagues to increase equitable access to parks and recreational opportunities. Silvia is a proud alumna of Coachella Valley High School. She holds a BA in English from the University of San Diego and a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.
Dr. Manas Pathak is co-founder and CEO of EarthEn, a climate-tech startup with patent-pending, sCO2 based technology for long-duration energy storage. He has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Utah and finishing his MBA from Arizona State University. In the past, Manas has been an Affiliate Scientist and Fellow at Energy & Geoscience Institute (EGI) at the University of Utah. At EGI Manas examined the interaction between kerogen and formation fluids and its importance in predicting the Pressure-Volume-Temperature properties of oils. He also investigated enhanced recovery through CO2 sequestration in shales during his time in the Department of Energy’s National Lab in Idaho. He is author of multiple journal papers in the energy sector, specifically oil & gas and has delivered several well-accepted talks and panel discussions in different conferences. He also serves as a reviewer for multiple oil and gas journals. He is a professional member of Society of Petroleum Engineers, American Association of Petroleum Geologists and Society of Exploration Geophysics.
Dula Parkinson is the Deputy for Photon Science Operations at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He also leads the Diffraction and Imaging Program and is the principal beamline scientist for X-ray micro-tomography at the ALS. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship with UCSF doing nanoCT X-ray imaging of whole cells, received a PhD in Physical Chemistry from UC Berkeley doing ultrafast spectroscopy of photosynthetic systems, and received a BS in Chemistry from BYU doing infrared imaging of treated wood.
Kathryn Otte is a Post Bachelors Research Associate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in the Decision Modeling & Optimization Group. She specializes in multi-objective optimization, data analytics, simulation, and predictive modeling. At PNNL, Kathryn’s research applications include building digitalization, national security, and energy storage. She is part of the PNNL task force helping coordinate the Digitalisation Working Group for the International Energy Agency’s Energy Efficiency Hub. In this role, Kathryn is working to identify and characterize policy and technological barriers to widespread energy efficiency digitalization in buildings. During her time at PNNL, she has also contributed to siting, permitting, and safety research for the DOE Energy Storage Grand Challenge’s Policy & Valuation Track.
Formerly, Kathryn interned at Sandia National Laboratories, once in Wind Energy Technologies and once in Nuclear Deterrence Modernization & Future Systems. In August 2021, Kathryn earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and a minor in Sustainable Cities from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Dr. Ruby Thuy Nguyen is the lead of System Dynamics and Modeling Group, in the Systems Analysis and Integration Department, at Idaho National Laboratory. She is the principal investigator of several supply chain projects. Funded by the Critical Materials Institute, her project studies new technology impacts on global material supply chains. Her lab-directed R&D project aims to quantify cyber-physical and market disruptions on food and agriculture supply chains. Co-funded by the Office of Electricity and Advanced Manufacturing Office, her project is investigating bottlenecks and challenges in the large power transformers and high voltage direct current transmission supply chains in response to Executive Order 14017 on America’s Supply Chain. She also participates in studying market dynamics of recycling e-waste and flexible plastic packaging.
Dr. Nguyen joined INL in 2015 after working internationally in industry and non-profit sectors. She developed simulation models to evaluate critical material supply chain and economic impacts, dynamic interactions among bioenergy market actors, and integrated planning of the water-energy nexus. She holds a doctorate in environmental & natural resource sciences from Washington State University, where she also earned her master’s in environmental science. She holds a bachelor’s in environmental engineering from Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology.
Rachael Nealer is currently serving two roles as the Deputy Director Transportation Technology and Policy where she advises and coordinates the execution of the Biden-Harris Administration’s transportation priorities and as the Interim Deputy Director for the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation. She also is the chair of the Transportation Research Board Alternative Fuels and Technologies Committee. Throughout her career, she has focused on researching transportation as a system of systems and developing strategy around how to decarbonize transportation through technology development in concert with supporting policies.
Dr. Nealer has previously held various roles at the Department of Energy, as Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff to the three transportation offices: Bioenergy, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell, and Vehicle Technologies Offices. She has also worked in the non-profit sector the Union of Concerned Scientists researching the environmental impacts of electric vehicles compared to gasoline vehicles over their life. Prior to UCS she worked at the Environmental Protection Agency in the Renewable Fuels Standard office and she received her joint PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University where she specialized in lifecycle environmental impacts of transportation.
As a former Chief of Staff, a personal passion of hers is ensuring the federal government is recruiting and retaining high quality talent.
Ram comes to the DoE with more than 2 decades of experience in development and deployment of building technologies. Most recently, he led the Buildings program at the Electric Power Research Institute, where his team focused on strategies for decarbonization of the building stock in both existing and new construction, based on large scale deployments. Some of his team’s significant work include development of the first production built zero net energy community, decarbonization retrofits of existing affordable housing communities, and smart energy communities. The recent focus of his work has been on technologies to overcome infrastructure and cost barriers to decarbonization retrofits such as low power heat pumps and heat pump water heaters that can help scale deployments. As part of his work, he has also worked extensively with state organizations such as the California Energy Commission, and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority as well as local cities to advance building decarbonization He will bring experience in working with many large homebuilders, affordable housing developers, HVAC manufacturers and utilities around the country to the table to assist in scaling emerging technologies.
Prior to EPRI, Ram led teams focused on innovation and product development, as Chief Science Officer for EchoFirst, and the Director of Product Development for Ice Energy. At Ice Energy, his work led to the development of the Ice Bear, one of the first packaged thermal energy storage systems for light commercial buildings. The product was awarded ASHRAE product of the year in 2005 and 2010. Following this work, he worked on integrated home energy management systems, solar PV and solar thermal technologies at EchoFirst. His team developed and deployed some of the first smart thermostats, and implemented integrated ventilation and HVAC strategies to reduce building energy use. He holds 27 patents across a breadth of building technologies, including HVAC, water heating, solar and controls technologies.
Jan Naidu the CEO of ReVolt Battery Technology Corporation. He provides the vision at ReVolt to enable EV vendors reduce their environmental footprint while building an ecosystem of partners to develop a business case around battery reuse via stationary energy storage systems to make end-of-life repurposing as easy as possible.
Landon is the President of Northvolt America, leading Northvolt’s North American business and early expansion efforts. Prior to this, Landon held the role of Chief Automation Officer at Northvolt based in Stockholm, where he was responsible for developing Northvolt’s next generation cell manufacturing technology, the software that runs the factories and connected battery products. Prior to Landon’s time at Northvolt, he held core roles at Tesla directing software engineering and operations teams.
Charlotte Mitchell was appointed to the North Carolina Utilities Commission by Governor Roy Cooper for a term that commenced on July 1, 2017 and ends on June 30, 2023. She was designated Chair of the Commission in 2019 and again in 2021. She serves on the leadership team of the Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment of NARUC, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Organization of PJM States, and on the EPRI Advisory Council. Mitchell earned a B.A. and a J.D. from the University of North Carolina, as well as a Master of Environmental Economics and Policy from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
As Chief Manufacturing Officer, Celina Mikolajczak leads teams spanning the battery development process — from materials sourcing and cell engineering to automation equipment design and EH&S — and is responsible for bringing QuantumScape solid-state technology into mass production.
Celina has held several leadership roles in her more than 20 years of working in Li-ion batteries. Prior to joining QuantumScape, she was Vice President of Engineering and Battery Technology at Panasonic Energy of North America, which produces Li-ion cells for Tesla at the Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada. Celina worked at Uber as Director of Battery Engineering, leading the design of battery packs for micro-mobility and urban air mobility applications. Before that, she led Cell Quality and Materials Engineering at Tesla as the company launched its Model S, Model X, Model 3, Powerwall and Powerpack products.
Celina has a particular passion for battery safety; she frequently publishes and speaks on the topic and has served on various Li-ion battery safety standards committees. Earlier in her career, she helped found battery consulting group Exponent and developed battery failure analysis techniques and safety standards related to consumer electronics devices.
Dr. Glen Merfeld is Chief Technology Officer for Albemarle’s Lithium global business unit. He joined Albemarle in 2018. Glen’s technology responsibility spans from minerals in the ground to products in the market and his team is comprised of mining engineers, hydrogeologists, chemists & chemical engineers, material scientists, economists, mathematicians, and data scientists. His organization is helping to grow Albemarle’s position in leading lithium resources, cutting-edge separations & materials technologies, and performance-differentiated products. They do this by connecting deep physics-based understanding of minerals and materials to market-driven demand – this links what is technically possible to what is commercially valuable and helps Albemarle make smarter, faster decisions. Prior to joining Albemarle, Glen spent 20 years creating advanced materials, new products, and intelligent analytics for General Electric. Glen has a doctorate in chemical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University. He holds 14 patents and 28 invention disclosures and has authored more than 35 publications.
Dr. Y. Shirley Meng is currently a Professor of Molecular Engineering at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. She serves as the Chief Scientist of the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science (ACCESS) Argonne National Laboratory. Dr. Meng’s research focuses primarily on energy storage materials and systems – including rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles and trucks, power sources for Internet of Things (IOTs), as well as grid-scale storage for deep renewable energy penetration.
Her work pioneers in discovering and designing better materials for energy storage by a unique combination of first principles computation guided materials discovery and design, and advanced characterization with electron/neutron/photon sources. Dr. Meng is the principal investigator of the research group – Laboratory for Energy Storage and Conversion (LESC). She received several prestigious awards, including the Faraday Medal of Royal Chemistry Society (2020), International Battery Association Battery IBA Research Award (2019), Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists Finalist (2018), C.W. Tobias Young Investigator Award of the Electrochemical Society (2016), Science Award Electrochemistry by BASF and Volkswagen (2014) and NSF CAREER Award (2011). Dr. Meng is the elected Fellow of Electrochemical Society (FECS) and elected Fellow of Materials Research Society (FMRS). She serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Materials Research Society MRS Energy & Sustainability Journal.
Dr. Meng received her Ph.D. in Advanced Materials for Micro & Nano Systems from the Singapore-MIT Alliance in 2005, and her bachelor’s degree with first class honor from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in 2000. She worked as a postdoctoral research fellow and became a research scientist at MIT from 2005-2007. Dr. Meng was Zable Endowed Chair Professor in Energy Technologies at University of California San Diego (UCSD) before joining PME at University of Chicago.
Brian hails from Hillsboro, Oregon. After undergraduate research at MIT, he studied electrochemistry as a DOE Fellowship graduate student at UNC Chapel Hill with Professor Jillian Dempsey. As a researcher at Uppsala University in Sweden he worked at the fusion of robotics, materials science, and ion physics while managing diverse team projects. Brian now uses his experience to lead cutting-edge battery research at EC Power. Outside EC Power he looks for birds and runs Dungeons & Dragons campaigns.
David Mackanic is the founder and CEO of Anthro Energy, a company inventing next-generation polymer materials to create batteries that are flexible, safe, and high-performance. He earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Stanford University with a focus on polymer science and electrochemistry. At Stanford, Mackanic was supported by the Stanford Graduate and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. He was listed on Forbes 30 Under 30 in Energy for 2021 and was awarded the MRS Gold Award and the ACS Bright Science Award. Additionally, Mackanic previously worked in venture capital as an Investment Partner at the Dorm Room Fund.
Nian Liu is an Assistant Professor at School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech. He received B.S. in 2009 from Fudan University, and Ph.D. in 2014 from Stanford University, where he worked with Prof. Yi Cui on the structure design for Si anodes for high-energy Li-ion batteries. From 2014 to 2016, he worked in Prof. Steven Chu lab at Stanford University as a postdoc, where he developed in situ optical microscopy to probe beam-sensitive battery reactions. Dr. Liu’s lab at Georgia Tech is broadly interested in the combination of nanomaterials, electrochemistry, and light microscopy for studying the global energy challenges. Specifically, the Liu’s lab is focusing on electric vehicle battery and stationary battery science and technologies. His publications have been cited over 26,000 times. He is the recipient of the Electrochemical Society (ECS) Daniel Cubicciotti Award (2014), American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Inorganic Chemistry Young Investigator Award (2015), Chemistry of Materials Up-and-Coming Researcher (2017), and Journal of Materials Chemistry A Emerging Investigator (2018), and Jim Pope CREATE-X Faculty Fellow (2021).
As Director General of the Policy and Economics Branch in the Lands and Minerals sector of Natural Resources Canada, Kimberly is responsible for key areas related to Canada’s mining sector. This includes the Critical Minerals Centre of Excellence, the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan and relations with provinces and territories, International Affairs and Trade – including investment attraction and export promotion, Strategic Policy – including innovation, as well as Economic Analysis.
In January 2019 Kimberly joined Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) as a Consultation Director for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX), building on over 20 years of experience working with Indigenous Communities. Subsequently, Kimberly took on the role of Executive Director of the Phase IV Partnerships Office, designed to provide a single window into government with respect to TMX accommodation measures and to address questions, issues and concerns as they arise.
Prior to joining NRCan, Kimberly held several roles at Public Safety Canada, including Director of Crime Prevention and Aboriginal Community Safety as well as Director of Drug Policy. She also has experience in evaluation, program development, working with industry and nongovernmental organizations, as well as federal, provincial, territorial and international relations.
Kimberly is a mother to a teenage boy and a member of the Qalipu First Nation. She graduated from Carleton University with Honours in Law. Over the past 24 years, much of Kimberly’s work has focused on responding to needs and concerns of marginalized Canadians, in partnership with organizations and communities across the country. One of Kimberly’s greatest gifts is her ability to bridge the divide between community and government.
Ryan is a seasoned business leader and strategist, having spent 30+ years in the energy industry helping companies grow, improve profitability, and optimize their business portfolio. He has worked for Shell, Emerson, McKinsey & Company, AES, Lafarge, and ABS Group before helping launch Cryostone. Ryan has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Dr. Kirchstetter is a Senior Scientist, Director of the Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts Division, and Interim Director of the Cyclotron Road Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He holds a concurrent appointment as an Adjunct Professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley, where he teaches courses and mentors undergraduate and graduate student researchers. Kirchstetter has served as an editor of the journals Aerosol Science & Technology and Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics and organizer of the International Conference on Carbonaceous Particles in the Atmosphere.
Kirchstetter entered the DOE national laboratory system as a student intern at Brookhaven National Lab in 1992. After earning a PhD in Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley, Kirchstetter won the DOE Alexander Hollaender Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship in 1998 and began conducting atmospheric aerosol research under the mentorship of Tihomir Novakov at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Kirchstetter is well known for his research on the optical properties of carbonaceous aerosols and the characterization of motor vehicle emissions and control technologies. His current research interests in air pollution science and technology include the evaluation of in-use performance of vehicle emission controls, environmental impacts of freight transportation and decarbonization, inventing and benchmarking air pollution sensors, air pollution monitoring in communities, and climate and air pollution footprints of municipal solid waste-to-energy.
Dr. Sumanjeet Kaur, a Research Scientist and Group Leader at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, performs research at the cutting edge of thermal energy storage technology development. Recognizing that energy use in buildings represents 39% of all primary energy use in the United States (more than transportation) and further that most of that energy is used in thermal form (e.g., air conditioning and heating, water heating, and refrigeration), Dr. Kaur’s work responds to the question “can affordable thermal energy storage technologies be developed to meet the thermal loads in buildings?” She is developing dynamically tunable, switchable, solid-state thermal energy storage materials for building-envelope applications. In other words, she’s creating a thermal battery that can be embedded in the walls of buildings that can be controlled by the occupant to store cold or heat using advanced material properties. This capability will overcome current challenges associated with similar technologies that are underused because they do not work in all seasons and lack controllability. Her research will enable thermal microgrids within a building system, time shifting of thermal loads (to exploit nighttime cooling the next day, for instance), and building interactions with the electrical grid to make the nation’s grid more resilient and reliable. Dr. Kaur is the inaugural leader of the Thermal Energy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which advances thermal technologies for applications from batteries to water desalination to critical material recovery.
Haresh Kamath is Director for Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and Energy Storage at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), managing the Institute’s research into the development, assessment, and application of energy storage technologies for grid storage applications as well as the implementation and integration of storage, distributed generation, smart inverters, microgrids, and other distributed resources into the grid.
Kamath joined EPRI in 2002 as a project engineer in energy storage and distributed generation. During his tenure at EPRI, he has conducted research in energy storage, electric transportation, energy efficiency, DER integration, nanotechnology, and technology innovation. He was an author for the first edition of the EPRI-DOE Handbook of Energy Storage. In 2013, Kamath took steps to create the EPRI Energy Storage Integration Council (ESIC), a technical forum to facilitate the deployment and use of utility-scale energy storage systems.
Before joining EPRI, Kamath worked at Lockheed Martin Space Systems as a product engineer responsible for spacecraft batteries. He also served as an applications engineering and business development manager at a startup energy storage company.
Kamath received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in chemical engineering from Stanford University.
Lady Idos, MPA is the Deputy Director for the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Lady’s role is to design and implement a DOE-wide strategy to strengthen and integrate diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) within the DOE, in alignment with Presidential directives and Executive Orders.
Currently on assignment at the DOE since August 2021, Lady previously served as the first Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). LBNL is a DOE national laboratory managed by the University of California (UC). She was responsible for guiding LBNL and its senior leadership team to develop and execute a comprehensive IDEA strategy and program (for inclusion, diversity, equity, and accountability) that is embedded in the organizational culture and aligns with the Lab’s research mission.
Some of Lady’s accomplishments include: leading the implementation team to develop DOE’s DEIA Strategic Plan for Executive Order (EO) 14035; contributing towards the development of DOE’s gender equity goals for EO 14020; establishing LBNL’s first IDEA strategic plan; launching the Lab’s first Employee Resource Groups (ERGs); creating the first set of Workplace Gender Identity and Transition Guidelines within the national laboratory and UC system; and spearheading an internship program for individuals with disabilities and veterans. Lady is also experienced in HR compliance, e.g., equal employment opportunity (EEO), affirmative action (AA), and U.S. Department of Labor’s OFCCP regulations. She served as an investigator for Title IX and sexual harassment cases; as well as discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Lady serves as a co-chair for Bay Area Council’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee and Chief Diversity Officers group, and advisor for UC Berkeley’s startup accelerator SkyDeck. She was a former Board member for East Bay Innovations, providing social services for adults with developmental disabilities; and former member of the UC Systemwide Advisory Committee on the Status of Women. She was the 2016 recipient of the Kevin McCauley Memorial Award for Outstanding Staff (UC-wide). Lady holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco; B.A. degree in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz; and earned her Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from Cornell University. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ladyidos
Eric Hsieh is the Director for Grid Systems and Components at the U.S. Department of Energy. His group supports R&D for new grid hardware technologies, including energy storage, power electronics, transformers, conductors and robotics. Eric also co-leads the crosscutting Energy Storage Grand Challenge and Long Duration Storage Energy Earthshot. He previously held positions at Nexans, A123 Systems, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Eric received degrees in Public Policy from UC Berkeley and Computer Science from MIT.
Dave Howell is the Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) with responsibility for the Department’s $400 million advanced vehicle R&D portfolio. He has over 35 years of experience planning and executing complex, multi-disciplined R&D activities that includes hybrid and electric vehicle R&D, advanced battery research and manufacturing, and advanced structural materials research. Dave serves as DOE’s representative to the USDRIVE Light Duty Vehicle Partnership, the 21st Century Truck Partnership, the Executive Committee for the Battery500 Research Consortium, and various international and inter-government forums. He is the Chair of the U.S. Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries (FCAB). FCAB brings Federal agencies having a stake in establishing a domestic supply of lithium batteries together to accelerate the development of a robust secure domestic industrial base and ecosystem for advanced batteries.
Delphine Hou is the Director of California Regulatory Affairs at the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). She represents the CAISO before regulatory, governmental, and local jurisdictional agencies such as the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, and the California Air Resources Board.
Prior to joining the CAISO, Ms. Hou was an Associate with The Brattle Group focused on electric transmission. She received her M.S. in Energy and Electricity Regulatory Policy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. She received her B.S. in Finance and International Business from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
Dr. Cliff Ho is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Senior Scientist at Sandia National Laboratories, where he has worked since 1993 on problems involving solar energy, energy storage, water safety and sustainability, heat- and mass-transfer processes in porous media, and microchemical sensor systems for environmental monitoring. Dr. Ho has authored over 300 scientific papers, holds 18 patents, and is author and co-editor of two books. He received an Outstanding Professor Award at the University of New Mexico in 1997, and he received the national Asian American Engineer of the Year Award in 2010. Dr. Ho received an R&D 100 Award in 2013 for his development of the Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool, and an R&D 100 Award in 2016 for the development of the Falling Particle Receiver for Concentrating Solar Energy. In 2008, he won Discover magazine’s “The Future of Energy in Two-Minutes-or Less” video contest.
Miguel Heleno is a Researcher at Lawrence Berkeley Lab. He holds a MSc degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a PhD in Sustainable Energy Systems. Miguel leads the Berkeley labs’ participation in the Microgrid R&D and the Advanced Grid Modeling Programs from the DOE Office of Electricity. He is also a Justice 40 Fellow at the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, working under the Secretarial Advisor on Equity and Deputy Director for Energy Justice, Shalanda Baker.
Jim Greenberger is the Executive Director of NAATBatt International, a not-for-profit trade association of advanced battery manufacturers and their supply chain partners doing business in North America. Jim co-founded NAATBatt in 2007 at the request of then Senator Barack Obama to promote the manufacture of high capacity lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles in the United States. Today NAATBatt International has more than 200 corporate and institutional members including major automobile manufacturers, electric utilities, equipment manufacturers, battery cell and pack manufacturers, energy materials suppliers and professional service firms. NAATBatt’s mission is to support developments in the science of and markets for advanced battery technology in North America consistent with the goals of enhancing energy efficiency, reducing petroleum dependence and enabling carbon-free electricity generation. NAATBatt is dedicated to helping build a robust, sustainable and profitable supply chain for lithium-ion battery technology in the United States. The U.S. Department of Energy recently appointed NAATBatt to help facilitate private industry’s engagement in the new Li-Bridge initiative.
Jim serves on the Board of Directors of the International Battery Materials Association, the Board of Advisors to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Battery500 Consortium, the UCSD Strategic Energy Initiatives Advisory Council, the Executive Committee of the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University, and the Board of Directors of Braille Energy Systems Inc. He is the former Chairman of Spiers New Technologies Inc., a battery repair and remanufacturing company located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Before entering the battery industry, Mr. Greenberger practiced corporate law in Chicago, Illinois for more than 30 years, most recent as a partner at Reed Smith LLP. He is a former Chair of the Commercial Finance & Transactions Committee of the Chicago Bar Association and a former board member of the Association for Corporate Growth in Chicago.
Alex is Principal at Jade Cove Partners.
He is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree in Energy for 2021, and Partner at Minviro where he builds environmental impact models of lithium-ion battery supply chain processes. He is a technology innovation advisor at Zelandez, a lithium brinefield services company with operations in Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile, and a research affiliate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Alex co-founded Lilac Solutions, a Silicon Valley lithium extraction technology company funded by Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures and others.
Alex has an M.S. from Northwestern University in Chemical Engineering and a B.Eng. from McGill University in Chemical Engineering & Philosophy. You can find Alex on Linkedin, Twitter, or email. He is based in beautiful San Francisco, California.
Dr. Monica Gorman joined the Biden-Harris Administration in March 2021 as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing. In this role, Dr. Gorman directs the U.S. Department of Commerce’s efforts to advance the global competitiveness of manufacturing industries through the development and execution of international trade and investment policies and promotion strategies. She oversees the Office of Transportation and Machinery, the Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, and the Office of Health and Information Technology.
Prior to her appointment, Dr. Gorman worked for nearly two decades in the private sector, where she spent much of her time walking factory floors in the United States and around the world. She was Vice President of Responsible Leadership & Global Compliance at New Balance Athletics, Inc., for 9 years, where she led a worldwide team responsible for compliance, social and environmental responsibility, and trade matters related to U.S. manufacturing and global supply chains. She also held executive roles earlier in her career with the fashion apparel brands, American Eagle Outfitters and Gap Inc.
Dr. Gorman served as an industry representative on Commerce’s Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Textiles & Apparel for more than a decade. She also served lengthy tenures on the Board of Directors for the Fair Labor Association, the United States Footwear Manufacturers Association, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cotton Board. She is a past Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2020, she was named a Presidential Leadership Scholar.
The daughter of an Austrian immigrant, Dr. Gorman is originally from the Eastern Shore of Maryland and grew up in Texas. She earned her BA (summa cum laude) from Dartmouth College, and her MPhil and PhD from the University of Oxford, England, where she was a Rotary Scholar. She lives with her family in the Washington DC metro area.
Benjamin Gilbert obtained a B.A. in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University in 1994 and a Ph.D. from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2000. His graduate research was based upon synchrotron x-ray spectromicroscopy studies at the Synchrotron Radiation Center of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, for which he received the SRC Aladdin Lamp Award. He performed post-doctoral research at UW – Madison and the University of California at Berkeley.
In 2004, he joined Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and founded (with colleagues Jill Banfield and Glenn Waychunas) the Berkeley Nanogeoscience Center. In April 2007, he was promoted to a career scientist position.
Dr. Gilbert has made important contributions to the rapidly evolving field of nanogeoscience – the study of the properties and geochemical interactions of natural nanoscale minerals. Much of his research involves the development and application of synchrotron x-ray experiments and analysis methods for the study of mineral nanoparticles. Research accomplishments include: the discovery of stable cluster formation by iron oxyhydroxide nanoparticles; observation of structural transformations in ZnS nanoparticles associated with water binding; the identification of nanoscale silicate inclusions in zircons; and x-ray spectroscopic studies of the electronic structure of manganese oxides. More recently, his research has begun to apply ultrafast x-ray methods to study electron transfer to ferric iron oxide nanoparticles with sub-nanosecond temporal resolution. These studies are reported in more than 50 peer-reviewed publications that include collaborations with scientists from many disciplines.
Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia represents California’s 56th Assembly District, which includes cities and unincorporated communities in eastern Riverside County and Imperial County. This area has some of the highest unemployment rates in the state even with the presence of large agricultural and tourism industries. Elected in 2014, Assemblymember Garcia is the current chair of the Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife. He also serves on the Assembly Committees on Appropriations, Communications and Conveyance, Governmental Organization, and Utilities and Energy. He was named Chair of the Joint Committee on Climate Change Policies and on February 17, 2017 appointed to serve on the California Air Resources Board as an ex-officio member.
In his first term, Assemblymember Garcia was appointed to chair the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy. As chair, Assemblymember Garcia was responsible for leading the Assembly’s review of policies and legislation related to small business development, international trade, and other state and local economic development related issues to help create a more robust and inclusive economy.
In 2016, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia had well over two dozen bills and resolutions signed by Governor Brown. This triumph is significant for the 56th District as he is the first freshman legislator to accomplish this feat. Assemblymember Garcia made a point to champion measures that would increase access to healthcare, bring environmental and economic relief to the areas of the Coachella and Imperial Valley, such as the Salton Sea and New River, and also provide workforce training and financial assistance to small businesses in the district.
Included in this string of success were SB 32 and AB 197, the historic climate change package that established a landmark state emissions reduction mandate, boosted oversight and transparency of the California Air Resources Board while constructing the framework to ensure future climate policies prioritize investments into disadvantaged communities that are most affected by pollution.
In particular, Assemblymember Garcia’s AB 1657 established the Blue Ribbon Commission Lithium Extraction in California, now known as the Lithium Valley Commission.
A graduate of local public schools, Assemblymember Garcia attended Coachella Valley High School and the University of California, Riverside. He also completed the “Senior Executives in State and Local Government” Public Administration program from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and earned a master’s degree from the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development.
Assemblymember Garcia was first elected to the Coachella City Council in November 2004. In 2006, at the age of 29, he became Coachella’s first elected mayor. Under his leadership, the City of Coachella flourished into an emerging economic and cultural center of the Coachella Valley.
He is a proud father, husband, and lifelong resident of the Coachella Valley.
Jignasa Gadani is the Director of the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. She joined the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation as the Deputy Director in November 2014. Prior to that, Ms. Gadani served from 2010-2014 as the Director of the East Division in FERC’s Office of Energy Market Regulation. Ms. Gadani has held several other positions at the Commission, including as an attorney advisor in the Office of the General Counsel’s Energy Markets Division from 2001-2006 and 2009-2010, and as a Legal Advisor to Commissioner Philip D. Moeller from 2006-2009. During law school, Ms. Gadani also worked at the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Ms. Gadani earned a B.A. from DePaul University and a J.D., with a Certificate in Environmental and Energy Law, from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology.
Dr. Nina French is the Technical Director of the Energy Portfolio at the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). As technical director, Nina is responsible for technical due diligence and assessments of the commercial technology associated with AE&M’s three lines of effort. Additionally, Nina is a senior advisor to DIU’s director and is responsible for DIU’s relationships with National Laboratories and Academic institutions.
Nina’s career has spanned industries, from National Labs R&D, project management for DoD, DOE, and EPA, jet engines, coal combustion, and hydropower. She has served on the EPA Science Advisory Board, the International Incineration Council, National Coal Council (appointed by DOE Secretary), American Coal Council, National Coal Transportation Association. She has testified before the Senate Finance Committee and two-House committees on the importance of clean energy technologies, and the path to development.
Nina holds a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois, Stanford University, and University of California-Davis, respectively. Her work has resulted in over 15 patents in combustion, 3D printing and firing with ceramics, single- crystal turbine blade manufacturing, coal-fired power plants emission control, and advanced waste management technologies.
Sameera Fazili is the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council in the Biden administration. Fazili oversees the Administration’s domestic competitiveness agenda, including efforts to secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for high capacity batteries and energy storage. Before joining NEC, she served as the director of engagement for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s community and economic development department. Fazili previously served as a senior policy advisor at NEC in the Obama administration, where she covered retirement, consumer finance, and community and economic development. Fazili has also worked at the Treasury Department on issues related to community development financial institutions, housing finance and small business finance. She was also a senior adviser and chief of staff to the Treasury’s Under Secretary for International Affairs. She was a clinical lecturer of law at Yale Law School and economic development clinic, where she helped start a CDFI bank and a local anti-foreclosure initiative and expanded the clinic’s work to international microfinance. Fazili is a graduate of Yale Law School and Harvard College where she received a Bachelor of Arts in social studies. Originally from Buffalo, she now lives in Georgia with her husband and three children.
Mr. Robert H. Edwards Jr. is the Director of Outreach and Business Development for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO). He leads LPO’s business development activities to communicate the LPO value proposition and support innovative energy projects in the U.S. that will accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and drive the nationwide deployment of electric vehicles and the necessary charging infrastructure. An accomplished executive, Mr. Edwards has been active as an attorney and banker in the energy sector for over 20 years in the U.S. and abroad.Previously, Mr. Edwards was an appointed member of the non‐career Senior Executive Service serving as DOE’s Deputy General Counsel for Energy Policy during the Obama Administration. He advised DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Electricity, and Office of Fossil Energy as they deployed the majority of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds appropriated to the DOE. He reviewed LPO transactions before they were presented to the Credit Review Board. Mr. Edwards structured and led negotiations of the groundbreaking $465 million loan to Tesla issued under LPO’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program. Mr. Edwards was a partner on the energy and projects teams of two Am Law 100 firms where he led over $15 billion in clean energy sector project finance, M&A transactions, and advisory engagements located in the U.S., Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Africa. Mr. Edwards executed project finance deals as a member of the J.P. Morgan Global Commodities Group in New York City. Mr. Edwards earned his AB in Economics magna cum laude from Harvard University, and his joint JD/MBA from Stanford University.
William Edrich leads the development of the commercial and industrial business unit for Sunamp, along with the company’s expansion into the US and other geographies in the Americas. Drawing upon over twenty-five years’ senior experience in energy and commercial company structures. Acknowledged for creating new and alternative ideas, William has demonstrated success in establishing innovative and disruptive municipal and private commercial set-ups and developing policy and strategy at local, national, and international levels, assisting public and private sectors to deliver improved low carbon services, reduction in emissions and financial savings to clients.
Dr. Faith Dukes currently serves as the Director of K-12 STEM Education Programs within the Government and Community Relations Office at Berkeley Lab. Her work is at the intersection of STEM research, education, equity and inclusion. Prior to Berkeley Lab, she held positions at the MIT Museum and National Science Foundation focusing on STEM curriculum development and STEM education policy. She holds a bachelors of science from Spelman College and completed her PhD in physical chemistry studying photocatalytic semiconductors at Tufts University.
Dr. Claus Daniel is one of seven Senior Fellows at Carrier Corporation and leads its Strategic Innovation theme focused on Sustainability with an increased focus at Carrier on identifying opportunities and initiatives that lead to significant new products and services or disruption. He is responsible for Carrier’s sustainability and product decarbonization innovation portfolio towards commercialization.
He has more than 20 years of experience in developing and advancing technologies in materials, manufacturing, and sustainability. He joined Carrier from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he’s held numerous leadership roles including leading their automotive and mobility research and applied energy programs. He has also held a professorship at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and continues to be an appointed friend of the UT Bredesen Center. He was the founding Director of the U.S. Department of Energy Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Facility at ORNL.
He earned his PhD (Summa Cum Laude) in materials science from the Saarland University in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart and two M.S., one from the Saarland University and the other from the École Européenne d’Ingénieurs en Génie des Matériaux (European School for Materials Science and Engineering), part of the Université de Lorraine. He was awarded a number of prizes including the Gilbreth lectureship award from the National Academy of Engineering, the Battelle Distinguished Inventor Award from ORNL, the Carl-Eduard-Schulte-Prize from the Association of German Engineers, the Eugene P. Wigner Fellowship Award from ORNL, the Werner Köster Prize from the German Materials Society, the Martin Koester Prize from the Saarland University, and others. He is a Kavli alumnus with the National Academy of Science. In 2015, he was part of the U.S. delegation to the Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Societies Convocation in India.
Dr. Daniel is the editor of the second edition of Wiley-VCH’s “Handbook of Battery Materials”, has published over 100 peer-reviewed international journal publications, holds over two dozen patents, and is a member in DGM, MRS, SAE, and AAAS.
Ilka von Dalwigk is a senior technology and policy expert, keen on shaping and operationalizing policy visions into concrete actions and recommendations.
Ilka has more than fifteen years of experience in the energy transition in commercial, public, private, and policy environments with in-depth knowledge of major research and policy issues covering the battery value chain from the supply of raw materials to applications.
Notably, Ilka is the Policy Manager at EIT InnoEnergy for Smart Grid and Storage working with the industrial development programme of the European Battery Alliance – EBA250 – with a strong focus on sustainability and supply chain topics. She has been instrumental in building up and managing the vast and complex network of the stakeholders in this initiative, as well as developing the set of recommendations that contributed to the design and content of the 43 actions that have been identified as necessary by the European Battery Alliance, to make the EU a key player in the global battery market.
John R. Curtis proudly represents Utah’s 3rd Congressional District. Since being elected to Congress on November 13, 2017, John has worked on 11 pieces of legislation that were signed into law, ranging in diverse topics such as better managing public lands, combatting human trafficking, supporting small businesses, and more. Additionally, he serves as the inaugural Chairman of the Conservative Climate Caucus and a member of the powerful House Committee on Energy and Commerce. He previously served on the House Natural Resources Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee.
The Congressman cares deeply about hearing the diverse perspectives and feedback from his constituents: he held over 100 town halls during his first full year in office. Utah’s third district is the youngest in the country, with an average age of 26 years old. John is also sensitive to the many constituents that live in rural Utah and has focused on legislation that can fit needs of both demographics.
John has been committed to helping Utah’s growing tech scene flourish and was recognized by Silicon Slopes as their first Community Hero Award recipient. Other personal awards comprise of Civic Innovator of the Year by Utah Valley University, Thayne Robson Award for Leadership in Economic Development, and Outstanding Citizen Award from the Office of Civic Engagement Leadership by Brigham Young University.Prior to coming to Washington, John was the 45th mayor of Provo City, serving two terms. He was named the #1 Top Elected Official on Social Media 2015 by the Government Social Media group and has been recognized by Forbes for his commitment to citizen engagement.
As mayor, he averaged an approval rating of 93%. Before becoming mayor, John was a small business owner in Provo, working with his partners to build their business “Action Target,” where he led sales and operations strategy.
Congressman Curtis and his wife Sue have six children and twelve grandchildren. He loves to hike and waterski, practice his Mandarin Chinese and maintains a closet full of stately socks.
At Stanford University, Yi Cui is the director of the Precourt Institute for Energy, co-director of the StorageX Initiative, professor of materials science and engineering and of photon science at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1998 from the University of Science & Technology of China and his PhD in chemistry from Harvard University in 2002. Cui was a Miller Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley from 2002 to 2005 before joining the Stanford faculty. He has founded five companies to commercialize technologies from his lab: Amprius Inc., 4C Air Inc., EEnotech Inc., LifeLabs Design Inc. and EnerVenue Inc.
A preeminent researcher of nanotechnologies for better batteries and other sustainability technologies, Cui has published more than 530 studies and is one of the world’s most cited scientists. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Materials Research Society, and the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is an executive editor of Nano Letters and co-director of the Battery 500 Consortium.
Cui’s honors include Global Energy Prize (2021), Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award (2021), Materials Research Society Medal (2020) and Blavatnik National Laureate (2017).
Jason Cotrell is the Founder and CEO of RCAM Technologies, Inc.—a rapidly growing international cleantech startup dedicated to developing advanced concrete manufacturing technologies and components for renewable energy and ocean energy storage systems. Jason has been working in Renewable Energy since the mid 90’s. He worked 22 years at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado where he was a senior engineer and manager of the 15-person Wind Turbine Technology and Innovation Group before starting RCAM Technologies in 2017. Jason has a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and Master of Business Administration from the University of Colorado.
Sergio Coronado is Senior Vice-President of Future Innovation, New Business Development, and Licensing at Duracell Inc. Previously, he served for 10 years as the Front End innovation Portfolio Development Director at Duracell. Formerly, Mr. Coronado served in multiple roles at Procter and Gamble Go., from Process Engineer to Associate Director.
Mr. Coronado holds an M.B.A. from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Computer Science from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Erin is a Director in the Strategen Consulting practice where she focuses on serving industry and utility clients on a range of issues relating to grid planning and decarbonization, emerging technologies and new business models, and retail and market incentive mechanisms.
Prior to Strategen, Erin worked at Southern California Edison (SCE) for over seven years. At SCE she held a variety of roles in strategy, planning, regulatory and procurement. Erin was a thought leader for SCE’s economy-wide decarbonization strategy where she supported ground-breaking clean energy and distributed resource procurement and led utility-of-the-future implementation.
Erin holds bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and Environmental Economics from Pomona College.
Bor-Rong (Hypo)’s work at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) focuses on building techniques for identifying aging phenomena in fast-charging Lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles. These techniques pinpoint where, when, and why aging happens in batteries at an early stage during operation. Hypo’s research will significantly accelerate the development cycles for more durable Li batteries, a critical key for promoting the deployment of electric vehicles and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Gerbrand Ceder is the Samsung Distinguished Professor of Engineering at UC Berkeley and a Senior Faculty Scientist at LBNL where he develops novel materials for energy storage. He has worked over twenty-five years in Li-ion technology, and more recently also on alternative energy storage approaches, such as solid-state batteries, Na-ion and Mg-ion devices. He has published over 500 papers and holds more than 50 U.S. and foreign patents. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering of the US and the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and The Art. He is a Fellow of the Materials Research Society, the Metals, Minerals and Materials Society, the American Physical Society, and has received awards from the Electrochemical Society, the Materials Research Society, the Metals Minerals and Materials Society, and the International Battery Association. He is a Lead Scientist for new battery technologies at the Joint Center for Energy Storage (JCESR) of the US Department of Energy (DOE). He has advised the US government on energy storage and on the role of computation in materials development, leading to the Materials Genome Initiative. His Google Hirsch Index is 150 making him among the top 800 most cited scientists in history across all fields of science.
Prior to his appointment, Joe Bryan was principal at a boutique consulting practice focused on clean energy technology and its intersection with national security. Joe previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy where he was responsible for policies relating to the Department’s installation and operational energy programs. Earlier in his career, he led investigations for the Senate Armed Services Committee and served on the professional staff of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence and Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Joe has consulted on energy policy in Namibia and South Africa and began his career working on electricity restructuring and state-level policies to encourage the growth of clean energy markets. He is a former Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center
Danny Kennedy is the CEO of New Energy Nexus, connecting entrepreneurs everywhere to capital to build an abundant clean energy economy that benefits all. New Energy Nexus is a global platform organization for funds and incubators, with chapters in the USA, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Uganda, Nigeria and India. He oversees the CalSEED.fund of $35m for very early-stage companies driving innovation and building equity in the California economy plus the $12m CalTestBed initiative with the University of California, Office of the President. He is an adviser to Young Greentech Entrepreneurs in China with the Asia Society and is Chair of the Board of Third Derivative, a joint-venture with RMI building the world’s largest climatetech accelerator.
Kennedy co-founded Sungevity in 2007, the company that created remote solar design, and Powerhouse, an incubator and fund in Oakland, CA. He was the first backer of Mosaic in 2011, the $3B solar loan provider, and remains on the Board of Powerhive, a solar mini-utility in Kenya. He was a founding Director of Sunergise, the solar-as-a-service business out of Fiji and the EnergyLab Australia. He is also a Director of the non-profit Epic Institute and adviser to the company Solar Philippines. Kennedy authored Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy – and Our Planet – from Dirty Energy in 2012. He has a forthcoming Audible Original podcast with Cate Blanchett called Climate of Change to be released in April 2022. Prior to being an entrepreneur and investor, he worked at Greenpeace and other NGOs on climate & energy from 1989.
Dr. Hanna Breunig is a Research Scientist and Deputy-Head of the Sustainable Energy and Environmental Systems Department in the Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts Division. She holds a secondary joint appointment in the Earth Systems and Society Domain in the Climate and Ecosystem Science Division. Hanna specializes in techno-economic analysis, process modeling, market analysis, and environmental and human health impact assessment (life-cycle assessment) of emerging energy and negative emissions technologies. These include circular economy, bioenergy and biochar, enhanced weathering, and gas (H2, CO2, CH4) capture, production, storage, utilization, and management technologies. She holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Engineering from Cornell University and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley.
Tony G. Reames was most recently a professor of environment and sustainability at the University of Michigan, where he established the Urban Energy Justice Lab to conduct research and develop solutions on the production and persistence of racial, income, and geographic disparities in energy access, affordability, decision making, and participation. Reames served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and worked in both the private and public sectors as a licensed professional engineer. He earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, a Master of Engineering Management from Kansas State University, and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University of Kansas.
Benjamin Bollinger leads strategic initiatives at Malta Inc., a venture-funded Long-Duration Energy Storage startup company developing a 100 MW, 10 h Pumped Heat Energy Storage system. Ben has worked in Long-Duration Energy Storage and technology development within early-stage startup companies since 2007, when he co-founded a company that developed Isothermal Compressed Air Energy Storage. His background is in systems engineering and multi-domain system modeling. Ben received his PhD in engineering sciences from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, and his BA from Dartmouth College.
Sally M. Benson is the Deputy Director for Energy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She supports the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Energy Division, which works to develop a national strategy to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and achieve the interim targets laid out by the administration.
Benson is currently on leave from Stanford University, where she is the Precourt Family Professor of Energy Resources Engineering in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. She was also Co-Director of the Precourt Institute for Energy from 2013 to 2020, and Director of the Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) from 2009 to 2019. She is an internationally recognized scientist with extensive management experience and is responsible for fostering cross-campus collaborations on energy and guiding the growth and development of a diverse research portfolio at Stanford University.
Prior to joining Stanford University in 2007, Benson was at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for 29 years, where she held a variety of key positions, including Deputy Director of Operations and Director of the Earth Sciences Division.
A groundwater hydrologist and reservoir engineer, Benson is regarded as a leading authority on carbon capture and storage (CCS), and emerging energy technologies. She and her GCEP colleagues recently conducted a groundbreaking series of net energy analyses calculating the energetic costs of wind turbines, solar photovoltaics, and grid-scale renewable energy storage. She also leads a research laboratory that studies geologic carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration in saline aquifers. In 2005, she served as a coordinating lead author of a special report on CCS published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In 2007, she was one of thousands of IPCC scientists to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to inform the public on the science of climate change.
Benson is the author of more than 160 journal papers and book chapters, and she has delivered more than 200 invited talks and has testified at U.S. Congressional hearings on climate-change technology and CO2 sequestration. Her honors include the 2012 Greenman Award and the ARCS 2009 American Pacesetter Award. She also serves on the boards of directors of the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Climate Central.
Benson holds a BS in Geology from Barnard College at Columbia University, and an MS and PhD in Materials Science and Mineral Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
For 35 years, Julie Blunden has rapidly grown small energy companies to leaders in their sectors from power plants to retail power, solar and EV charging. Julie is now focused on Board work related to batteries for both mobile and stationary storage as well as their supply chains. Previously, Julie held executive roles at EVgo, SunPower, Green Mountain Energy, KEMA Xenergy and SunEdison. She served as Chief Executive Officer, President and Director of ClimateWorks Foundation and began her career with a decade at AES.
Julie Blunden currently serves as Board Chair New Energy Nexus Catalyst and Board Member of New Energy Nexus Ventures, and Advisory Board Member at Plus Power. She works with boards, investors and allies to accelerate a clean energy future using her deep experience in strategy, product and service design, business operations, scaling, market design and development, financial markets and communications.
Dr. Douglas Black is the Grid Integration Group Leader at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Doug’s research focuses on microgrid and vehicle-to-grid integration (VGI) demonstration projects. Doug leads a team in developing LBNL’s DER-CAM operations control system for islandable microgrid demonstrations at the Parks Reserve Forces Training Area and Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base. Doug also leads VGI demonstration projects at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, a building-scale microgrid at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, CA, and Alameda County municipal buildings. Doug’s work focuses on optimizing control of VGI implementations while maximizing vehicle and grid function and minimizing overall charging costs for individual and fleet owners of electric vehicles. Doug studies VGI configurations ranging from managed EV charging and building load control for retail demand response programs to using bi-directional EV charging for frequency regulation in wholesale electricity ancillary services markets. Doug earned a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan.
Adam Berry is a Professional Staff Member for the Democratic staff of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, covering energy storage, energy efficiency, hydropower, and marine energy issues for Chairman Manchin. He joined the Energy Committee as a research assistant in 2019, before which he held internships for Senator Jeff Merkley (OR), then-Governor John Hickenlooper (CO), and then-Congressman Jared Polis (CO-2). Adam holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Wichita State University.
David Hochschild was appointed chair of the California Energy Commission by Governor Gavin Newsom in February 2019. He fills the environmental position on the five-member Commission where four of the five members are required by law to have professional training in specific areas – engineering or physical science, environmental protection, economics, and law.
Chair Hochschild’s career has spanned public service, environmental advocacy, and the private sector. He first got involved in the solar energy field in 2001 in San Francisco as a special assistant to Mayor Willie Brown where Chair Hochschild launched a citywide $100 million initiative to put solar panels on public buildings. He also co founded the Vote Solar Initiative, a 60,000-member advocacy organization promoting solar policies at the local, state, and federal levels. He was executive director of a national consortium of leading solar manufacturers and worked for five years at Solaria, a solar company in Silicon Valley. From 2007 to 2008, he served as a commissioner at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
For his work to advance clean energy, Chair Hochschild was awarded the Sierra Club’s Trailblazer Award, the American Lung Association’s Clean Air Hero Award, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Million Solar Roof True Champion Award. Chair Hochschild holds a bachelor of arts from Swarthmore College and a master of public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He also was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs.
Christian is a seasoned Datacenter executive and is extremely well know across the industry for his many contributions. Currently, he is the Vice President of CAD in Microsoft’s Cloud Operation and Innovation (CO+I) group. This group is responsible for developing breakthrough ecosystem technologies in cooling, energy storage/generation, free space optics and cryogenics. From 2010 to 2018, he was responsible for leading datacenter development worldwide, which included operations, construction, server development, site selection, terrestrial/undersea network, advanced development & research, energy and sustainability. The data center and network provide the foundational cloud infrastructure for over 200 Microsoft online and cloud services (including Azure) for consumers and businesses worldwide.
In 2010, Christian held the position of director of Hardware Architecture in the Extreme Computing Group at Microsoft Research where he managed the team that explored hardware opportunities related to the future of client plus cloud computing.
He joined Microsoft in 2007 as the Principal Infrastructure Architect for GFS to improve efficiency and cost in the company’s data center infrastructure. In this role, he drove initiatives for sustainability for the company and the infrastructure industry. He is also accredited with being one of the key architects for the company’s next generation modular data centers. Prior to joining Microsoft, Christian was a Distinguished Technologist for HP where he was responsible for driving the technology direction of HP’s server products and their environments, as well as industry data center initiatives. In addition, his earlier employers include Convex Computers (acquired by HP), Texas Instruments and IBM.
In 2010, SearchData named Christian as one of “5 People who changed the data center” industry and helped drive innovative thinking and quantitative benchmarking in the field. With over 135 US patents and many international patents, Christian is an ASME and IMAPS Fellow and was a founding member of ASHRAE’s TC9.9, which is responsible for developing data center guidelines. He was one of the early architects of the Green Grid where he has served on the board and as treasurer. He is credited for being the originator of the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric used to determine the energy efficiency of a data center which is now broadly used by the industry. Leveraging his PUE legacy, in 2011, he co-published two new metrics with the Green Grid – Water Utilization Effectiveness (WUE) and Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE) – that further enable data center operators to now quickly assess the three important aspects of sustainability in their data centers, compare the results, and determine if any energy efficiency and/or sustainability improvements need to be made. He has also worked closely with government agencies such as the Department of Energy and European Commission to define efficiency metrics for data centers and servers. As a result of these efforts, Christian received the 2013 DatacenterDynamics “Outstanding Contribution to the Industry” Award. More recently in 2017, Christian also received the Datacloud Global “Data Center Though Leadership” Award in Monaco for his groundbreaking work with fuel cells.
Christian has published several dozen papers, is frequently quoted in the press, and is a featured keynote speaker on data center trends in the industry. Since the late 1990s, his publications have focused on data centers and the industry’s need for engineering efficient computing environments. Christian holds engineering degrees from Cornell University (BS) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (MS) and a business degree from the University of Texas at Dallas (MA) where he was honored with the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award.
Christian’s passion continues to be around transformational change and solving the seemingly impossible.
Dr. Michael Witherell is Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). He previously served as Vice Chancellor for Research for the University of California, Santa Barbara, from 2005-2014, during which time he also served as the Presidential Chair in the Physics Department. From 1999-2005, he served as Director of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), the largest particle physics laboratory in the country. From 1981 to 1999, Dr. Witherell was a faculty member in the UCSB physics department.
Following a national search and acting on the recommendation of University of California President Napolitano, with the concurrence of U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, the Board of Regents approved Witherell’s appointment as the eighth director of the Berkeley Lab. Dr. Witherell replaced Paul Alivisatos.
Michael Witherell is a leading physicist with a highly distinguished career in teaching, research and managing complex organizations. As director of the first Lab in the DOE’s National Lab system, Dr. Witherell supports the Lab’s world-renowned scientists and engineers as they search for solutions to the greatest technological challenges facing the nation, as well as for groundbreaking scientific discoveries that seed the future.
As an independent researcher, Dr. Witherell has done work in particle physics with accelerators at Brookhaven National Laboratory, at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), and at Cornell Laboratory for Elementary Particle Physics, in addition to Fermilab. In 1990, his work on an experiment at Fermilab studying charm quarks brought him the prestigious W. K. H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics, awarded annually by the American Physical Society. In 2004 he received the U. S. Secretary of Energy’s Gold Award, the highest honorary award of the Department of Energy. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow both of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Physical Society.
Dr. Witherell graduated from the University of Michigan in 1968 and earned his doctorate in particle physics from the University of Wisconsin in 1973. He was a postdoctoral fellow and assistant professor at Princeton University from 1973 to 1981.
Mary Barra is Chair and Chief Executive Officer of General Motors. She was elected Chair of the GM Board of Directors on Jan. 4, 2016 and has served as CEO of GM since Jan. 15, 2014.
Under Barra’s leadership, GM envisions a world with zero crashes, to save lives; zero emissions, so future generations can inherit a healthier planet; and zero congestion, so customers get back a precious commodity – time.
She is focused on improving the customer experience and strengthening GM’s core vehicle and services business, while also working to lead the transformation of personal mobility through advanced technologies like connectivity, electrification and autonomous driving.
Prior to becoming CEO, Barra served as GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain since August 2013, and as senior vice president, Global Product Development since February 2011. In these roles, Barra and her teams were responsible for the design, engineering and quality of GM vehicle launches worldwide.
Previously, she served as vice president, Global Human Resources; vice president, Global Manufacturing Engineering; plant manager, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly; and in several other executive engineering and staff positions.
Barra began her career with GM in 1980 as a General Motors Institute (Kettering University) co-op student at the Pontiac Motor Division. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1985, followed by a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1990.
Barra is Chair of the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of America’s leading companies. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Walt Disney Company, the Duke University Board of Trustees and the Detroit Economic Club. Additionally, she serves as the Chair and founding member of GM’s Inclusion Advisory Board.
Geraldine (Geri) Richmond is the Under Secretary for Science and Innovation at the Department of Energy (DOE). In this role she oversees DOE’s Office of Science, the nation’s largest federal sponsor of basic research in the physical sciences, DOE’s applied R&D areas of nuclear, fossil, and renewable energy, and energy system integrity, and the DOE national laboratories and their facilities.
She is currently on leave from the University of Oregon where she holds the Presidential Chair in Science and Professor of Chemistry. Richmond’s research throughout her career has been on the use of laser-based and computational methods to understand the molecular, adsorption structure and dynamics at liquid surfaces that have relevance to environmental and technological interests.
She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been honored by numerous awards including the National Medal of Science (2016), the Priestley Medal from the American Chemical Society (2018) and the Linus Pauling Medal Award (2018).
Her service to the nation includes serving two terms as a presidential appointee to the National Science Board (2012-2021) and as the U.S. State Department Science Envoy for the Lower Mekong River Countries (2015-2016). In addition to serving on many other national and international advisory boards, Richmond has been President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Sigma Xi, and the Scientific Research Honor Society.
A career-long advocate for underrepresented groups in STEM fields, she is the founding director of a grassroots organization called COACh that has helped over 25,000 women scientists and engineers in career advancement in the U.S. and in dozens of developing countries around the world. A native of Kansas, Richmond received her B.S. in chemistry from Kansas State University and her Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.
Kayla Barron was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. She reported for duty in August 2017. The Washington native graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering. A Gates Cambridge Scholar, Barron earned a master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Cambridge. As a Submarine Warfare Officer, Barron was a member of the first class of women commissioned into the submarine community. She is currently serving as mission specialist of the NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the ISS, which launched on November 10, 2021.
Born in Pocatello, Idaho, Barron considers Richland, Washington, to be her hometown. She is married to Tom Barron of New York, New York. Her parents, Scott and Lauri Sax, live in Richland, Washington. She enjoys hiking, backpacking, running, and reading. Education: Graduated from Richland High School in Richland, Washington, in 2006. Earned a bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 2010. Earned a master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England, in 2011, as a 2010 Gates Cambridge Scholar.
Dr. Noël Bakhtian (pronunciation) serves as the founding Executive Director of the Berkeley Lab Energy Storage Center – a lab-wide center accelerating the translation of basic and applied research into real-world energy storage solutions – at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
She is also a Board Member for QSIDE – the Institute for the Quantitative Study of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity – which leverages quantitative methods to reveal and analyze big data in support of grassroots organizations to catalyze systemic change.
Formerly, Dr. Bakhtian served on the Senior Leadership Team at Idaho National Laboratory as director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), where she led a refresh of the mission, vision, and strategy of this research, education, and innovation consortium bringing together INL with the four public research universities of Idaho and Wyoming. She provided Congressional testimony to the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development on “Energy Workforce Opportunities and Challenges” in 2018.
Before moving to the national labs, Dr. Bakhtian served as a senior policy adviser for environment and energy in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), as the inaugural Energy-Water Nexus lead at the DOE Office of International Affairs, worked as technical lead on numerous innovative grant programs for DOE’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, consulted on energy R&D and investment for DARPA, and served as an energy and environment Fellow in the U.S. Senate.
Dr. Bakhtian earned her engineering doctorate at Stanford University’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; holds master’s degrees from Stanford University and the University of Cambridge, where she was a Churchill Scholar; and completed her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Duke University.Dr. Bakhtian serves as a member of the National Academies Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy; a member of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) Science Committee; a member of the founding cohort of the Loomis Innovation Council at the Stimson Center; and is a Professor of the Practice at Boise State University.