The outside world seldom touches the northeastern slopes of the Andes Mountains. In the village of La Jalca, where I lived and worked in the Peace Corps, there are few cars. People commute to terraced fields on foot or horseback. Change here usually comes slowly. Yet climate change overnight has impacted every aspect of life, altering centuries-old farming traditions, threatening the reliability of water sources and compromising the future of this tiny farming community.
My passion and commitment to finding clean energy solutions began here. In response to concerns over increasing deforestation and health problems from open cooking fires, I designed and implemented a project to install inexpensive, high efficiency stoves made from local materials. The stoves allowed people to cook more efficiently with less wood, eliminating smoke from their homes. This project sparked conversations and led to larger initiatives such as a community-managed nature reserve, environmental education and native tree reforestation.
Living in this community changed how I see the world: energy policies in the United States, China and Europe will impact the future in every corner of the planet. A better use of resources is critical on a global as well as a local level.
I vowed to use my insight, passion and experience to make a difference on a larger scale. To do so, I enrolled in the Johnson School of Management at Cornell. The school’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise is a worldwide leader in business innovation, corporate responsibility and clean energy.
I’m particularly interested in the development of value of solar tariffs (VOST), such as those in Texas and Minnesota. Utilities across the U.S. are watching these programs, looking for cues on best practices and hoping to understand the long-term implications.
The reason for the interest is clear: the utility industry’s 100-year-old business model is no longer viable. The proliferation of renewable energy means utility investors have to change how they recover infrastructure costs. It’s a difficult problem. The solutions now on the table are as segmented and uneven as the U.S. utility industry itself.
Incorporating clean energy into the existing grid requires analysis and investigation that strips away politics and concentrates on economic realities. Clean energy is the future. But getting there requires a balance of technology, policy and cooperation. With help from OneEnergy, I hope to contribute in a meaningful way to help move this process forward. Connect with me on LinkedIn.
Clean energy has been a constant theme in my career and my education. I developed my passion for the field during my first internship in college,
where I was working on a clean energy campaign against coal-fired power plants in the Midwest. This experience opened my eyes to the enormous opportunity for renewables in transforming our energy system in a way that is both environmentally and economically beneficial. I decided that I wanted to spend my career attempting to do just that.
For the past five years, I was working for a small non-profit organization on the implementation of a clean energy program focused on small businesses and local governments. This was a partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and was focused on local implementation of PG&E’s energy efficiency and renewables programs, and I gained a breadth of experience in the clean energy field through this work. Some examples include conducting basic energy assessments and providing recommendations for improving energy efficiency and options for renewables, managing a team of interns to complete GHG inventories for 20 local governments and the local utility, and managing a pilot program for an energy monitoring software.
I am currently in business school at Portland State University, and I intend
for it to be a continuation of my journey down the clean energy career path. During my MBA program, I am committed to gaining a solid foundation of business skills so that I’m able to apply them to environmental problems, including transforming our energy system to one that is based on clean energy. Connect with me on LinkedIn.
For the better part of a decade, I have been focused on creating a clean energy future. I have approached this issue from a number of angles: as an entrepreneur, community organizer, advocate, and consultant. Now, I am getting my MBA so that I can deepen my impact on this issue in the years to come.
In college, I grew concerned about the environment, specifically threats posed by global climate change. My first endeavor in this space came as an undergrad, when I co-founded an app that used social principles to drive down energy usage among Facebook friends. After graduating, I turned to grassroots organizing where I worked with communities to embrace policies in support of clean energy. Most recently, I worked at a firm where I had renewable energy companies as clients and specialized in regulatory, legislative, and communications issues.
I believe that transmission, distribution, and storage networks, at home and abroad, represent underappreciated bottlenecks when it comes to widespread renewable energy adoption. I also believe that energy efficiency represents a strong environmental and financial opportunity in the short to medium run. Since starting at Stern, I launched a second venture aimed at making an impact in this field. Connect with me on LinkedIn.
A genuine concern about the deleterious effects of Climate Change on our civilization sparked my interest in the field of clean energy. Two summers ago I was awarded a Massachusetts Clean Energy Center fellowship to work with the City of Boston and Sustainserv Inc. Using GIS, I created an energy balance map for the Innovation District, modelling net-zero emission scenarios using an array of clean energy technologies combinations under different development paths. The project would inform Boston in its plans to develop an Ecodistrict, and provide a decision tool to position cities at the forefront on the fight against Climate Change.
I feel privileged to be an EDF Climate Corps 2014 fellow. I was deployed at Roanoke Electric, one of the 950 rural electric cooperatives in the country. There, I immersed myself in the operations of the utility, preparing the business case for the implementation of energy efficiency projects at commercial accounts. I proposed changes to the utility tariff structure to align the adoption of renewables and energy efficiency projects with the sustainability of the cooperative revenue system. I also crafted a strategy for the coop to meet part of North Carolina Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard obligations through a residential demand response program, which would bring other benefits like revenue in the form of DR capacity payments and a grid more resilient to renewables integration.
Recently, I co-organized a workshop at Columbia geared to european executives from the utilities industry (EDF France) about Climate Change, Policy and Innovation. I arranged a visit to Tesla NYC and gave a talk about the disruption potential of Lithium-ion batteries on peak demand substitution, car to grid and building to car applications. Connect with me on LinkedIn.
I started my career at JPMorgan Chase, working across Investment Banking and Treasury lines of businesses for more than five years has exposed me to commodities business transactions and project financing. Outside of work, I served as board member for United Nations Association of New York, where I was involved with their “Sustainable Energy for All” initiative. The project has furthered my interest in renewable energy development to meet the growing demands of energy in the next few decades. I later pursued a fellowship program working with a cleantech startup (One Earth Designs) abroad as Market Development Associate. I helped scale their operations in developing markets and promoted their solar concentrator for a long term goal of reducing carbon footprint and elevating economic status for rural population with limited access to energy. During the summer of 2014, I also worked with Enerknol (formerly named Energy Solutions Forum) to organize and promote the second annual New York Energy Week, which aims to fuel investments and foster collaborations amongst energy professionals across industries. The event series drew more than 1,000 attendees and reached 1 million online; it provided a platform to discuss latest strategies and market solutions that will lead to continued growth of the energy economy. For the same purpose, I hope to be OneEnergy Scholar as it’d be a valuable learning experience to form innovative ideas on efficient use of existing resources while addressing future energy needs and environmental concerns.
I look forward for the opportunity to work with stakeholders from corporations to government agencies to foster collaboration and innovations in the renewable energy space. I hope to become strategy/ energy consultant to design and implement scalable energy projects to meet increasing demand at the same time reduce environmental impact.
I am passionate about energy because it is at the nexus of innovation, geopolitics, and business; more specifically, how energy companies adjust their practices to be more sustainable and innovative as well as how regulatory policy affects the renewable energy industry. This summer I worked at Pacific Gas and Electric on a regulatory strategy project. Before my MBA I worked in a variety of finance roles for NextEra Energy Resources, the largest renewable energy operator in the US. I came to Kellogg because I wanted to understand how to innovate at scale, manage effectively, and catalyze change.
I sit on the student boards of KIN (Kellogg Innovation Network), and the Northwestern Energy and Sustainability Consortium; I am also be leading the “Business of Energy Seminars” a cross campus initiative to help undergrad, law, and PhD students understand the energy markets through seminars taught by business students and I am in the process of developing a “Policy of Energy” seminar series.
I am very interested in how the profitability of renewable energy development intersects with regulatory policy. Now that Production Tax Credits (PTC) have been cut there has been a decrease in renewable development. Additionally the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) in select states have required utilities to build out or contract more renewable capacity sometimes at the increased expense to the tax payer. I would like to understand better the role that policy plays in clean energy development, how can it be done profitably, and how the “human factor” effects the fuel portfolio of utilities. Connect with me on LinkedIn.