Speakers for VX2024

Angelina Galiteva
Board Member
CAISO
Biography

Angelina Galiteva

Board Member
CAISO

Angelina M. Galiteva is the Founder and Board Chair of Renewables 100 Policy Institute, an organization dedicated to accelerating the global transition to 100% renewable energy for all sectors. In 2011 Governor Jerry Brown appointed Ms. Galiteva to the California Independent Systems Operator Board (CAISO), one of the largest transmission operators in the World. On October 2020 Angelina became the first Female Chair of the CAISO Board of Governors and in March 2023 Governor Newsom reappointed Ms. Galiteva to serve her 4th term on the Board. Over the last year, Ms. Galiteva has been leading California’s Statewide Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES) initiative focused on accelerating the decarbonization of the 4th largest economy. Angelina also serves as Chairperson of the World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) and is a Founding Board Member of the Global Clean Energy Desalination Alliance. Ms. Galiteva is an expert in strategic issues related to renewable energy, new technology development and implementation, optimizing power system resiliency and efficiency, as well as overall sustainability and environmental policy programs for public and private entities. As such she is frequently sent as a US State Department representative expert on renewable energy and power grid resiliency and reliability issues. In addition, Ms. Galiteva is founder and principal of NEOptions, Inc., a renewable energy product and project development firm. Previously, Ms. Galiteva was the Executive Director of Strategic Planning for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), overseeing the utility's renewable energy program, she also worked at the New York Power Authority. Ms. Galiteva is an attorney with a JD Degree and Master’s in International and Energy Law. 

Angelina has overseen numerous utility scale renewable energy, bulk storage, combined heat and power project developments, including distributed generation and microgrid specific installations. She has experience structuring electric vehicle to grid programs, accelerating the development and deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell infrastructure as well as financing large scale renewable power project development both in the US and abroad. 

Ms. Galiteva holds a JD and LLM Degrees in Energy and Environmental Law from Pace University School of Law and is a globally recognized expert in the area of designing regulatory structures and programs to support the development of carbon free technologies and the transition to a reliable, resilient carbon free future.
 

Carla Peterman
Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer
PG&E Corporation
Biography

Carla Peterman

Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer
PG&E Corporation

Carla J. Peterman is Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer for PG&E Corporation, the parent company of Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Peterman has spent her career focused on California's energy policy and regulatory landscape. At PG&E, she oversees the company's regulatory, legislative, sustainability, and charitable strategies, all focused on delivering for the customers and communities that PG&E serves in Northern and Central California.

Prior to joining PG&E in 2021, Peterman served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Regulatory Affairs at Southern California Edison. Before that she served a six-year term as a Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

A steadfast proponent of clean energy, at the CPUC Peterman led the adoption of the first utility energy storage mandate in the country, the approval of nearly $1 billion of utility investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the adoption of utility energy efficiency goals and business plans, and the implementation of California's Renewables Portfolio Standard.

Before her CPUC appointment, Peterman served on the California Energy Commission, where she was the lead commissioner for renewables, transportation, and natural gas. She also is a former board member of The Utility Reform Network, an organization that represents consumers before the CPUC and California Legislature.

In 2019, Governor Newsom appointed her to chair the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery. She currently serves as a member of the Federal Reserve of San Francisco Economic Advisory Council. She has also served on various other boards, including the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), NARUC's Energy Resources and Environment Committee (Vice-Chair), and the external advisory board for Sandia National Laboratories’ Energy and Homeland Security Portfolio.

Peterman holds a BA from Howard University, a PhD in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and MS and MBA degrees from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Karen Bass*
Mayor
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Karen Bass*

Mayor
City of Los Angeles

Karen Bass is the 43rd Mayor of Los Angeles and the first woman and second African American to be elected as the city's chief executive. With an agenda focused on bringing urgency, accountability, and a new direction to Los Angeles, she will start her term with a focus on housing people immediately and increasing safety and opportunity in every part of Los Angeles.

A daughter of our city, Mayor Bass was raised with her three brothers in the Venice/Fairfax neighborhood and is a proud graduate of Hamilton High School. After serving as a front-line healthcare provider as a nurse and as a Physician Assistant, Mayor Bass founded the Community Coalition to organize the predominantly Black and Latino residents of South L.A. against substance abuse, poverty and crime, and to pioneer strategies to address the root causes behind the challenges faced by underserved neighborhoods.

She then went on to represent Los Angeles in the State Assembly and was elected by her peers to serve as Speaker, making her the first African American woman to ever lead a state legislative body in the history of the United States. Her time in leadership intersected with the Great Recession, and she was honored with the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for reaching across party lines and making tough decisions to keep the state from bankruptcy while protecting vital services.

While representing Los Angeles and Culver City in Congress, Mayor Bass helped protect small businesses during the pandemic, created policy to drive local jobs from federal infrastructure funding, and led the passage of what the Los Angeles Times called “the most significant child welfare policy reform in decades.”

Mayor Bass earned her bachelor's degree in health sciences from CSU Dominguez Hills before graduating from the USC Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program and earning her masters degree in social work from USC.

Mayor Bass’s oldest daughter Emilia planned to follow in her mother’s footsteps working for social change. The Mayor-elect continues to be inspired by Emilia and her son-in-law Michael’s passion for life. She has three other children, Scythia, Omar and Yvette, and two grandchildren, Michael and Henry, who live in the Los Angeles area.

Adel Hagekhalil
General Manager
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Biography

Adel Hagekhalil

General Manager
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Adel Hagekhalil is the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the largest wholesale drinking water agency in the country. Metropolitan is a state-established cooperative that delivers water to 26-member public agencies, serving 19 million people across Southern CA.
 
As General Manager, Mr. Hagekhalil is responsible for leading Metropolitan’s daily and long-term operations and planning to provide safe, reliable water to Southern California. He oversees Metropolitan’s $1.9 billion annual budget, 1,800 employees, and extensive system of conveyance, storage, treatment, and delivery infrastructure.
 
Mr. Hagekhalil is a registered civil engineer and national board-certified environmental engineer, having earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Houston, TX. Before joining Metropolitan, he was appointed in 2018 by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve as the executive director and general manager of the city’s Bureau of Street Services. His responsibilities included oversight of the management, maintenance, and improvement of the city’s network of streets, sidewalks, trees, and bikeways. He also focused on climate change adaptation and multi-benefit integrated active transportation corridors.
 
Previously, he served nearly 10 years as assistant general manager of the Los Angeles’ Bureau of Sanitation, led the city’s wastewater collection system, stormwater and watershed protection program, water quality compliance, advance planning, and facilities. He also helped develop the city’s 2040 One Water LA Plan, an award-winning regional watershed approach to integrate water supply, reuse, conservation, stormwater management and wastewater facilities planning.
 
Mr. Hagekhalil is a member of the American Public Works Association as well as the Water Environment Federation, which recognized him in 2019 as a WEF Fellow for his contribution to enhancing and forwarding the water industry. He also served for more than a decade as a board member on the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, including a term as president.

Christine Harada
Executive Director
Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council
Biography

Christine Harada

Executive Director
Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council

Biden-Harris Administration Presidential appointee Christine Harada serves as the Executive Director of the Permitting Council. As Executive Director, Harada assists Permitting Council member agencies in managing a portfolio of nearly $100 billion in large-scale infrastructure projects—most of which are renewable energy, coastal restoration, and electricity transmission projects. She assists Federal agencies in developing and implementing comprehensive, project-specific timetables for all required infrastructure permitting reviews and authorizations for FAST-41 covered infrastructure projects, advancing the administration's infrastructure agenda to rebuild the economy.

Harada brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in the public and private sectors to the Permitting Council. Harada was most recently the Vice President for Government Affairs at Heliogen, a California-based renewable energy technology company. Previously, she served as the President of i(x) investments, a company focused on impact-driven investments in critical areas such as renewable energy, green real estate development, and accessible smart and sustainable housing. She was a Partner with Ridge-Lane Limited Partners, an advisory firm of experts in private sector innovation, investment capital, and government policy that works with companies pursuing social and environmental impact, along with financial performance.
 
As the former Federal Chief Sustainability Officer under President Barack Obama, Harada oversaw all federal sustainability-related initiatives in energy, vehicle fleets, and acquisitions. She also served as the Acting Chief of Staff, the Associate Administrator of Government-wide Policy, and Chief Acquisition Officer at the U.S. General Services Administration.
 
Harada has worked as a Senior Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin and as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and Booz Allen Hamilton. She holds a master's degree in international studies from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at Penn. Additionally, she has a master's degree from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in aeronautics and astronautics.   

Randall Winston
Deputy Mayor for Infrastructure
Office of City of LA Mayor Karen Bass
Biography

Randall Winston

Deputy Mayor for Infrastructure
Office of City of LA Mayor Karen Bass

Randall Winston was appointed Acting Executive Director of the Strategic Growth Council in July 2015 and was officially sworn in as Executive Director in December 2015. Prior to his appointment, Randall served in Governor Brown's office as Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary, where he helped lead implementation of Governor Brown's Executive Orders on Green Buildings and Zero Emission Vehicles as well as international climate change policy. Randall has professional experience in architecture, urban development, venture technology and finance, most recently having worked for the architecture and integrated design practice Foster + Partners prior to joining Governor Brown's office as an Executive Fellow through the Center for California Studies' Capital Fellows Program. Randall was a founding director at Causes, a venture technology company led by Facebook's founding president, and worked in Beijing, China for SOHO China, an integrated urban development and architecture firm, as well as Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities, a China mainland joint-venture with Goldman Sachs.

Randall received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in Government from Harvard University. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, Urban Land Institute and Pacific Council on International Policy.

Gene Seroka
Executive Director
Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Gene Seroka

Executive Director
Port of Los Angeles

Dr. Gene Seroka is the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, the busiest container port in North America. He was nominated by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on May 27, 2014, and confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council on June 11, 2014.

As Executive Director, Seroka is responsible for managing a more than $1 billion budget, advancing major capital projects, growing trade volumes and promoting innovative, sustainable practices that strengthen the region's economy. His duties involve interacting with a wide range of stakeholders, including Port customers around the globe, industry partners, elected and appointed officials at all levels, harbor area residents and business leaders. He has been appointed to the following national committees at the federal level to enhance the speed and efficiency of cargo movement and supply chain optimization: U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness; U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Port Performance Freight Statistics Working Group; U.S. Maritime Administration Marine Transportation System National Advisory Committee; and Federal Maritime Commission Supply Chain Innovation Team.

Seroka brings more than 28 years of experience in shipping, global logistics and executive management. After several key overseas positions for American President Lines (APL) Limited, he returned to the U.S. in 2010 to become President - Americas for the shipping line in Phoenix where he managed APL's Liner Shipping business, including 1,000 employees, and was responsible for all commercial, port terminal, intermodal, land transportation and labor activities throughout the region.

Seroka joined APL in 1988 as a sales support representative in the company's Cincinnati office after earning an MBA and Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of New Orleans. Over the years, he has held various positions in sales and management with increasing responsibility and high-level assignments all over the world. Throughout his career, he played a key role in global marketing and corporate strategies for APL.

Seroka's first overseas posting was in Shanghai where he served as Director of Sales and Marketing for North and Central China from 1999 to 2003. He then moved to Jakarta where he was President Director of PT APL and APL Logistics in Indonesia for two years before relocating to Singapore in 2005 to become Vice President of APL Logistics' business units in 26 countries in the company's Asia/Middle East and South Asia regions. From 2008 to 2010, he served as Vice President for APL and APL Logistics Emirates LLC in Dubai where he managed APL's business in the Middle East and East Africa Region.

Richard Katz
President
Board of Water and Power Commissioners
Biography

Richard Katz

President
Board of Water and Power Commissioners

Richard Katz was elected to the California State Assembly in 1980, serving continuously for 16 years. As Democratic Leader in 1995, Katz led the Party to majority status by winning 43 seats in the 1996 elections. California’s term limits law prohibited Katz from seeking re-election.

For 10 years, Richard Katz served as Chair of the powerful Assembly Transportation Committee. He created the Congestion Management Plan, requiring cities and counties to measure and mitigate impacts of land use decisions on their streets, highways and transit systems.

Katz was California’s lead negotiator for the landmark Colorado River Agreement between the State of California, the Federal Government, four California Water Agencies, and the six Colorado River Basin States, furthering his expertise as a negotiator on issues of statewide significance.

Katz had already played a pivotal role in renegotiating $30 billion worth of California’s Energy contracts and developing California’s Transportation Blueprint for the 21st Century, which the voters approved as Proposition 111 in 1990.

In June of 2005, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Katz to serve with him on the Governing Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where Katz served for 8 years. In 2008, the Mayor appointed Katz to the Metrolink Board after the horrendous Chatsworth accident, “to make sure this never happens again.” Katz served on the Metrolink Board for 7 years, focused on safety issues and leading the effort that resulted in Metrolink being the first railroad in the country to implement Positive Train Control (PTC) a state of the art life saving satellite based technology.   

When Mayor Garcetti was elected in 2013, he appointed Richard Katz to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission.

Richard Katz is the owner of a successful public policy/government relations firm, Richard Katz Consulting (RKC), Inc. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Valley Economic Alliance and on the Boards of Heal the Bay and the Jordan farmer Foundation.

A native of Los Angeles, Richard Katz lives in Studio City with his eight year-old son Mitchell Robert.

 

Liane Randolph
Chair
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Liane Randolph

Chair
California Air Resources Board

Liane Randolph has spent most of her career in public service, specializing in environmental law and policy, effective administration, and a commitment to transparency and public process. She was appointed Chair of the California Air Resources Board by Governor Gavin Newsom in December 2020. Starting in 2015, Randolph served six years as a Commissioner at the California Public Utilities Commission and managed numerous decisions on energy efficiency, integrated energy resource planning, and regulation of transportation network companies, as well as spearheading significant Commission policy reforms. Prior to the PUC, Randolph served from 2011 to 2014 as Deputy Secretary and General Counsel at the California Natural Resources Agency, where she worked on a wide variety of legal and policy issues, including work on the Klamath Dam Removal agreement, CEQA guidelines, and the Agency’s first Tribal Consultation Policy. Randolph’s first role with the State was as Chair of the California Fair Political Practices Commission from 2003 to 2007. Her work at the state level builds on experience with local government that she gained while practicing municipal law as a contract City Attorney for the Cities of San Leandro and Suisun City. Randolph earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and lives in Oakland with her husband and family. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, running, and reading.

Maryam Brown
President
SoCal Gas
Biography

Maryam Brown

President
SoCal Gas

Maryam Brown is president of Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), the nation’s largest gas distribution utility. SoCalGas’ 8,000 employees serve 22 million consumers in 500 communities from California’s Central Valley in the north to the San Diego County line in the south.

As president, Brown develops and executes SoCalGas’ strategic vision with a focus on SoCalGas’ aspiration to achieve carbon neutral operations and delivery of energy by 2045.

Brown started her career as an engineer in the petroleum refining sector and has 25 years of experience in the energy industry across engineering, legal, policy, and regulatory roles. She joined SoCalGas in 2019 from SoCalGas’ corporate parent Sempra, a diversified energy services company based in San Diego, where she was vice president, federal government affairs.

Prior to joining Sempra, Brown amassed a decade of legislative and policy expertise working on Capitol Hill, serving in senior staff roles in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. During this period, she served as chief energy counsel to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and subsequently as senior energy and environment counsel for two speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Prior to this, she was a corporate securities associate attorney in the San Francisco office of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

Brown is chair of the American Gas Association Foundation, serves on the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Petroleum Council, and is on the Board and Executive Committee of the California Chamber of Commerce.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and her law degree (Order of the Coif) from Louisiana State University.

At SoCalGas Brown is guiding the company through the domestic clean energy transition and helping California reach its climate goals while delivering energy that is reliable and affordable.

 

Sara Neff
Head of Sustainability
Lendlease Americas
Biography

Sara Neff

Head of Sustainability
Lendlease Americas

Sara Neff is the Head of Sustainability, Lendlease Americas, where she provides leadership and management oversight in developing, implementing and driving Lendlease's corporate sustainability framework in the Americas region. Prior to that role, she served as Senior Vice President, Sustainability at Kilroy Realty Corporation. Under her leadership, Kilroy has been recognized as a leader among publicly traded real estate companies on sustainability in the Americas by GRESB for seven of the last eight years as well as being recognized by NAREIT, and achieved carbon neutral operations at the end of 2020. She is a LEED Fellow and holds a BS from Stanford and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Darrell Steinberg
Mayor
City of Sacramento
Biography

Darrell Steinberg

Mayor
City of Sacramento

Darrell Steinberg is Mayor of the City of Sacramento. Prior, Darrell was a California State Senator representing the Sacramento Region (6th District) in the state legislature for 14 years, including the last 6 as the President of the Senate. Before he was elected to the Assembly in 1998, Darrell also served on the Sacramento City Council for 6 years.

During his legislative tenure, Darrell worked on agreements that protected California's water supply, overhauled workers compensation laws, revamped zoning rules to combat urban sprawl and global warming, enhanced workplace safety, tackled school dropout rates, and reduced governmental red tape to benefit the economy. He led the charge in passing pension reform that eliminated flagrant abuses of the system. Darrell aided in sending AB 900 to the governor to expedite the legal process for large scale environmentally sustainable projects, and also introduced SB 946 to mandate insurance companies cover treatment of people with autism and related disorders. He is well known for his commitment to mental health, authoring the legislation that became Proposition 63 to provide greater funding for mental health care. He is recognized in Sacramento and with the leadership of the National Basketball Association for securing the passage of SB 743 that made changes to the California Environmental Quality Act, allowing the Kings’ arena to be built in downtown Sacramento. In the 2013/2014 session, he authored bills on insurance (SB 476), political reform (SB 477), medical practice (SB 670), flood protection (SB 753), redevelopment (SB 1129), and the statewide ballot initiative process (SB 1253), a measure strongly supported by former Chief Justice Ron George.

Darrell is also the Founder and Board Chair of The Steinberg Institute for Advancing Mental Health Policy.

Elise Zoli
Partner, Energy and Climate Solutions
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Biography

Elise Zoli

Partner, Energy and Climate Solutions
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Elise Zoli is a partner in the energy and climate solutions practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where she focuses on advancing strategic alliances in the clean energy, water, agriculture, and de-carbonized sectors.

Elise has worked extensively on a variety of groundbreaking technologies, transactions, and projects, including with nuclear, solar, wind, fuel cell (PEM (polymer electrolyte membrane) and SOF/EC (solid oxide fuel cells)), storage, micro- and smart-grid, CCUS, de-salination, and water technologies, as well as the associated securitization and markets for carbon, fuels, land, and ecological attributes. In conjunction with her transactional work, which focuses on strategic alliances, Elise has pioneered the use of novel P3 (public-private partnership) instruments, including U.S. Department of Energy grants, loan guarantees, and incentives.

Prior to joining Wilson Sonsini, Elise was a partner and the global head of the Future of Energy, Renewables+ and Sustainability initiative at Jones Day. Previously, she led the energy practice and was a partner at Goodwin Procter.

Elise is a co-founder of the Alliance for a Climate Resilient Earth and serves on the board of directors of the Stimson Center, a leading, nonpartisan global think tank. She is currently obtaining her global M.B.A. from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Hilary Norton
Commissioner
California Transportation Commission
Biography

Hilary Norton

Commissioner
California Transportation Commission

Hilary Norton is the Chairwoman Emeritus of the California Transportation Commission (CTC) and Executive Director of FASTLinkDTLA, the Transportation Management Organization for Downtown Los Angeles. 

Hilary was appointed to the CTC by Governor Gavin Newsom in September 2019, and elected Chair of the CTC in August 2020.  Hilary concluded her second term as Chair on February 28th, 2022.  She brings over 30 years of experience in transportation and community development to her Commission role.  Ms. Norton’s primary goals as CTC Chair include investing over $5 billion in annual SB1 gas tax and other funds into California’s transportation infrastructure system in order to improve outcomes in equity, mobility across numerous modes, safety, environment/climate change resilience, and economic growth.

As the Executive Director of FASTLinkDTLA – a new Transportation Management Organization (TMO) for Downtown LA (DTLA)– with a goal of reducing single occupant vehicle (SOV) trips in DTLA by 75% by 2030.  To achieve this goal, FASTLinkDTLA TMO connects employers and residents to transit, micro-transit and on-demand shuttles, AVP parking, walking and biking options and advocates for new mobility options to be funded to travel to and within DTLA.  Through FASTLinkDTLA, Ms. Norton launched one of the first ever in LA County micro-transit systems, connecting travelers through the flexLA multi-mobility app, and connecting new on-demand wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV), transit, vanpools, carpools, scooters, bike share, biking and walking.  FASTLinkDTLA enthusiastically supports the proposed LA Streetcar for DTLA, as well as new Metro rail and bus service planned for DTLA such as the Regional Connector, West Santa Ana Branch and Sixth Street/Arts District Station on the Metro Red/Purple Line.

As Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic (FAST)’s founding Executive Director since 2008, Ms. Norton mobilized a diverse coalition of business, labor, civic groups, educational institutions and transit organizations to support policy and infrastructure improvements to LA’s mobility, livability and economic prosperity.  FAST’s primary focuses: 1) Mobility Hubs – carshare, bikeshare, bike parking, EV charging and traveler services at transit stations, job and education centers; 2) comprehensive arterial improvements to improve travel time, encourage mode shift, and promote safety and transit connectivity; 3) Metro ExpressLanes expansion throughout LA County, creating the Metro ExpressLanes Business Roundtable to support the I-110/I-10 pilot corridors;  4) Expanding LA County’s bus rapid transit (BRT) network, especially in her neighborhood of Eagle Rock; and 5) Revitalizing the Arts District in DTLA with new mobility options: the Sixth Street/ Arts District Metro Station, and Sixth Street Viaduct / Sixth Street Park -- the largest bridge reconstruction project in LA’s history, adding bicycle and pedestrian lanes, and connections to the LA River and the Metro Red/Purple Line.

Ms. Norton is President and Managing Partner of Effect Strategies, a full-service strategic communications firm, with clients ranging from biotech/life sciences to innovations in service delivery, clean buildings, and mobility.

Ms. Norton served as 2018 Chairwoman of the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed), and is on the Board of Directors of the Central City Association. She co-chairs the Transportation Committees for BizFed, the LA Chamber of Commerce, and the LA Business Council (LABC). 

Ms. Norton is a member of the UCLA Institute for Transportation Studies (ITS) Advisory Board and a member of SCAG’s GLUE Council and its TDM Working Group.

Ms. Norton holds a BA from Wellesley College and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.  She is the mother of two adults, Xavier and Eva Orozco.

Tyson Eckerle
Deputy Director of Zero Emission Vehicle Market Development
Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development
Biography

Tyson Eckerle

Deputy Director of Zero Emission Vehicle Market Development
Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development

Tyson Eckerle serves as the Deputy Director of Zero Emission Vehicle Market Development in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go Biz). In this role, he leads a team focused on scaling the zero emission vehicle market by organizing stakeholder efforts to remove market barriers, create opportunities, and streamline development. Prior to joining Go Biz, Tyson served as Executive Director of Energy Independence Now, a non-profit dedicated to action-oriented solutions to petroleum dependence and climate change.

Tyson holds a B.A. in Biology from the University of California, Davis and a Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM) from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management from the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Chelsea Sexton
Senior Advisor
U.S. Department of Energy Loan Programs Office
Biography

Chelsea Sexton

Senior Advisor
U.S. Department of Energy Loan Programs Office

Chelsea Sexton is an electric transportation industry pioneer with decades of unrivaled insider experience, from deploying the General Motors EV1 to guiding VantagePoint Capital Partners' early investment in Tesla Motors, skillfully directing an automotive XPRIZE, and co-founding Plug In America, the nation's largest consumer advocacy group for electrified transportation.

Chelsea continues to work toward making the movement of people and goods cleaner, safer, and more accessible, primarily as a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy Loan Programs Office, which finances the manufacturing and deployment of large-scale advanced technology vehicle and innovative energy projects. She tilts at windmills as a lifestyle choice and excels at friendly conspiring for good.

Darcie Houck
Commissioner
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Darcie Houck

Commissioner
California Public Utilities Commission

Commissioner Darcie L. Houck was appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by Governor Gavin Newsom on Feb. 9, 2021. She formerly served as Chief Counsel for the California Energy Commission since 2019.

Commissioner Houck was an Administrative Law Judge at the CPUC from 2016 to 2019, a Partner at Fredericks Peebles & Morgan from 2005 to 2016, and Staff Counsel and Policy Advisor at the California Energy Commission from 2000 to 2005.

Commissioner Houck has expertise in matters concerning environmental equity, nuclear energy regulation, and safety policy. She has an extensive background representing Native American tribes throughout the country on matters involving energy, natural resources, land claims, and water rights, among others.

Commissioner Houck is a member of the California Indian Law Association, California Lawyers Association, Schwartz-Levi Inn of Court, Women Lead and the Association of Women in Water, Energy, and Environment. She earned a law degree from the University of California, where she also earned a Master of Science in community development.

Andrea Ambriz
General Manager
Exposition Park
Biography

Andrea Ambriz

General Manager
Exposition Park

Andrea Ambriz serves as the General Manager of Exposition Park, one of the largest public, open spaces in the heart of Los Angeles welcoming millions of visitors annually. With a commitment to building healthy, vibrant and safe communities, General Manager Ambriz was appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to steward Exposition Park and bring her experience working successfully in community and policy development and engagement.

Exposition Park, a 160-acre renown state property, is home to celebrated museums, leading-edge sporting venues, recreational and educational facilities, and community assets that engage, entertain and accommodate visitors from near and far.  General Manager Ambriz believes in championing park and green equity and access through the Park, particularly to over half a million residents who live within a three-mile radius. As well, she recognizes the Park’s potential to serve as a world-class destination and community economic opportunity as it prepares to host the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games, following historic hosting of the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympic Games.

Prior to serving as General Manager, Ambriz was Deputy Secretary of External Affairs at the California Natural Resources Agency, cultivating strategic partnerships to facilitate the agency’s protection of California’s natural, historic and cultural resources. She previously served as Chief Operating Officer at River LA and as Chief of Staff at SEIU Local 2015. She also formerly held notable roles in the U.S. federal government, including for 44th U.S. President Barack Obama as White House Deputy Director of Private Sector Engagement and at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Ambriz has also worked in the California State Legislature, advising on diverse policies and initiatives, including advancing the allocation of over $400 million equitably to park-poor neighborhoods across California and supporting landmark clean-air legislation.

She serves on the Board of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Commission and the Municipal Improvement Corporation of Los Angeles among others. She is a Los Angeles native, and earned undergraduate degrees from DePaul University, and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

Tamotsu Saito
Chairman
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) 
Biography

Tamotsu Saito

Chairman
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) 

Mr. Saito was appointed Chair of NEDO, Japan’s largest and most influential government organization fostering the development of new energy and industrial technologies, in April of 2023.

Prior career was largely with IHI Corporation, one of Japan’s largest, and highly diversified, heavy industry manufacturing companies.  Starting as the founding firm of Japan’s first modern shipyard in 1853, the current IHI product mix ranges from shipbuilding to aviation and space industries, with a healthy portfolio of sustainable energy and environmental technology solutions. 

Saito joined IHI immediately upon completing Graduate Studies at the Engineering Faculty of Tokyo University in 1975.  A successful and varied career was capped with multiple senior executive positions in aerospace related operations until rising to become President of the Aero-Engine & Space Operations of IHI in 2009. 

Successive promotions soon brought Saito to the office of President and CEO of IHI Corporation in 2012, Chairman of the Board and CEO by 2016, and Chairman of IHI to year 2020. 
 

Susan Kennedy
Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO
Cadiz
Biography

Susan Kennedy

Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO
Cadiz

Susan Kennedy is Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Cadiz. Ms. Kennedy joined the Board in February 2021 and was elected Chairman in February 2022. In January 2024, Ms. Kennedy was appointed CEO.

Ms. Kennedy has led a distinguished career as a policymaker and entrepreneur, a top advisor to two California Governors, former Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission, and founder and chief executive of a distributed energy company. Ms. Kennedy joined the Board of Directors of Cadiz, Inc. in March 2021 and currently serves as Executive Chair of the water solutions company, which is headquartered in LA and has infrastructure assets in San Bernardino, LA and Kern County.

Prior to entering the private sector, Ms. Kennedy served for two decades at the highest levels of California government, including chief of staff to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and cabinet secretary to Governor Gray Davis. From 2003 to 2006, Ms. Kennedy served as Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which regulates the state’s investor-owned utilities. In this role, she oversaw the CPUC’s efforts to ensure water utilities deliver clean, safe, and reliable water to their customers at reasonable rates.

In her leadership role for two California Governors, Ms. Kennedy was responsible for negotiating some of the largest agreements among agricultural interests, environmentalists, rural and urban water users for multi-billion-dollar investments in water supply, storage and conveyance facilities, as well as conservation and environmental restoration projects including the $8 billion,10-year restoration of the San Francisco Bay Delta ecosystem and the early plans to restore the Salton Sea.

Michael Colvin
Director, California Energy Program
Environmental Defense Fund
Biography

Michael Colvin

Director, California Energy Program
Environmental Defense Fund
Liz Crosson
Chief Sustainability, Resiliency, Innovation Officer
Metropolitan Water District
Biography

Liz Crosson

Chief Sustainability, Resiliency, Innovation Officer
Metropolitan Water District

Liz Crosson has been the Chief Sustainability, Resiliency, Innovation Officer at Metropolitan Water District since March of 2022.

Previously, Crosson was a sustainability consultant for the Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office, and is currently an adjunct instructor in urban sustainability at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. As director of infrastructure for the city of Los Angeles from 2018 to 2021, Crosson was Mayor Eric Garcetti’s policy lead on water, power, waste and public right of way infrastructure issues. From 2017 to 2018, she served as the city’s deputy chief sustainability officer and was the city’s first appointed water policy advisor. She served as executive director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper from 2010-2015. Liz Crosson joined Mayor Eric Garcetti's Sustainability Team as Water Policy Advisor after serving as the Executive Director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper for five years. Liz led Waterkeeper’s efforts to protect, conserve and restore Los Angeles' waterways through advocacy, community education and litigation. She previously worked with Lawyers for Clean Water, Inc. where she represented non-profit organizations in water pollution enforcement actions. She has a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School with an emphasis in environmental law.

Janna Sidley
Board Member/Partner
LACERS/Ichor Strategies
Biography

Janna Sidley

Board Member/Partner
LACERS/Ichor Strategies

Recently retired, Janna Sidley was honored to serve as the first female general counsel for the Port of Los Angeles for over nine years. Ms. Sidley’s career with the City of Los Angeles began in 2003. 

In addition to Ms. Sidley’s work with LA, she serves as a Commissioner of the California Milton Marks “Little Hoover” Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy, appointed in 2016 by Governor Brown and reappointed by Governor Newsom. 

Ms. Sidley was honored in 2020 as a member of Lawyers of Distinction and in 2019 received a Leader in the Law award from the Los Angeles Business Journal. 

Ms. Sidley holds a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School and a Bachelor of Arts, Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

David Hochschild
Chair
California Energy Commission
Biography

David Hochschild

Chair
California Energy Commission

David Hochschild was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in February 2013. He fills the environmental position on the five-member Commission where four of the five members by law are required to have professional training in specific areas - engineering or physical science, environmental protection, economics, and law.

Commissioner 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 he launched a citywide $100 million initiative to put solar panels on public buildings. He went on to co-found the Vote Solar Initiative, a 60,000-member advocacy organization promoting solar policies at the local, state and federal level. He served as executive director of a national consortium of leading solar manufacturers and worked for five years at Solaria, a solar company in Silicon Valley. In 2007-2008, he served as a commissioner at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

For his work to advance clean energy, Commissioner Hochschild was awarded the Sierra Club’s Trailblazer Award, the American Lung Association’s Clean Air Hero Award and the Department of Energy’s Million Solar Roof True Champion Award. Commissioner Hochschild holds a B.A. degree from Swarthmore College and a Masters of Public Policy degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs.

James T. Butts
Mayor
Inglewood, CA
Biography

James T. Butts

Mayor
Inglewood, CA

On February 1, 2011, James T. Butts, Jr. was sworn in as Inglewood’s 12th mayor. James Butts has  50 years of public safety and municipal government experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from California State University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from California Polytechnic University. Mayor Butts has held the rank of CEO, general manager or assistant general manager of three large municipal organizations. He served 19 years in the Inglewood Police Department, rising to the rank of Deputy Chief, 15 years as the Chief of Police for the City of Santa Monica, and five years as an assistant general manager for Los Angeles World Airports in charge of Public Safety and Counterterrorism, taking LAX to a NUMBER 1 ranking nationwide by the TSA in 2009. He is a 7-year Board member and past Chairman of the Los Angeles METRO Board of Directors.

In 2011, Mayor Butts negotiated with Madison Square Garden to renovate the Forum. In 2016, the Forum became the #1 concert venue in California. Mayor Butts secured the reinstatement of the then federally defunded Residential Sound Insulation Program by obtaining over $100 million in grant funding. Inglewood now operates the #1 Residential Sound Insulation Program in the country. On November 4, 2014, James T. Butts was re-elected Mayor of Inglewood with over 83% of the votes cast—the highest margin of victory in Inglewood electoral history.  He was again re-elected in 2018.

In 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, Mayor Butts was named one of the 500 most influential leaders in LA County by the Los Angeles Business Journal. His business expertise prevented bankruptcy in a city that Bond Rating agencies had ceased to rate for bond worthiness as late as 2010. Mayor Butts negotiated the return of the NFL to Southern California.  Both the Rams and Chargers played home games in Inglewood commencing the 2020 season.

In June of 2017, Mayor Butts led the City to open negotiations with the Los Angeles Clippers with the mutual intent of relocating the Clippers to Inglewood into a cutting edge NBA arena.  The Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles relocated to Inglewood from Marina Del Rey in 2019.

In 2021, the LA Philharmonic relocated its Youth Orchestra Program (YOLA) to Inglewood; YouTube opened a 6,000 seat theater in Inglewood. and the NFL Network relocated from Culver City to Inglewood; in 2022 Showtime opened 115,000 Square Feet Production Studio in the north end industrial area of the City.  In February of 2022, Super Bowl LVI was held in Inglewood and the Rams were victorious; in 2023, the NCAA Championship Bowl game will take place in Inglewood and WrestleMania will be held here as well.  By 2024, the Clippers will open a state of the art NBA arena – The Intuit Dome – in Inglewood. Finally, in 2028, the Olympic Games will open in Inglewood, California and Olympic Basketball and Swimming competitions will occur in the resurrected City of Champions. 

 

 

Jules Radcliff
Partner
Radcliff Fairman LLP
Biography

Jules Radcliff

Partner
Radcliff Fairman LLP

Jules Radcliff is a business, government, and trial lawyer experienced in counseling directors, officers, and senior government officials, specialized in crafting solutions to complex business challenges, often where government plays a role in regulation, contracting, or enforcement. In addition to negotiating and documenting transactions common to most businesses, he has also conducted complex factual and financial forensic investigations and managed high-stakes, multi-jurisdiction litigation. As special counsel to boards of directors, he has assisted boards in properly discharging fiduciary duties both as to enterprise risks and as to corporate governance. Jules has extensive experience with the regulation of insurance and with all forms of insurance coverage, as well as with risk retention and risk purchasing groups, and served as national coordinating counsel for major D&O insurers coordinating and overseeing the response to, and management of, multiple waves of class action litigation aimed at savings & loan institutions, high-tech companies, and other targeted segments of the national business community. 

His clients have included well-known companies in national and international commerce, finance, insurance, technology, radio and television broadcast, entertainment, manufacturing, real estate, energy, and health care, as well as both domestic (U.S.) and foreign governments. Jules has represented numerous clients in matters before the U.S. Congress involving major, national investigations and related hearings, and he has successfully managed the passage of multiple, new laws through state legislatures, including the California legislature, as well as the amendment or adoption of new regulations in matters of importance to the business community. 

Mr. Radcliff has had a parallel career in government and politics. In government he has served in multiple roles and capacities, from Chief of Staff to appointed member of commissions overseeing municipal and state departments. He has overseen, developed, or managed multiple projects as well as high-profile and diverse public-private commissions and advisory boards, frequently consulting as Special Counsel to government agencies and officials in sensitive matters. In politics he has served as General Counsel, Manager, Chairman, or Co-Chairman of many local, state, and federal political campaigns across the U.S., including mayoral, gubernatorial, congressional, and presidential campaigns.

Internationally, Jules has served as Business Investment Advisor, Office of U.N. High Commissioner, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as Legal Advisor and Intermediary between U.S. Justice/State Departments and the national government of an Eastern European country

He is a graduate of UCLA Law School, and holds a Bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in Business Administration, with a minor in accounting, from California State UniversityNorthridge.

Ana Bandea
Director of Methane Results
Kairos Aerospace
Biography

Ana Bandea

Director of Methane Results
Kairos Aerospace
Mary Nichols
Co-Chair
Commission on the Future of Mobility
Biography

Mary Nichols

Co-Chair
Commission on the Future of Mobility

Mary Nichols is the former Chair of The California Air Resources Board, where she occupies the attorney seat. She served on the Board under Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (1975-82 and 2010-18), Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (2007-2010) and Governor Gavin Newsom (2019—2021.)  She also served as California’s Secretary for Natural Resources (1999-2003), appointed by Gov. Gray Davis.

When not working for the State of California, Mary was a senior staff attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council; Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Regulation, in the administration of President William Jefferson Clinton; and headed the Institute of Environment and Sustainability at UCLA.

Over a career as an environmental lawyer spanning over 45 years, Mary Nichols has played a key role in California and the nation’s progress toward healthy air. She has also led the Board in crafting California’s internationally recognized climate action plan.       

Siva Gunda
Vice Chair
California Energy Commission
Biography

Siva Gunda

Vice Chair
California Energy Commission

Commissioner Siva Gunda is serving his first term on the California Energy Commission.

Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Gunda in February 2021 to serve as the Energy Commission’s public member. Gunda was later appointed to Vice Chair in September 2021. He is the lead commissioner on energy assessments.

Gunda served as manager of the Demand Analysis Office and deputy director for the Energy Commission’s Energy Assessments Division. The division forecasts and assesses energy demands and supplies.

Before joining the Energy Commission, he served in a variety of capacities at the Energy Efficiency Institute at the University of California, Davis, including as the director of research, where he directed the institute’s operations and research portfolio.

He holds a master of science in mechanical and aeronautical engineering from Utah State University. Gunda is pursuing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from UC Davis. He is a serious cricket fan and former captain of his college team. He lives with his family in Davis.

David Libatique
Deputy Executive Director, Stakeholder Engagement
The Port of Los Angeles
Biography

David Libatique

Deputy Executive Director, Stakeholder Engagement
The Port of Los Angeles

David Libatique is the Deputy Executive Director of Stakeholder Engagement for the Port of Los Angeles, a position that oversees and manages all communications on behalf of America’s Port® via the Community Relations, Media Relations, Government Affairs, Trade Development, and Labor Relations and Workforce Development Divisions.

In this role, Libatique works with diverse stakeholders, including local communities, organized labor, beneficial cargo owners, terminal operators, international customers, shipping and cruise lines, railroads, the trucking industry, media, and regulatory agencies to advance the Port’s goals and initiatives. He also interacts on a broader scale with an array of local, regional, statewide, and national elected officials and stakeholders.

Working alongside Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka, Libatique helped to spearhead the Logistics Victory Los Angeles (LoVLA) COVID-19 response effort in March 2020 to assist in getting critical personal protective equipment (PPE) into the hands of healthcare workers. Throughout the pandemic, Libatique has worked to build relationships with public and private sector partners and further guide the initiative’s efforts.

Libatique first joined the Port in January 2011 as Senior Director of Government Affairs, where he led the Port’s intergovernmental advocacy at a critical time of increasing engagement with local, regional, state, federal, and even transnational and international levels of government.

Prior to joining the Port, Libatique served as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Director of Energy Policy, where he was responsible for advancing the Mayor’s environmental policies at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Before assuming that role, he served as the Mayor’s Senior Policy Analyst and acted as a liaison with the Port of Los Angeles, where he advanced priority initiatives, including the Clean Air Action Plan and Clean Truck Program.

Before joining the Villaraigosa Administration, Libatique served as Senior Deputy for Los Angeles City Councilmember Martin Ludlow, where he led policy development and legislative strategies to reform the City’s gang prevention and intervention efforts.

Libatique has conducted extensive experience in economic research, including working as a Research Analyst at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. There, he was a part of Working Group VI of the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health that analyzed the economic impact of investment in improved health outcomes for poor and middle-income countries.

Libatique holds a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of California, Berkeley and a master of public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Matt Horton
Director, Center for Regional Economics & California Center
Milken Institute/Accelerator for America
Biography

Matt Horton

Director, Center for Regional Economics & California Center
Milken Institute/Accelerator for America

Matt Horton is a director at the Milken Institute’s Center for Regional Economics and California Center. In this capacity, he interacts with government officials, business leaders, and other key stakeholders in directing statewide programming and policy initiatives. Horton’s programmatic work at the Institute is focused on identifying a variety of financial tools, public policies, and collaborative models that leaders can deploy to increase investments in education, community development, housing, employment and other areas supporting human capital and place-based economic development. Previously, Horton worked for the Southern California Association of Governments, the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization. There, Horton served as the primary point of contact for external and government affairs, coordinating regional policy development with elected officials as well as subregional, state, and federal stakeholders in Los Angeles and Orange counties. In this role, he developed plans with leaders across Southern California to address growth, resiliency, and improve quality of life.

Lex Heslin
CEO
Enso Infrastructure, LLC
Biography

Lex Heslin

CEO
Enso Infrastructure, LLC

Lex Heslin is CEO of ENSO Infrastructure, a developer and investor in green infrastructure projects focused on decarbonization. He also serves as Senior Project Developer for Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI), a global engineering and cleantech company with anaerobic digestion (AD) and other projects to produce green electricity, renewable natural gas, and hydrogen. Mr. Heslin has extensive experience in energy and waste, advising leading institutional investors, private equity, and governments in developing green energy solutions. As an advisor to the City of Lancaster, California, Mr. Heslin has championed efforts to transform Lancaster into the first U.S. municipality to commit to hydrogen, creating a 10-year hydrogen roadmap to convert city facilities and fleets to hydrogen, encourage hydrogen-tech investment, and plan participation in large-scale hydrogen generation, storage, and distribution. ENSO is also the program manager of the U.S. Department of Energy’s H2 Twin Cities Mentor/Mentee program, announced in Egypt in November 2022 at COP 27, between Lancaster, Hawai’i County and Namie town (Fukushima, Japan).

Mr. Heslin arranged Lancaster’s partnership with Namie, Japan for the first Smart Sister City program promoting mutual assistance in hydrogen advancement in July 2021. As the previous founder and CEO of Beautiful Earth Group, a solar, wind and hydro IPP, Mr. Heslin’s views have evolved to support rapid advancement of hydrogen believing that profound global decarbonization requires a mix of both electron- and molecule-based solutions. Prior to ENSO and HZI, he spent 30 years and participated in more than $8.0 billion in project and structured financing, development, and infrastructure investment at Sanwa Bank in Tokyo, then in New York at Goldman Sachs and as President of Capital Holdings. Mr. Heslin holds a BA from Emory, an MBA from Mercer, an MSc from the London School of Economics (where he received the Rotary International scholarship), and he received a Monbusho Scholarship for post-graduate study in international economics at Seikei University in Tokyo.
 

Minh Le
General Manager
Los Angeles County Internal Services Department
Biography

Minh Le

General Manager
Los Angeles County Internal Services Department

Minh Le serves as the General Manager for Energy and Environmental Services for the County of Los Angeles’ Internal Service Department.  His team manages the County’s energy assets as well as regional energy programs.  Prior to this role, he served at the Office of Management and Budget and US Department of Energy where he led the SunShot Initiative.  Minh also worked in the private sector in solar and semiconductor manufacturing. He earned his SM and SB degrees from MIT.

Ross Zelen
Chief Committee Consultant
Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies
Biography

Ross Zelen

Chief Committee Consultant
Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies

Ross Zelen is a Research Fellow in the Climate Program at CLEE. Ross’s research focuses on implementation of climate change policy, with a specific focus on solutions to reduce methane emissions. Ross has worked in California environmental policy and public interest for much of the past decade. Starting as an Executive Fellow at the California Air Resources Board, he worked on advancing air quality, clean energy, and sustainable transportation priorities. He also worked for the VerdeXchange Institute as Program Manager and served as Editor of The Planning Report. Ross received his J.D. from Loyola Law School, where he teamed up to win the 2019 California Lawyers Association Environmental Negotiations Competition and was a semifinalist in the 2020 National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition. He has been admitted to the California bar.

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Ruben Aronin
Senior Vice President
Better World Group
Biography

Ruben Aronin

Senior Vice President
Better World Group

Ruben leads the Better World Group’s clean transportation campaigns in California and in more than a dozen states across the country. He also oversees a growing practice of equity-focused policy advocacy and communications strategies for zero emission vehicle pilot projects and initiatives. His demonstrated commitment to developing and scaling solutions to create a clean economy has yielded enduring relationships with a vast network of stakeholders from the nonprofit, media, government, philanthropy, and private sectors.

Ruben managed and led the Clean Cars Coalition to successfully win California’s adoption of the Advanced Clean Cars II regulation that will require 100% of new cars sold in California to be zero emission by 2035. Ruben architected the campaign with a diverse coalition of dozens of advocacy organizations including labor, health, consumer, equity, business and environmental organizations. The campaign successfully influenced the California Air Resources Board to strengthen the rule and incorporate equity provisions. 

Ruben is also leading a national effort to support states across the country to adopt California’s first-in-the-nation zero emission clean car and clean truck regulations. Additionally, he is leading a diverse coalition of more than 70 organizations to support California’s adoption of the Advanced Clean Fleets rule that would require 100% of new truck sales to be zero emission by 2036.

Ruben also has created and managed highly effective coalition campaigns to support passage of climate bills and regulations and to win passage of $10 billion dollars in California state funding for zero emission vehicle incentives and infrastructure that prioritizes benefits for frontline communities. He leads the outreach and policy work for Southern California’s Clean Transportation Funding programs and is the director of the California Business Alliance for a Clean Economy -- a statewide alliance of California business leaders who support strong and equitable climate policies. Previously, he led a multi-state campaign opposing the Trump administration’s rollback of clean car standards, co-authored a report on electric vehicle incentives and contributed to several clean truck and clean cars studies. 

Throughout his career, Ruben has worked extensively with nonprofits and foundations to create strategic plans and marketing and communications tools such as the Red Carpet/Green Cars Academy Awards initiative for Global Green, the Little Green Fingers community gardens initiative for First 5 LA and the LA Conservation Corps and the Founders Business Accelerator program for the LA Cleantech Incubator. He also has developed an annual corporate philanthropy program and provided strategic guidance to philanthropic leaders including the Southern California Grantmakers Association, Energy Foundation, Pisces Foundation, and the Water Foundation about ways to best implement their priorities.

Prior to joining Better World Group, Ruben served as the Director of Communications and Corporate Relations for Global Green USA, founded by President Gorbachev. He helped lead an innovative green rebuilding effort in New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina and developed a national green schools initiative. Before Global Green, he ran the Earth Communications Office (ECO), a Hollywood-based national nonprofit organization.

Ruben serves on the Advisory Board for the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and the Advisory Committee for the California Energy Commission’s Clean Transportation Program Investment Plan. He was selected to be an inaugural CORO Lead LA Fellow and recently completed service on the KCET/PBS SoCal Advisory Board where he successfully relaunched their Local Heroes initiative. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. 
 

Gunjan Bagla
CEO
Amritt, Inc.
Biography

Gunjan Bagla

CEO
Amritt, Inc.

Gunjan Bagla is CEO of Amritt Inc. a consulting firm that has a 20-year track record of building trade, technology and trust between USA and India. Executives from companies such as Boeing, Bose, Clorox, Digikey, Flex, Hewlett Packard, Medtronic. Nordic Naturals and Roche have benefited from Gunjan and Amritt’s expertise and insights on India.  In the green energy space. Westinghouse Nuclear hired Amritt the week after the 123 Civil Nuclear Energy was signed between India and the USA; Amritt also took smaller nuclear ecosystem suppliers such as Structural Integrity and Underwater Construction to meet India’s nuclear energy utility. Amritt was also hired by the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries to plan and guide a trade mission to India.

Gunjan has been quoted about business with India in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Washington Post, and New York Times and has appeared on Bloomberg TV, BBC TV and Fox Business in addition to NPR station KCRW. Gunjan writes about business with India for the Harvard Business Review and many trade publications and often speaks at local and global events about India.

Gunjan earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and an MBA with honors from Southern Illinois University.  He is the Past President of IIT Alumni and co-founder of India International Impact. Find him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/gunjan/ and @bagla on Twitter.

Gail Goldberg
Boardmember
Metropolitan Water District Board
Biography

Gail Goldberg

Boardmember
Metropolitan Water District Board

S. Gail Goldberg, FAICP, served as Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute - Los Angeles from June of 2011 until February 2017.  Ms. Goldberg brought to the table not only her many years leading the planning departments of two of the world’s most significant cities, but also many years of service to ULI.

Goldberg was Director of Los Angeles City Planning Department from February 2006 through August 2010. She was responsible for organizing and directing the policies and activities of the City’s Planning Department, including the development, maintenance and implementation of all elements of the City’s General Plan as well as a range of other special zoning plans.

Prior to joining the Los Angeles Planning Department, Goldberg worked for 17 years in the City of San Diego Planning Department, serving as Planning Director from 2000 through 2005. She oversaw a planning process to update the city’s 20-year-old General Plan. The result – which became an international model for urban revitalization – was a 20-year vision for the San Diego and a long-term strategy for achieving that vision known as the “City of Villages.”

Goldberg is a native Californian and holds a degree in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California San Diego and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Goldberg currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the USC Center for Sustainable Cities and the USC Price School Masters of Planning Program.  She also serves on the Advisory Board for the University of California’s District 9 Transportation Center.  Beginning in March 2019, Goldberg serves on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District representing San Diego.

Goldberg has formerly served as an Urban Land Institute Trustee, one of two public members on the State Strategic Growth Council, Chair of the San Diego/Tijuana ULI District Council and on the Statewide Coordinating Committee for the Urban Land Institute’s California Smart Growth Initiative. She is a past President of the San Diego Chapter of the Lambda Alpha Honorary Land Economics Society.

 

 

 

 

Rita Kampalath
Acting Chief Sustainability Officer
LA County Chief Sustainability Office
Biography

Rita Kampalath

Acting Chief Sustainability Officer
LA County Chief Sustainability Office

Rita joined the County of Los Angeles’s Chief Sustainability Office in June 2017 as a Sustainability Program Director for the office. She supports development and implementation of the County’s first sustainability plan, in addition to providing policy support for other County sustainability-related initiatives. In May 2022, she was appointed Acting Chief Sustainability Officer.  Prior to joining the County, Rita was the Science and Policy Director of the non-profit Heal the Bay where she oversaw advocacy and research projects related to water quality and water resources, and guided the development of Heal the Bay’s positions on a wide range of policy issues. Before joining Heal the Bay, Rita worked for Geosyntec Consultants on a range of water quality projects, primarily focusing on stormwater. Rita received a B.S. in chemical engineering from Columbia University, and an M.S. in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in civil/environmental engineering from UCLA. 
 
 

Dr. Jimmy Chen
Managing Director
SECA - Stanford Energy Corporate Affiliates, Precourt Institute for Energy
Biography

Dr. Jimmy Chen

Managing Director
SECA - Stanford Energy Corporate Affiliates, Precourt Institute for Energy

Jim Chen leads a number of energy programs at Stanford Energy, including Stanford’s new Hydrogen Initiative; Stanford’s energy storage initiative, StorageX; and Stanford’s integrated energy program, Stanford Energy Corporate Affiliates (SECA). Dr. Chen was also the founding Managing Director of Bits & Watts, Stanford’s initiative focusing on the grid of the 21st century, launched in 2016.

Dr. Chen is enthusiastic about the global energy transformation and building a more sustainable society through innovation. At Stanford, Dr. Chen creates and expands impactful global communities of practice that enable industrial-academic-government collaboration in energy research and scale-up. Dr. Chen is also a leader in Stanford Energy’s global events including its regional roundtables and Global Energy Forum. Finally, Dr. Chen is deeply involved in Stanford’s innovation ecosystem, advising student groups, start-up companies, and accelerators. Dr. Chen’s research interests include hydrogen, energy storage, the circular economy, decarbonizing transportation, and integrated energy systems. Dr. Chen’s teaching roles include lecturing for Stanford’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and for Stanford Energy’s Hydrogen Economy Seminar.
Dr. Chen is passionate about global energy entrepreneurship and innovation. He works with energy agencies around the world promoting global collaboration, accelerating innovation, and sparking entrepreneurship. He also serves on a number of advisory councils, including on EPRI and GTI’s Low Carbon Research Initiative’s (LCRI) technical advisory board.

Dr. Chen came to Stanford University after 25 years in industry, bringing a broad background in energy and technology, with a specialization in technology and product development. He has held technical positions at Lawrence Berkeley Labs, GTE Labs, IBM, and AT&T Bell Labs, as well as technology executive positions at both starts-ups and Fortune 500 companies, including FormFactor and Eaton.

Dr. Chen received a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and MS from the University of California, Berkeley — both in materials science and engineering — and holds a BS from the University of California, Berkeley in electrical engineering.

Brian Jordan
Vice President
Tetra Tech
Biography

Brian Jordan

Vice President
Tetra Tech

Brian is a Vice President at Tetra Tech, a leading provider of consulting and engineering services, and an active leader in the environmental, water, and infrastructure sectors. He has over two and a half decades of experience and holds a variety of executive management responsibilities for the firm’s Water and Infrastructure business in the United States. Brian also serves on the strategy and leadership team for several of Tetra Tech’s strategic investments, including their One Water and Digital Water initiatives. 

Tetra Tech’s Digital Water initiative focuses on technology and IT/OT-enabled investments to differentiate the company through pioneering services centered on data, analytics, hardware, and software solutions. Tetra Tech’s One Water solutions provide access to safe, abundant water supplies; effective treatment of stormwater and wastewater; flood control and restoration tools; and state-of-the-art watershed protection approaches to assess, protect, and restore our water bodies. 

Brian is a licensed Professional Engineer in California and his technical experience spans a wide range of water, environment, and infrastructure projects throughout North America including planning, design, and construction activities. He has served in leadership roles on program management assignments involving capital facilities of over ten billion dollars. 

Brian has been active in professional associations his entire career. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and has been elected or appointed to the role of President, Chair, or Vice Chair for over a half-dozen different industry associations. This provides him with unique knowledge of regulatory and policy issues that utilities are facing and detailed insights into the latest industry trends.

Zaib Shaikh
Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles
Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles
Biography

Zaib Shaikh

Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles
Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles

Zaib Shaikh began his mandate as Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles in December 2018. He is the Government of Canada’s senior representative in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.

He comes to the posting after an extensive career in the media and entertainment industries, having worked as an actor and producer in theatre, film and television. His work includes acting roles in Deepa Mehta’s film Midnight’s Children, as well as starring in the CBC comedy series Little Mosque on the Prairie, which has been seen in more than 80 countries. Mr. Shaikh co‐produced the special Long Story Short: CBC Turns 75 and co‐wrote, directed and co‐produced the film Othello: The Tragedy of the Moor. He also co-founded and served as an artistic producer of the Whistler Theatre Project in British Columbia.

From 2014 until his appointment in 2018, Mr. Shaikh was the Film Commissioner and Director of Entertainment Industries for the City of Toronto. In that role, he oversaw and grew the city’s screen, music, live festival, sporting event and tourism sectors, helping to double the value of film production in Canada’s largest city, which surpassed $2 billion in 2016.

Mr. Shaikh has served as a board member for the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion and, most recently on the board of AFC (formerly the Actors Fund of Canada). He has served on juries and committees for the Gemini Awards, ACTRA Awards, Ontario Arts Council, and Theatre Ontario Youth Program as well as an ambassador for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and for Amnesty International Canada.

Mr. Shaikh is married to Ms. Kirstine Stewart. They have two children.

Thomas Aujero Small
President & CEO
Culver City Forward
Biography

Thomas Aujero Small

President & CEO
Culver City Forward
 
Thomas Aujero Small served as Mayor of Culver City from 2018-2019, during his four-year term as a Culver City Council Member (2016-2020). He is also Chair of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (LA METRO) Sustainability Council, and on the Transportation Policy Committee of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). On the Culver City Council, he served on several Subcommittees, including: the General Plan Update; Economic Development; Mobility, Traffic and Parking; Financial Planning and Budget; and the Ballona Creek Revitalization Task Force.

Small’s work with the city focused on excellence in urban planning, sustainable design and mobility, including initiating and leading the Transit Oriented District Visioning process. He led efforts to win grants from the Mayor’s Innovation Project, the Harvard Behavioral Insight Group, and the National Institute for Civil Discourse, for programs to enhance public outreach for neighborhood planning and alternative modes of transportation. He represented the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of the League of California Cities on their Housing and Economic Development Policy Committee. At a national level, he has participated in the US Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, the New American Leaders and Local Progress, all based in Washington, D.C.

He has been featured in the New York Times, the LA Times, NPR and the Washington Post, and on CNBC. He is often invited to speak internationally, including recent keynotes at the International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure with the American Society of Civil Engineers, and for the RAND Corporation at the international conference on Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty. As an architectural writer and consultant, he worked on projects in urban and sustainable design and planning, development and historic preservation in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He moderated design award juries in New York and Copenhagen, and taught Sustainability for Organizational Change at UCLA. He studied at Yale, the University of Paris, and the Columbia School of Journalism, and speaks four languages. He lives with his wife Joanna Brody, and their two children and two giant sheep dogs, in the sustainably designed, often published Culver City home that they built in 2007.

 

Janet-Marie Smith
SVP Planning and Development
Los Angeles Dodgers
Biography

Janet-Marie Smith

SVP Planning and Development
Los Angeles Dodgers

Smith is a renowned architect and urban planner who was named the Dodgers’ senior vice president of planning and development on Aug. 6, 2012. In that role, Smith oversees upgrades and enhancements to Dodger Stadium. 

In 2023, Smith along with Fran Weld formed Baltimore-based “Canopy”, a woman-led company devoted to the design and management of sports projects and their surrounding developments.  Dedicated to urban revitalization and community enrichment, Canopy specializes in large-scale projects that seamlessly blend sports, design, and urban planning as well as intimate scales within museums, retail, and public parks.  

Smith is well known in baseball for her work on Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which set the standard for a new wave of ballparks after its opening in 1992. Before joining the Dodgers, Smith worked for the Baltimore Orioles as vice president of planning and development from September 2009 to August 2012. In that role, Smith directed renovations and expansion of the Orioles’ new spring training facility in Sarasota, Florida as well as upgrades and enhancements to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to celebrate the park’s 20th anniversary.

From 2002 to 2009, Smith served as senior vice president of planning and development for the Boston Red Sox, overseeing the preservation of historic Fenway Park and leading the program that placed this significant ballpark on the National Historic Register. 

From 1994-2000, Smith held the position of president of Turner Sports and Entertainment Development, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, and was the vice president of Planning and Development for the Atlanta Braves. Her work in Atlanta helped transform the 1996 Olympic Stadium into Turner Field, home of the Braves, and she also oversaw the development of the Philips Arena, home of the NBA Atlanta Hawks and NHL Atlanta Thrashers.

Smith holds a Master’s in Urban Planning from City College of New York and a Bachelor of Architecture from Mississippi State University. She is an associate member of the Urban Land Institute, the American Institute of Architects, and the American Planning Association. 

Kenko Sone
Consul General
Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles
Biography

Kenko Sone

Consul General
Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles

1989    Graduated from Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan
1989.4   Entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA)
2008.8   Director, OECD Division, Economic Affairs Bureau, MOFA
2010.3   Director, International Economy Division, Economic Affairs Bureau, MOFA
2011.7   Economic Counselor, Embassy of Japan, USA
2013.9   Director, First North America Division, North American Affairs Bureau, MOFA
2014.7   Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Affairs, Cabinet Secretariat
              Director, Office of Global Communications, Prime Minister's Office
2016.7   Minister (Economic & Development), Embassy of Japan in India
2019.9   Deputy Director-General, Economic Affairs Bureau
2020.7   Deputy Director-General, Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau
2021.6   Assistant Minister, Director-General for Cultural Affairs
2021.7   Ambassador in charge of Sport and Budo
2022.9   Consul General, Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles

Katy Yaroslavsky
Chair, Energy & Environment Committee
LA City Council
Biography

Katy Yaroslavsky

Chair, Energy & Environment Committee
LA City Council

Katy Yaroslavsky serves as Councilwoman for Los Angeles’ Fifth City Council District, representing neighborhoods and communities she has been a part of nearly her entire life. Elected in 2022, CM Yaroslavsky, currently serves as Chair of the City Council’s Energy & Environment committee, Vice-Chair of the Ad Hoc Olympics committee, and is a member of the Budget & Finance, Planning & Land Use Management, and Transportation committees.

Advocating for a sustainable and liveable Los Angeles has been at the center of Councilwoman Yaroslavsky’s career. Prior to her election, she served as a senior policy advisor to LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, where she created LA County’s first Office of Sustainability, and led the development, negotiation, and adoption by voters of Measure W, one of the largest infrastructure and jobs programs in our region’s history. She helped create the Clean Power Alliance — a coalition of thirty-two local cities and counties that serves over 3 million ratepayers and is the largest provider of green power in the nation. Councilwoman Yaroslavsky previously served as General Counsel to the Climate Action Reserve, a leading environmental non-profit focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Councilwoman Yaroslavsky is guided by the belief that the biggest challenges our City is facing – homelessness, generational poverty, racial injustice, climate change, a declining quality of life, and an economy that doesn’t work for most Angelenos – are all intersectional. She believes that these issues will only be solved by doing the hard work of building coalitions, fighting for equity in city services, and initiating authentic, inclusive, and thorough community engagement.

A graduate of public schools, including UC Berkeley and UCLA Law School, Councilwoman Yaroslavsky currently resides in Mid City with her husband Dave, their three children, and their cats.

 

Mark Pestrella
Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Biography

Mark Pestrella

Director
Los Angeles County Public Works
Mark Pestrella is the Director of Los Angeles County Public Works. In this capacity, he serves as the County Engineer, the County Road Commissioner, and the Chief Engineer of the  Los Angeles County Flood Control District. With an annual budget of more than $2.7 billion and  a workforce of 4,000 employees, Los Angeles County Public Works is the largest municipal public  works agency in the United States, providing vital public infrastructure and civic services to more  than 10 million people across a 4,000-square-mile service area. Public Works’ diverse operations are defined within six core service areas: Water Resources, Transportation, Environmental Services, Construction Management, Developmental Services, and Emergency Management.  
 
Mr. Pestrella is a licensed civil engineer and a 34-year veteran of Public Works and has held a variety of management positions. He is a native of Southern California and attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in civil engineering with concentrations in structural engineering and water resource management.
 
Renata Simril
President and CEO
LA84 Foundation
Biography

Renata Simril

President and CEO
LA84 Foundation

Renata Simril is President and CEO of the LA84 Foundation (www.LA84.org).  Formed in 1985, originally as the Amateur Athletic Foundation, the LA84 Foundation (“LA84” or the “Foundation”) is a legacy of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Summer Games.  The LA84 Foundation transforms lives through its investment in youth sport programs, infrastructure, research, and education across eight Counties of Southern California, and is a national leader in elevating the role that sports play in positive youth development.

Ms. Simril is an accomplished civic and private sector trailblazer with more than 20 years of diversified experience with a commitment to leadership and service.  She most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff to the Publisher of the Los Angeles Times, where she oversaw staff operations and special projects.  Her earlier career included three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where she served as Senior Vice President of External Affairs overseeing the restoration of the Dodgers brand and the Dodgers Foundation; and over a decade in real estate development with Jones Lang LaSalle, Forest City Development and LCOR, Inc.  Her public service included stints as Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Housing in the Hahn Administration, where she worked to expand rental and affordable housing in Los Angeles, and as a Development Deputy to Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, where she worked to help rebuild communities in South Los Angeles after the 1992 civil unrest.  Ms. Simril began her career in the U.S. Army as a Military Police Officer in the U.S. and Germany. 

Ms. Simril is active in the community outside of LA84 Foundation, currently serving on the Boards of the LA2024 Olympic Bid Committee; Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce;  United Way of Greater Los Angeles; Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission; and Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation; and as a member of the Board of Regents of Loyola Marymount University (LMU).  In 2016, she was named to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s inaugural list of The Los Angeles 500 Most Influential People. 

Ms. Simril is a third generation Angeleno.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Loyola Marymount University and a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development from USC.  Ms. Simril resides in Studio City with her husband and two sons.

Simon Bluestone, PG, BCES
Vice President
Stantec
Biography

Simon Bluestone, PG, BCES

Vice President
Stantec

Simon Bluestone is a Vice President, Account Manager and Growth Leader for Stantec’s Environmental Services business in the Western US.  He collaborates with Stantec’s business leaders in the Water, Buildings, Infrastructure, Energy and Resources business lines to help clients create sustainable, resilient, and equitable communities, while achieving their project objectives.  Simon has over 3 decades of experience delivering large scale, multi-disciplinary projects, and major programs for clients across sectors and geographies. Simon’s expertise is in delivering solutions throughout the project lifecycle, from acquisition due diligence, to integration, permitting/planning, design, construction, and operational excellence. He’s an American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists Board Certified Environmental Scientist, a Coro Executive Fellow and a California Professional Geologist with dual bachelor’s degrees from UCSB in Aquatic Biology and Geology (1986) and a master’s degree in environmental management from the University of San Francisco (1992).

Simon has practiced as a consulting environmental scientist, hydrogeologist and engineering geologist and held increasingly complex project and program management, and operational leadership roles.  He spent 9 years working in Europe, Africa the Middle East and India, in project delivery, regional client service management and then corporate strategy and operational leadership functions, before repatriating to California in 2005, where he led the energy and industry business operations in the Western US.  Simon also serves as an inaugural Director and Treasurer for the non-profit Infrastructure Funding Alliance.  Simon is committed to growing Stantec’s professional services business by delivering outcomes for his clients that make them successful.  He believes in building partnerships and alliances across sectors to benefit our communities.

Simon resides in Pasadena, California with his wife and is the proud father of two college aged daughters.
 

Martin Adams
General Manager & Chief Engineer
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Biography

Martin Adams

General Manager & Chief Engineer
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Martin Adams is the General Manager and Chief Engineer of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest publicly-owned utility.  He took over the leadership role in July 2019 after three years as the agency’s Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the City’s water and power systems.     

He leads an organization of more than 10,000 employees delivering water and power to the 4 million residents of Los Angeles.  Mr. Adams has more than 35 years of experience with at LADWP, where he started in 1984 as an entry level engineer in the Water System, eventually leading that organization as the Senior Assistant General Manager of Water.  During the course of his career, Mr. Adams worked throughout the Water System and was directly involved with the planning and implementation of major changes to water storage, conveyance, and treatment facilities to meet new water quality regulations.  He has spent almost half of his career in system operations, including ten years as the Director of Water Operations in charge of the day-to-day operation and maintenance of the Los Angeles water delivery system, including the Los Angeles Aqueduct and other supply sources, pump stations, reservoirs, water treatment, and management of Water System properties. 

Mr. Adams is a native of the greater Los Angeles area and lives with his family in Burbank, where he served for nine years on that city’s Water and Power board.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Lorraine Paskett
Executive Director, Advanced Clean Hydrogen
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
Biography

Lorraine Paskett

Executive Director, Advanced Clean Hydrogen
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

Lorraine Paskett has more than 25 years of experience in the energy, water, and environmental sectors, with 15 years of focused experience in the energy sector. Ms. Paskett has served as a director for a California investor-owned utility, leading a team through the California energy crisis and sponsoring a suite of initiatives including energy market reform, climate change policy, renewable energy market development, and corporate tax reforms. Ms. Paskett later served as a senior executive for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, leading a comprehensive approach for sustainable utility practices. The focus of her service included revamping utility programs to support accelerated adoption of alternative vehicle fuel sources in Southern California, overseeing electric system transmission permitting, new wind and solar electric generation project permitting, and managing greenhouse gas emissions programs across the utility operations.

Currently, Ms. Paskett serves as Executive Director, Advanced Clean Hydrogen, for Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

Ted Bardacke
Executive Director
Clean Power Alliance
Biography

Ted Bardacke

Executive Director
Clean Power Alliance

Ted Bardacke is Executive Director for Clean Power Alliance, California’s new, locally-operated, electricity provider for 31 communities and approximately one million eligible customers across Los Angeles and

Ventura Counties. Ted brings a unique background to the organization that includes experience in the public sector, journalism, education, and non-profit leadership. During his career, Ted has developed expertise in renewable energy planning and project development, electricity and water rate setting, customer service, and sustainability program design and implementation.

Ted comes to Clean Power Alliance from the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, where he was Director of Infrastructure and Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Sustainability Office. In those positions he was the Mayor’s chief policy liaison to the Department of Water and Power and the Department of Public Works and was instrumental in crafting the city’s first-ever Sustainability Plan, with an emphasis on pursuing distributed systems in the electricity and water sectors, and utilizing mobility infrastructure to pursue low- carbon and ecologically-beneficial outcomes.

Ted’s accomplishments at the Office of Mayor Garcetti include securing a 5-year water and power rate increase to fund a transition of 75% of the city’s energy mix to low carbon resources and reducing purchases of imported water by 50%. Ted also supervised major energy planning initiatives, including the 2016 Integrated Resources Plan and a multi-year study to define pathways to reach 100% renewables. Ted led major policy initiatives in energy efficiency, including an ordinance requiring annual building energy and water use disclosure and expansion of residential and commercial PACE financing availability.

From 2003 to 2013, Ted worked in the Green Urbanism Program at Global Green USA, a nationally-leading organization advancing smart solutions to climate change. Prior to that, Ted served as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times of London, based in Mexico City and Bangkok and was a commentator for the BBC World Service and Deutsche Welle. Ted has taught at Pomona College, universities in Mexico City and Southeast Asia, and is a permanent Lecturer at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs. He is co-author with his teaching colleague Walker Wells of Blueprint for Greening Affordable Housing (Island Press, 2007) and holds degrees from Wesleyan University and the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University.

 

Brian Goldstein
Executive Director
Energy Independence Now
Biography

Brian Goldstein

Executive Director
Energy Independence Now

Brian Goldstein is the Executive Director of Energy Independence Now, an environmental nonprofit whose mission is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and harmful air pollution by advancing clean hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and renewable hydrogen infrastructure for transportation, renewable energy storage and deep industrial decarbonization. With a background in finance, Brian has professional experience in the alternative fuels, renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation technology and financial services sectors. He has served as CFO of a motorcycle design and manufacturing firm as well as CFO of a hydrogen transportation technology company, where he focused on public and private financing initiatives, infrastructure acquisitions, automotive technology development and fleet adoption of hydrogen technology.

Brian has worked to develop alternative fuel distribution networks in California and Colorado. He is an Eagle Scout and has also served as a technical and financial consultant to the US Department of Energy, as well as a judge for the Clean Tech Open business plan competition and the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition.

Brian graduated with a B.S. in International Business from the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado, and earned his MBA with a focus on Finance and International Business at the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business Management, where he received a Merit Scholarship.

Terry Tamminen
CEO
AltaSea
Biography

Terry Tamminen

CEO
AltaSea

Terry Tamminen is Chief Executive Officer of AltaSea. From his youth in Australia to career experiences in Europe, Africa, China and across the United States, Terry has developed expertise in business, farming, education, non-profit, the environment, the arts, and government. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency and later Cabinet Secretary, the Chief Policy Advisor to the Governor, where Terry was the architect of many groundbreaking sustainability policies, including California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the Hydrogen Highway Network, and the Million Solar Roofs initiative. In 2010 Terry cofounded the R20 Regions of Climate Action, a new public-private partnership, bringing together sub national governments; businesses; financial markets; NGOs; and academia to implement measurable, large-scale, low-carbon and climate resilient economic development projects that can simultaneously solve the climate crisis and build a sustainable global economy. He also provides advice through 7th Generation Advisors to Pegasus Capital Advisors, the Green Climate Fund and numerous global businesses on sustainability and “green” investing, as well as assisting governments and philanthropists with climate solutions, including Fiji, India, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. An accomplished author, Terry’s books include “Cracking the Carbon Code: The Keys to Sustainable Profits in the New Economy” (Palgrave Macmillan). In 2011, Terry was one of six finalists for the Zayed Future Energy Prize and The Guardian ranked Terry No. 1 in its “Top 50 People Who Can Save the Planet.

Marty Borko
Executive Director
ULI Los Angeles
Biography

Marty Borko

Executive Director
ULI Los Angeles

Marty Borko is the Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute Los Angeles.  Borko left his post as Principal at Gensler in Los Angeles to command the day-to-day workings and long-range planning of one of ULI’s largest and most active regional chapters. As Executive Director Borko pilots the organization as it confronts the most critical land-use challenges in the city, including the homeless and housing affordability crisis, as well as city planning, infrastructure, transportation, open-space and historic districts.

In his tenure at Gensler’s Los Angeles office, Borko grew the firm’s Planning and Urban Design, Entertainment, and Mixed Use practices and had been principal-in-charge on numerous international and Los Angeles projects.

In addition to being a Sustaining Member of ULI’s Entertainment Development Council and member of the USC Price School Planning Program Advisory Board, Borko is: Associate Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA); Member, American Planning Association (APA); Member, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC); Member, International Association of Amusement Parks (IAAPA); Dean’s Council, University of Oregon College of Design; Board Member, Los Angeles Downtown Breakfast Club; Member, Southern California Development Forum; and Member, Central City Association.
 

Arnab Pal
Sr. Advisor & Consultant
US Department of Energy
Biography

Arnab Pal

Sr. Advisor & Consultant
US Department of Energy

Focused on the intersection of grid decarbonization, analytics, and economic development, I develop strategies and models for designing markets where societal benefits are accounted for alongside economic benefits, and where public funds are leveraged with private ones.

I use these strategies to facilitate sustainable infrastructure project deal flow by building stakeholder consensus, providing thought leadership, and influencing policy makers.

I passionately believe that projects that take advantage of these new market designs and deploy energy infrastructure projects will provide economic and environmental benefits to local communities around the world.

Sumreen Rattan
Co-founder & COO
Moment Energy
Biography

Sumreen Rattan

Co-founder & COO
Moment Energy

Sumreen is the COO and co-founder of Moment Energy, North America's leading EV battery repurposing company creating clean, affordable, and reliable battery energy storage systems (BESS) by repurposing EV batteries. Moment Energy is the first facility in North America and second facility in the world to have earned UL 1974: the Standard for EV Battery Repurposing Facilities.

At Moment Energy, Sumreen works with major automotive companies, including Mercedes Benz Energy, to support circular economy goals and ensure EV batteries are safely used in second-life applications before they are recycled. BESS solutions by Moment can be used in a variety of applications, including powering EV charging stations, improving grid reliability, and reducing demand charges. Sumreen has been recognized by Forbes as one of their 30 Under 30 in 2023, and by The Globe and Mail, where she was recognized as a Business Changemakers.

Daniel Weiss
Managing Partner & Co-Founder
Angeleno Group
Biography

Daniel Weiss

Managing Partner & Co-Founder
Angeleno Group
Daniel G. Weiss is co-founder and Managing Partner of Angeleno Group LLC (“AG”), a Los Angeles-based venture capital firm with a global platform focused on high growth investments in next-generation clean energy and climate solutions companies. In addition to his firm management responsibilities, Mr. Weiss leads investments and serves on boards of multiple AG portfolio companies. Prior to the formation of AG in 2001, Mr. Weiss was an attorney at O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles, working in the firm’s mergers and acquisitions and international and high technology practice groups. He represented multiple Global 1000 clients, including utilities and energy-related companies, in a wide array of private equity and corporate finance transactions. Currently, Mr. Weiss serves on boards or public commissions for a number of non-profit and government organizations, including the California Community Foundation, World Resources Institute, the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (where he serves as co-Chair), and the Federal Reserve Bank’s 12th District Economic Advisory Council. In addition, Mr. Weiss has taught, lectured, and published articles on the topics of law, business, and public policy. Mr. Weiss holds a JD from Stanford Law School, an MA from Stanford University, and a BA with High Honors from UC Berkeley. 
Michael Schneider
Founder
Streets For All
Biography

Michael Schneider

Founder
Streets For All

A native Angeleno, it was built into Michael’s brain from birth that the only way to get around Los Angeles is by driving a car. And starting on his 16th birthday at 8am at the DMV, that’s how he got around. Until the financial crisis in 2008. With his day job as a tech entrepreneur getting rocky along with the economy, Michael had to make some lifestyle changes – including getting rid of his expensive car lease. After a couple years of borrowing his Grandfather’s classic car – which was in the shop more than it was usable – Michael started to experiment with getting around town using a bicycle, something that seemed “crazy” and “impossible” to his native LA brain. For the past ten years, Michael has gone all in, just getting around town on his bicycle – even to and from LAX, including with his wife and 3 kids. And despite his ability to now afford a car, he thinks it would be crazy to get one. From never being late to look for parking to never having to worry about traffic to eating whatever you want and staying in shape to doing your part to not contribute to climate change – Michael truly believes that more people riding bicycles can save the planet and make our cities a more enjoyable place to live. Michael founded Streets For All (streetsforall.org) in 2019 as Los Angeles’ only transportation-focused PAC, a highly political organization that supports candidates and laws to promote freedom of choice around transportation in Southern California. Over the past three years, Streets For All has been successful in helping to unseat three regressive incumbents at Los Angeles City Council, and has successfully written, sponsored, or supported more than a dozen pieces of legislation at the state level, and has qualified a ballot measure called Healthy Streets LA. Michael is also an elected member of the Mid City West Neighborhood Council, where he chairs the Transportation and Sustainability Committee, is a board member of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, and sits on Metro’s Sustainability Council.

David Nahai
President
David Nahai Consulting Services, Inc.
Biography

David Nahai

President
David Nahai Consulting Services, Inc.

David Nahai is the President of David Nahai Consulting Services, the President of David Nahai Associates, and a Managing Partner at AQORA Capital Management Company.  Nahai Consulting Services advises and assists private and public entities involved in the real estate, renewable energy, water, and environmental sectors. David Nahai Associates is a law firm specializing in transactional real estate, energy, water, and environmental matters.  Aqora Capital is a growth capital firm focused on investment in “growth” stage companies active in the sustainability arena.  

Nahai is the former General Manager and Commission President of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (“LADWP”), former Chairman of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (“Regional Water Board”), and former Senior Advisor to the Clinton Climate Initiative. In January 2021, Nahai was reappointed to the Regional Board by Governor Gavin Newsom, the fourth California Governor to appoint Nahai to this post.

Mike Wallace
Chief Decarbonization Officer
Persefoni
Biography

Mike Wallace

Chief Decarbonization Officer
Persefoni

Mike Wallace is an internationally recognized expert with nearly 30 years of experience in sustainability, ESG reporting/compliance, and managing social and human capital issues. He currently serves as the Chief Decarbonization Officer at Persefoni, a carbon accounting technology company, where he oversees strategic partnerships to help with the integration and application of Persefoni’s climate accounting and management platform (CMAP). Prior to joining Persefoni, Wallace was a partner at the global sustainability consultancy, ERM where he counseled clients on corporate responsibility and sustainability solutions and helped shape several strategic partnerships for ERM. In that role, Wallace also served as the Interim Executive Director for the Social & Human Capital Coalition, a multi-stakeholder project of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). His work included overseeing the establishment of the overall governance structure, technical council and global network that drove the creation of the Social & Human Capital Protocol, which was officially launched at GreenBiz 2019 by the founders WBCSD, Nasdaq, and Microsoft. Prior to ERM, Wallace was a director for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), where he worked on foundational initiatives such as the International Integrated Reporting Council (IRRC), the European Commission proposal on corporate ESG reporting, and the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative (SSEi) on ESG listing guidance.

Eliot Abel
Senior Vice President, Corporate Clean Energy Solutions
Pivot Energy
Biography

Eliot Abel

Senior Vice President, Corporate Clean Energy Solutions
Pivot Energy
Eliot is the current Senior Vice President, Corporate Clean Energy Solutions for Pivot Energy. He previously lead commercial sales & project development at Namaste Solar, guiding the development of solar projects ranging from 50kW to 10MW. Prior to joining Namaste Solar, Eliot was the Founder and Principal of Abel Clean Energy Advisors, a consulting firm that helps commercial property owners and developers utilize innovative financing, such as C-PACE, to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions that increase value, reduce operating costs, and enhance the sustainability of their properties. Earlier in his career, Eliot worked in business development roles at a UK-based thin film solar startup, GE’s global Renewable Energy business, and San Diego-based Renovate America. Eliot serves on the Boards of the Colorado Solar and Storage Association and Namaste Solar, and holds a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.
 
Kathleen Brown
Treasurer (former)
State of California
Biography

Kathleen Brown

Treasurer (former)
State of California
A former California State Treasurer with nearly two decades of experience as a senior bank executive, Kathleen Brown concentrates on business counseling, government and regulatory affairs in connection with the health care, energy, real estate and financial services industries. 

Before joining Manatt, Kathleen served in senior executive positions at Goldman Sachs Inc. and Bank of America. At Goldman Sachs, where her roles included chairman of Midwest investment banking and head of the Western region public-sector and infrastructure group, Kathleen participated in over $4.2 billion of water and power bond financings and counseled municipal utilities in California in their efforts to meet the state’s renewable energy standards. She also helped healthcare institutions navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by healthcare reform. 

A former Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee, Kathleen has extensive experience in the public sector. As California State treasurer, she managed a $25 billion bond portfolio, oversaw a $32 billion cash management fund and served as a trustee on the boards of CalPERS and CalSTRS, two of the largest pension funds in the nation. 

Kathleen served as co-chair of the Council of Institutional Investors; co-chair of the Presidential Commission on Capital Budgeting; a commissioner of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works; and a two-term member of the Los Angeles Board of Education. 

Before she campaigned for treasurer, Kathleen was an attorney at a global law firm, where she was a member of the capital markets group working in public and corporate finance. 

Ms. Brown serves on the Board of Directors of Sustainable Development Acquisition Corp (SDAC), FivePoint Communities, Stifel Financial Corp, Bill Lane Center for the American West, the Annenberg Foundation, the Mayor’s Fund Los Angeles, the Advisory Board of the Stanford Center on Longevity, and The Trusteeship.

Tak Yokoo
Founder and Chair
Japan Hydrogen Forum
Biography

Tak Yokoo

Founder and Chair
Japan Hydrogen Forum

Served Toyota Motor North America R&D for more than 40 years. His background includes managing suitability testing of advanced powertrain configurations in North America, coordinating the development of new or improved alternate powertrain system controls for Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicles (FCHV), Gasoline Hybrid Vehicles (HEV), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV). Also includes strategic planning focusing on technologies that enable sustainable transportation systems.

Starting in 2015, his responsibilities have been extended to large-scale Fuel Cell powertrain feasibility in North America. He built the world's first OEM Fuel Cell heavy-duty truck. From 2017 to 2022, the truck was placed in the Port of Los Angeles drayage operation. It served around 20,000 ZERO EMISSION miles before completing its proof-of-concept program.

He became the 1st chairperson of the Japan Hydrogen Forum (JH2F) founded in 2021. He leads many Japanese affiliate Hydrogen business expert companies that promote US decarbonization business. The forum is supported by the Japanese government, such as the Japan External Trade Organization and the Consulate-general of Japan.

 

He also serves Stanford University's Precourt Institute for Energy (part of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability) Hydrogen Initiative as an Advisory Council.

Mr. Yokoo earned a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Hosei University, Japan, then began his career at Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in 1981. He moved to Toyota Technical Center USA (TTC) in 1990 to begin his new career in the US, where he was responsible for managing suitability testing and development of gasoline powertrain control systems in North America.

Jacob Lipa
Founder and Principal
Lipa Consulting
Biography

Jacob Lipa

Founder and Principal
Lipa Consulting

Jacob provides consulting services to CEOs and Board of Directors of growing real estate development companies as well as international start-up companies and others wanting to enter the US market. Developed and founded the Back Home Initiative (BHI) program supported by City of Los Angeles, Councilman Blumenfield and others.  BHI combines support for homeowners in lower income areas of the County, housing for low acuity homeless individuals and families who need long-term high-quality housing that are less expensive and that can be built and occupied within less than 6 months. 
Presently, supporting an Israeli company that has joint a US company to build a plant in Arizona to produce and sell green hydrogen.

From 2012 to 2019, Jacob was the CEO of Micropolitan, a Residential Real Estate Company developing, owning, and operating multifamily housing projects. Micropolitan has developed successfully residential apartment buildings combining market rate and low-income units in TOD areas in Los Angeles. The company prides itself in constructing its buildings at high architectural standards, excellent interiors, plenty amenities and all of them permitted, constructed and occupied on an accelerated schedules.

In 2002, Jacob became the President of Psomas, a leading consulting and engineering and environmental firm serving public and private clients throughout the Western United States with its headquarters office in downtown Los Angeles.  The firm specialized in land planning, design of all infrastructure needs, transportation, natural resources management, survey and construction services for the land development, water and wastewater, gas, transportation, and energy markets.  Psomas was rated nationally as one of the top engineering companies with offices throughout California, Utah, Arizona and Colorado.  Under Mr. Lipa’s direction, Psomas established a reputation as an expert in sustainable design, transit-oriented development programs and efficient construction methods. 

In 2009, Jacob, as the President of Psomas, in partnership with FMG, founded PsomasFMG to provide turn-key solar solutions to commercial clients such as municipalities, school, hospitals and any other tax-exempt clients. The idea was to design, finance, construct and maintain solar systems for clients at virtually no upfront cost to them under Power Purchase Agreements (PPA).  Within less than 3 years, PsomasFMG became the largest Distributed Generation company in Southern California providing services to schools, public facilities and industrial sites. During that time, Jacob, as the Chairman of LABC, lead together with the Mayor of Los Angeles the introduction and successful implementation of the Feed and Tariff (FIT) in Los Angeles.          

Tom Soto
Founder
Latimer Partners, LLC
Biography

Tom Soto

Founder
Latimer Partners, LLC

I am a long-time investor in the impact sector. I was born & raised in East LA County & Pomona, California to two of the state’s most well-respected Latino Civil Rights leaders. My father was Assemblyman Phil Soto, the first Latino elected to the state legislature in 1962. My late mother was Nell Soto, my dad’s campaign manager & the mother to their six children. She was a long-time advocate supporting farm worker rights, the environment and labor. She too served the last ten years of her life as a member and leader in the California State Senate.
 

I have owned four PE funds, and now manage our family investment office, Latimer Partners, LLC with my husband of 18 years, Todd Soto. I’ve stood at the dovetail of energy, tech, cloud-based and IoT platforms, renewable energy, and over many Fourth Industrial Revolution-driven platforms where technology contributes to improving the human condition using AI, fintech, and blockchain, all while challenging LP’s and tech platforms to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion. Between contributing to climate change initiatives; Clean Air Act Standards and forcing the removal of diesel from municipal procurement processes across the country and the need to decarbonize our economy, this all to promote a political process and regulatory framework needed to establish a clean economy driving the planet into a future of prosperity and abundance.

I am the former Chairman of the New America Alliance, the national Latino business initiative seeking to increase access to capital for diverse fund managers; I am a founder and Vice Chair of the LA Clean Tech Incubator and Trustee of the California Science Center and Trustee of the NRDC. I'm also an appointee to the California Lithium Valley Commission. After selling my fund, Craton Equity Partners to TCW in 2013, I was the Managing Director of Alternatives at the $198b fund and was an Investment Committee Member of TCW Alternatives. Under mine and my colleagues’ leadership, the TCW alternatives platform grew from $300m in AUM to $10.3b in three years. I am a former member of the board of trustees of the Redwood Mutual Fund, owned by Aspiration where I am a former Sr. Advisor, the country’s fastest-growing online bank and financial services platform.

I am a two-time appointee of President Clinton and was the Team Lead for The Executive Office of the President’s Transition Team for the White House Council on Environmental Quality for President-Elect Obama and a founding member of the Executive Council for Clean Energy for Biden. We live in Los Angeles, with our thirteen year old son.

Cecilia Estolano
CEO & Founder
Estolano Advisors and CEO of Better World Group
Biography

Cecilia Estolano

CEO & Founder
Estolano Advisors and CEO of Better World Group

Cecilia V. Estolano is a leading expert on contemporary urban planning issues, with experience in economic and workforce development, land use, environmental policy, and urban revitalization. She has worked directly with public, private, institutional, and non-profit clients to plan, finance, design, implement, and operate policy-driven programs and projects that promote sustainable solutions tailored for each community.

Cecilia is a former Chair of the Regents of the University of California and has served as President of the California Community College Board of Governors. She received an A.B. from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA, and a J.D. from UC Berkeley. Prior to founding Estolano Advisors in 2011, Cecilia served as CEO of CRA/LA, practiced land use and environmental law while Of Counsel and an Associate at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, served as Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. EPA during the Clinton Administration, and served as Environmental Policy Advisor to former L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley. In addition to her work at Estolano Advisors, she became the CEO of Better World Group, an environmental strategy firm, in 2018. 

Panama Bartholomy
Director
Building Decarbonization Coalition
Biography

Panama Bartholomy

Director
Building Decarbonization Coalition

Forging partnerships among varying disciplines and stakeholders, Panama Bartholomy has managed and facilitated the creation and implementation of some of the largest climate and energy programs in the United States. Panama’s work focuses on finding policy and program solutions for communities facing energy efficiency, renewable energy, land use and climate change challenges. Panama combines frontline experience with state and local government policy and has dealt extensively in the regulatory and utility arenas.  

Previously, Panama was the Advisor on Energy and Natural Resources to California Assembly Speaker John A. Perez where he oversaw the State of California’s energy and environmental legislation and budget. He earlier served as Deputy Director of the California Energy Commission’s Efficiency and Renewables Division and advisor for Chairmen Douglas and Pfannenstiel, worked for the California Conservation Corps on vocational environmental education, and ran the Sustainable Schools program for the Division of the State Architect. Panama served on the City of Sacramento Planning Commission and the County of Sacramento Environmental Commission, and is a former board member on the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and past president of the Northern California Chapter of the USGBC.

Stephen Cheung
President/CEO
LA County Economic Development Council/World Trade Center-Los Angeles
Biography

Stephen Cheung

President/CEO
LA County Economic Development Council/World Trade Center-Los Angeles

Stephen Cheung is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) and its subsidiary, the World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA).  As CEO of the LAEDC, Mr. Cheung brings together the capabilities of LAEDC’s mission-delivery department areas, including the Institute for Applied Economics, Business Assistance, Industry Cluster Development, Workforce Development, World Trade Center Los Angeles, Strategic Relations, Communications & Marketing, and Public Policy, into a single team that delivers the LAEDC’s critically important, public-benefit mission - Reinventing our economy to collaboratively advance growth and prosperity for all.

In 2023, Cheung was elevated to President and CEO after serving as Chief Operating Office and Executive Vice President of LAEDC, and continues in his concurrent role as President of World Trade Center Los Angeles, a title he has held since coming to the organization in 2014.  Prior to that, Cheung was the Secretary General and Managing Director of International Trade and Foreign Affairs for Los Angeles Mayors Eric Garcetti and Antonio Villaraigosa, and was responsible for managing policies and programs related to the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, International Affairs,  Global Trade and Clean Technology. In these roles, he was the lead organizer for the Mayors’ previous international trade missions to Mexico, China, Korea, Japan, Colombia, Chile and Brazil.  Furthermore, Cheung implemented the city’s strategic plan to make Los Angeles a global capital of clean technology by building the infrastructure to support research, development and manufacturing with key partners.

Concurrently, Cheung was the Director of International Trade for the Port of Los Angeles – the busiest container port in North America, and was responsible for developing programs to increase trade through the Port of Los Angeles, and facilitate goods movement through the Southern California region.

Cheung currently sits on the Board of Advisors of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA Extension, Coro Southern California and Sister Cities of Los Angeles, while also serving on LA Metro’s Sustainability Council and Biz-Fed’s International Trade Committee. He also serves on the Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board.

Rick Cole
Councilmember
City of Pasadena
Biography

Rick Cole

Councilmember
City of Pasadena

Rick Cole is Chief Deputy Controller, responsible for overseeing the accounting, payroll and auditing functions for the City of Los Angeles. His public service includes serving as Mayor of Pasadena, City Manager in three Southern California communities (Santa Monica, Ventura and Azusa) and as Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation in the City of LA. He is an adjunct professor of urban policy at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy and Occidental College’s Urban and Environmental Studies Institute.

Heather Repenning
Executive Officer of Sustainability Policy
LA Metro
Biography

Heather Repenning

Executive Officer of Sustainability Policy
LA Metro

Heather Repenning is the Executive Officer for Sustainability Policy at LA Metro. In this role, Heather advises on and oversees policies and programs focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector and improving air and water quality through LA Metro’s operations.  Heather also serves as the Board Vice Chair for Climate Action of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.  Repenning previously held the role of Vice President of the City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College and has a Master’s Degree from the University of California, Irvine in Comparative Literature.   

Effie Turnbull Sanders
Vice President
Civic Engagement & Economic Partnerships
Biography

Effie Turnbull Sanders

Vice President
Civic Engagement & Economic Partnerships

Effie Turnbull Sanders is a passionate and dedicated advocate for economic, environmental, and social change. She brings over two decades of experience advancing the rights of underserved Los Angeles communities to lead the South Los Angeles Transit Empowerment Zone (SLATE-Z) as its Executive Director.  As Executive director, Sanders leads SLATE-Z’s efforts to promote neighborhood revitalization, educational excellence, and economic empowerment to help realize the tremendous promise and potential of South Los Angeles.

Prior to joining SLATE-Z, Sanders worked in service of the children of Los Angeles as Assistant General Counsel to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) on real estate development, facilities management, and employment law. Through her legal career, she has worked as counsel to public and private organizations such as the City of Los Angeles and Richards, Watson & Gershon.

As a social justice leader, Sanders has served as an appointee to state and federal entities. Currently, she is the Environmental Justice Commissioner with the California Coastal Commission. She is also member of Representative Karen Bass’ Congressional Council. Sanders was a Presidential Appointee for Vice Chair Cruz Reynoso with the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Throughout her career, Sanders has led a number of non-profit organizations as an active board member for Social Action Partners and the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. She also served as an advisory board member to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and Mark Ridley Thomas’ African American Voter Registration, Education, and Participation Project.

Sanders received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from the University of California, Los Angeles, her Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law and is a graduate of the University of Southern California Ross Program in Real Estate.  She and her husband live with their two children in Los Angeles.

 

 

 

Ron Frierson
Director of Economic Development
Amazon
Biography

Ron Frierson

Director of Economic Development
Amazon

Ron Frierson serves as Director of Economic Development of the U.S. West Region at Amazon. In his role, Ron leads the team that supports and champions Amazon investment projects across various Amazon business lines in areas of market-entry, strategy, site selection, entitlements, operations, and partnerships. Before joining Amazon, Ron served as Director of Economic Policy for former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Ron led the Business Team for the Mayor’s Office, which developed business policy affecting the world’s 3rd largest metropolitan economy. Ron’s portfolio included Commercial Real Estate Development, Technology, Sports & Entertainment, Manufacturing, Taxation, Healthcare, and Tourism & Hospitality. He also oversaw the Convention & Tourism Department, Department of Cannabis Regulation and the Economic Workforce & Development Department on behalf of the Mayor’s Office.

Significant projects include Gucci’s 100-year anniversary, COVID-19 microloan program, the L.A. Regional COVID Relief Fund, Commercial Eviction Moratorium, Covid-19 vaccine logistics/strategy, and film studio capacity strategy, among others. Ron’s team was instrumental in developing programs to help the Los Angeles economy stabilize and recover from damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mario Cordero
Executive Director
Port of Long Beach
Biography

Mario Cordero

Executive Director
Port of Long Beach

Mario Cordero, an international maritime industry leader, Long Beach resident and attorney, is Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach, California, named to the post by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners in May 2017.

Beginning in 2003, Mr. Cordero served as a member, vice president and president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners for eight years, before resigning to accept President Barack Obama’s appointment to the Federal Maritime Commission in 2011. He served on the FMC until May 2017 and was FMC Chairman from April 2013 to January 2017.

As Executive Director, Mr. Cordero reports to the Board and leads the Port’s Harbor Department staff of more than 500 with a budget of $622 million for the 2022 fiscal year.

He is the Port’s representative to the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority Governing Board and the Governing Board of the Intermodal Container Transfer FacilityJoint Powers Authority. Mr. Cordero was elected to a two-year term as Chairman of the Board for the American Association of Port Authorities in 2020 following a term as Vice Chairman, and previously served as an Executive Board member on AAPA’s Latin American delegation. He sits on the L.A. County Economic Resiliency Task Force – charged with helping guide the County’s approach to reopening as the region emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic – as chair of the Commodities and Goods Movement sector working group.

In 2021, Mr. Cordero was appointed by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco to serve on the bank’s Los Angeles branch seven-member board of directors and, for the third consecutive year, was named to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “LA500” list of the city’s most influential civic leaders.

Mr. Cordero has practiced law for more than 30 years, specializing in workers’ compensation cases. He holds a law degree from the University of Santa Clara and a Bachelor of Science in political science from California State University, Long Beach.

He has taught Political Science at Long Beach City College, focusing on California politics, and served on the City of Long Beach Community Development Commission. He also was Vice Chair of the City-commissioned Long Beach Ethics Task Force that developed a Code of Ethics for Long Beach City employees, as well as elected and appointed City officials.

Andrea Sasse
German Consul General
German Consulate, Los Angeles
Biography

Andrea Sasse

German Consul General
German Consulate, Los Angeles
Jim Kelly
Director
S&C Electric
Biography

Jim Kelly

Director
S&C Electric

Jim Kelly retired from Edison International (EIX) on July 1, 2011, after almost 38 years of service with the Company.

Prior to his retirement, Mr. Kelly was the senior vice president of Transmission & Distribution for Southern California Edison, responsible for the operation and maintenance of an electrical grid comprised of over 12,000 miles of transmission and 100,000 miles of distribution lines spread across a 50,000-square-mile service area.

Mr. Kelly was also president of Edison ESI, a subsidiary company that operates one of the largest electrical and mechanical repair facilities in the U.S..

Kelly was previously the vice president of Engineering & Technical Services, responsible for planning, engineering, and designing SCE’s electrical grid, as well as research and development, safety and training. Mr. Kelly was one of the early pioneers of the Smart Grid, developing a roadmap for a smarter, safer, more reliable and more environmentally responsible electric grid. Among many other awards and honors, Jim was selected as the IEEE’s “Leader in Power” in 2009.

Kelly also previously served as the vice president of Regulatory Compliance and Environmental Affairs, and has in-depth experience with environmental regulation, permitting and licensing.

Since his retirement, Jim has advised or directed a number of firms in the energy space. 

Jim earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach, and a master’s degree from California State Polytechnic University.  He holds teaching credentials in several subjects and has taught at a number of colleges and universities throughout his career.

Joe Edmiston
Executive Director
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Biography

Joe Edmiston

Executive Director
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

Joseph Edmiston was appointed Executive Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy by Governor Jerry Brown in 1979. Under his leadership, the Conservancy has preserved over 60,000 acres of public parkland within and surrounding the Los Angeles Metropolitan region, in a zone extending from the edge of the Mojave Desert to the Pacific Ocean. From north to south, these areas drain into the Santa Clara River, Calleguas Creek, numerous smaller coastal watersheds in the Santa Monica Mountains, and the Los Angeles River and Rio Hondo. Joe has lectured extensively on environmental planning, park development, and urban land use. He and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, have been the recipient of numerous national awards including, most recently, the highest honor of the National Planning Association, the Daniel Burnham Award.

Sunita Satyapal*
Director, Fuel Cell Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
U.S. Department of Energy
Biography

Sunita Satyapal*

Director, Fuel Cell Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
U.S. Department of Energy

Director for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office and coordinates activities across offices for the U.S. DOE Hydrogen Program, Sunita Satyapal is responsible for more than $1.6 billion in hydrogen and fuel cell research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D) activities within the office and for coordinating more than $9.5 billion in hydrogen activities across DOE.  In addition, she led the development of the national clean hydrogen strategy and roadmap and serves as the Director for the Hydrogen Interagency Taskforce, which includes a dozen agencies and is co-chaired by the Deputy Secretary of Energy and the White House Deputy National Climate Advisor. She has more than two and a half decades of experience across industry, academia, and government, including at United Technologies managing RDD&D and business development, and as a visiting professor. 

Dr. Satyapal also coordinates international hydrogen activities as Vice-Chair of the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy, a partnership among over 25 countries to accelerate progress in hydrogen, and is the U.S. co-lead for hydrogen efforts within the Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation.  She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University and did postdoctoral work in Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University.  She has numerous publications, including in Scientific American, 10 patents, and several recognitions including a Meritorious Presidential Rank Award in 2015, a Distinguished Presidential Rank Award in 2022, and selected as an Ambassador for C3E, the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment Initiative, to advance the leadership of women in clean energy. 

Paul Nelson
Managing Partner
Saoradh Enterprise Partners (SEP)
Biography

Paul Nelson

Managing Partner
Saoradh Enterprise Partners (SEP)

Paul Nelson founded Saoradh Enterprise Partners (SEP, formerly Saoradh Energy Partners) in 2010 and now serves as Managing Partner. Paul has over 30 years of energy, advanced materials, entrepreneurial, finance, management, and research experience. Before forming SEP, Paul was a key participant in developing Colorado’s cleantech ecosystem. He held roles at the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory, the Center for Revolutionary Photoconversion (CRSP), CU Boulder’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), and the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA). Paul was also a top fundraiser for these organizations. Paul began his career in the energy sector, first working at Julander Energy Company and then joining the team that launched the Natural Fuels Company, an unregulated joint venture led by Xcel Energy. Paul’s first experience with venture capital was as an entrepreneur when he founded Blue Energy & Technologies LLC in 2000, raised $12 million of strategic and venture capital, and acquired Natural Fuels and the Alternative Fuels Division from TXU Energy. He sold Blue Energy to ENRG Fuels in 2003 – the combined company is now Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE).

Paul holds a BS in Business-Finance, a BA in Chemistry with a minor in Biochemistry, and a research MS in Chemistry (thesis: evaluation of tris(tetrachlorosemiquinonate)iron(III) as a water oxidation catalyst) – all from CU Boulder. Paul has received several awards, including the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Cleantech Leadership from CCIA, Advisor of the Year from the CU Technology Transfer Office, and a lifetime achievement award from NGVAmerica. Paul has served on numerous boards such as the American Lung Association in Colorado and Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at CU Boulder, is a member of the American Chemical Society, and has co-authored professional papers. Paul is active in cleantech communities in Boulder and Sarasota (SEP’s satellite location). He has served as a judge for Lab Venture Challenge and Destination Startup events, sourced R&D funding for the Mote Marine Research Lab, and organized events with the Good Food Institute at Colorado universities. Paul is also a member of the investment selection committee for iSelect Fund based in St. Louis and the Colorado School of Mines technology transfer advisory board.

Nancy Sutley
Deputy Mayor of Energy & Sustainability
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Nancy Sutley

Deputy Mayor of Energy & Sustainability
City of Los Angeles

Prior to her role as Deputy Mayor of Energy and Sustainability, Nancy Sutley  served LADWP’s Senior Assistant General Manager of External and Regulatory Affairs, and the Chief Sustainability Officer. In this role, Ms. Sutley oversaw the Department’s customer service operations, energy efficiency and water conservation programs, environmental regulation, public affairs and legislative teams. Over the course of her tenure with the Department, Ms. Sutley initiated LADWP’s corporate sustainability programs, spearheaded LADWP’s La Kretz Innovation Campus, promoted the electrification of the transportation network and coordinated the Clean Grid L.A. plan.

Prior to joining LADWP in 2014, Ms. Sutley served as Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Under her leadership, the Council played a central role in shepherding the Obama Administration’s signature environmental projects and was one of the chief architects of President Obama’s 2013 Climate Action Plan.

Ms. Sutley has an extensive background in public service that includes posts as Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment for the City of Los Angeles, Board Member of the Metropolitan Water District, Member of the California State Water Resources Control Board, Energy Advisor for California Governor Gray Davis, Deputy Secretary for Policy and Intergovernmental Relations at the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Senior Policy Advisor for the US EPA during the Clinton Administration.

Ms. Sutley holds a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University.

Jake Levine
Chief Climate Officer
US International Development Finance Corporation
Biography

Jake Levine

Chief Climate Officer
US International Development Finance Corporation

Jake Levine serves as Chief Climate Officer of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, where he leads the agency's climate team, and is responsible for setting the vision for and implementing DFC's climate finance agenda. He also serves on DFC's Risk Committee, and works closely with DFC's Public Board agencies—the U.S. Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, and the U.S. Agency for International Development—to coordinate administration policy in climate finance.

Mr. Levine is an attorney by training, and has represented clients in various climate, clean energy, and clean air matters. Mr. Levine previously served in government in the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, where he developed innovative energy policies, including the most stringent fuel economy standards ever set and the first-ever greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks, and later as Senior Counsel to California State Senator Fran Pavley, where he led the successful campaigns to draft, design, and enact SB 32 (Pavley) and AB 197 (Garcia)—landmark California climate and environmental justice legislation.

Mr. Levine also served as Chief of Staff to the President of Opower, a software firm (now Oracle Utilities) that uses big data and behavioral science technology to help consumers save energy.

Mr. Levine sits on the Board of Grid Alternatives of Los Angeles, a non-profit focused on creating jobs in the clean energy transition, and is an advisor to the California Climate Action Corps, a statewide service corps focused on climate resilience in underserved communities, which he helped to design and launch as a consultant to Governor Newsom. Mr. Levine holds a B.A. from Harvard College and a law degree from Harvard Law School.

Gideon Kracov
Governor's Appointee
California Air Resources Board/South Coast AQMD
Biography

Gideon Kracov

Governor's Appointee
California Air Resources Board/South Coast AQMD

Gideon Kracov is a lawyer in Los Angeles, where he represents clients in environmental and land use cases. His practice includes high-stakes litigation and complex regulatory matters. Mr. Kracov has worked for diverse business, labor and non-profit clients, and as a government lawyer. He served for more than fifteen years as General Counsel of the California Waste and Recycling Association, a trade organization including leading recycling and waste management companies.

Mr. Kracov was appointed to the California Air Resources Board by Governor Gavin Newsom in December 2020. He also serves as the Governor’s appointee to the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board responsible for improving air quality in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The region is home to more than 17 million people.
Previously, Mr. Kracov served as a Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney where he counseled the Departments of Planning and Sanitation. Before his public sector work, Mr. Kracov practiced at Rose, Klein & Marias LLP, a trial law firm. There he handled toxic tort and environmental matters that helped shape these areas of the law. Mr. Kracov started his legal career at the prominent Los Angeles firm Weston, Benshoof LLP (now Alston & Bird LLP), where his practice involved environmental tort defense for Fortune 500 clients.

Mr. Kracov is the former Chair of the State Bar of California Environmental Law Section Executive Committee. Elected by his peers, he led education and program activities on behalf of the Section's 2,500+ environmental lawyer members. From 2015 to 2018, he served as a Governor's appointee and Chair of the California Mining and Geology Board that oversees the state's interests in seismic hazards, mineral resources and mine reclamation. He also chaired the California Department of Toxic Substances Control Independent Review Panel tasked with recommending improvements to the agency's permitting, enforcement, outreach and fiscal management. From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Kracov served as Vice-Chair of the Los Angeles Proposition O Bond Committee administering $500 million to protect the city’s rivers and beaches.

Mr. Kracov teaches land use law and regulation at Loyola Law School. In 2019, he coached the Loyola Law School team to first place in the 20th Annual California Lawyers Association Environmental Law Student Negotiation Competition.

He received his Juris Doctorate and Environmental Law Certificate from the University of California Berkeley Law School in 1995 and graduated from the University of California Berkeley with high honors in 1992.

In 2001, Mr. Kracov was one of the "emerging leaders from the United States" selected for a German Marshall Fund Memorial Fellowship to foster transatlantic relationships among "those capable of affecting real and lasting change.”

Erin Bromaghim
Deputy Mayor of International Affairs
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Erin Bromaghim

Deputy Mayor of International Affairs
City of Los Angeles

Bob Hertzberg
Sr. Advisor
Mission Possible Partnership
Biography

Bob Hertzberg

Sr. Advisor
Mission Possible Partnership

Prior to his time with Mission Possible Partnership, Senate Majority Leader Emeritus Robert Hertzberg was first elected to the California State Assembly in 1996. He served as the 64th Speaker of the California State Assembly, unanimously elected by both parties in 2000 and 2002. After his tenure as Speaker, Hertzberg set out to the private sector as a clean energy entrepreneur, where he helped create one of the first solar companies in Los Angeles, and co-launched a company that produced inexpensive, lightweight solar panels. In 2014, he returned to state government when he was elected to represent nearly 1 million people in the San Fernando Valley in the California State Senate.

Coby Skye
Former Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works; Blue Skye Environmental Consulting
Biography

Coby Skye

Former Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Public Works; Blue Skye Environmental Consulting

Coby Skye is Deputy Director of the Los Angeles Public Works Environmental Services Core Service Area. Coby has responsibility for the Environmental Programs, Sewer Maintenance and Fleet Management business areas.

With an annual budget of more than $3.6 billion and a workforce of 4,000 employees, Los Angeles County Public Works is the largest municipal public works agency in the United States, providing vital public infrastructure and civic services to more than 10 million people across a 4,000-square-mile service area. 

Coby has 24 years of experience with Public Works in the field of environmental programs, including environmental policy, solid waste management and recycling programs.

Coby is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of California. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Polytechnic University in New York and a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, Long Beach.

Roman Bilak
President
CleanTech Geomechanics Inc
Biography

Roman Bilak

President
CleanTech Geomechanics Inc

Mr. Roman Bilak is President of CleanTech Geomechanics Inc. (CTG). CTG is a startup company developing innovative technologies for Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES). Mr. Bilak holds a B.Sc. (Honours, Geology) from the University of Western Ontario and a M.Sc. (Earth Sciences – Geomechanics) from the University of Waterloo, in Canada. His areas of expertise include geo-Energy Storage Systems (geoESS), NORM waste management, deep well disposal-injection, geomechanics, and project
management. With over 25 years of industry experience in sustainable energy resource development globally, he is a recognized industry expert in clean
energy geomechanics. Mr. Bilak also provides technical support and advice to government regulatory departments and inter-governmental agencies worldwide.

John Onderdonk
Chief Sustainability Officer
California Institute of Technology
Biography

John Onderdonk

Chief Sustainability Officer
California Institute of Technology

John Onderdonk serves as the Senior Director of Facilities Services and Integrated Planning as well as the Chief Sustainability Officer at the California Institute of Technology. In this capacity, he is responsible for the executive leadership of campus planning, energy and utility services, procurement and material management, critical research logistics and sustainability programs.

At Caltech, John has led efforts to de-carbonize campus utilities, plan for infrastructure resilience and adaptive capacity, and integrate 17MW of distributed generation. He has supervised the execution of a $15M energy efficiency fund, served as the lead sustainability advisor for 12 capital projects and coordinated the deployment of a work management and asset tracking system. John also leads the Institute’s regulatory affairs with regard to energy, water, carbon and regional planning.

Prior to joining Caltech, John served as the Southwest Regional Manager for AIG Environmental where he managed environmental risk on behalf of corporate and brownfield redevelopment clients.

John holds a Masters in Corporate Environmental Management from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science and Economics from the University of Oregon. John is a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design + Construction and a Certified Carbon Reduction Manager.

John is the chair of the Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Officer’s Taskforce and serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management.

R. Rex Parris
Mayor
City of Lancaster
Biography

R. Rex Parris

Mayor
City of Lancaster

Since becoming Mayor of Lancaster in 2008, R. Rex Parris has championed many initiatives to improve his hometown, driven by a can-do attitude that has redefined community development. His leadership has enhanced public safety, economic growth, and environmental stewardship. Parris's efforts in reducing crime have fostered a safer, more inviting community, encouraging residents and businesses to thrive.


Economic development has been a focal point, with Parris leveraging his background as a distinguished lawyer to forge significant international partnerships, like the one with BYD, stimulating job creation and investment in Lancaster. His commitment to environmental sustainability is evident in initiatives such as Lancaster Energy, positioning Lancaster as a leader in green energy and one of the world's first Zero-Net Energy Cities. Additionally, his advocacy for hydrogen energy has established Lancaster as the “First Hydrogen City,” reflecting his innovative approach to sustainable development.


Beyond his role in municipal governance, Parris's legal acumen has been instrumental in his work with CarthroniX, a biotech firm aiming to tackle degenerative diseases. This blend of legal expertise and civic leadership underscores a comprehensive strategy to enhance Lancaster's community life, economic vitality, and sustainable living.

 

Christopher Sheppard, P.E., ENV SP
Principal Engineer, Environmental Program Division
County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works
Biography

Christopher Sheppard, P.E., ENV SP

Principal Engineer, Environmental Program Division
County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works

Christopher Sheppard is a Principal Engineer working for the Environmental Programs Division of the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works. He oversees residential and commercial trash collection and recycling services for unincorporated county communities providing services to over 1 million residents.

Mr. Sheppard received his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from Syracuse University as well as a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Cal State Northridge, and is currently a registered Civil Engineer in California.

Jack Brouwer
Director, National Fuel Cell Research Center
UC Irvine
Biography

Jack Brouwer

Director, National Fuel Cell Research Center
UC Irvine

Jack Brouwer is Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Associate Director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC) and Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

Science and engineering of energy conversion with coupled mass, energy and momentum conservation, chemical and electrochemical reaction and heat transfer; steady-state and dynamic modeling of fundamental processes that govern energy conversion devices such as fuel cells, electrolyzers, and gas turbine engines; solid-state ionics and electrochemistry; fuel processing; synthesis and experimental investigation of novel fuel cell materials sets; analyses of integrated energy systems comprising fuel cells, photovoltaics, fuel processing, gas turbines, and wind turbines; experimental analyses and model validation; renewable energy; life cycle analyses of energy conversion technologies.

Through Dr. Brouwer’s leadership, NFCRC and APEP are focusing research, education, beta testing, and outreach on high-efficiency, environmentally preferred energy conversion and power generation technology advancement with fuel cell and gas turbine systems as the principal targets.  Current research projects address ultra-high efficiency and ultra-low emissions high-temperature fuel cell systems, integrated hybrid fuel cell gas turbine systems, renewable power intermittency and integration, battery electric, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle evaluation and infrastructure development, advanced fuel cell and gas turbine dynamic operations, hydrogen and electricity infrastructure development, and power electronics and energy conversion devices for the smart grid.  Before joining UCI, Dr. Brouwer was on the faculty at the University of Utah, a senior engineer at Reaction Engineering International, and a staff scientist at Sandia National Laboratories.

Jack Brouwer obtained his M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UCI and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Post-Doc in Chemical Engineering at MIT.

Hydee Feldstein Soto *
Los Angeles City Attorney
City of Los Angles
Biography

Hydee Feldstein Soto *

Los Angeles City Attorney
City of Los Angles

Hydee Feldstein Soto is the 43rd Los Angeles City Attorney. She is the City’s general counsel and serves as legal advisor to the Mayor, City Council, and to the hundreds of boards, departments, officers and entities.

​The City Attorney interprets federal, state, county and municipal laws for Los Angeles, drafts City ordinances and is responsible for the application, implementation, and enforcement of all laws within the jurisdiction, defending the City and its charter. In addition, the City Attorney oversees all litigation and other proceedings in which Los Angeles is involved and is responsible for civil and criminal misdemeanor enforcement actions. As the City’s chief prosecutor, Feldstein Soto oversees the prosecution of misdemeanors and the administration of criminal justice, including alternatives to incarceration. Her team of 1,000 legal professionals, including 500+ attorneys, carries out the City’s legal work at her direction.
 

Mark Gold
Director of Water Scarcity Solutions
NRDC
Biography

Mark Gold

Director of Water Scarcity Solutions
NRDC

Prior to his time at NRDC, Mark Gold served as Executive Director of OPC and the Deputy Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Policy for the California Natural Resources Agency, Mark serves as a key advisor to Governor and the Secretary of Natural Resources and directs policy, scientific research, and critical partnerships to increase protection of coastal and ocean resources in California. Prior to his appointment, he was the UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability where he led their Sustainable Los Angeles Grand Challenge effort. Prior to UCLA, Mark was the first hire at Heal the Bay, where he served as their President for 18 years. During that time, he worked on ocean and coastal legislation and policy, stormwater, watershed management, and marine conservation and coastal restoration issues, projects and programs. Over the course of his career, his research focused on beach water quality and health risks, as well as sustainable water resources management. Mark received his bachelor’s and master’s in Biology as well as his doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering, all from UCLA.

Felicia Marcus
William C. Landreth Visiting Fellow
Stanford University Water in the West
Biography

Felicia Marcus

William C. Landreth Visiting Fellow
Stanford University Water in the West

Felicia Marcus is an attorney who has served in leadership and management positions in the government and non-profit sectors. She is currently the Landreth Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Water in the West Program and is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Felicia was most recently Chair of the California State Water Resources Control Board (working on issues of drought, groundwater management, water supply, drinking water, water quality and a host of other issues) after having served as Regional Administrator of the U.S. EPA Region IX and as head of the Los Angeles Department of Public Works in addition to senior leadership in national non-governmental organizations (NRDC and TPL).  She has experience as a private and public interest sector attorney and has worked on issues across the West spanning water supply, water rights, and water quality in addition to experience in other sectors like energy, toxics, and land use. She is also a member of the Water Policy Group, an international network of former and current high level water officials dedicated to assisting developing nations, a Board Member of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, which oversees the bulk electricity transmission grid for the Western US and parts of Canada and Mexico, and is also one of the three US members of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation in addition to serving of many boards and advisory committees.

Jason Caudle
City Manager
City of Lancaster
Biography

Jason Caudle

City Manager
City of Lancaster

Jason Caudle has been with the City of Lancaster since 2008, and was appointed City Manager in December 2018. Having served as the City’s Deputy City Manager for more than ten years, Mr. Caudle has championed many key initiatives, most notably the City’s groundbreaking alternative energy efforts, playing an integral role in the creation of Lancaster Choice Energy, the Lancaster Power Authority, and the California Choice Energy Authority.

As City Manager, Mr. Caudle has set his sights on leading City staff to implement a number of innovative projects, from Smart City initiatives to public improvements. He aims to strategically incorporate new technology and innovation throughout the City’s foundation to keep Lancaster on the cutting edge, continuing its legacy as a “City of firsts.”

Mr. Caudle’s successes have been predicated on his wealth of knowledge forged by previous roles, including being the Vice President of Public Finance for an investment banking firm and serving as the City Manager of the City of Tehachapi for nearly a decade. The latter merited him as one of the youngest city managers in the State of California.

Mr. Caudle holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration, both from California State University Bakersfield.

A family man, Mr. Caudle values spending time with his wife Leslie and their two children, Jackson and Kennedy. He also enjoys fishing, skiing, golf, and anything outdoors.

Okko-Pekka Salmimies
Finnish Consul General
Consulate of Finland, Los Angeles
Biography

Okko-Pekka Salmimies

Finnish Consul General
Consulate of Finland, Los Angeles
Okko-Pekka Salmimies took up his duties as Consul General of Finland in Los Angeles in September 2021. Ambassador Okko-Pekka Salmimies represents Finland in thirteen Western US states as Consul General of Finland. Salmimies is an expert in international trade and economy-related questions, and he joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland in 1997.
Prior to his current positioning in Los Angeles as a Consul General of Finland, Ambassador Salmimies worked as a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki. His research focused on foreign policy issues related to international trade, technology, transatlantic relations, and sustainable development. Salmimies’s most current publications cover topics related to strategic autonomy, the EU’s new trade policy, and green transition.
Dr. Srikar Reddy
Indian Consul General
Consulate of India in San Francisco
Biography

Dr. Srikar Reddy

Indian Consul General
Consulate of India in San Francisco

Dr. K. Srikar Reddy before taking over as the Consul General of India at San Francisco, served at the Department of Commerce, Government of India as Joint Secretary where he oversaw India’s commercial relations with countries in Africa and the Middle-East. He was the Chief Negotiator of India for the India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) and India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) that entered into force on 01 April 2021 and 01 May 2022 respectively.

He joined the Indian Foreign Service in the year 2001 and served in various positions at Indian Missions including Germany and Switzerland. Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of India to the World Trade Organization (WTO) from August 2014 to October 2017. He was India's Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from October 2017 to March 2020.

He also served at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), New Delhi and handled India’s relations with Pakistan and East and Southern Africa (E&SA). He served as Regional Passport Officer, Hyderabad (July 2011 – August 2014) where he transformed the delivery of passport services in then undivided state of Andhra Pradesh, India for which he was awarded the “Passport Seva Puraskar (Best Passport Officer)” in June 2013.

Dr. Reddy was born in the district of Warangal, Telangana. He studied Medicine (MBBS) at Kakatiya Medical College, Warangal India. He speaks Telugu, Hindi, English and German.

He is married to Prathima Koppula, an IT professional and has one son.

David Brulotte
Delegate General of Los Angeles
Québec
Biography

David Brulotte

Delegate General of Los Angeles
Québec

David Brulotte was appointed Delegate General of Québec in Los Angeles on April 4, 2022. Previously, he represented the government of Québec in Japan for three years as Delegate General of Québec in Tokyo.
 
In June 2018, Mr. Brulotte was appointed Director for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East for Invest Québec (IQ), the province of Québec’s financing corporation and economic development agency. Based in Japan, Mr. Brulotte managed the operations of IQ’s offices in Japan, Korea, China, and India, as well as business development in the wider region.
 
Before his posting in Tokyo, he was based in Paris from 2014 to 2018 as the business development director for France, Italy, and Benelux in IQ’s Paris office. Prior to his role in Paris, Mr. Brulotte worked as a trade commissioner for over two years at the Québec Government Office in London.
 
Before joining the Québec civil service, he worked in disarmament affairs for the United Nations in Kathmandu, Nepal.
 
Mr. Brulotte speaks French, English, and Japanese. He studied in France and Singapore, holds a B.A. in political science from Université Laval, an M.A. in international studies and diplomacy from the University of London, and a certificate in management from the University of Oxford. He has been involved in cultural philanthropy in Québec and has represented Canada at the Triathlon World Championships in 2017. He was also an Ironman All World Athlete the same year. He received the Université Laval Foundation’s Raymond Blais distinction in 2015 and Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellowship in 2018.

David Jacot
Director of Efficiency Solutions
LADWP
Biography

David Jacot

Director of Efficiency Solutions
LADWP

David Jacot, P.E., is the Director of Efficiency Solutions for the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP). LADWP operates the largest public power portfolio of energy efficiency programs in the nation, comprised of a broad array of energy resource acquisition and market transformation programs serving LADWP’s customers and trade ally networks. 

In this role, David oversees all aspects of LADWP’s offerings and strategies designed to overcome market barriers to the comprehensive adoption of energy efficiency by LADWP’s customers, as well as the integration of energy efficiency with other distributed energy resources to facilitate LADWP’s transition to 100% renewables. David also oversees the integration of electric, gas, and water efficiency programs through a nation-leading joint program partnership with the natural gas utility serving Los Angeles, the Southern California Gas Company. Finally, David manages LADWP’s energy and water efficiency labs, hand-on demonstration facilities, and emerging technology assessment and commercialization efforts at the La Kretz Innovation Campus, home of the world-renowned Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator.

David has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, as well as 20+ years of experience designing high performance building systems, modeling building energy usage, and managing cost-effective and investment-grade energy efficiency programs.

Ben Stapleton
Executive Director
US Green Building Council-LA
Biography

Ben Stapleton

Executive Director
US Green Building Council-LA

Ben Stapleton is an LA native who brings a creative mind and consultative approach to a wide range of projects with a focus on building teams and designing programs to deliver impactful results. His current work is based on coordinating an ecosystem leveraging the built environment as the entry point and connective fabric to help create a more sustainable society for all as Executive Director for the U.S. Green Building Council - Los Angeles. 

He launched and then managed the La Kretz Innovation Campus in Downtown LA while leading operations, finance, and major program initiatives for the LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI). The Campus has become an epicenter for sustainability in the region and an iconic green building for the LADWP and the City of LA, featuring events with prominent thought leaders, while being home to a community of cutting-edge businesses and nonprofits. 

His other past work has included real estate advisory, energy efficiency consulting, facilities operations, site selection, and project management as well as business and strategy development for a wide range of companies and real estate investors. His talents and insight have proven invaluable in managing, negotiating, and executing on complex real estate projects while delivering technology startups and community programs that exceed expectations.

In 2008, he founded JLL's global Cleantech Practice Group, which focused on representing renewable energy and clean technology companies in addressing their real estate needs. This only fueled his passion to explore the nexus of energy and real estate, coming to the belief that increasing the efficiency of our buildings is one of the most powerful tools to create a truly sustainable society. 

He is a recipient of JLL's distinctive Da Vinci Award for Innovation and CoStar’s Power Broker designation in the Los Angeles market, and served as the Managing Director for the LA Better Buildings Challenge, launching the program in 2011 and growing participation to over 60M square feet of commercial buildings.

Michael Galvin
Director, Waterfront and Commercial Real Estate
Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Michael Galvin

Director, Waterfront and Commercial Real Estate
Port of Los Angeles

Michael Galvin is the Director of Waterfront and Commercial Real Estate at the Port of Los Angeles, the nation’s leading container port. The Port of Los Angeles is a landlord seaport, covering 7500 acres of land and water, with more than 300 leaseholders including the Port’s visitor serving LA Waterfront which comprises over 400 acres and 8 miles of waterfront spanning the communities of San Pedro and Wilmington. The Port of Los Angeles is committed to creating and improving public access to the water’s edge through continual investment in word class infrastructure that will activate the LA Waterfront and attract private investment on port property and in the adjacent communities of San Pedro and Wilmington.

In this role, Mr. Galvin is responsible for development and management of the Port’s LA Waterfront including commercial development opportunities, cruise passengers, hotels, restaurants, recreational marinas and commercial fueling. Mr. Galvin oversees a team of Real Estate and Planning professionals that manage the LA Waterfront properties, plan for future public access investment, market new development opportunities and engage with stakeholders to ensure maximum linkage with local communities and regional visitor serving interests. 

Mr. Galvin also oversees the Port’s $200 million redevelopment program for marine oil terminals under the State of California Marine Oil Terminal Engineering and Maintenance Standards (MOTEMS).  The MOTEMS redevelopment program will provide support to regional refinery operations, LAX aviation fuel logistics and the San Pedro Bay shipping fuel market.

Mr. Galvin first joined the Port in 2004 and promoted to Director of Real Estate in 2007. He began his City career in 2000 in real estate for the Bureau of Engineering.

Mr. Galvin holds a bachelor of arts in U.S. History from the University of California, San Diego and a Juris Doctorate degree from Western State College of Law. Mr. Galvin is a licensed attorney and real estate broker in the State of California.

Nurit Katz
Chief Sustainability Officer
UCLA
Biography

Nurit Katz

Chief Sustainability Officer
UCLA

UCLA's first Chief Sustainability Officer, Nurit Katz is working to foster partnerships among academic, research, and operational departments to facilitate creating a world class living laboratory for sustainability at UCLA. She also currently serves as Commissioner on the Board of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Nurit also served as Executive Officer for UCLA Facilities Management for six years and is an Instructor for UCLA Extension's Sustainability Certificate Program. Nurit is passionate about urban ecology and serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the LA Raptor Study. Nurit holds an MBA and a Masters in Public Policy from UCLA and a BA in Environmental Education from Humboldt State University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. 

Ryan Altoon
CEO
Sustainable Cities, LLC
Biography

Ryan Altoon

CEO
Sustainable Cities, LLC

Ryan Altoon, as the Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Cities, spearheads the firm's development vision, leveraging over two decades of experience in real estate development, finance, and strategic planning. His leadership has been instrumental in steering projects totaling over $500 million in new construction across California.

Among his notable achievements are the development of prominent projects such as "Shoreline Gateway," a luxurious 315-unit, 35-story residential tower, "The Current," a 223-unit, 17-story multifamily project, and "Hercules Bayfront," an expansive 18-city block waterfront Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) featuring 1,500 units, 200,000 square feet of commercial space, and an intermodal transit center. Notably, "Hercules Bayfront" stands as one of the Nation’s pioneering LEED-ND Gold projects.

Prior to establishing Sustainable Cities, Ryan served as Executive Vice President at AndersonPacific, LLC, where he led investment, entitlement, and development efforts for sustainable mixed-use infill projects. His tenure saw the entitlement of over 2,700 residential units, 150,000 square feet of commercial space, and the creation of over 20 acres of public open space, collectively valued at over $1 billion.

Before his tenure at AndersonPacific, Ryan held roles at George Smith Partners, Inc., where he facilitated structured debt/equity packages for diverse real estate assets, and at Managing Director of GFX Center, a design and graphic reproduction firm catering to international real estate clientele.

Ryan's dedication extends beyond his professional roles. He serves as Chair of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Los Angeles District Council, where he leads the Advisory Board and Management Committee, and leads initiatives with member-leaders aimed shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide. He has also been actively involved in mentoring programs and spearheaded numerous Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) projects.

Furthermore, Ryan chairs the Long Beach Economic Partnership, collaborating with stakeholders to drive economic growth. His involvement with nonprofit organizations such as Linc Housing Corporation and Toluca Lake Beautification Partners underscores his commitment to affordable housing and sustainable community development.

His civic engagement includes serving as Chair of the Downtown Long Beach Alliance, President of the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council for a decade, and as a former Long Beach Commissioner. Ryan's multifaceted contributions have left an indelible mark on various communities, fostering sustainable growth and enhancing public spaces. He received his MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business, a Certificate in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and his Bachelor of Arts in Business/Economics and Art History from UCSB. He is also a LEED Accredited Professional.

Miguel Sangalang
Executive Director and General Manager for the Bureau of Street Lighting
City of Los Angeles (LA LIGHTS)
Biography

Miguel Sangalang

Executive Director and General Manager for the Bureau of Street Lighting
City of Los Angeles (LA LIGHTS)

Miguel Sangalang serves as the Executive Director and General Manager for the Bureau of Street Lighting of the City of Los Angeles (LA LIGHTS). As the head of the agency, his role is shaped by two major responsibilities: the upkeep and improvement of the city’s 220,000 street lighting infrastructure assets; and, the adoption of new tools and practices to ensure the city meets the needs of its residents well into the future. To that end, he is working to make street lighting a true neighborhood asset that reflects the culture of the communities it illuminates, improves public safety, and helps bridge the digital divide.

Previously, Miguel served as Deputy Mayor for Budget & Innovation for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. He directly oversaw the annual city budget, performance management, personnel, risk management, procurement reform, technology infrastructure, as well as sustainability, equity in service, gender equity, data, emerging technologies, and the local implementation of Census 2020. Six city departments with over 3,000 personnel directly reported to his office.

Miguel has been instrumental in shepherding key mayoral initiatives, including CleanStat, which changed the approach to illegal dumping cleaning from a reactive, request-driven process, to a proactive, data-driven model, and MyVoiceLA, the city’s first centralized reporting tool for harassment and discrimination. He led the creation of the city’s open data portal early on in the administration and helped lead the City to certification as Platinum for ISO37120 (Indicators for a sustainable city and quality of life), Gold certification for What Works Cities, and three recognitions as the #1 digital city by Govtech.

Catherine Reheis-Boyd
President
Western States Petroleum Association
Biography

Catherine Reheis-Boyd

President
Western States Petroleum Association

Catherine Reheis-Boyd has served as the President and CEO of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) since January 1, 2010. She oversees the trade organization’s operations and advocacy in five Western states – California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon.

Over her 33 year career at WSPA, Ms. Reheis-Boyd has held a variety of leadership roles, including a 2003 appointment as Chief of Staff and subsequent promotions to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. As part of her 39 years of experience in the oil industry, Ms. Reheis-Boyd worked for an environmental consulting firm on various projects before joining Getty Oil and Texaco, working on environmental compliance at the Kern River Field in Bakersfield, California.

She currently manages a broad range of Association activities, including legislative and regulatory issues associated with transportation fuels policy, air and water quality, climate change, renewable fuels and alternative energy issues, crude oil and natural gas production and many other issues in WSPA’s five states, and beyond those borders into Canada and abroad.

In 2004, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was appointed by the California Resource Secretary to the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Blue Ribbon Task Force to an eight-year term. The MLPA is charged with protecting ocean resources off the California coastline from Oregon to Mexico. In addition, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was appointed to the National Marine Protected Areas Center’s Federal Advisory Committee which recommends strategies to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Department of Interior on how to strengthen and protect the nation’s systems of Marine Protected Areas. Ms. Reheis-Boyd is a member of, or advisor to, a number of climate change policy panels and regulatory agencies in all five WSPA states.

In 2016, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was named Distinguished Woman and Petroleum Advocate of the Year by the California Latino Leadership Institute.

Ms. Reheis-Boyd received her Bachelors of Science degree in Natural Resource Management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where she currently sits on the Advisory Committee and pursued postgraduate studies in environmental engineering at the University of Southern California.

The Western States Petroleum Association represents major integrated petroleum companies, independent refiners and oil and natural gas producers that explore for, produce, transport, refine and market petroleum, petroleum products, and natural gas as well as advanced alternative and renewable transportation fuels in the West. On behalf of the industry, WSPA works to encourage public policies that promote socially and environmentally responsible economic growth and prosperity.

Hector De La Torre
Board Member
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Hector De La Torre

Board Member
California Air Resources Board

Hector De La Torre is the Executive Director of Gasol Foundation US, a national nonprofit dedicated to children’s health and wellness. He is also Chair of the board at LA Care, the largest public nonprofit health plan in the United States, and a trustee at his alma mater Occidental College in Los Angeles.

De La Torre served in the California State Assembly from 2004 to 2010, representing the largely Latino 50th District in Southeast Los Angeles County. He chaired the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, the Rules Committee and helped create and chaired the Accountability and Administrative Review Committee during his tenure.

De La Torre was the Executive Director of the national non-profit Transamerica Center for Health Studies.

Prior to his service in the Assembly, he served as Mayor and as a member of the South Gate City Council, Judicial Administrator in the Los Angeles Superior Court, chief of staff to the Deputy Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, and a teacher at Edison Junior High in South Los Angeles.

De La Torre graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College and attended the Elliot School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. He lives in South Gate.

William Funderburk
Board Member and Senior Advisor
PermaCity Foundation
Biography

William Funderburk

Board Member and Senior Advisor
PermaCity Foundation

William Funderburk is Senior Advisor with PermaCity Foundation, a group spun out of acquisition by commercial industrial solar developer Catalyze Corporation of Permacity Corporation in 2021.   He develops renewable energy projects for PermaCity and advises development teams on legal, political, policy and finance issues

From 2013 to 2018 Mr. Funderburk served as the Vice President of the Board of Commissioners for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and he retired from litigation as managing partner in the Los Angeles office of a California business litigation and counseling firm, Castellon & Funderburk LLP, which he co founded in 1999.  Based in Los Angeles and Washington, DC, Mr. Funderburk is known for being a visionary when it comes to everything from sustainability to renewables to clean tech to water quality. Mr. Funderburk has been a key force in handling the water crisis in Los Angeles, California and around the Country including playing a lead negotiating role in the historic multiagency settlement of the Owens Lake PM-10 dust control dispute.  He also played a key role as LADWP liaison in finalizing agreements to expand the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, negotiating the cleanup of the San Fernando Valley aquifer and lead authoring of the landmark Equity Metrics Data Initiative.

Mr. Funderburk attended the Paris Climate Accords with the Los Angeles delegation to the United Nations 21st Conference of Parties (COP).  He later became the first LADWP Commissioner in history to attend a COP as a delegate in 2017 in Bonn (COP 23) and spoke in Madrid (COP 25 in 2019), Glasgow (COP 26 in 2021) and Sharm El Sheik (COP 27 in 2022) on subjects ranging from Global Youth Empowerment, LA as a blueprint for global decarbonization, neurodiversity, global youth empowerment and equity metrics.

He has advised clients on drafting environmental legislation and regulations on groundbreaking issues such as reducing lead drinking water in California, establishing net metering for stationary, hydrogen powered fuel cells and counseling early stage companies on renewables, water, air and soil remediation technologies. 

On a national level, William has counseled clients on appearances before Congress and a number of federal councils under the jurisdiction of the White House.  The agencies range from the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Departments of Energy, Interior, State, and Defense to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Mr. Funderburk has published various articles regarding California storm water regulations, clean power and distributed generation, Superfund reform and insurance recovery for environmental liabilities. He also speaks as an expert in environmental compliance, having given over 150 speeches in Washington, D.C. and California for the past three decades.

Mr. Funderburk is a member of the California State Bar and District of Columbia Bar.  He graduated from Yale University (B.A. in Engineering and Applied Science) and Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.).
 

Robert Lempert
Director
RAND Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition
Biography

Robert Lempert

Director
RAND Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition

Robert Lempert is a principal researcher at the RAND Corporation and Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition. His research focuses on climate risk management and decision-making under conditions of deep uncertainty. Dr. Lempert is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a coordinating lead author for Working Group II of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, a chapter lead for the Fourth US National Climate Assessment, chair of the peer review panel for California’s Fourth Climate Assessment, a member of California’s Climate-Safe Infrastructure Working Group,  and has been a member of numerous study panels for the U.S. National Academies, including America’s Climate Choices and Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate. Dr. Lempert was the Inaugural EADS Distinguished Visitor in Energy and Environment at the American Academy in Berlin and the inaugural president of the Society for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty (http://www.deepuncertainty.org). A Professor of Policy Analysis in the Pardee RAND Graduate School, Dr. Lempert is an author of the book Shaping the Next One Hundred Years: New Methods for Quantitative, Longer-Term Policy Analysis.

Myrna Bittner
CEO and Co-Founder
RUNWITHIT Synthetics
Biography

Myrna Bittner

CEO and Co-Founder
RUNWITHIT Synthetics

Myrna Bittner is the CEO and Co-Founder of RUNWITHIT Synthetics, an advanced data modelling and visualization company helping to answer some of the most challenging questions about decarbonization, sustainability, equity, resilience, and growth initiatives globally.   Myrna is passionate about connecting today's technology, policy, and infrastructure choices to data about the impacts and outcomes for people and our planet.  

Last year, 7 years after incorporation, the growing RUNWITHIT team celebrated numerous international awards, including the United Nation’s Global Call for Decarbonization, Taiwan’s Top Technology Gold Medal, Toyota Mobility Foundation’s City Architecture of Tomorrow Challenge, NATO’s Space Awareness, USAF’s AFWERX Showcase, Airbus Defence “Beyond Net-Zero," along with the “Most Edmonton” YEG Startup Company.  RUNWITHIT is a women-led, Certified Aboriginal Business, with a GBA+ Certified team of diverse and talented 3D animators, designers, and scientists in social, data, computing, and engineering disciplines. 

Anil Tammineedi
Principal
Angeleno Group
Biography

Anil Tammineedi

Principal
Angeleno Group

Anil Tammineedi is an investor at Angeleno Group (“AG”), a Los Angeles-based venture capital firm with a global platform focused on high growth investments in next-generation clean energy and climate solutions companies. Since 2008, Mr. Tammineedi has been a member of the investment team, currently serving on the Investment Committee and actively involved on the Boards of several AG portfolio companies including Stem, Locana, Patriot Environmental Services and mPrest.  Previously, he gained several years of operating experience at Broadcom, where he worked in product development and management roles related to semiconductors for communications, mobile and power management applications. His prior investing experience includes his work at Applied Ventures, the corporate venture group of Applied Materials. Mr. Tammineedi is a Kauffman Fellow and serves as a Senior Faculty Advisor to the Business Creation Program at UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he has taught and lectured on the topics of entrepreneurship, clean energy, and impact investing. Mr. Tammineedi holds an M.S. from Iowa State University and an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

 

Shun Sakaguchi
Director, Business Development - US West Coast
Bloomberg NEF
Biography

Shun Sakaguchi

Director, Business Development - US West Coast
Bloomberg NEF

Shun leads all West Coast Sales efforts and growth strategy for the full BloombergNEF service portfolio, with a focus on Enterprise Business Development and Event Sponsorship.

BloombergNEF (BNEF) is a strategic research provider covering global commodity markets and the disruptive technologies driving the transition to a low-carbon economy. Our expert coverage assesses pathways for the power, transport, industry, buildings and agriculture sectors to adapt to the energy transition and sustainability. We help commodity trading, corporate strategy, finance and policy professionals navigate change and generate opportunities.

Terry O'Day
Chief Operating Officer
In-Charge Energy
Biography

Terry O'Day

Chief Operating Officer
In-Charge Energy

Terry cofounded In Charge Energy in 2019. It is the infrastructure leader in electrification of transportation fleets in the United States, and the preferred infrastructure partner of Ryder TruckRental, which serves over 65,000 customers in the U.S. Terry currently advises Macquarie Capital, a division of theAustralian multinational independent investment bank and financial services company that is the world's largest infrastructure asset managerwith $495 billion in assets under management. Previously, Terry led North American strategy for innogy e-MobilityUSa division of the $40 billion per year German energy company.There, he participated in acquiring the leading U.S. electricvehicle fast charging hardware company and a customer-facing software application with over 700,000 regularusers

Previously, Terry led the Western region forEVgo, the nation’s largest public fast charging company for electricvehicles (EVs), taking that company from its first public fast charging installation in 2011 to more than 1,000 chargers nationwide and overseeing an investment program of over $140 million. He led partnerships with major automakers, energy companies and state governments, including a $122.5 million agreement with the California Public Utilities Commission

Earlier in his career,Terry founded four companies with Edison International in energy, security services, and electric vehicle charging and the first car rental company in the United States to offer only electric vehicles to the general public, serving fifteen airports in six states and more than 500,000 customers withover 850 cars.Terry also served as Executive Director of Environment Now foundation, a strategic, entrepreneurial, activist leader in California. The organization founded dozens of activist environmental organizations protecting air, land andwater quality in California and Mexico. In 2007, Terry cofounded Move LA and developed LA County’s Measure R, which over 67% of voters approved in 2008 and is contributing over $40 billion to transit investment countywide.

Terry currently serves as Mayor Pro Tempore for the City of Santa Monica and was first elected in November 2010. The city of 95,000 residents hasa daytime population of over 300,000, with 2,300 employees and a $700 million annual budget. Terry led a six-year process to update the City’s General Plan, which became the leading example ofenvironmental land use planning in the state, reducing projected per capita greenhouse gas emissions from land use by 31 percent in 25 years. He led the city’s policy to transition away from imported water, relying instead on sustainable, local water supply and the conversion of over 200 transit buses from natural gas to electric fuel. He has served in community leadership positions in California and Mexico; including Waterkeeper Alliance, Coro Southern California; The USC Center for Sustainable Cities, Environmental EntrepreneursCoalition for Clean Airand the Metropolitan Water DistrictTerry has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and BA with honors from Stanford University.

Dan Adler
Managing Director
CalCEF
Biography

Dan Adler

Managing Director
CalCEF

Dan Adler is Managing Director of the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), a nonprofit, evergreen investment fund created to advance the clean energy economy. Mr. Adler is responsible for CalCEF's investments across six funds in venture capital and project finance, and leads the firm's efforts to identify catalytic new investment theses. Prior to joining CalCEF, Mr. Adler was a senior analyst in the Division of Strategic Planning at the California Public Utilities Commission, where he was responsible for the design and implementation of California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard and was senior staff for climate change policy. He serves as Board co-chair of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), on the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Green Capital, and on the Board of Advisors of the Clean Tech Open.

Mia Lehrer
Commissioner
Studio MLA/LADWP Board
Biography

Mia Lehrer

Commissioner
Studio MLA/LADWP Board

Mia Lehrer is the founder and president of Studio-MLA, an L.A. urban design and landscape architecture firm. Her firm specializes in the design and implementation of public and private sector projects, such as urban waterway programs, local and regional parks, and mixed-use developments. Mia has a breadth of experience in the public sector, including service as a member of Los Angeles’ Cultural Affairs Commission, Zoning Advisory committee, and the Mayor’s Design Advisory Panel.

Mia is also known as a long-time champion for the Los Angeles River, notably through her work as a member of the team that delivered the City’s River Revitalization Master Plan and the 2020 Upper LA River and Tributaries Revitalization Plan.

A native of El Salvador, Lehrer earned a B.A. from Tufts University and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. She was named a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2010. If confirmed, she would replace former Commissioner Mel Levine.

Mia was appointed to the LADWP Board of Commissioners, making it the first ever all-female board, but LA Mayor Eric Garcetti in September 2020. 

Joe Sullivan
Director of Energy Solutions
Los Angeles IBEW & NECA
Biography

Joe Sullivan

Director of Energy Solutions
Los Angeles IBEW & NECA
Matt Horton
Director of State Policy and Initiative
Accelerator for America
Biography

Matt Horton

Director of State Policy and Initiative
Accelerator for America

Matt Horton is the director of state policy and initiatives for Accelerator for America. In this role he interacts with government officials, impact investment and other community leaders in building capacity toward shaping infrastructure, jobs creation, and equitable community development efforts.  Over the past fifteen years, Matt has worked to direct research driven programs and initiatives  to develop public policy that impacts housing production, infrastructure finance, enhance access to capital, create jobs and other economic development strategies. Previously, Matt was the director of the California Center at the Milken Institute. There, he produced research, programs, and events designed to inform and activate innovative economic policy solutions to support job creation and infrastructure development as a catalyst to supporting resilient growth. Before, Matt worked for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization. There, Matt served as the primary point of contact for external and government affairs, coordinating regional policy development with local elected officials, state, and federal stakeholders. In this role, he developed plans with leaders across Southern California to plan for growth, build resiliency, and improve quality of life throughout the region.

 

Matt is a Senior Advisor for the Milken Institute and a member of the California Economic Mobility and Entrepreneurship task force and participates on a number of advisory boards including: Lift to Rise; WorkingNation, and Altasea.

 
Philip Recht
Partner
Mayer Brown
Biography

Philip Recht

Partner
Mayer Brown

Partner in charge of Mayer Brown’s Los Angeles office and leader of the firm’s California Government Relations & Public Law practice, Phil Recht represents clients in legislative, regulatory, enforcement and litigation matters before and involving federal, state and local governments. He also handles grants, approvals, permits and other government transactions. He has particular expertise in transportation, tribal gaming, health care, trade association, government contracts, and election law matters.

Phil also has extensive government experience. Prior to joining the firm, he served as Chief Counsel (1994-95) and Deputy Administrator (1995-99) for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US Department of Transportation. He also worked as a Legislative Assistant in the Office of US Rep. David L. Cornwell (Ind.) (1976-78), as a consultant with the Joint Center for Political Studies in Washington, DC (1975) and as a Legislative Aide with the Office of US Rep. John Moakley (Mass.) (1975).

Derek Chernow
Western US Regional Director
Coalition for Community Solar Access
Biography

Derek Chernow

Western US Regional Director
Coalition for Community Solar Access

Derek Chernow is the Western Regional Director for the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA). Chernow previously served as Executive Director of the California Alternative Energy & Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA), where he led all operations for the California agency charged with financing clean energy projects to spur economic development. Before CAEATFA, he spent many years working in the California State Legislature, including in the CA Senate Budget Subcommittee on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy & Transportation and as a Chief of Staff for multiple members. He also held leadership positions advocating for clean energy and environmental protection including Acting Director at the California Department of Conservation. In his spare time, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Tree Foundation.

Neil Navin
Chief Clean Fuels Officer
SoCalGas
Biography

Neil Navin

Chief Clean Fuels Officer
SoCalGas

Neil Navin is chief clean fuels officer for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), a Sempra regulated California utility. He oversees SoCalGas’ comprehensive portfolio of clean energy strategies, innovations and projects to support the utility’s role as a long-term leader enabling California’s clean energy future. Navin’s focus is on delivering tangible innovations and projects in new and growing markets, including renewable natural gas, hydrogen and fuel cells, all of which are aligned to SoCalGas’ mission, strategy and sustainability plan.

Previously, Navin was vice president of construction for SoCalGas and SDG&E.

Since joining SoCalGas in 2014, Navin has served in a number of increasingly responsible management positions, including vice president of gas transmission and storage for SoCalGas and SDG&E. Prior to that, Navin held project management positions with the Fluor and Parsons companies. His previous experience included work on sulfur recovery, gas compression processing, oil and gas production, refining, pipeline engineering, chemical weapons destruction, biogas treatment, fuel cell power generation, and petrochemical plant projects throughout the United States, Middle East and Europe.

Navin sits on the boards of Operations Technology Development, NFP, Housing Works and Friends of Ballona Wetlands. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from McGill University in Montréal, Québec, Canada.