Speakers for VX2019

Jeff Kightlinger
General Manager
Metropolitan Water District
Biography

Jeff Kightlinger

General Manager
Metropolitan Water District

Jeffrey Kightlinger is general manager and chief executive officer for The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The Metropolitan Water District is the largest municipal water provider in the nation delivering an average of over 2 billion gallons of water a day to 19 million customers across Southern California.  Metropolitan serves one out of every two Californians in the six counties of Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego.

Kightlinger was appointed general manager in February 2006.  Prior to that, he served as the general counsel for the agency.

Larry Kosmont
President & CEO
Kosmont Companies
Biography

Larry Kosmont

President & CEO
Kosmont Companies

Larry J. Kosmont, CRE®, is President and CEO of Kosmont Companies, which he founded in 1986. Kosmont Companies is an industry leader in public/private real estate transactions and economic development. In 1990, he founded Kosmont Realty Corporation, a real estate brokerage firm. In 2015, he launched Kosmont Transactions Services which sources private financing for public projects, P3 initiatives, and infrastructure funding. He’s also a Principal of California Golden Fund, an approved EB-5 Regional Center.

His 40-year career encompasses public/private financial structuring and negotiations, development, and management of real estate and public finance transactions exceeding $12B. He has an extensive track record as a consultant and advisor who has assisted hundreds of local government agencies and guided over 1,000 private sector projects.

Mickey Kantor
Partner, Mayer Brown LLP
Former US Secretary of Commerce
Biography

Mickey Kantor

Partner, Mayer Brown LLP
Former US Secretary of Commerce

Mickey Kantor concentrates his practice on corporate and financial international transactions. He has extensive experience in market access issues, as well as the expansion of client activities in foreign markets through trade, direct investment, joint ventures, and strategic business alliances.

Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Mickey was the United States Secretary of Commerce (1996-1997) and the United States Trade Representative (1993-1996). He has been called “arguably the finest trade negotiator in the world” (Chambers Global 2006) and is said to be “blessed with fantastic political insights and connections” (Chambers USA2007).

He was recognized in The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers-Trade & Customs 2009. Among them any awards and honors he has received are the following: the Order of the Southern Cross Award by The Government of Brazil, 2001, the William O. Douglas Award by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the Thomas Jefferson Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Center for the Study of the Presidency, the Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award from the Hugh O'Brien Youth Foundation, and Elihu Root Distinguished Lecturer, Council on Foreign Relations.

Dan Sperling
Director; Board Member
Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis; California Air Resources Board
Biography

Dan Sperling

Director; Board Member
Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis; California Air Resources Board

Daniel Sperling is Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy, and founding Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis (ITS-Davis). Dr. Sperling has led ITS-Davis to international prominence by building strong partnerships with industry, government, and the environmental community, integrating interdisciplinary research and education programs, and connecting research with public outreach and education.

Dr. Sperling is recognized as a leading international expert on transportation technology assessment, energy and environmental aspects of transportation, and transportation policy. He was the 2013 chair of the California Fuel Cell Partnership and is 2015 Chair of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies. He received the 2013 Blue Planet Prize for being "a pioneer in opening up new fields of study to create more efficient, low-carbon, and environmentally beneficial transportation systems" and 2010 Heinz Award for his "achievements in the research of alternative transportation fuels and his responsibility for the adoption of cleaner transportation policies in California and across the United States." He is author or editor of over 200 technical articles and 12 books, including Two Billion Cars (Oxford University Press, 2009), and has testified 7 times to the U.S. Congress on alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technology.

He earned his Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley (with minors in Economics and Energy & Resources) and his B.S. in Environmental Engineering and Urban Planning from Cornell University. Professor Sperling worked two years as an environmental planner for the US Environmental Protection Agency and two years as an urban planner in the Peace Corps in Honduras.

Dan Cohee
Vice President
PDE Total Energy Solutions
Biography

Dan Cohee

Vice President
PDE Total Energy Solutions

Dan leads the design, implementation, integration and construction of advanced energy storage and distributed generation projects for PDE. He led groundbreaking projects of grid tied lithium ion energy storage for a California Municipal Utility and completed a microgrid installation which combined solar, fuel cell, clean burning generator, and energy storage. He has managed design-build of over 30 MW in DC energy storage projects. Dan also is the Principal Investigator for the ESTCP 2012 Sodium-Metal-Halide Battery Energy Storage project at 29 Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. Forbes Online recognized this project as a “Top 12 Energy Project in 2012” and is the largest military type 2B microgrid in the US. Dan led the team on PDE’s leading-edge, Smart Microgrid project at the Electrical Training Institute. The system is a first of its kind, combining energy storage, solar generation, electrical vehicle charging and building load management in one unit. This project was awarded the 2013 Los Angeles National Electrical Contractor’s Excellence Award. Dan is currently leading the design efforts for a smart microgrid project for Penn State University and recently completed the Cuisinart microgrid in the Caribbean.  This microgrid powers a reverse osmosis plant which produces between 250,000 to 300,000 gallons of water each day with solar being the sole generation source.  This is the largest installation of its kind in the region and is a potential game changer for energy policy and delivery in the region.  PDE was recently selected as EPC for the largest privately owned Net Zero Energy retrofit in the U.S.  This project features a microgrid, advanced electronics, battery storage, solar, lighting controls and a high efficiency mechanical system. Dan has just completed the Port Hueneme off grid photo voltaic and flow battery micro grid for the CEC to demonstrate how flow batteries can provide: demand charge savings, increased renewable generation on military micro grids through ramp rate control, and provide reliable power during utility outages.  Currently Dan is heading the engineering, procurement, and construction for the micro grid Test Bed for NAVFAC at the Port of Ventura.  This project will build the AC and DC backbone for NAVFAC to test and integrate technologies of today and of the future to facilitate deployments of micro grids around the world.  This project will be both grid connected and designed to island and will support Naval operations during power outages.

Prior to joining PDE, Dan was responsible for 5 western states at MCI Telecommunications (now Verizon) and successfully managed over 60 million dollars in electrical, mechanical, and control construction projects. Dan attended California State University Long Beach and holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

Hiroaki Ishizuka
Chairman
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
Biography

Hiroaki Ishizuka

Chairman
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
Rick Cole
City Manager
City of Santa Monica
Biography

Rick Cole

City Manager
City of Santa Monica

Rick Cole has served as City Manager of Santa Monica since June 2015. During his tenure, he has spearheaded work on the City Council’s five Strategic Goals: converting the Santa Monica Airport to parkland; forging a new model of mobility; taking regional leadership on homelessness; fostering an inclusive and diverse community; and promoting wellbeing so that residents Learn & Thrive.

Rick has been recognized as one of “America's Public Officials of the Year” by Governing Magazine and one of the "Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers" by Government Technology Magazine. He has won awards for municipal management excellence from the American Society of Public Administrators and the Municipal Management Association of Southern California, as well as for urban planning leadership from the Congress for the New Urbanism. 

Prior to coming to Santa Monica, Rick served as Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation for the City of Los Angeles where he was responsible for a budget of $8.6 billion and oversaw five city departments. Rick also spent 15 years as City Manager of two Southern California cities, Ventura and Azusa. 

Rick served 12 years on the Pasadena City Council and was Mayor when Pasadena adopted its landmark General Plan, an early model for smart growth. Called "one of Southern California's most visionary planning thinkers" by the Los Angeles Times, he has been an active leader in the International City Managers Association and the City Managers Department of the League of California Cities. 

As Santa Monica’s City Manager, Mr. Cole is responsible for leading one of California’s most successful and progressive full-service cities. With a AAA bond rating from all three major public credit rating agencies and an annual budget of more than $700 million, Santa Monica’s award-winning services and programs are delivered by a staff of nearly 2300. 

Rick received a degree in American Studies from Occidental College in 1978 and earned a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Columbia University in 1979.

Brian Jordan
Vice President
Tetra Tech
Biography

Brian Jordan

Vice President
Tetra Tech

Brian Jordan is a Vice President at Tetra Tech and currently focused on the firm’s smart water initiative. Mr. Jordan recently joined Tetra Tech from MWH Global where he was Director of Global Corporate Development. In this capacity, he was responsible for coordinating and leading a variety of the company’s growth efforts including strategic partnerships and mergers and acquisitions, as well as organic growth initiatives aligned with the company’s strategic plan.

Prior to MWH, Brian was a Senior Vice President at AECOM where he was the executive responsible for profit and loss, sales and marketing efforts, and oversight of strategy and operations for the firm’s water business in a region that extended from the Rocky Mountains to continental Asia. Brian has been active in professional associations throughout his career. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Water Works Association and been elected, nominated, or appointed to leadership and chair positions for a half-dozen different industry organizations. He is also an active author and public speaker having published or presented several dozen papers. A licensed professional engineer in California, Brian has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute, and completed graduate studies in the same field at Virginia Tech.

Mary Nichols
Chair
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Mary Nichols

Chair
California Air Resources Board

Mary D. Nichols is Chair of the California Air Resources Board, a post she has held since 2007.

Nichols has devoted her entire career in public and nonprofit service to advocating for the environment and public health. In addition to her work at the Air Board, she has served as Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Air and Radiation program under President Clinton, Secretary for California's Resources Agency from 1999 to 2003 and Director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Her priorities as chairman include moving ahead on the state's landmark climate change program (AB 32), steering the Board through numerous efforts to curb diesel pollution at ports and continuing to pass regulations aimed at providing cleaner air for Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. She values innovation, partnerships and common-sense approaches to addressing the state's air issues.

Timothy McOsker
CEO
AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles
Biography

Timothy McOsker

CEO
AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

Timothy B. McOsker is a lifelong San Pedro resident and an attorney with over three decades of experience in government, regulatory and land development matters.  Tim has had a long history of serving San Pedro, the city of Los Angeles and the State of California in numerous leadership roles, including as chief of staff for former Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn and as Hahn’s Chief Deputy City Attorney.  Before serving in the City of Los Angeles, Tim served as City Attorney to various jurisdictions in Southern California. 

Prior to being appointed CEO on Feb. 1, 2018, Tim represented AltaSea in critical legal matters including the 2017 lease renegotiations with the Port of Los Angeles. His deep experience in land development, environmental issues, permitting, municipal law, and contracts will be crucial as AltaSea embarks on an ambitious next stage of expansion and development of its 35 acre campus.

Tim is currently the chairman of the board of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and a board member of Harbor Interfaith Services. McOsker is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and UCLA School of Law.

V. John White
Executive Director
CEERT
Biography

V. John White

Executive Director
CEERT

V. John White has been a writer, commentator, advocate, and leader of the green energy movement in California for 35 years. He is executive director of CEERT, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies in Sacramento, and principal of the environmental and energy lobbying practice, V. John White Associates, representing public interest environmental and local government organizations, and new energy technology companies.

White's career has been devoted to air quality improvement and clean energy development. As chief consultant to the California Assembly Subcommittee on Air Quality, he became the leading legislative expert on air quality technology and regulation, helping to draft the California Clean Air Act and subsequent clean air and energy statutes.

 In 1990 he co-founded CEERT, which has become the premier energy advocacy voice for key environmental public interest groups and clean energy technology companies.  He played a central role in the passage of the Pavley Clean Car bill, AB 32, and many of California’s renewable energy incentive and regulatory programs. 

He serves on a number of nonprofit boards and organizations.

John is a graduate of U.C. Riverside – Political Science

Kathleen Brown
Partner
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Biography

Kathleen Brown

Partner
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Kathleen Brown’s practice focuses on business counseling, government and regulatory affairs, particularly as they relate to the healthcare, energy and financial services industries.

Ms. Brown brings to her practice a background that includes 18 years as a senior executive in the banking and financial services industry and 16 years of public sector experience, including a term as California’s state treasurer.

Ms. Brown joined Manatt after more than 12 years at Goldman Sachs, Inc., a global investment banking and securities firm, where she served as chairman of Midwest Investment Banking and, prior to that, as managing director and head of the firm’s Western Region Public Sector and Infrastructure Group. Ms. Brown also held various senior positions with Bank of America, including president of the private bank.

During her tenure with Goldman Sachs, she worked closely with healthcare institutions in California and the Midwest in both an investment banking and strategic advisory capacity, with a particular focus on helping firms navigate the challenges and leverage the opportunities presented by healthcare reform. She also worked with energy clients and participated in over $4.2 billion of water and power bond financings, working extensively with municipal utilities in California, including on projects to meet California’s renewable energy standards.

Ms. Brown’s experience in the government arena includes serving a term as California state treasurer, where 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. During that time she was co chair of the Council of Institutional Investors. She was the Democratic Party nominee for Governor of California in 1994, the 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 beginning her campaign for treasurer, Ms. Brown was an attorney in the New York and Los Angeles offices of a global law firm, where she was a member of the Capital Markets Group specializing in public and corporate finance.
 

EDUCATION

Fordham University Law School, J.D., 1985

Stanford University, B.A., History, 1969
 

MEMBERSHIPS & ACTIVITIES

Director, Forestar Group Inc.

Director, Sempra Energy

Director, National Park Foundation

Founding Director, The California Women’s Foundation

Member, Council on Foreign Relations

Member, The Trusteeship

Board Member, Stanford Center on Longevity

Former Board Member, The California Endowment

Former Board Member, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
 

HONORS & AWARDS

Most Valuable State Official, City And State , 1993

“Breaking The Glass Ceiling Award,” Women Executives in State Government, 1994

“Lifetime Achievement Award,” Women in Public Finance, 2009

“Women To Watch In 2011,” Crainʹs Chicago
 

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Moderator, “Financing Resilient Infrastructure,” 2014 VerdeXchange Green Marketmakers Conference & Expo, January 27, 2014.

Moderator, “The Promise of an Interstate, Multi Modal Regional Network—The High Desert Corridor,” 2014 VerdeXchange Green Marketmakers Conference & Expo, January 27, 2014.

Panelist, ʺ Effective Government Responsive Leadership,ʺ  The Milken Institute Summit, November 21, 2013.

Robert Griffin
Vice President, Business Development
Customer First Renewables
Biography

Robert Griffin

Vice President, Business Development
Customer First Renewables

Robert (Bob) M. Griffin joined Customer First Renewables (CFR) in December 2016 as Vice President, Business Development with focus on the Federal Sector. Bob retired from the U.S. Navy with more than 36 years of public service and was selected to the Senior Executive Service in July of 2000. He was the Executive Director of the Navy’s Renewable Program Office, tasked with the overall planning, coordination and integration of large scale renewable energy projects to meet the Secretary of the Navy’s goal to bring 1GW of renewable energy in procurement to increase the Navy’s energy security and operational capability.

Michael Owh
Chief Procurement Officer
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Michael Owh

Chief Procurement Officer
City of Los Angeles

As Chief Procurement Officer, Owh works to identify cost savings in the City’s spending, increase transparency, and reduce contracting time. A core priority of the Garcetti Administration is delivering inclusive economic growth, and the Chief Procurement Officer will play an important role in moving that commitment forward.

Owh builds on the work of the Mayor’s Operations Innovation Team (O-Team) — an initiative Mayor Garcetti launched in 2015 through the support of the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, and in partnership with the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs, as well as a number of private funders. The O-Team’s focus is to improve the City’s core business systems, deliver operational efficiency, and maximize the value of taxpayer dollars.

Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Owh was appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services and the City’s Chief Procurement Officer. In these roles, Owh was responsible for acquisition policy and the oversight of more than $21 billion coordinated through 40 city agencies. Previously, Owh was General Counsel at the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development and Deputy General Counsel at the Department of Small Business Services.

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.

John Emerson
Vice Chairman
Capital Group International
Biography

John Emerson

Vice Chairman
Capital Group International

John Emerson is a global relationship manager and vice chairman of Capital Group International, Inc. He has 16 years of industry experience, all with Capital Group. He was most recently the United States ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2015, John was awarded the State Department's Susan M. Cobb Award for Exemplary Diplomatic Service, which is given annually to one non-career ambassador. Prior to accepting the ambassador posting, John was president of Private Client Services for the Capital Group Companies. Before joining Capital, he was deputy assistant to President Clinton where he coordinated his economic conferences, served as the president’s liaison to the nation’s governors, and led the administration’s efforts to obtain congressional approval of the GATT Uruguay Round Agreement and the extension of China’s MFN trading status. Before that, John served as Los Angeles Chief Deputy City Attorney, and was a partner in the law firm of Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg, and Phillips. Additionally, he was appointed by President Obama to serve on his Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. He holds an honorary doctor of laws degree from Hamilton College, a juris doctorate degree from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Hamilton College. John is based in Los Angeles.

Dennis McGinn
Fmr. U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Senior Advisor and Board Member, Customer First Renewables
Biography

Dennis McGinn

Fmr. U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Senior Advisor and Board Member, Customer First Renewables

Dennis McGinn is a Senior Advisor and Board Member at CustomerFirst Renewables.

Dennis, who served 35 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy, also served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment from September 2013 until January 2017. He is a former President of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), a past member of the Steering Committee of the Energy Future Coalition, United States Energy Security Council, Bipartisan Policy Center Energy Board, and CNA Military Advisory Board and currently serves on several boards, including the Rocky Mountain Institute. He is also a senior advisor to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the Center for Climate and Security.

Richard Bruckner
Senior Land Use Specialist
Mayer Brown
Biography

Richard Bruckner

Senior Land Use Specialist
Mayer Brown

Richard Bruckner is a senior land use specialist in Mayer Brown’s Los Angeles office. Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Richard was director of Los Angeles County’s Department of Regional Planning, which provides advance planning, current planning and land use regulation enforcement for the unincorporated area of the county, which has a population of approximately one million. Prior to that, he was the director of planning and development for the City of Pasadena, with responsibilities in citywide economic development, planning, building, code enforcement, cultural affairs, real estate and the management of eight redevelopment projects areas. Previous to his work for Pasadena, he served as the deputy executive director of the Community Development Department for the City of Anaheim, California.

Martha Welborne
Senior Advisor
HR&A
Biography

Martha Welborne

Senior Advisor
HR&A

Martha Welborne is a nationally-recognized leader in urban development. Her exceptional career as a civic and organizational change-maker has spanned the country, with a focus on complex development and mobility management in Los Angeles. With experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, Martha has spearheaded some of Los Angeles’ most innovative public transportation and revitalization projects in recent history—including the installation of the county’s first rapid bus lines and the redevelopment of the Grand Avenue corridor.

Prior to joining HR&A, Martha was the Senior Vice President of Corporate Real Estate for the Walt Disney Company, where she oversaw all corporate real estate development, design, construction; asset and portfolio management; and facilities support and services. From 2010-2016, Martha served as the Chief Planning Officer at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). Responsible for planning the long-range mobility future of the county, Martha led a staff of more than 200 to accelerate the delivery of voter-approved projects funded by Measure R and execute strategic initiatives, such as the Master Plan of the historic Union Station property. From 2001-2011, Martha was the Managing Director of the Grand Avenue Committee, a public/private initiative involving both the City and County of Los Angeles to spur cultural and mixed-use private development on Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles, including the redevelopment of Grand Park.

Martha began her career as an architect and planner, working on both individual building design and large-scale projects as an associate partner of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP and a principal of Sasaki Associates, Inc. She has served on the board of the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority and as President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Martha is a former member of MIT’s Visiting Committee for the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, the Board of the Community Foundation Land Trust, and the Board of Councilors for USC’s School of Architecture and for KUSC.

In addition to her role as Senior Advisor at HR&A, Martha will also serve as Project Director of LA Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies, LLC, the first permanent public transit link to Dodger’s Stadium since it was built nearly 60 years ago.

Martha earned a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame, and Master’s degrees in both Architecture and City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was also a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects.

Stephen Cheung
President
World Trade Center Los Angeles
Biography

Stephen Cheung

President
World Trade Center Los Angeles

Stephen Cheung is the President of World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA).  The WTCLA works to support the development of international trade and business opportunities for Southern California companies as the leading international trade association, trade service organization and trade resource in the Los Angeles region.

Prior to his current role, Cheung was the Secretary General for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and was responsible for managing policies and programs related to the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, International Affairs and Global Trade.  Cheung served on the Board of Director of the Los Angeles Regional Export Council and the Los Angeles Business Council, and was the lead organizer for Mayor Garcetti’s international trade missions to Mexico, China, Korea and Japan.

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 joined the Port of Los Angeles and Mayor Garcetti’s Office after serving as Managing Director of International Trade and Clean Technology for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  He was responsible for enhancing international trade opportunities for Los Angeles-based companies, and expanding the city’s role as a leader in international trade, entertainment, tourism, manufacturing and professional services.  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 such as the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and Port Tech LA.

A proud Angeleno, Cheung was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Los Angeles where he received both his bachelor’s in Psychobiology and master’s in Social Welfare from UCLA.  Cheung was delighted to return to UCLA as a lecturer for a graduate-level course on public policy at the Luskin School of Public Affairs, and served on the Advisory Council of USC’s Center for International Business Education and Research and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator.

Vince Bertoni
Director of Planning
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Vince Bertoni

Director of Planning
City of Los Angeles

Vince Bertoni is the Director of Planning for the City of Los Angeles.  With 29 years of professional planning experience, Vince leads the largest city planning department in the nation.  He is charged with developing policies that shape the future of the City and guide development decisions for a diverse and dynamic metropolis of over 4 million people.  Prior to arriving in Los Angeles, Vince was the Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Pasadena where he successfully managed Pasadena’s city planning program through a General Plan update, a comprehensive visioning process that happens just once every 20 years.  He has also served as Deputy Director for the City of Los Angeles and held lead planning posts for the cities of Beverly Hills, Santa Clarita, and Malibu.

Vince is a member of the California Planning Roundtable and has held several leadership positions with the California Chapter of the American Planning Association including President, Vice President for Policy & Legislation, Director of the Los Angeles Section, and Co-Chair of the American Planning Association’s 2012 National Planning Conference.  In addition, he has served on the Board of Directors of the League of California Cities and as President of the League’s Planning & Community Development Department.  Vince has been active on statewide legislation, having served on the Housing Element Reform Working Group formed by the State Assembly and Senate and testified before the State Senate on infill real estate development strategies.

Vince has a Bachelor's Degree in Transportation and Urban Geography from San Diego State University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Wade Crowfoot
CEO
Water Foundation
Biography

Wade Crowfoot

CEO
Water Foundation

Wade Crowfoot directs the Water Foundation and lead its transition into an independent organization early in 2017. Wade brings more than 20 years of public policy and environmental experience to his role, with expertise in water, climate and sustainability issues. He came to the Water Foundation from California Governor Jerry Brown’s Administration, where he served since 2011, most recently as deputy cabinet secretary and senior advisor to Governor Brown, leading the administration’s drought response efforts. Before joining the Brown Administration, Wade was west coast regional director for the Environmental Defense Fund and a senior environmental advisor to former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Janea A. Scott
Commissioner
California Energy Commission
Biography

Janea A. Scott

Commissioner
California Energy Commission

Janea A. Scott is one of five Commissioners on the California Energy Commission. The Energy Commission is the State's primary energy policy and planning agency. Ms. Scott was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in February 2013 to serve as the Commission's public member. She is the lead Commissioner on transportation and western regional planning, and last year Ms. Scott led the 2014 Integrated Energy Policy Report Update. Ms. Scott serves as the chair of the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative, a public/private organization focused on accelerating the adoption of PEVs to meet California's economic, energy and environmental goals. She is also a member of the U.S. Department of Energy's Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee.

Prior to joining the Energy Commission, Ms. Scott worked at the U.S. Department of the Interior in the Office of the Secretary as the Deputy Counselor for Renewable Energy and at Environmental Defense Fund in both the New York and Los Angeles offices as a senior attorney in the climate and air program. Ms. Scott was also an AmeriCorps member working at the San Francisco Urban Service Project from 1996-1997. Ms. Scott earned her J.D. from the University of Colorado Boulder Law School and her M.S. and B.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University. 

Sara Neff
Senior Vice President, Sustainability
Kilroy Realty Corporation
Biography

Sara Neff

Senior Vice President, Sustainability
Kilroy Realty Corporation

Sara Neff is Senior Vice President, Sustainability at Kilroy Realty Corporation. In her first four years, Sara took Kilroy from having no sustainability program to being named the #1 office real estate company on sustainability in North America by GRESB, an honor they have now won for four straight years, and Kilroy is now only the third American real estate company to be listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. At Kilroy, she oversees all sustainability initiatives such as solar and battery dealmaking, the implementation of energy and water efficiency initiatives throughout the existing and development portfolios, the integration of sustainability standards into annual financial reports, the launch of the Kilroy Innovation Lab, and the award-winning green leasing program.

She holds a BS from Stanford and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Martin Adams
Chief Operating Officer
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Biography

Martin Adams

Chief Operating Officer
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Martin Adams is the Chief Operating Officer for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). With more than 30 years of experience with LADWP, Mr. Adams has worked throughout the Water System and was directly involved with the planning and implementation of sweeping upgrades centered on the removal of open distribution reservoirs and changes in water treatment to meet new water quality regulations. Prior to his current appointment, he spent 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 historical Los Angeles Aqueduct and other supply sources, pump stations, reservoirs, water treatment, and management of Water System properties. Mr. Adams is a life-long resident of the Los Angeles area, and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Richard Bloom
Assemblymember, 50th District
California State Assembly
Biography

Richard Bloom

Assemblymember, 50th District
California State Assembly

Richard Bloom was first elected to the 50th District of the California State Assembly in 2012 where he proudly represents the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles. Shortly after his election, Assemblymember Richard Bloom was appointed to the Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Resources and Transportation where he quickly established himself as a leader on one of the biggest issues facing this generation - climate change.  As Chair, Assemblymember Bloom has pushed for increasing renewable energy development and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and promoting smart and sustainable planning that expands affordable housing and reduces traffic congestion and commute times.  Through his leadership, Assemblymember Bloom has made reducing our carbon footprint and enhancing the quality of life now and for future generations a core mission of the committee. As a steward of the environment, Assemblymember Bloom also helped establish the most stringent protections in the country against the dangers of hydraulic fracking and pushed for improved rail safety and oil spill response preparedness in light of the exponential growth of oil imports by rail.  Assemblymember Bloom also introduced the strongest protections in the country against the use of rodenticides which are harming wildlife at alarming levels and against the use of plastic microbeads in personal care products that are contaminating our rivers, streams, and oceans.

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 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 27 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. Prior to joining WSPA, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was with 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 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.

Evan Birenbaum
Co-Founder and COO
Chai Energy
Biography

Evan Birenbaum

Co-Founder and COO
Chai Energy

As COO for Chai Inc., Evan Birenbaum is responsible for all things related to business strategy and development, energy-market dynamics, customer engagement, disruptive technologies, and day-to-day business operations. Chai is building products that give consumers a simple and mobile way to understand and reduce their energy use by up to 20 percent. Leveraging these consumer products, Chai will provide multiple services for utility companies, including customer engagement, behavioral energy efficiency, and interactive demand response.

Prior to joining Chai, Evan was the program manager for Environmental Strategy and Sustainability at Southern California Edison (SCE), where he was responsible for the development, strategy, and implementation of SCE’s corporate responsibility and sustainability program. He worked with company executives, business managers, regulators, NGO’s, and internal and external stakeholders to identify and prioritize emerging issues in order to address challenges related to climate change, water impact, habitat protection and biodiversity, and energy and water availability. He has been partly responsible for Edison’s charitable contributions in the area of environmental giving. Evan also works with the Los Angeles Clean Tech Incubator to develop sustainable jobs in Southern California.

Peter Marx
Former Chief Technology Officer
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Peter Marx

Former Chief Technology Officer
City of Los Angeles
Gary Farha
President & CEO
CustomerFirst Renewables
Biography

Gary Farha

President & CEO
CustomerFirst Renewables

Gary Farha is FounderPresident and CEO and leads CFR’s business strategy, customer relationships, and operations. Previously, Gary was a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, where he served energy and industrial clients over a 19-year career and co-led its global innovation practice. He was also Vice President of Growth and Innovation at Danaher Corporation, a Fortune 150 diversified technology company, and worked in multiple financial roles at Kansas Gas and Electric Company. He is a chartered financial analyst (CFA). Gary has led CFR since its inception in 2010. 

CustomerFirst Renewables (CFR) is a trusted energy advisor that helps clients develop actionable energy strategies, implement tailored solutions, and optimize performance over time. We support our corporate, institutional and government clients by engaging stakeholders and competitively sourcing and implementing optimized solutions. As a fully independent advisor, we provide objective analysis and guidance. Our team offers end-to-end expertise in all dimensions of the energy value chain, from technical, financial and risk analysis, to management consulting and procurement know-how. 

Since its inception in 2010, CFR has been a mission-driven organization focused on doubling renewable electricity use in the U.S. by 2025 by helping clients secure cost-effective solutions. 

As a fully independent advisor, CFR works solely on behalf of corporate, institutional and government clients, and provides unbiased and transparent analysis and guidance. We offer support that is not financially beholden to any project, product, developer or utility. This allows us to provide optimized advice and fully leverage competitive forces to our client’s benefit. 

 

CFR team’s experience spans nearly 3 GW of new renewable energy projects for over 40 large institutions, businesses, and government agencies. Over the past eight years, CFR has advised clients in various industries and locations coast-to-coast on renewable energy opportunities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and other countries, and enabled a variety of projects across multiple geographies in the U.S. The size of client projects has ranged from <1 MW to 240 MW. 

Phillip Washington
CEO
LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Biography

Phillip Washington

CEO
LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Phillip A. Washington, formerly of Denver’s Regional Transportation District, was unanimously selected CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) by the Metro Board of Directors on March 12, 2015. 

Washington came to Los Angeles at a time when Metro has five major rail, plus highway projects, under construction – together representing the largest modern public works program in the United States.

In his position as Metro CEO, Washington oversees an agency that transports 1.4 million boarding passengers on an average weekday, riding on a fleet of 2,000 clean-air buses and six rail lines. Metro also is the lead transportation planning and programming agency for Los Angeles County. As such, it is a major construction agency that oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility related building projects. 

Washington came to Los Angeles from Denver, where he was Assistant General Manager for nearly ten years, prior to being named CEO in 2009.

In Denver, Washington implemented the FasTracks program, one of the largest voter-approved transit expansion programs in the country. He was responsible for a total agency budget appropriation of $2.8 billion and managed more than $5 billion in active transit expansion projects. Under his management, Denver’s West Line Rail was completed under budget and eight months earlier than scheduled and the award-winning Denver Union Station was completed five months ahead of schedule.

Also in Denver, Washington spearheaded implementation of the first-of-its-kind $2.2 billion transit Public-Private Partnership (P3). His emphasis on measuring and managing agency performance led the agency to a nearly 90 percent on-time bus and rail service and 96 percent ADA on-time performance. In 2012, Washington’s emphasis on safety training led to a 40 percent decrease in preventable bus accidents.

Originally from the south side of Chicago – the Chicago Housing Projectsof Altgeld Gardens – Washington is a 24-year veteran of the United States Army where he held the rank of Command Sergeant Major, the highest non-commissioned officer rank an enlisted person can achieve. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Columbia College and an M.A. in Management from Webster University. He is current chair of the American Public Transportation Association.

Adam Krantz
CEO
National Association of Water Agencies
Biography

Adam Krantz

CEO
National Association of Water Agencies

Adam Krantz is currently CEO of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), where he has served in a number of positions since May 2001.  Mr. Krantz directs an unparalleled team in Washington, DC, that advocates on behalf of the nation’s public clean water agencies on an array of regulatory, legislative, legal and communication initiatives geared toward ensuring sustainable clean water agencies and a move toward the Utility of the Future.

Prior to his position at NACWA, Mr. Krantz was an associate editor/reporter at Inside Washington Publishers where his work focused on covering the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s and Congress’s national water quality initiatives.  Before entering the environmental arena, Mr. Krantz worked as an attorney in the Washington, D.C. law firm, Dickstein, Shapiro, Morin & Oshinsky on litigation matters.

Mr. Krantz served three years as the President of the Federal Water Quality Association and also served as the first Vice President of the Clean Water America Alliance (now the U.S. Water Alliance). Mr. Krantz has degrees from Columbia University in New York City, the American University’s Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C., and the University of Chicago.  He is a member of both the District of Columbia and Maryland Bar. 

Earl Blumenauer
Congressman, Oregon's 3rd District
US House of Representatives
Biography

Earl Blumenauer

Congressman, Oregon's 3rd District
US House of Representatives

Earl Blumenauer was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and has been a life-long resident of Oregon's 3rd Congressional District.

Through his years as a local official in the Oregon Legislature, Multnomah County Commission, and Portland’s City Council, Earl developed a national reputation for his advocacy of public transportation, land use planning, protection of the environment, and school funding.

Elected to Congress in 1996, Blumenauer has been a champion for cleaning up America’s most polluted sites and has introduced legislation to reinstate the federal Superfund tax. He is also a leader in public lands protection, in particular for protecting Oregon’s crown jewels such as Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge. He is the former Vice Chair for the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and has strongly defended the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, as well as EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases in the fight against climate change. Blumenauer has also led an initiative to reform federal flood insurance policies by protecting environmentally sensitive and disaster prone areas from development, and modernizing the policies of the US Army Corps of Engineers.  His environmental priorities are geared towards helping the federal government be a better partner to local communities in improving and sustaining the health of our land and water.

Blumenauer currently sits on the Ways and Means Committee. 

Carla Peterman
Commissioner
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Carla Peterman

Commissioner
California Public Utilities Commission

Carla J. Peterman is the California Public Utilities Commission’s assigned Commissioner for the Renewable Portfolio Standard, alternative transportation, and energy storage proceedings.

Commissioner Peterman’s previous positions include: California Energy Commissioner, researcher at the University of California Energy Institute and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and investment banking associate at Lehman Brothers. 

John Onderdonk
Chief Sustainability Officer
California Institute of Technology
Biography

John Onderdonk

Chief Sustainability Officer
California Institute of Technology

John Onderdonk serves as the Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Director of Facilities Services & Integrated Planning at the California Institute of Technology.

At Caltech, John has advised senior administrators on the installation of 3MW of fuel cell and 1.3MW of photovoltaic capacity.  He has supervised the execution of a $15M energy efficiency fund and has served as the lead sustainability advisor for twelve capital building projects.  John is also the Primary Account Representative for the Institute’s compliance with the California carbon cap-and-trade regulation AB 32.

Prior to joining Caltech, John practiced environmental risk management serving as the Southwest Regional Manager for AIG Environmental where he developed liability transfer programs for corporate and brownfield redevelopment clients.  John has also worked as an environmental consultant helping clients integrate sustainability into their business practices and proactively address environmental regulations.

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 was recognized as the 2013 California Higher Education Sustainability Officer of the Year. John is a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design + Construction and a Certified Carbon Reduction Manager.  John is the chair of the LA County Chief Sustainability Officer’s Taskforce and serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management.

Andrew McAllister
Commissioner
California Energy Commission
Biography

Andrew McAllister

Commissioner
California Energy Commission

Andrew McAllister was appointed to the California Energy Commission by Gov. Edmund G. Brown in May 2012, and reappointed in January 2017. Commissioner McAllister has been working on clean energy deployment and policy for his entire 25-year career: beginning in the early 1990s in project engineering and development, evolving into program design and implementation, then moving into the policy arena. He has worked across the world to develop renewable energy generation, energy efficiency investments, and energy management systems, with counterparts ranging from tiny remote communities to the largest of utilities. He administered two of California’s signature renewable energy programs (California Solar Initiative, Self-Generation Incentive Program), developed and operated energy efficiency programs for utilities, and performed a broad range of policy-related research for California and the U.S. Federal government. He currently serves on the board of directors of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the Alliance to Save Energy. Commissioner McAllister’s deep grounding in technology, policy and marketplace provides him with uncommon insight on the accelerating changes taking place in the electric power sector.

Before joining the Energy Commission, Dr. McAllister was managing director at the California Center for Sustainable Energy, where he worked for six years.  Previously, he worked with NRECA International, Ltd. in the electric sectors of countries in Central and South America, Southeast Asia and Africa on a variety of renewable generation, load management, utility planning and remote power projects. He was a project manager at an energy consulting firm and worked as an energy efficiency analyst at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Commissioner holds M.S. and PhD degrees from the Energy & Resources Group at UC Berkeley. He is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.

Andy Lipkis
Founder and President
TreePeople
Biography

Andy Lipkis

Founder and President
TreePeople

Andy Lipkis is a practical visionary who has dedicated his life to healing the environment while improving the lives of individuals and communities as well as the ecosystem. He founded TreePeople in Los Angeles in 1973 at age 18 and continues to serve as its President. Andy has spearheaded an approach of building collaborations amongst infrastructure agencies and communities to employing trees, forest-inspired technologies and people power to make cities sustainable and resilient while mitigating floods, drought, pollution, extreme heat, and climate change. This approach is being demonstrated in L.A. as a model for cities everywhere.

Garrett Sprague
Business Development Associate
CustomerFirst Renewables
Biography

Garrett Sprague

Business Development Associate
CustomerFirst Renewables

Garrett Sprague is an Associate on the Business Development and Onsite Client Solutions teams. Prior to joining CFR, Garrett designed and spearheaded the first convener-led aggregation effort in the U.S. while working for Boston-based nonprofit A Better City (ABC). He has over 6 years of experience in renewable energy encompassing a variety of sales and business development capacities across project scales and technologies. Garrett has also worked with large institutions to establish, implement, monitor, and report greenhouse gas reduction initiatives.

Bob Hertzberg
State Senator
California State Senate
Biography

Bob Hertzberg

State Senator
California State Senate

Robert "Bob" Hertzberg

Robert M. Hertzberg, twice unanimously elected Speaker of the California State Assembly, from 2000 – 2002, is now a State Senator, proudly serving nearly 1 million residents in the San Fernando Valley.  Bob serves on, among others: the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance, the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications, and the Committee on Natural Resources and Water, and continues to address the big challenges facing California.

Bob has been an active entrepreneur and leader in global policy on renewable energy.  The Guardian (UK) named him as one of the “50 People Who Could Save the Planet” and his former company won the “World Bank Award, for Lighting Africa,” for a project in Rwanda.

Bob has appeared on CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, BBC, Nightline, and has been featured in articles in The Economist, Fortune Small Business, and Financial Times.  In addition, a solar company he was involved with in Los Angeles won the 2005 Wall Street Journal Innovation of the Year Award in the field of energy.

Bob has been to every VerdeExchange Conference & Expo since the beginning, including two in Toronto, Canada.  He’s thrilled to be back for #11!

Irma Muñoz
Chair
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Biography

Irma Muñoz

Chair
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

Irma Muñoz is the founder and president of Mujeres de la Tierra (MDLT) – an environmental equity, non-profit focused on healing La Madre Tierra which has benefitted under-resourced neighborhoods of color since 2007.  MDLT believes in the power of one and that community action starts with individual participation and has inspired local women and their children to take ownership of leadership of neighborhood issues and concerns.

Through the organization’s economic empowerment platform, Irma has brought sustainable and green opportunities to marginalized populations, proving that an investment in clean water is an investment in communities. 

Irma Muñoz serves as a member of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board – currently serving as chair of both.

She is known for the development of creative, cultural relevant project to educate and engage members of the family including Telenovelas in the Park, Agua es Vida/Water is Life, La Paletera de Los Angeles and has worked with the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum on urban water parkways.

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. David also oversees the implementation of LADWP’s class-leading water conservation and efficiency programs, as well as the customer-facing integration of water and energy efficiency program delivery both within LADWP and also through a nation-leading joint program partnership with the natural gas utility serving Los Angeles, the Southern California Gas Company.

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 15 years of experience designing high performance building systems, modeling building energy usage, and managing cost-effective and investment-grade energy efficiency programs.

Robert Weisenmiller
Chairman
California Energy Commission
Biography

Robert Weisenmiller

Chairman
California Energy Commission

Chair Robert Weisenmiller was appointed as member and Chair to the California Energy Commission in January 2011 by Governor Jerry Brown and re-appointed in January 2015. He fills the Engineer/Scientist position on the five-member Commission. Commissioner Weisenmiller brings more than 30 years energy experience to the Commission including expertise in electricity and gas markets and California regulatory policies. Chair Weisenmiller has served as an expert witness in more than 100 state and federal regulatory commission proceedings and has authored numerous publications on electricity and natural gas markets.

Before his appointment, Chair Weisenmiller, a co-founder of MRW & Associates, used his expertise to assist businesses, financial institution, regulatory commissions, and public agencies in strategic planning, policy development, analyzing energy markets and regulations, rate design and implications of utility mergers.

Chair Weisenmiller's career also included a previous period of public service with the Energy Commission as Advisor to Commissioner, Manager of the Special Projects Office, and Director of the Office of Policy and Program Evaluation in the period between 1977 and 1982. Chair Weisenmiller holds a Doctorate in Chemistry and a Masters in Energy and Resources from University of California Berkeley and received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Providence College.

Thomas Small
Mayor
Culver City
Biography

Thomas Small

Mayor
Culver City

Mayor Thomas Aujero Small was elected to City Council in 2016, having previously served as Commissioner of Cultural Affairs. Culver City is the place where the cities of the world come to see their future, an historic, urbanist mecca at the heart of the LA metropolis, home to Apple and Amazon Studios. Mayor Small’s work with the city has focused on excellence in urban planning, sustainable design and mobility, including the Transit Oriented District Visioning process. He recently led the effort for the city 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 leads the Ballona Creek Revitalization Task Force, and the General Plan Update subcommittee. He serves on the LA Metro Sustainability Council, and the Transportation Policy Committee for the Southern California Association of Governments. He represents the API Caucus of the League of CA Cities on the League’s Housing and Econ Dev. Policy Committee. At a national level, he participates in New American Leaders and Local Progress, both based in Washington, D.C.

Mayor Small has been featured or quoted on design or mobility in the New York Times, the LA Times, NPR and the Washington Post, and was recently interviewed live on CNBC on new transit technology. He has moderated design awards juries in New York and Copenhagen, and made numerous international presentations, most recently including keynote speeches at the RAND Corporation and the International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure. As an architectural writer and consultant, he has worked on projects in urban and sustainable design and planning, development and historic preservation in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He taught Sustainability for Organizational Change at UCLA, and studied at Yale, the University of Paris, and the Columbia School of Journalism. He is the Chair of the Board for Jacaranda Music, an internationally renowned producer of modern classical music concerts. He lives with his wife Joanna Brody, and their two children and two giant sheep dogs, in the sustainably designed, much published home that they built in 2007.

As an architectural writer and consultant, he has worked on projects in urban and sustainable design and planning, development and historic preservation in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. These projects include the development of White City, Baku, in Azerbaijan, the restoration of the Japanese House and Gardens at the Huntington Library, and the design of modern services for Zhouzhuang, the ancient water-town in China known as the Venice of the East.

Thomas has moderated international design awards juries in San Francisco, New York and Copenhagen, and made presentations at the World Green Building Conference in Tokyo and the International Livable Cities Conference in London. At UCLA, he taught Sustainability for Organizational Change in the Business Section of the Sustainability Certificate Program. He is the Chair of the Board for Jacaranda Music, an internationally renowned producer of modern classical music concerts. He graduated from Yale University with honors, held a French National Fellowship at the Nouvelle Sorbonne of the University of Paris, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship at the Columbia School of Journalism.

Jim Wunderman
President and CEO
Bay Area Council
Biography

Jim Wunderman

President and CEO
Bay Area Council

Jim Wunderman is President and CEO of the Bay Area Council, a CEO-led public policy and advocacy organization formed in 1945 that works to make the Bay Area the most innovative, globally competitive, and sustainable region in the world. Since becoming CEO in 2004, Wunderman has honed the Council’s regionalist approach to advocacy in key areas that impact the Bay Area’s economy and competitiveness, including: business climate, housing, transportation, workforce, water, energy, communications, education, gender equity and cyber security. In 2015, he was named one of the Top 100 movers and shakers in California politics.

Wunderman has led the Council’s efforts to advocate for billions of dollars in federal, state and regional funding for major transportation projects completed or currently under construction. He has worked to expand the Council’s leadership outside the region, including opening an office in Sacramento and overseas offices in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing, and partnering with the state to reopen the California-China Trade Office. Wunderman positioned the Council to lead in developing an innovative early education program – Talk, Read, Sing -- and partnering with The Clinton Foundation to introduce it nationally. Under his leadership, the Council’s advocacy helped win important statewide education reform through local control funding. Wunderman has continued to play a key role in efforts to achieve consensus-based solutions to California’s water challenges, and is leading the region’s business community in the effort to make sure the economy is a primary driver of planning and regional sustainability efforts.

Prior to his work at the Bay Area Council, Wunderman’s career from 1984 to 2004 was split between both the private and public sectors. He served as Chief of Staff to San Francisco Mayor Frank M. Jordan from 1992-95, following five years of work for Mayor Dianne Feinstein.  From 1997-2004 he served as Senior Vice President for External Affairs at Providian Financial Corporation.  He also served as Vice President and General Manager of two major waste collection, disposal and recycling firms in the Bay Area under its parent, Recology, Inc.

Wunderman has served on numerous Boards and Commissions.  He currently serves on the University of California Business Executive Council, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) Board, the State of California’s International Trade and Investment Advisory Council, the Too Small to Fail Advisory Council, California-China Trade and Investment Advisory Board, ChinaFisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, Bridge Housing Board of Directors, Sierra Energy, TMG Partners, the East Bay Zoological Society Foundation, the Chabot Space & Science Center Foundation Leadership Council, the Human Needs Project, Ready Nation Advisory Board, and the SF Bay Restoration Authority.  He also serves on the Transit Sustainability Project Steering Committee, the Clean Energy Working Group, EDA East Bay Economic Development Alliance, the REAL Coalition, and the Super Bowl Host Committee.

Wunderman is a Visiting Professor at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.  He is a graduate of San Francisco State University, Majoring in Political Science, and received an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Kingsborough College, City University of New York.  He has four children and resides in Contra Costa County. 

Alejandro Zamorano
Clean Energy and Advanced Transport Specialist
Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Biography

Alejandro Zamorano

Clean Energy and Advanced Transport Specialist
Bloomberg New Energy Finance

As Bloomberg New Energy Finance's Clean Energy and Advanced Transport Specialist in San Francisco, Alejandro conducts research relating to transport and clean energy markets globally. His focus is on electric vehicles, storage technology, advanced fuels and chemicals, refuelling infrastructure deployment, and new vehicle technologies. 

Alejandro previously tracked and examined various bioenergy technologies, in both the commercial and private sectors, examining feedstock; conversion and capital costs; compliance credits; and revenues from final product distribution. He also measured production and distribution margins as well as investment trends. 

Alejandro holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana; and a Master of International Energy Management and Policy from Columbia University in New York City. He has been an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance since 2010. 

Jim Kelly
Senior VP (Retired)
Southern California Edison
Biography

Jim Kelly

Senior VP (Retired)
Southern California Edison

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.

Christine Harada
Former Federal Chief Sustainability Officer
White House
Biography

Christine Harada

Former Federal Chief Sustainability Officer
White House
Jack Baylis
President and CEO
The Baylis Group
Biography

Jack Baylis

President and CEO
The Baylis Group
Panama Bartholomy
Director
Investor Confidence Project
Biography

Panama Bartholomy

Director
Investor Confidence Project

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.  

Currently, Panama is a Director of the Investor Confidence Project where he develops standard methodologies and protocols for energy efficiency project development and documentation. These protocols are designed to reduce transaction costs associated with energy efficiency investment, and develop actuarial data to unlock capital markets.  

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.

Felicia Marcus
Chair
California State Water Resources Control Board
Biography

Felicia Marcus

Chair
California State Water Resources Control Board

Felicia Marcus was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the State Water Resources Control Board (Board) for the State of California in 2012, and designated by the Governor as Chair in April of 2013.  The Board is responsible for both water quality and water rights issues in the state and is currently focusing on issues ranging from setting water quality objectives for the San Francisco Bay and Delta; to general permits for stormwater pollution control; to reviewing irrigated lands permits to control agricultural drainage.  The Board sets statewide policy, settles water rights disagreements, and hears appeals of local regional board water quality decisions. 

Before her appointment to the Water Board, she was the Western Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a national environmental leader in bringing science, law, and policy expertise to solving our world’s pressing environmental and conservation challenges. Prior to joining NRDC, Felicia was the Executive VP/COO of the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national non-profit devoted to conserving land for people. Before coming to TPL, Felicia served as the Regional Administrator of the U.S. EPA Region IX in the Clinton Administration where she was known for her work in bringing unlikely allies together for environmental progress and for making the agency more responsive to the communities it serves, particularly Indian Tribes, communities of color, local government, and agricultural and business interests. While at USEPA, Felicia worked extensively on the range of environmental issues under EPA’s jurisdiction, most heavily in air quality, Bay-Delta water, tribal, and US-Mexico border issues. Prior to that, Felicia headed Los Angeles’ Department of Public Works at a time when the City went from garnering lawsuits to garnering national awards for environmental excellence. Felicia came to Public Works after extensive experience as a public interest lawyer and community organizer in Los Angeles.

She currently serves or has served in the past on many non-profit boards and Advisory Councils including the Public Policy Institute of California Statewide Leadership Council, Sustainable Conservation, USC-Kesten Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, and the Center for Diversity and the Environment. She is also currently an Obama Administration appointee to the Commission on Environmental Cooperation-Joint Public Advisory Council (US, Mexico, Canada) and was a Schwarzenegger Administration appointee to the Delta Stewardship Council prior to being appointed to the Water Board.

Naomi Kelly
City Administrator
City and County of San Francisco
Biography

Naomi Kelly

City Administrator
City and County of San Francisco

Naomi Maria Kelly is San Francisco’s City Administrator, the highest-ranking non-elected official of San Francisco City and County government.  In this capacity, Ms. Kelly oversees the General Services Agency consisting of 25 departments, divisions, and programs that include the Public Works Department, Department of Technology, Office of Contract Administration/Purchasing, Real Estate, County Clerk, Fleet Management, Convention Facilities, Animal Care and Control, Medical Examiner, and Treasure Island.  She is responsible for a 2,700-strong workforce, and an annual budget of nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars.

Ms. Kelly is strongly committed to strengthening the local economy; ensuring the efficacy of government services; increasing the City’s safety and resiliency; and optimizing the City’s capital planning and infrastructure.  Since her appointment and re-appointment by Mayor Edwin Lee in 2012 and 2017, her accomplishments include:

  • The appointment of City and County leaders such as:  Public Works Department Director; Director of Real Estate; Chief Information Officer and Department of Technology Director; Mayor’s Office on Disability Director; Animal Care and Control Director; City Hall Events Director; Treasure Island Director; Contract Monitoring Division Director; Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement Director, Office of Short Term Rentals Director; Purchaser; Chief Medical Examiner, Deputy City Administrator, and Chief Resilience Officer; 
  • The launching or absorbing of new programs such as:  Committee on Information Technology (COIT); Office of Short Term Rentals; Contract Monitoring Division; and Earthquake Safety Improvement Program / Office of Resilience and Recovery; 
  • The creation of a Budget and Planning team to improve budgeting, financial management, policy analysis, and program evaluation, and to utilize financial models for citywide work order programs and the elimination of structural deficits;
  • Service on numerous boards and committees including:
  • Capital Planning Committee:  As Chair of this Committee, Ms. Kelly oversees  a $35 billion, 10-year capital plan for the long-term safety, accessibility and modernization of San Francisco’s public infrastructure and facilities; sea level rise planning, and securing bond approvals in the areas of public health and transportation;
  • Committee on Information and Technology (COIT):  As Chair, Ms. Kelly oversees 5-year communication technology (ICT) plans, budgets and projects for all City departments;
  • Workforce Investment San Francisco (WISF) Board:  WISF is responsible for creating strategic workforce connections among industry, business, labor, educational institutions, and community based organizations to serve the needs of workers and employers in the region, and to support the City’s vision for economic competitiveness;
  • SF Community Investment Fund (SFCIF) Board:  SFCIF is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation that serves as a community development entity to apply for a new market tax credits allocation from the U.S. Treasury to help underserved communities, and provide private capital investment to projects that may not otherwise be completed; and
  • Mayor’s “Our Children, Our Families” Council: The Council is responsible for developing a five-year plan to coordinate available resources and services for data-sharing between the City and schools to better serve families, children and youth in the City.  The Council will also create, maintain and make available an inventory of all citywide services for children and youth, including state and federally funded programs.
  • Oversight and management of major private-public partnerships such as the celebration of the San Francisco City Hall Centennial, and the Bay Area Women’s Summit;
  • Coordination of efforts to re-envision San Francisco’s public housing policy by conducting various stakeholders’ meetings to identify the challenges and issues facing public housing, and make recommendations to help improve the Housing Authority;
  • Strategic direction and management of initiatives in the areas of public housing, community benefits, local business development, earthquake safety and disaster preparedness, Local Hiring Ordinance, Digital Services, and renewable diesel;
  • Oversight and management of Moscone Convention Facilities expansion, new Medical Examiner’s Office building, Animal Care Shelter, Central Shop relocation, and 1500 Mission Street project;
  • Authorization of same-sex marriage license issuances at San Francisco City Hall in late June 2013 just hours after a federal appeals court cleared the way for the State of California to lift a 4.5 year freeze;
  • Facilitation of major program accomplishments, such as: 
  • Treasure Island development: completed first land transfer, new ramps, Naval remediation, increased commercial leasing and business activity, readied Yerba Buena Island for new construction;
  • Convention Facilities:  renegotiated contract with significantly improved terms to increase revenue, transparency, and capital contribution;
  • Fleet (3 fleets of multiple vehicles and more than 500 users):  expanded use of telematics, and launched Vehicle on Demand System (VoDS). 

Prior to her City Administrator position, Ms. Kelly was appointed City Purchaser and Director of the Office of Contract Administration by Mayor Gavin Newsom.  She previously served as Special Assistant in the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, and the Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs, under Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr.  She also served as the City’s Executive Director of the Taxicab Commission. 

Ms. Kelly, a native San Franciscan, is the first woman and African American to serve as City Administrator of the City and County of San Francisco.  She received her undergraduate and law degrees, respectively, from New York University, and the University of San Francisco.  Ms. Kelly is a member of the California State Bar.  She and her husband, Harlan L. Kelly, Jr., General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and their two sons reside in San Francisco.  

Kelli Bernard
Chief Executive, Los Angeles Metro Area
AECOM
Biography

Kelli Bernard

Chief Executive, Los Angeles Metro Area
AECOM

Kelli Bernard is chief executive for the Los Angeles Metro+ region of AECOM, a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm headquartered in Los Angeles. 

With more than 2,000 employees in the Los Angeles and Southern California area, Kelli is responsible for building on AECOM’s strategies to deliver its integrated services to meet the infrastructure and business needs of public and private sector clients. Her extensive background in economic development and deep relationships in the Southern California region are valuable assets as AECOM looks to enhance its market presence. AECOM is the largest company headquartered in Los Angeles.

Kelli has more than 20 years of experience in economic development, land use planning, housing, redevelopment and public affairs. She also has in-depth knowledge of public/private partnerships, public finance and infrastructure investment.

Prior to joining AECOM, Kelli served as the deputy mayor of economic development for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. In this role as the city’s top economic advisor, Kelli championed business growth, economic development and job creation in Los Angeles.  She managed eight city departments including the Los Angeles World Airports and the Port of Los Angeles, with combined budgets of more than $6 billion and more than 7,000 employees.

Kelli was also responsible for the development and implementation of the city’s International Trade policy, and was instrumental in the overseeing Garcetti’s Asia Trade Mission, where she led a delegation of business leaders to China, South Korea and Japan. She gave the keynote address at the 2015 Kaohsiung International Harbor Cities Conference which explored strategies for transforming industrial port cities through urban innovation, infrastructure investment, and land use redevelopment.

Prior to her position as deputy mayor, she was director of economic development at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the largest municipality in the United States, where she led the department’s Clean Technology Initiative that culminated in the development of the $40M La Kretz Innovation Campus.

Earlier in her career, Kelli worked as director of planning and economic development for Mayor Garcetti when he served as president of the Los Angeles City Council. In this role, she oversaw key development activities, including the $110 million Emerson College and the $390 million mixed-used Columbia Square projects.

Kelli is a commissioner for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), an organization created in 1993 to address the challenges of homelessness in Los Angeles. She also serves on the boards for the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce and Town Hall Los Angeles.

Kelli holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning from University of California, Los Angeles, and a BA in Sociology from University of California, Berkeley.

Bob Wieckowski
State Senator, California's 10th District
California State Legislature
Biography

Bob Wieckowski

State Senator, California's 10th District
California State Legislature

Senator Bob Wieckowski represents the 10th Senate District in the California State Legislature. The district stretches from southern Alameda County into Santa Clara County and shares the member’s focus on job creation, clean technologies, protecting our environment and reducing unnecessary regulations.

Mr. Wieckowski chairs the Environmental Quality Committee and Budget Subcommittee 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation.  He is also a member of the Senate committees on Judiciary; Budget and Fiscal Review; Transportation and Housing; and Ethics.  He was appointed by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon to serve on the Energy and Environment Committee of the Council of State Governments West and in 2017 became the first Californian to chair the committee. The Senator is a state leader in advocating for climate adaptation programs and has participated on state and regional panels examining green infrastructure investments.

A strong voice in the Legislature for consumers and low-income earners, he received the “Champion of Justice” Award from the East Bay Community Law Center for fighting against abusive debt collectors and oppressive wage garnishments.  Statewide organizations have selected him Legislator of the Year and the California Judges Association gave him its “Scales of Justice Award” for his steadfast support for increased court funding. Tech America also named him “Legislator of the Year.”

Mr. Wieckowski is a small business owner and a bankruptcy attorney.  He has helped hundreds of families and seniors persevere through economic hardship, keep their homes and live with dignity.  He received his B.A. from the University of California and his J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law.

Senator Wieckowski lives in Fremont with his wife, Sue.

Bob Foster
Former Chair
California ISO Board of Governors
Biography

Bob Foster

Former Chair
California ISO Board of Governors

Bob Foster has spent more than 40 years in the energy policy arena in California.  He began his career working on energy efficiency for the State Senate and then led the energy efficiency program for the California Energy Commission.  He then joined Southern California Edison working his way up in the company, eventually serving as its President from 2002 to 2006.  After retiring from SCE, he ran for and was elected Mayor of Long Beach, Ca., serving for 8 years from 2006 to 2014.  He also served as Chair of California’s Independent System Operator (CAISO) from 2011 to 2014.  He now operates Prometheus Advisors, providing consulting on energy, water, entitlements, and public policy issues. He serves on the boards of EPCOR in Edmonton Canada, the American Transmission Company in Milwaukee, and Port Solutions in Los Angeles.  Bob is an ardent baseball fan and in 1983 coached a team from Sacramento to the Little League World Series in Williamsport Pa.

Minh Le
General Manager
Los Angeles County ISD
Biography

Minh Le

General Manager
Los Angeles County ISD

Le is currently the General Manager of ISD for Los Angeles County. Le was formerly the deputy director of the Solar Energy Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, where he helped manage and balance the portfolio of Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment programs in achieving our national SunShot goals. Prior to his role at the Energy Department, Minh spent his career in industry developing technologies and scaling new technologies to high volume manufacturing. Minh earned his BS and MS degrees from MIT where he held fellowships by the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and the Bose Foundation.

Terry O'Day
Chief Strategy Officer and EVP
Innogy eMobility US
Biography

Terry O'Day

Chief Strategy Officer and EVP
Innogy eMobility US

Terry has been a Executive Director of Environment Now foundation, a strategic, entrepreneurial, activist leader in California. The organization founded dozens of activist environmental organizations protecting air, land and water 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 began his career with Edison International, where he contributed to founding four businesses in energy, security services, and electric vehicle charging. He went on to cofound EV Rental Cars, which was the first rental company in the United States to offer only environmental vehicles, such as hybrid, natural gas, and electric cars to the general public. It served fifteen airports in six states and more than 500,000 customers, with over 700 cars. Terry has served on various start-up boards and in advisory roles for companies in energy, technology, transportation and infrastructure.

He holds an MBA from The UCLA Anderson School of Management and completed the Coro Public Affairs Fellows Program in Los Angeles. He earned a BA with honors in Public Policy at Stanford University, with a thesis addressing public finance and demand management of electricity. 

Terry was first elected as Councilmember for the City of Santa Monica in November 2010. He has served two years as Mayor Pro Tempore and currently serves as a Councilmember. The city serves over 90,000 residents and a daytime population up to 300,000, with 1,700 employees, a $650 million annual budget and an AAA bond rating. Terry led a six-year process to update the City’s General Plan, which became the leading example of environmental land use planning in the state, reducing projected per capita greenhouse gas emissions from land use by 31 percent in 25 years. He has been active with community organizations throughout California and Mexico; including Waterkeeper Alliance, Coro Southern California; The USC Center for Sustainable Cities, Environmental Entrepreneurs and as the Board Chair of the Coalition for Clean Air.

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.

Mark Pestrella
Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works
Biography

Mark Pestrella

Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

Mark Pestrella is the Director of the County of Los Angeles Department of Public  Works. In this capacity he also 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 $2.5 billion and a workforce of 4,000 employees, the County of Los Angeles Department of 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.

A native of Southern California, Mr. Pestrella 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.   He is a licensed civil engineer  in  the  State  of  California  and  has  taught  post-graduate  classes  in  Civil  Engineering and Land Development Entitlement at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Mr.  Pestrella  is  a  30-year  veteran  of  the  Department  and  has  held  a  variety  of  management positions.   Mr. Pestrella  is  also  an  active  member  of  the  American  Public Works  Association, American  Society of Civil Engineers, American Water Works Association, Association of California Water  Agencies,  National  Association of  Flood  and  Stormwater Management Agencies  (Board Member), Southern California Water Committee, and Urban Water Institute (Board Member).

The Department designs, constructs, operates, and maintains roads,  highways, bridges, airports, sewers, and flood control and water conservation facilities, as  well as water distribution systems for the  County, the  Flood  Control  District, special  districts,  and  contract  cities.    In  addition,  the Department provides management services for capital  projects and serves as a first responder for disaster  preparedness,  response,  and  recovery.    The  Department  provides  leadership  in  the countywide  transportation  system,  traffic   mitigation  efforts,  and  solid  and   hazardous  waste management planning.

Herb Wesson
President
Los Angeles City Coucil
Biography

Herb Wesson

President
Los Angeles City Coucil

Herb J. Wesson, Jr. has served as the President of the Los Angeles City Council since November 2011 and has represented Council District 10 since 2005. Wesson is the first African American to hold the position of Council President in the city’s history and has been re-elected three times to lead the city’s legislative body. During his tenure as Council President, Wesson has presided over monumental policy initiatives making Los Angeles a better place to live, work and raise a family. Not only have local policy initiatives —which include raising the minimum wage, pension reform and consolidating city elections to increase voter turnout— positively affected local residents, but in many cases the city’s actions have spurred state and national response and served as a model for similar policies.

Wesson chairs several committees including the Rules, Elections, Intergovernmental Relations, and Neighborhoods (REIRN) Committee, Board of Referred Powers and the Ad Hoc Committee on the 2024 Summer Olympics. He is the Vice Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Comprehensive Job Creation. As chair of REIRN, Wesson has facilitated the empowerment of Neighborhood Councils while finding new and innovative ways to engage the public and promote civic engagement.

Council President Wesson has been happily married to Fabian Wesson for more than 35 years and is the proud father of four sons- Douglas, P.J., Herb III, and Justin. Wesson is grandfather to three grandchildren- Patrick, Maileah, and Tatiana. When Council President Wesson is not spoiling his grandchildren, you can find him on the links with his wife. He is a graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.

 

Eric Garcetti
Mayor
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Eric Garcetti

Mayor
City of Los Angeles

Eric Garcetti is the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles. His "back to basics" agenda is focused on job creation and solving everyday problems for L.A. residents.

Garcetti was elected four times by his peers to serve as President of the Los Angeles City Council from 2006 to 2012. From 2001 until taking office as Mayor, he served as the Councilmember representing the 13th District which includes Hollywood, Echo Park, Silver Lake, and Atwater Village -- all of which were dramatically revitalized under Garcetti's leadership.

Garcetti was raised in the San Fernando Valley and earned his B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University. He studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and the London School of Economics and taught at Occidental College and USC. A fourth generation Angeleno, he and his wife, Amy Elaine Wakeland, have a young daughter. He is a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy reserve and is an avid jazz pianist and photographer.

Rusty Hicks
Executive Secretary-Treasurer
LA County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
Biography

Rusty Hicks

Executive Secretary-Treasurer
LA County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

Rusty Hicks is the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO (Federation). His election to the post makes him one of the youngest leaders and the first post-9/11 war veteran to lead one of the nation’s largest labor federations. The Federation is comprised of over 300 local unions that represent over 600,000 workers in every sector of our economy.

Katherine Perez-Estolano
Associate Principal & Los Angeles Cities Leader
Arup
Biography

Katherine Perez-Estolano

Associate Principal & Los Angeles Cities Leader
Arup

Mrs. Perez-Estolano is the Los Angeles Cities Leader and Associate Principal with Arup. She is an expert in urban planning, transportation, and stakeholder engagement. In the planning and land use field, she is highly regarded for developing complex public participation strategies that require collaboration among multi-cultural communities. With her background in community development, private real estate development, transportation policy and urban planning, she is recognized as a leader in the planning and development fields and speaks at conferences throughout the country.

Clare DeBriere
Chair
Urban Land Institute - Los Angeles
Biography

Clare DeBriere

Chair
Urban Land Institute - Los Angeles
Clare De Briere is a native Angeleno and has spent her career creating special places for the citizens and visitors of Los Angeles.
 
Clare joined The Ratkovich Company as a summer intern in 1991 after graduating from UCLA and worked her way through property management, leasing, construction, financing and development management while earning her graduate degree at USC's prestigious Lusk Center for Real Estate. In her career with the company she has overseen the acquisition, entitlement, planning, development and/or disposition of millions of square feet from The Wiltern Theatre, 5900 Wilshire, 800 Wilshire, The Alhambra, The Hercules Campus in Playa Vista and, most recently, The Bloc in downtown Los Angeles.  Clare retired from the Company after 26 years, the last decade of which she spent as its Chief Operating Office and Executive Vice President.  She remains affiliated with the Company through its Advisory Board.
 
Clare and her husband, Chef Christopher Barnett, have started a new company, C+C Ventures, a Los Angeles based experience company to develop places that inspire creativity, curiosity and delight whether through a wonderful neighborhood restaurant or a fantastic renovated work or living space.
 
Clare is an active member of the Urban Land Institute serving on the National Advisory Committee for Building Healthy Places and Building Healthy Corridors, and on the Los Angeles District Council'€™s Executive Committee and Advisory Board.  She has served on a ULI Advisory Panel in the City of Denver and on a local Technical Assistance Panel for the Huntington Hospital and Cal Poly Pomona. She has been named on the Los Angeles Business Journal's Women Making a Difference list and has been on the Real Estate - Southern California's Women of Influence list every year since 2003. Clare is also on the Advisory Board of the UCLA History Department; and served on the Executive Committee of the Board of the Los Angeles Conservancy.
Cecilia Estolano
Co-Founder
Estolano LeSar Advisors
Biography

Cecilia Estolano

Co-Founder
Estolano LeSar Advisors

Cecilia V. Estolano is a foremost expert on contemporary urban planning issues ranging from economic and workforce development to land use, environmental equity and urban revitalization for cities and communities across the country.

During her nearly 30-year career, 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 President of the California Community College Board of Governors, and has served on the California Coastal Commission and many other boards and commissions. She received her A.B. from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA and J.D. from UC Berkeley.

Prior to founding Estolano LeSar Advisors in 2011, Cecilia served as CEO of CRA/LA; practiced land use and environmental law while Of Counsel at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher; Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. EPA during the Clinton Administration, and as Environmental Policy Advisor to former L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley.

Estolano LeSar Advisors is an award-winning urban planning and public policy firm. We work with public agencies, non-profits, philanthropies, and businesses to craft innovative solutions to address complex problems.

Traci Minamide
Chief Operating Officer
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation
Biography

Traci Minamide

Chief Operating Officer
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation

Traci is the Chief Operating Officer for the City of Los Angeles, LA Sanitation, an organization of approximately 3,000 employees with annual revenue of nearly $1 billion.  In this capacity, she assists the Director by maintaining Bureau-wide oversight of operational activities in a program that consists of three core services: wastewater collection, treatment, and water recycling; solids resources; and watershed protection (stormwater).  Her main area of focus is in wastewater treatment, water recycling, and biosolids management where over 450 million gallons a day are collected and treated.

Traci has been with the LA Sanitation for over 25 years and has previously worked with the City’s Department of Water and Power and the Irvine Ranch Water District   serving in other capacities including water planning, industrial pretreatment, and environmental regulations.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, a Master of Science degree in environmental engineering from Loyola Marymount University and certification in Executive Management for State and Local Government from Harvard University.  She is also a licensed professional civil engineer in the State of California and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer.  Traci currently serves as a Board Director for the California Association of Sanitation Agencies and is a member of the State Water Resources Control Board Advisory Panel for Direct Potable Reuse. 

Robert Powell
Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and of Food Science and Technology
University of California, Davis
Biography

Robert Powell

Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and of Food Science and Technology
University of California, Davis

Robert Powell is a Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Food Science and Technology at the University of California Davis (1984-present). He was the Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (2002-2011); Vice Chair (2011-12) and Chair (2012-13) of the Academic Senate of the University of California; and Chair of the UC Davis Academic Senate (2008-2011).  He is the Science Advisor to the California Natural Resources Agency and the Chair of the Science and Technology Committee of Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His research has applications to foods and fiber systems. He has over 110 peer-reviewed papers. He is a member of numerous professional organizations and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Ben Allen
California State Senator
26th District
Biography

Ben Allen

California State Senator
26th District

California State Senator Ben Allen was elected in 2014 to represent the 26th Senate District, which consists of the Westside, Hollywood and coastal South Bay communities of Los Angeles County.

Ben serves as chair of the Senate Education Committee and the legislature's Joint Committee on the Arts.  He is a member of the Senate Committees on Elections and Constitutional Amendments, Natural Resources and Water, and Transportation and Housing.  He co-chairs the Environmental Caucus and is vice-chair of the Jewish Caucus.

Ben has authored several measures that have become law, including the groundbreaking bill to boost vaccination rates among schoolchildren and a landmark river protection bill.  He authored laws that protect veterans from pension scams; improve the diagnosis, treatment and care for persons with Alzheimer’s disease; strengthen the regulation of underground gas wells, and enable HIV-positive persons to donate life-saving organs to other HIV-positive persons.

While serving as chair of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee in 2015-16, he championed campaign reform and transparency issues.  He authored a new law that will increase voter turnout and civic engagement by transforming how elections are conducted.  This reform, which was praised by the Los Angeles Times editorial page, will allow people to vote in the 10 days preceding an election at conveniently-located vote centers.  He also authored the bill that placed an initiative on the statewide ballot urging Congress to overturn the Citizens United ruling, and a measure that allows cities and counties to use binding independent redistricting commissions.

As chair of the Joint Committee on the Arts, Ben authored successful legislation that reinstated teaching credentials for Theatre and Dance educators.  He is fighting for increased access to the arts in schools, especially in disadvantaged communities, and is working to keep entertainment industry jobs in California.

Ben coauthored the Senate’s historic climate change legislation, which requires 50% of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources, and doubles energy efficiency in buildings, by 2030.  He authored bills to expand the state’s efforts to combat climate change even further, including establishing the first standard to increase the use of renewable gas, and reducing toxic motor oil waste.  He is leading the effort to end the use of harmful drift gillnets in commercial fishing off the coast that injure and kill endangered sea turtles and other marine life.

Ben received the Freshman Legislator of the Year award from the California School Boards Association, and was named Legislator of the Year by the County Superintendents’ Educational Services Association, the Alzheimer’s Association and Technet, an association of technology companies that includes Apple, Google and Microsoft.

Ben grew up in the 26th District.  He is a former board member, and board President, of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, where he was a leader on issues of environmental sustainability, financial accountability, and community engagement. He helped pass a $385 million bond measure which upgraded district facilities using environmental best practices and created good local jobs.  During his tenure, the district enacted policies to provide all students with high-quality educational opportunities regardless of their background or means.  He helped start the Los Angeles Spark Program, a nonprofit organization that connects at-risk middle school students with apprenticeships.

While in law school, Ben served as a voting member of the University of California Board of Regents, and was a judicial clerk with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.  As an attorney, he worked for the law firm of Richardson & Patel LLP, and previously was a litigator with Bryan Cave LLP.

Prior to his law career, Ben worked for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and then as communications director for Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY).  He is a senior fellow with the international human rights organization Humanity in Action, an Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellow, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a graduate of the Jewish Federation's New Leaders Project.  He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in History; a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Cambridge, and a Juris Doctor degree from UC Berkeley.  He is fluent in Spanish.

For three years prior to his election to the Senate, he was a lecturer at UCLA’s Law School, where he taught education law and policy.

He is married to Melanie Luthern, an attorney.  They are expecting their first child in October.

AG Kawamura
Founder and Chair
Solutions from the Land
Biography

AG Kawamura

Founder and Chair
Solutions from the Land

A.G. Kawamura is third generation fruit and vegetable grower and shipper from Orange County. He is the former Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (2003-2010). He is co-chair of Solutions From the Land, a non-profit organization that collaborates with farmers, ranchers, foresters and stakeholders to implement climate smart land management practices and strategies.

He currently serves on several boards and committees including: The Ag Advisory Committee for the AGree Initiative; the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources (BANR), a policy arm of the National Academy of Sciences’ Natural Resource Council; Ag Advisory Committee for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs; American Farmland Trust; The 25x’25 Alliance, a national alliance of renewable energy stakeholders; External Advisory Board for the Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI) at U.C. Davis. He is a former chairman and current board member of Western Growers.

As a progressive urban farmer, A.G. has a lifetime of experience working within the shrinking rural and urban boundaries of Southern California. Through his company, Orange County Produce, LLC, he is engaged in building an exciting, interactive 21st century 100 acre agricultural showcase at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California.

A.G. was elected to the board in 1994, and served as chairman in 2002.

Katy Young
Deputy for the Environment and Arts
Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl
Biography

Katy Young

Deputy for the Environment and Arts
Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl

Katy is responsible for developing the Third District’s environment, water, and arts policy. Katy previously served as the General Counsel and Director of Government Affairs at the Climate Action Reserve, a Los Angeles-based environmental non-profit committed to developing and implementing market-based solutions to climate change. Katy has also worked as a land use and environmental attorney at Latham & Watkins and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

An alumnus of the CORO fellowship program, Katy now serves on the Southern California CORO Board of Directors and its Executive Committee.

Katy is a Los Angeles native and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA from UC Berkeley and received her law degree from UCLA.

Mark Ridley-Thomas
Supervisor, 2nd District
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Biography

Mark Ridley-Thomas

Supervisor, 2nd District
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Since he was overwhelmingly elected in 2008 and reelected in 2012 and 2016 to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Mark Ridley-Thomas has distinguished himself as a strong advocate for more than two million Second District residents. He presently serves as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, President of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission and a member of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

He has promoted the District’s interests on a variety of fronts, including transportation, job creation and retention, and local hiring. In the area of health policy, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas has overseen the construction of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, as well as a network of cutting-edge health care facilities throughout the District. He has facilitated the use of technology and encouraged an integrated approach to wellness that includes mental health care and a prominent role for school-based clinics. His advocacy has helped secure an equitable share of funding for public-private partnership health clinics in underserved areas.

Prior to his election to the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas served the 26th District in the California State Senate where he chaired the Senate’s Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development. He served as Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus in 2008 and led the Caucus in unprecedented levels of cooperation and collaboration with counterparts in the Latino and Asian-Pacific Islander Legislative Caucuses.

Mark Ridley-Thomas was first elected to public office in 1991 and served with distinction on the Los Angeles City Council for nearly a dozen years, departing as Council President pro Tempore. He later served two terms in the California State Assembly, where he chaired the Assembly Democratic Caucus. His legislative work addressed a broad range of issues with implications for economic and workforce development, health care, public safety, education, budget accountability, consumer protection and civic participation.

He is widely regarded as the foremost advocate of neighborhood participation in government decision-making. By virtue of his founding of the Empowerment Congress, arguably the region’s most successful 24-year experiment in neighborhood-based civic engagement, he is considered the founder of the Neighborhood Council movement.

Ridley-Thomas’ political career was preceded by a decade of service as executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles, which followed a brief but successful five-year stint as a high school teacher.

The Supervisor is a graduate of Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles and earned a baccalaureate degree in Social Relations with a minor in Government and a master’s degree in Religious Studies with a concentration in Christian ethics from Immaculate Heart College. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas went on to receive his Ph.D. in Social Ethics from the University of Southern California focusing on Social Criticism and Social Change.

He is married to Avis Ridley-Thomas, Co-Founder and Director of the Institute for Non-Violence in Los Angeles. They are the proud parents of Sinclair and Sebastian, both Morehouse Men. Sinclair recently earned an MBA degree at USC’s Marshall School of Business, works in the investment banking industry, and resides with his wife Shaunicie, an attorney, in San Francisco. Sebastian is a member of the California State Assembly representing the 54th District, which includes Southwest Los Angeles, Culver City, Century City and Westwood.

Karen Douglas
Commissioner
California Energy Commission
Biography

Karen Douglas

Commissioner
California Energy Commission

Originally appointed to the California Energy Commission in February 2008 and in December 2012, filling the Attorney position on the five-member Commission. Served as Chair from February 2009 to February 201. Lead Commissioner on power plant siting, compliance and enforcement and the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.

Jacob Lipa
CEO
Micropolitan
Biography

Jacob Lipa

CEO
Micropolitan

Jacob Lipa is the CEO of Micropolitan, a real estate development subsidiary of Psomas.  Micropolitan builds, owns and operates apartment buildings.   Prior to founding Micropolitan, Jacob served as the president of Psomas for over 10 years.  Psomas is a consulting engineering firm serving public and private clients throughout the Western United States and headquartered in Los Angeles.  The firm specializes in the land development, water, and transportation markets. In addition to Psomas and Micropolitan, Jacob in partnership with FMG founded PsomasFMG, a solar development company serving the public and educational markets.

Jacob Lipa is the past Chairman of the Los Angeles Business Council, the past President of the Friends of Ballona Wetlands, the past president of the LA County Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies.  He is a Board member of the Engineering School of Cal Poly University, a board member of the Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, and serves as an advisor to several private local and international companies.

Danny Kennedy
Managing Director
California Clean Energy Fund
Biography

Danny Kennedy

Managing Director
California Clean Energy Fund

Danny Kennedy leads the California Clean Energy Fund, connecting entrepreneurs everywhere to capital to build an abundant clean energy economy that benefits all. He is also the President of CalCharge, a public private partnership with the National Labs and universities of California, unions and companies, working to advance energy storage.

Kennedy co-founded Sungevity, the company that created remote solar design, and Powerhouse, solar’s premier incubator and accelerator. He was the original backer of Mosaic, the $1B solar loan provider, and remains on the Board of Powerhive, a solar mini-utility in Kenya and Sunergise, a solar-as-a-service business out of Fiji and the EnergyLabAustralia. He is also Director of nonprofits VoteSolar and Power for All. Kennedy authored the book Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy – and Our Planet – from Dirty Energy in 2012. Prior to starting Sungevity, he worked at Greenpeace and other groups on climate and energy issues for 20 years.

Steve Westly
Founder and Managing Director
The Westly Group
Biography

Steve Westly

Founder and Managing Director
The Westly Group

Mr. Westly has a unique background.

He served on the faculty at Stanford’s Graduate School of business for five years.

He helped take eBay public in 1998 where he served as SVP of Marketing, Business Development, M&A and International.

In 2002, Mr. Westly was elected Controller and CFO of the State of California. He served on the boards of CalPERS and CalSTRS which invest more than $450 billion.

He founded the Westly Group in 2007, which is one of the larger smart energy and transportation venture firms in the US.  The firms has had four portfolio companies go public including Tesla Motors, where he sat on the Board of Trustees for 3 years.

Dr. Jerry Schubel
President and CEO
Aquarium of the Pacific
Biography

Dr. Jerry Schubel

President and CEO
Aquarium of the Pacific

Dr. Jerry R. Schubel has been president and CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific since 2002. He is president and CEO Emeritus of the New England Aquarium, and from 1974-1994 was Dean of Stony Brook University’s Marine Sciences Research Center. For three of those years he served as the University’s provost and is Distinguished Service Professor emeritus. Prior to 1974, Dr. Schubel was an adjunct professor, research scientist and associate director of The Johns Hopkins University's Chesapeake Bay Institute.

Throughout his professional life he has worked at the interfaces of science-management-policy on issues dealing with the ocean with an emphasis on the coastal ocean. He has published more than 225 scientific papers and has written extensively for general audiences. He is a member of the California Ocean Science Trust Board, and the Science Advisory Team for California’s Ocean Protection Council. He chaired the NOAA Science Advisory Board; National Sea Grant Review Panel; the National Research Council (“NRC”) Marine Board; the NRC Committee on the St. Lawrence Seaway, Phase I and Phase II, the Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel, and the NRC Committee on the Value and Sustainability of Biological Field Stations, Marine Laboratories and Nature Reserves in 21st Century.

At the Aquarium of the Pacific, he created the Aquatic Forum that brings together scientists, policy-makers and stakeholders to explore alternative ways of dealing with important, complex, and often controversial environmental issues facing the nation. He also directs the Aquarium’s Marine Conservation Research Institute and the Aquarium’s Aquatic Academy programs.  He has been interviewed by hundreds of media outlets on a variety of environmental and scientific topics for international, national and local stories. 

Mel Levine
President
LADWP Board of Commissioners
Biography

Mel Levine

President
LADWP Board of Commissioners
Liz Crosson
Director of Infrastructure
Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Biography

Liz Crosson

Director of Infrastructure
Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Adel Hagekhalil
Director
Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services
Biography

Adel Hagekhalil

Director
Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services

Adel Hagekhalil is a registered civil engineer with the State of California and a national Board Certified Environmental Engineer.  Adel is currently the Executive Director and General Manager with the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Street Services where he is responsible for managing, maintaining and upgrading the City’s street network including streets, sidewalks, trees and bikeways with focus on safety, mobility and sustainability.  Under his direction, Adel will integrate green infrastructure and multi-benefit elements into the City’s street renewal efforts. Recently, Adel was the Assistant Director for the City’s Bureau of Sanitation where he was responsible for the Bureau’s wastewater collection system management, storm water and watershed protection program, water quality compliance, and facilities and advance planning.  Under his direction, the City has prepared an award winning 2040 One Water LA Plan “One Water” which relies on public input and participation and integrates water supply, water reuse, water conservation and storm water management with wastewater facilities planning through a regional watershed approach.  Adel served for 9 years as Board member and most recently President with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).  Adel is currently serving on NACWA’s co-Chair for the Arid States Water Reuse Group and member of the National Water Sector Coordinating Council.

Brenda A. Levin, FAIA
President and Principal
Levin and Associates Architects
Biography

Brenda A. Levin, FAIA

President and Principal
Levin and Associates Architects

Architect Brenda A. Levin, FAIA, has touched the historic and cultural spirit and complexity of Los Angeles, significantly shaping the city we know.  For over 20 years her architecture and urban planning firm, Levin & Associates Architects, has pioneered, in collaboration with innovative developers, the process of preserving and re-defining the riches of the city.  The success of this effort helped to catalyze the preservation movement in Los Angeles.  Among the landmarks she has helped to preserve and revitalize are Grand Central and Chapman markets; the Oviatt, Fine Arts and Bradbury buildings; the Wiltern Theater, and City Hall.   In process are Griffith Observatory, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings at Barnsdall Art Park, and the Japanese American National Museum’s National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, among others.

In addition to her work in preservation, some of her most significant projects have been the adaptive re-use and design of new buildings on school campuses and in the cultural and social realms.  Ms. Levin believes that her work is obligated to both inform—and be informed—by the context—and by the audience.  On the campus, Levin has created Johnson Student Center and Samuelson Pavilion at Occidental College; Malott Commons at Scripps CollegeSt. James’ Elementary School; and, a campus master plan, the Math-Science, and the Music, Dance and Athletic Center buildings at Oakwood School, a private secondary school.

In the spring 2000, the Boone Gallery designed by Levin opened at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino and an art museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Levin’s housing projects include the nationally-recognized Downtown Women’s Center for mentally-ill, homeless women in downtown Los Angeles, and the Adams Congress affordable apartments in the city’s South-Central neighborhood.

Born in the New York metropolitan area, Levin studied design and painting at Carnegie-Mellon University, and graduated with a degree in graphic design from New York University in 1968.  She earned a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design in 1976.  Moving to Los Angeles in 1976, she first worked with the legendary architect John Lautner. 

Brenda Levin was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1997.  She and the firm have been honored by a number of organizations, including the Urban Land Institute, American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles Conservancy, City of Los Angeles, State of California, the National Association of Women Business Owners, and NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.  A 256-page monograph presenting Ms Levin’s ideas and work and entitled Brenda Levin, Levin & Associates Architects: Los Angeles was published in the spring, 2001.

Gary Gero
Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles County
Biography

Gary Gero

Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles County

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors appointed Gary Gero to be the County’s first Chief Sustainability Officer in November 2016.  His duties include: building and launching the largest community choice energy program in California; creating a countywide sustainability plan that addresses regional environmental, economic, and equity issues; and serving as the key environmental advisor to the Board of Supervisors.

Gary previously served as the President of the Climate Action Reserve, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Los Angeles and operating across North America.  He now serves as the Vice-Chair on its Board of Directors. He has also served on the CFTC’s Energy and Environmental Markets Committee, the board of California Invasive Plant Council, and the Glendale City Planning Commission.

Gary’s career includes many years in local government including having served as the Assistant General Manager for the City of Los Angeles Environmental Affairs Department.  He also worked for several years at the LADWP where he oversaw energy efficiency, renewable energy, and distributed generation programs.

Gary earned his Master's degree from the London School of Economics and his undergraduate degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.

George Minter
Regional Vice President for External Affairs and Environmental Strategy
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

George Minter

Regional Vice President for External Affairs and Environmental Strategy
Southern California Gas Company

George Minter is regional vice president of external affairs and environmental strategy for SoCalGas. He is responsible for the company’s public affairs, community relations, public policy and energy and environmental affairs functions. 

Minter is a long-time policy professional specializing in energy and environmental matters, strategic planning, program development, communications and political advocacy. 

Before re-joining SoCalGas as senior director of policy and environment, Minter was managing principal for L.A.-based public affairs firms Greer/Dailey/Minter and GM Public Affairs from 2000 to 2013. There he managed public policy initiatives and communications programs to approve large energy and land use projects. 

Minter also served in the capacity as director and manager of a number of other functions for SoCalGas from 1985–2000. Prior to his career at SoCalGas, Minter was a political consultant handling local, state and national political campaigns, responsible for strategy development, campaign management, direct mail and television and radio production. 

Minter has served as a board member of numerous civic associations and community organizations, including the Central City Assoc., Valley Industry and Commerce Assoc., L.A. Family Housing Corp. (as board chair), Coro Foundation, Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at Cal-State L.A., Center for the Study of L.A. at Loyola Marymount University, Campaign to Clear the Air and the California League of Conservation Voters Foundation. He was one of the founders of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, a federal energy trade association, and the California CCS Coalition, a statewide energy advocacy organization. 

He currently serves as co-chair of the Energy, Water and Environmental Sustainability Council of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, is a Board member at the Coalition for Clean Air, the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition and CCEEB, serves on the Advisory Boards of the Clean Tech Initiative of the LAEDC and Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL). 

Minter has been the recipient of several awards and honors and has been a regular speaker at state and national conferences on energy and environmental policy. He recently was awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from the U.S. Council on Service and Civic Participation. 

He is a Phi Beta Kappa and honors graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.

Joshua Schank
Chief Innovation Officer
Metro
Biography

Joshua Schank

Chief Innovation Officer
Metro

Joshua L. Schank is the first ever Chief Innovation Officer at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), where he leads the Office of Extraordinary Innovation (OEI). The role of this office is to champion new ideas to improve mobility in LA County by informing the high-level vision for LA Metro, piloting and implementing new and experimental programs and policy, and serving as the primary liaison for new ideas relevant to LA Metro coming from entrepreneurs, established private sector entities, academia, or individual residents. The office is also responsible for LA Metro’s Public Private Partnership (P3), and strategic planning functions. 

Prior to joining LA Metro, Dr. Schank was President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation, a national non-profit think-tank with the mission of improving transportation policy and leadership. Before joining Eno, he directed the National Transportation Policy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, which proposed a new vision for the Federal role in surface transportation policy.

Dr. Schank was Transportation Policy Advisor to Senator Hillary Clinton during the development of the last surface transportation authorization bill (SAFETEA-LU). He has also worked as a Consultant with PB Consult and Senior Associate at ICF International in Washington, D.C., as well as serving in positions at the Office of the Inspector General’s in the U.S. Department of Transportation, and with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City.

Dr. Schank’s extensive work in transportation policy and planning is well documented in his publications, including “All Roads Lead to Congress: The $300 Billion Fight Over Highway Funding,” co-authored with Costas Panagopoulos and published by CQ Press in 2007. He holds a Ph.D. in urban planning from Columbia University, a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.A. in urban studies from Columbia University.

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Lindsey and his sons Max and Jonah.

Naoki Hara
President
JFE Engineering America
Biography

Naoki Hara

President
JFE Engineering America

JFE Engineering is the comprehensive engineering arm of the JFE Group, designing and building energy and environmental systems, steel structures and industrial machinery and systems. The company recently developed a revolutionary energy-efficiency air-conditioning technology in collaboration with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). The cooling medium at the heart of the new system, clathrate hydrate slurry (CHS), has a thermal density in the temperature range of 7-8 degrees Celsius two to three times greater than the chilled water used in air-conditioning, can store latent heat, and also boasts superior fluidity. CHS Thermal Energy Storage air-conditioning systems are contributing to the advance of the energy-efficiency business by cutting costs in industries with major cooling energy consumption and load-leveling at power companies.

Seleta Reynolds
General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Transportation
Biography

Seleta Reynolds

General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Transportation

Seleta Reynolds is General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) appointed by the Administration of Mayor Eric Garcetti.  Ms. Reynolds is responsible for implementing Great Streets for Los Angeles, a plan to reduce traffic fatalities, double the number of people riding bikes, and expand access to integrated transportation choices for Angelinos and the region.

Ms. Reynolds has over 18 years of transportation experience throughout the United States. She has advised transportation technology companies like WalkScore, contributed to the state-of-the-practice as an Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals Board Member, mentored young professionals through Women’s Transportation Seminar, and nurtured research on Transportation Research Board committees.  Ms. Reynolds serves as the President of the National Association for City Transportation Officials.

The Department of Transportation leads transportation planning, design, construction, maintenance and operations within the City of Los Angeles. We work together and partner with other agencies to improve safe, accessible transportation services and infrastructure in the city and region.

Dan Feitelberg
Principal
KPMG
Biography

Dan Feitelberg

Principal
KPMG

After serving the University of California as Vice Chancellor of Planning and Budget at the Merced campus, Dan joined KPMG in 2017 to help lead its California government and national social infrastructure practice.  At UC Merced, Dan led the Merced 2020 Project, a $1.3 billion investment in higher education in the San Joaquin Valley.  The project was named the Project Finance International Americas P3 Deal of the Year and the North American Social Infrastructure Deal of the Year by IJGlobal. With thirteen years of investment banking experience, Dan has also helped raise debt capital for governments in taxable and tax-exempt capital markets.