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Keynote Speakers

Gina McCarthy

CEO - Natural Resources Defense Council

Gina McCarthy became the president and chief executive officer of NRDC in January 2020, leading more than 700 attorneys, scientists, advocates, and policy experts that make NRDC one of the country’s most effective environmental action organizations. McCarthy has been a leading advocate for smart, successful strategies to protect public health and the environment for more than 30 years.

McCarthy served as the 13th administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and as assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation under President Obama. Her leadership led to significant federal, state, and local actions on critical issues related to the environment, economy, energy, and transportation. McCarthy ushered in a paradigm shift in national environmental policy, which expressly linked it to global public health. She led initiatives that cut air pollution, protected water resources, strengthened chemical safety, and reduced greenhouse gases to protect more communities from negative health impacts. McCarthy signed the Clean Power Plan, which set the first national standards for reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants, underscoring the country’s commitment to domestic climate action and spurring international efforts that helped secure the Paris Agreement.

McCarthy holds a master's degree in environmental health engineering and planning and policy from Tufts University and a bachelor's in social anthropology from University of Massachusetts at Boston.

Durwood Zaelke

President - Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development

Durwood Zaelke is founder and President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD) in Washington, DC and Paris, where he focuses on fast mitigation strategies to protect the climate, including reducing short-lived climate pollutants (HFCs, black carbon, methane, and tropospheric ozone), in the context of the need for speed to limit anthropogenic warming to 1.5°C. He also supervises the Center for Climate Integrity, an initiative at IGSD supporting meritorious climate litigation throughout the world to implement the polluter pays principle. In addition, he is “Of Counsel” at Furth, Salem, Mason, & Li. Prior to IGSD, he was the co-founder and President of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) in Washington, DC and Geneva (1989-2003), and in London (1989-90). Mr. Zaelke has taught at various universities, including Yale Law School, Duke Law School’s Brussels’s program, American University’s Washington College of Law, and Johns Hopkins.

He co-founded the Program on Governance for Sustainable Development at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, where he occasionally teaches a course on climate justice with Ms. Romina Picolotti, Argentina’s former Environment Minister. He is the author, co-author, or editor of various publications, including the leading law school textbook on International Environmental Law & Policy (with Hunter & Salzman) (5th ed. 2015). He is a graduate of Duke Law School (1972) and UCLA (1969). Some of his honors include the UN Ozone Political Leadership Award and the Scientific Leadership Award (2017), the CIEL International Environmental Law Award (2009), and the EPA Climate Protection Award (2008).

Dean Rachel Kyte

Dean - The Fletcher School

Rachel Kyte is the 14th dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts University. A 2002 graduate of Fletcher’s Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP) and a professor of practice at the school since 2012, Kyte is the first woman to lead the nation’s oldest graduate-only school of international affairs, which attracts students from all corners of the globe and at all stages of their careers.

Prior to joining Fletcher, Kyte served as special representative of the UN secretary-general and chief executive officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). She previously was the World Bank Group vice president and special envoy for climate change, leading the Bank Group’s efforts to shift its operations and campaign for the Paris Agreement.

In her UN role and as CEO of SEforAll, a nonprofit public/private platform created from an initiative of the UN secretary-general, Kyte led efforts to promote and finance clean, affordable energy and low-carbon growth as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the context of the Paris Agreement. She grew SEforALL into an organization that employs more than forty staff and has partnerships with companies, governments, and civil society organizations. She continues to serves as co-chair of UN Energy.

Kyte grew up in eastern England and has a deep appreciation for the value of apprenticeship, mentoring, sponsorship, and skills learned on the job in addition to in the classroom. She earned her undergraduate degree in history and politics from the University of London. Kyte is married to Dr. Ilyse Zable and they have two children.

 

Hitachi Energy Exchange Speakers

Friday, February 29, 5:30 - 7:30PM - TEDx Style Talks

Dr. Erin Coughlan de Perez

Manager - Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre

Dr. Erin Coughlan de Perez is the manager of the climate science team at the Red Cross / Red Crescent Climate Centre and an adjunct at Columbia University. Her research links statistics of extreme climate events with thresholds for preventative action in the humanitarian and development sectors. Erin manages innovative pilots of Forecast-based financing systems in more than 20 countries around the world, which integrate new funding mechanisms with early action protocol to prevent and prepare for the impacts of extreme events. Erin is also an author for the upcoming 6th Assessment Report of the IPCC.

 

Dr. Mike Zimmerman

Founder and CEO - Ionic Materials

Dr. Mike Zimmerman is the Founder and CEO of Ionic Materials, a materials technology company that has developed a solid polymer electrolyte with a new conduction mechanism for solid state batteries. The company is now scaling up this technology to provide inherently safe batteries to the EV and Grid storage markets. Prior to Ionic Materials, Mike founded Quantum Leap Packaging (QLP) which invented, then developed a new liquid crystal polymer technology used for high frequency semiconductor packaging, and films for the emerging 5G antennae and radar systems. QLP was acquired by a multinational manufacturer, Interplex Industries. Prior to this Mike worked at Bell Laboratories where his role was to develop new materials process for semiconductor packaging and materials for the original key technologies for fiber to the home. For his technical contributions he rose to the level of “Consulting Member of Technical Staff” which is reserved for the top 1% of the technical community.

Mike has been a Professor at Tufts University for more than 25 years, teaching materials science, and providing students opportunity for thesis/research work at his companies. He is also a Visiting Professor at Imperial College in London. Mike has a BS, MS, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering, and attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), MIT, and University of Pennsylvania.

Emily Carlson

Ph.D. Candidate - Tufts University

Emily Carlson is a PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Tufts University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Physics from Bard College, where her senior thesis focused on solving the transport equations for dye-sensitized solar cells. As a member of the Renewable Energy and Applied Photonics lab, she seeks ways to improve the efficiency of thermophotovoltaics. Thermophotovoltaics are solar cells that convert infrared radiation (or heat) to electricity and have applications in waste heat recovery and powering deep-space missions. Her work is informed by her love of optics, physics, and programming. She is passionate about making science interactive, accessible, and fun for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Nitin Malik and Mohit Saini

Co-Founders - PowerRoof

Nitin is a second year MALD student at Fletcher School concentrating on international environment policy. Prior to Fletcher, he has worked as a microfinance consultant in South East Asia. He is interested in understanding how human security interacts and gets affected by environmental actions.

Mohit is a first year MALD candidate concentrating on impact investing and business for social impact with a regional focus on Africa and Asia. At Fletcher, Mohit co-leads Fletcher Social Investment Group (FSIG). He is a part of Fletcher’s MBA Impact Investing Network & Training (MIINT) team competing with 35 business schools globally. He is a recipient of William L. Blue and Joan R. Blue Scholarship at the Fletcher School. Before joining Fletcher, Mohit worked as a digital financial inclusion consultant for six years in India, Bangladesh, Malawi, and Uganda. He has managed projects funded by Omidyar Network, J.P.Morgan, BMGF, MSDF, UNCDF, UKaid and Rabo Foundation. He led setting-up of a $10 M Innovation Lab for start-ups in India.

Richard Kaufman

Undergraduate Researcher - Tufts University

Richard Kaufman is a third-year undergraduate at Tufts University studying
Mechanical Engineering and Sociology. He is particularly interested in the
relationship between technology and society, and how this can be applied to energy
justice. Under the mentorship of Professor Deborah Sunter, Kaufman has been
researching the role of race and ethnicity on rooftop solar adoption patterns. For this
work, Kaufman was as a session speaker at the 2019 International Energy and
Sustainability Conference at Farmingdale College.

Panel Speakers

9:15 - 10:15AM - Electric Mobility Panel (Cabot 205)

James Cater

Program Lead - EV Infrastructure, Eversource

James Cater is the program lead for Eversource’s EV charging station program, which is driving the installation of more than 3,500 electric vehicle charging stations across Massachusetts. Prior to leading the EV charging station program, James was the Eversource energy efficiency liaison for the City of Boston. James currently serves on the Cambridge New Mobility Blueprint Advisory Group and is recognized locally and nationally as an expert on topics related to EV infrastructure and utility-customer partnerships to achieve carbon reduction goals.

Alex Gruzen

CEO - WiTricity 

Alex Gruzen is the CEO of WiTricity, the industry pioneer in wireless power transfer over distance. Before WiTricity, Gruzen co-founded Texas-based Corsa Ventures, where he focused on building leading technology companies via early-stage investments. Prior to Corsa, he was the Senior Vice President of the Consumer and Small Medium Business Product Group at Dell, and previously led the company’s global notebook computer business. His experience spans product development, global sales and marketing, operations and growth through mergers and acquisitions, having also held leadership roles at Hewlett Packard, Compaq, and Sony. Gruzen holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a S.M. and S.B. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Mike Jacobs

Sr. Energy Analyst - Union of Concerned Scientists 

Mike Jacobs is the lead on Electricity Markets and Regulatory efforts in the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). He comments on policy at http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheEquationMikeJacobs. Prior to coming to UCS, Mr. Jacobs worked as the markets and policy director at a number of renewable energy and energy storage companies, and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). In these positions, he developed strategies for wind integration using battery storage, and new and existing transmission. While with AWEA, he led settlement efforts at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to streamline generator interconnection rules. He has served on the boards of Vineyard Power Co-op, Solar Grid Storage, Wind on the Wires, the Wind Coalition, Interwest Energy Alliance and the Northern Maine Independent System Administrator.

Anand Vasudevan

Founder and CEO - Spotimyze Mobility

Anand is a clean-tech and renewable energy expert who has spent the last fifteen years bringing various clean technologies in waste-to-energy, storage, solar and wind to market through his work as a researcher, consultant and investor. Prior to Spotimyze he's led global energy and sustainability consulting practices at Infosys and Accenture. He's worked on project financing renewable energy projects while at Boston National Capital Partners as the Asian market head. He's worked with green and blue funds towards sustaining fragile ecosystems and vulnerable coastal communities. He has co-founded two companies in technology related to video streaming and inventory optimization after spending 10 years at DELL EMC.  A graduate of IIT Madras and Vanderbilt University in Environmental & Transportation Engineering, and a researcher from Oakridge National Labs and MIT, he has been part of Boston’s clean tech community for more than a decade. He is now dedicating his efforts via Spotimyze Mobility, a PaaS + MaaS platform, creating a distributed set of 'mobility access points' across cities to increase adoption of clean MoD platforms for both human and material transport, reducing private vehicles and parking assets, reducing congestion, bridging mobility equity gaps and advancing cities mobility sustainability goals. Through Spotimyze Energy, an EV and hydrogen charging infrastructure focused on sourcing 'green energy' to the clean mobility sector. Spotimyze Mobility & Energy is currently at various stages of engagement with the several cities in North America and India.

9:15 - 10:15AM - Climate Governance Panel (Cabot 206)

Dr. Maria Ivanova

Director - Center for Governance and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Maria Ivanova is an international relations and environmental policy scholar. Her research focuses on international environmental institutions and their performance, environmental sustainability, and the science-policy interface. She studies the implementation of global environmental conventions and the policy processes around the Sustainable Development Goals. She is an associate professor of global governance at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she also co-directs the Center for Governance and Sustainability. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the U.N. Secretary-General, a board member of the U.N. University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) and the Global Young Academy, and an Andrew Carnegie Fellow. She also serves as an ambassador for the New Shape Prize of the Global Challenges Foundation

Dr. Adil Najam

Inaugural Dean - Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University

Dr. Adil Najam (عادل نجم) is the inaugural Dean of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University which was founded in 2014 with a generous gift from BU alum Frederick S. Pardee. He is also a Professor of International Relations and of Earth and Environment. Earlier, Prof. Adil Najam served as Vice Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Lahore, Pakistan and as the Director of the Boston University Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. In addition to Boston University, Prof. Najam has taught at MIT and at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. His research focuses on issues of global public policy, especially those related to global climate change, South Asia, Muslim countries, environment and development, and human development.

Amb. Janine Felson

Ambassador, DPR - Belize Mission to the United Nations

H.E. Janine Coye Felson is a senior diplomat in the Belize foreign service with a wide range of experience in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. She received her juris doctor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Certificate of Legal Education from the Norman Manley Law School- Jamaica. She is admitted to the State Bar of Wisconsin and the Bar Association of Belize. In 2000, Ambassador Felson joined the Permanent Mission of Belize to the United Nations in New York as Minister Counsellor but remained a legal advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2005, she assumed the role of Charge d’ affaires a.i. with full oversight of the work of the Mission, and its consular section. After three years of distinguished service in this capacity, she was appointed Ambassador. In this role, she has served as lead negotiator for the Caribbean Community on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and continues to serve as lead finance coordinator for the Alliance of Small Island States in the multilateral climate change negotiation process.

Rebecca Carman

NDC Support Manager - United Nations Development Programme

Rebecca first joined UNDP in 1998 and has supported developing countries on a range of climate change issues, including Nationally Determined Contributions, National Communications, GHG inventory systems, adaptation, mitigation and climate finance. Prior to UNDP, Rebecca worked in the Environment Division of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, France. She holds an MBA from one of Australia’s top-ranked business schools.

10:25 - 11:25AM - Carbon Negative Design Panel (Cabot 205)

Dr. Bill Moomaw

Professor Emeritus of International Environmental Policy - The Fletcher School

William Moomaw is Emeritus Professor of international environmental policy and founding director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at The Fletcher School. He currently serves as co-director of the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts, which he co-founded. He received his B.A. degree in chemistry from Williams College and Ph.D. in physical chemistry from MIT. He had a 26-year career in chemistry and environmental studies at Williams College, where he directed the Center for Environmental Studies. He served as AAAS Science Fellow in the U.S. Senate, where he worked on legislation that successfully addressed ozone depletion, and on legislation responding to the 1973 energy crisis. He began working on climate change in 1988 as the first director of the climate program at World Resources Institute in Washington. He has been a lead author of five Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Reports. The IPCC shared the Nobel Peace Prize for its climate work in 2007. He is currently working on natural solutions to climate change with a focus on increasing carbon dioxide removal and sequestration by forests, wetlands and soils to compliment emission reductions from land use changes and replacing fossil fuels with zero carbon renewable energy.

He chairs the board of directors of two climate science and policy organizations, The Climate Group North America and Woods Hole Research Center. He also serves on the boards of directors of The Nature Conservancy of Massachusetts, the Consensus Building Institute, Earthwatch Institute, and is on the National Advisory Boards of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Young Voices for the Planet.

Dr. Graciela Chichilnisky

Founder and CEO - Global Thermostat

Dr. Graciela Chichilnisky is a Professor of Economics and Mathematical Statistics at Columbia University, and Director of the Columbia Consortium for Risk Management.  She is also co-founder and CEO of Global Thermostat, and co-creator of a carbon removal technology that can reverse climate change. The technology was chosen by MIT Technology Review as one of the Ten Breakthrough Technologies of 2019, curated by Bill Gates. In addition, Global Thermostat was named one of the top ten most innovative companies in energy by Fast Company and Dr. Chichilnisky was selected by International Alternative Investment Review as the 2015 CEO of the Year in Sustainability. In 2019, Global Thermostat and ExxonMobil signed a joint development agreement to advance breakthrough technology to scale up to the removal of 1 gigaton of CO2. Chichilnisky worked extensively on the Kyoto Protocol, creating and designing the carbon market that became international law in 2005. In 2017, she was selected by the Carnegie Foundation for their prestigious Great Immigrant, Great American award and, in 2018, she was awarded the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. Chichilnisky holds Ph.D. degrees in mathematics and economics from MIT and the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of more than 300 scientific articles and 13 books, including Saving Kyoto, which won the American Library Association’s 2010 Outstanding Academic Title of the Year and the American Geographical Society’s Book of the Month Award in October 2009. She acted as the lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which received the 2007 Nobel Prize for its work in deciding world policy with respect to climate change.

Dr. Joshua Horton

Research Director, Geoengineering - Harvard Kennedy School

Josh Horton serves as the Research Director for Geoengineering at the Harvard Kennedy School. Josh conducts research on geoengineering policy and governance issues, including the regulation of research, liability and compensation, and geopolitics. Josh previously worked as a clean energy consultant for a global energy consulting firm. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Jonathan Lauderdale

Research Scientist - MIT Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

Dr. Jonathan Maitland Lauderdale is an oceanographer and research scientist in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT. He is interested in the cycling of carbon in the oceans, and the interactions between marine physics, chemistry, and biology that can influence climate in the past, as well as into the future. His recent work investigates a potential feedback between availability of trace metals like iron and oceanic productivity in numerical simulations, with implications for atmospheric carbon sequestration. Jonathan earned his Ph.D from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton and the University of Southampton in the UK.

 

10:25 - 11:25AM - Offshore Wind Transmission Panel (Cabot 206)

Stephen Conant

Partner and Project Manager, Anbaric

Stephen Conant is a Partner and Project Manager for Anbaric where he leads the company’s Southern New England OceanGrid initiative. Prior to joining Anbaric, Mr. Conant was a Senior Market Analyst for Energy Security Analysis, a power price forecasting firm, where he covered electric transmission issues and headed its western power markets practice. Mr. Conant was a Senior Consultant for Stone & Webster Management Consultants where he conducted environmental due diligence for major power asset transfers including coal, natural gas, hydroelectric power plants and natural gas pipe lines. Prior to joining the private sector, he worked in local, state, and federal government, including a senior staff position in U.S. House of Representatives. Mr. Conant graduated from the University of Massachusetts – Lowell with a B.A. in Environmental Sciences and Philosophy and from Tufts University with an M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy.

Eric Steltzer

Director of the Renewables and Alternative Energy Division - Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources

Eric Steltzer is the Director of the Renewables and Alternative Energy Division at the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. In this role he oversees the Portfolio Standards in the Commonwealth and advises on the offshore wind development in the Northeast. Over the last 10+ years, Eric has worked in both the private and public sectors in the U.S. and the U.K., advising on energy policies and undertaking environmental impact assessments. He received his degrees in natural resources from Colorado State University (BS) and University of New Hampshire (MS).

Joel Whitman

Executive Vice President - Global Marine Group

Joel is an Executive Vice President with the Global Marine Group responsible for two of the group businesses - Global Offshore and CWind in the US market. The Global Marine Group is a market leader in offshore engineering, recognized as a high quality, independent strategic partner across multiple sectors. Global Offshore delivers the company’s cable installation, repair and trenching services to the offshore renewables, utilities and oil & gas markets. CWind delivers topside, splash zone and subsea engineering services, as well as crew transfer services and offshore wind training. Joel is in the process of developing the full range of the Global Marine Group products and services in the US market, blending European experience with US partners and supply chain.  Joel has been involved in the offshore wind industry over the past decade in both the US and Europe. Joel’s range of experience includes offshore transmission design, construction and operations, offshore wind, data management, autonomous vessels, predictive analytics and risk management, as well as offshore training & development.

Chris Rein

Director of Offshore Wind - EDR

Chris Rein is Director of Offshore Wind for EDR and has more than 35 years of professional experience working on energy permitting projects. His technical expertise includes fossil fuel and renewable energy generation, submarine and upland electric transmission, natural gas storage and transmission, energy policy, federal and state regulatory standards, and environmental impact analysis and testimony. Chris has actively contributed to the compilation of two federal Construction and Operations Plans (COP) for BOEM-regulated offshore wind projects. He has managed Energy Facility siting Board applications and provided expert testimony for those projects in both New York and Massachusetts.

2:00PM - 3:00PM - Clean Technology Financing and Entrepreneurship Panel (Cabot 205)

Dr. Michael Campos

Associate - Prime Impact Fund

Dr. Michael Campos is an Associate at Prime Impact Fund, a venture capital fund investing in companies with the potential for gigaton-scale climate impact. In this role, he sources investment opportunities, manages the Fund's investment pipeline, and supports investment diligence. Michael joined Prime Impact Fund from his role as a Fellow at the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) in the U.S. Department of Energy, where he developed funding programs in advanced geothermal energy, small business-led innovation, and pilot project finance. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Columbia University and a B.A. in chemistry from Northwestern University.

Beth Zonis

Director - Clean Tech Open Northeast

Beth leads the Cleantech Open Northeast, an accelerator for cleantech startups. She has over 25 years of experience in program strategy and management, business development and partnerships, marketing and communications, innovation and entrepreneurship. Her focus is on training entrepreneurs who are commercializing clean energy and environmental sustainability ventures, while helping them build their professional networks. Beth came to the Cleantech Open after five years at MIT: building the Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) in Moscow, as Director of Communications in the Office of Digital Learning, and as Director of Emerging Worlds at the Media Lab where she helped empower innovators in emerging economies to solve critical problems with digital technology. Prior to her work at MIT, Beth was Founder and Principal of Eco Marketing, a consulting firm focused on marketing and sustainability. As a long-time mentor in the Cleantech Open (since 2009), Beth is committed to the Cleantech Open mission of improving the environment and growing the cleantech economy through innovation and entrepreneurship. She is a Board Member of ACTION Innovation, an association of incubators in cleantech and biotechBeth holds a BA, cum laude, from Wellesley College, an MBA from Boston University, a Certificat de Science Politique from Sciences Po in Paris, a Certificate in Sustainable Business from the University of Southern Maine, and a Certificate in Venture Mentoring Services from MIT.

Dr. Mike Zimmerman

Founder and CEO - Ionic Materials

Dr. Mike Zimmerman is the Founder and CEO of Ionic Materials, a materials technology company that has developed a solid polymer electrolyte with a new conduction mechanism for solid state batteries. The company is now scaling up this technology to provide inherently safe batteries to the EV and Grid storage markets. Prior to Ionic Materials, Mike founded Quantum Leap Packaging (QLP) which invented, then developed a new liquid crystal polymer technology used for high frequency semiconductor packaging, and films for the emerging 5G antennae and radar systems. QLP was acquired by a multinational manufacturer, Interplex Industries. Prior to this Mike worked at Bell Laboratories where his role was to develop new materials process for semiconductor packaging and materials for the original key technologies for fiber to the home. For his technical contributions he rose to the level of “Consulting Member of Technical Staff” which is reserved for the top 1% of the technical community.

Mike has been a Professor at Tufts University for more than 25 years, teaching materials science, and providing students opportunity for thesis/research work at his companies. He is also a Visiting Professor at Imperial College in London. Mike has a BS, MS, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering, and attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), MIT, and University of Pennsylvania.

Andrew Takacs

Senior Director of Innovation and Portfolio - Greentown Labs

As Greentown Labs’ Senior Director of Innovation and Portfolio, Andrew is responsible for building a curated community of cleantech and sustainability startups from seed to Series A. His mission is to form strong relationships with investors and strategic partners that address the unique fundraising and business needs of startup members. He has a strong understanding of energy and environmental technologies across a variety of industries and markets. Andrew is a regular speaker and panelist at major industry and academic events. He reviews startup funding proposals for the MassCEC and judges top-tier university startup competitions. As Greentown’s ninth employee, Andrew played a key role in building, and ultimately led, Greentown Labs’ Corporate Partnership program where he defined offerings, set strategy, and worked closely with Greentown’s executive team and startup member community to design, secure, and manage partnerships with Global 1000 companies. Prior to joining Greentown Labs, Andrew worked with early stage software startups at High Tech Ventures, a boutique consultancy that has provided executive search, venture capital, and incubation services in the Greater Boston Area for over 20 years – best known for their incubation and seed investment in Dropbox (IPO) and Bit9 (IPO).Andrew holds an MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change from the London School of Economics. He also holds a BS in Environmental and Natural Resources Economics and BBA in Management from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.

2:00PM - 3:00PM - Smart Grid Panel (Cabot 206)

Ben Downing

VP New Market Development - Nexamp

As Vice President of New Market Development, Ben Downing focuses on Nexamp’s expansion into new markets, leading the company’s strategic development efforts across growing geographies and product lines. Notably, he leads the firm’s entry into the exciting energy storage market – identifying development opportunities, building partnerships and more. Prior to joining Nexamp, Ben represented the state's largest Senate district while serving as State Senator for 52 communities in Western Massachusetts including his hometown of Pittsfield. During his decade-long tenure, he was the leading voice in the legislature on clean energy and climate issues, along with being an advocate for tackling poverty, revitalizing Gateway Cities and expanding civil rights. Ben graduated in 2003 from Providence College with a B.A. in Political Science. In 2008, he received an M.A. from Tufts University, where he is currently an adjunct faculty member.

Maura Appleberry

Lead Hardware Engineer - Gridspan Energy

Maura is the Lead Hardware Engineer of Gridspan Energy, a company based in Greentown Labs pioneering mobile energy storage solutions for emerging markets. From a young age, Maura was determined to become an engineer, not just to understand how things work, but to equip herself for the problem solving required by earth’s most pressing challenges. Now, in her role at Gridspan, she led the hardware installation of the first mobile battery storage system, commissioned in Anguilla in November 2019. She has experience with a variety of battery systems including experience with Johnson Controls and UniEnergy Technologies. Maura holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering concentrating in Energy Technology from Boston University.

Nate Owen

CEO - Ampion

Nate Owen is the CEO, chief visionary, evangelist, and driving force at Ampion, a company whose mission is to make it easy for everyone to access clean, renewable energy. Nate founded Ampion in 2014 based on the conviction that the renewable energy revolution needed the same type of support that he previously created to facilitate the development of competitive electric and gas markets across the United States. Previously, as the founder and CEO of Energy Services Group (ESG), Nate led efforts to establish data and business process standards in New England, New York, PJM, ERCOT, and California.