Manager for Environmental Sustainability, Education, and Engagement
California Academy of Sciences
Talk Topic: From Sea Turtles to Disney: Inspiration for Living Sustainability
Dr. Elizabeth Bagley is the Manager for Environmental Sustainability Education and Engagement at the California Academy of Sciences. In her role at the Academy, Dr. Bagley works across divisions to help coordinate new sustainability-themed education and engagement efforts. She has joint PhDs in Environment & Resources and Educational Psychology, and she uses digital tools like games and simulations to explore how people learn about environmental sustainability. She has experience studying coral reefs, sea turtles, and butterflies in Kenya, working as a naturalist in Glacier National Park, and teaching middle and high school science in Louisiana.
Robin Bass is the REWS [e]Team Lead for Google. Her work focuses on the integration of Google's values around well being and sustainability into the design, construction and operation of Google's global real estate portfolio. She brings 15 years of experience in the design and construction industry to her position. Most recently, Robin was a Senior Program Manager for Mary Davidge Associates, sustainability consultant to Google.
Lead for Sustainability
Kate Brandt leads sustainability across Google’s worldwide operations and products. In this role, Kate coordinates with Google’s data centers, real estate, supply chain, and product teams to ensures the company is capitalizing on opportunities to strategically advance sustainability and circular economy.
Previously Kate served as President Obama and the Nation's first Chief Sustainability Officer. In this capacity, she was responsible for promoting sustainability across Federal Government operations including 360,000 buildings, 650,000 vehicles, and $445 billion annually in purchased goods and services.
Prior to the White House, Kate held several senior roles in U.S. Federal Government including Senior Advisor at the Department of Energy, Director for Energy and Environment in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, and Energy Advisor to the Secretary of the Navy.
Kate received a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of Cambridge where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. She graduated with honors from Brown University.
Global Women's Water Initiative
Talk Topic: Women build h2ope
Gemma Bulos is a multi award-winning social entrepreneur, musician and the Director of the Global Women’s Water Initiative. Prior to stepping in as Director of GWWI, Gemma was the Founder/Executive Director of A Single Drop (USA) and the Founding Director of A Single Drop for Safe Water in the Philippines, developing innovative programming that creates income-generating community led water service organizations. For this innovation, Gemma received national and international social entrepreneur awards including Echoing Green (International, 2007), Ernst Young (Philippines 2009) and Schwab Foundation (Asia 2010), and others. Her programs also won accolades including the Tech Museum Tech Equality Award (2010) and Warriors of the UN Millennium Goals (2010), sponsored by Kodak Philippines. In 2011, she was recognized as one of the Most Influential Thought Leaders and Innovative Filipinas in the United States. An international speaker, she has spoken alongside such dignitaries such as Jane Goodall, Vandana Shiva, Wangari Maathai and others. The catalyst that started her mission that has provided over 210,000 people with clean water and sanitation all started with a song she wrote in response to 9/11 called "WE RISE". Gemma mobilized an unprecedented Million Voice Choir in over 100 cities in 60 countries to sing together in celebration of Peace Through Clean Water based on the notion that 'it takes a single drop of water to start a wave."
Vice President, Sustainable Design Leader, Sport + Recreation + Entertainment
As a project leader and the sustainable design leader for HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice, Chris is known for his thought leadership in the green sports movement. Chris has led sustainability initiatives and the LEED certification process for projects throughout the US and Canada and is focused on redefining sustainability and best practices within the profession.
Chris’ leadership spans numerous non-profits and organizations that are integral in shaping Kansas City’s arts community, design industry and policies. He co-founded the Kansas City chapter of the American Institute of Architects’ Pillars Leadership Program and recently led the Council for Responsible Sport green certification of the WinforKC Women’s Triathlon in Kansas City for the third consecutive year. In addition, Chris is a fellow and lecturer at Presidio’s MBA Course on sports and sustainability and is a graduate of the Kansas City Chamber’s Centurions Leadership Program.
Chris’ work in sustainable sports facility design has been recognized internationally by publications like The Philosophy of Sustainable Design, Sports Illustrated and Sports Business Journal. A frequent speaker, Chris has presented with organizations like the USGBC, Green Sports Alliance’s Women in Sports + Environment, and most recently, at COP21, the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris.
Khosla GlobalImpact Fund
Talk Topic: How Machine Learning is unlocking the off-grid Cleantech market
Sandhya Hegde is a General Partner at Khosla Impact, a leading impact-tech fund active in India and Africa. She is an engineer and an entrepreneur at heart, starting her career with an energy efficiency startup while studying engineering at IIT Bombay. In 2008 she was setting up financial inclusion infrastructure for India’s largest bank. In 2009, she joined Sequoia Capital, where she was the top performing investment associate, supporting diligence for over $120M in early stage deals and sourcing hundreds of startups over 3 years.
In 2013, after graduating with an MBA from Stanford GSB, she joined the Khosla Impact fund full time. There, she built up the team that has evaluated over 1650 deals, investing in 16 startups that are changing the world. Sandhya has led investments in energy, education and financial service technologies across India and Africa. The Times of India has covered Sandhya Hegde as one of the top investors in India under 40.
Director, California Clean Energy
Environmental Defense Fund
Talk Topic: From Grid to Garage: Policies Powering California’s Clean Energy Revolution
As EDF’s Director, California Clean Energy, Jayant’s work focuses on how California can reach its ambitious clean energy and environmental goals in ways that are affordable, accessible, reliable, and grow the state’s economy. Jayant encourages policy solutions that integrate California’s growing renewable and distributed energy resources, better use clean flexible resources, and empower California customers with more and better data. This work entails regular engagement with a variety of government agencies like the California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission as well as the California State Legislature, and with key stakeholders in the non-profit and advocacy, and clean tech and business communities.
Before joining EDF, Jayant was Chief Operating Officer at the New York Business Integrity Commission. In this role, he oversaw the agency's policy portfolio and spearheaded successful reforms to the commercial waste sector that improved air quality, recycling rates and consumer protections for New York City residents and businesses.
Prior to his role at the Commission, Jayant worked as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Deputy Mayor of Operations in New York City, where he managed a wide range of policy issues from municipal innovation to urban sustainability. He also served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer from 2004 — 2006 in Cape Verde. Jayant has a bachelor's degree in Geography from Vassar College and a Masters of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Co-Founder and CEO
Emily Kirsch is Co-Founder and CEO of Powerhouse, the world's first and only solar incubator and accelerator with over 40 solar startups and cleantech organizations. Prior to founding Powerhouse, Emily worked with former advisor to President Obama, Van Jones, at the Ella Baker Center where she launched and led the Green Jobs Corps - Oakland's first solar training program. Emily is the founding convener of the the Oakland Climate Action Coalition which drafted and secured passage of the nation's most ambitious Energy and Climate Action Plan. Emily then worked with Mosaic to pilot their solar financing platform. She is a 2012 New Leaders Council Alumni and a 2014 Young Climate Leaders Fellow. Since startingPowerhouse in 2013, Emily has hosted over 40 solar startups and organizations, has invested in 12 and has celebrated 4 exits from the incubator.
Founder and President
Talk Topic: Tech for Good: Launching & funding your startup
Julie is the Co-Founder and President of Tumml, providing seed capital and mentorship to early stage, urban innovators. During the last three years, the organization has supported 33 startups, working to solve urban issues from homelessness to transportation. Collectively, Tumml startups have created hundreds of new community jobs and launched products/ services for over 2.2M people. Tumml has been recognized as “The Next Urban Innovation” by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, named “Best Startup” by the San Francisco Business Times, and featured by TedX. Julie has an MBA from MIT Sloan and a BA from Stanford. Julie serves as President of Tumml, managing operations and working closely with the organization's portfolio companies. Prior to founding Tumml, she worked in polling and political consulting at Tulchin Research and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. Julie earned her MBA from MIT Sloan and her BA from Stanford. Her work in urban innovation has been featured in CNN, Forbes, The San Francisco Chronicle, and smart city conferences around the globe.
Senior Sales Manager
As a Senior Sales Manager, Emily Leung oversees new market entry at NEXTracker and manages a team of sales analysts. She has been instrumental in helping create over 1 gigawatt of sales pipeline for the Company. While she entered her NEXTracker tenure focused on the US utility scale solar market in 2014, she’s turned her attention to help increase the Company’s international market base in India, Brazil, Jordan and China. Emily earned her BS in Biology from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. An avid runner, she lives in San Francisco and enjoys eating her way around the city.
Yulia Lushnikova has 14 years of progressive experience in the development, engineering and execution of renewable power generation projects. Specifically, she has extensive technical knowledge involving balance of plant engineering, procurement and construction involving solar and wind technologies. Her background includes on-hands experience in procurement and logistics, product development and construction management. Yulia holds professional certification in Energy from CU Bolder as well as Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies certification from Stanford University. As a part of Yulia’s volunteering aspirations, for the last three years she serves on the Solar Power International Education Committee. When she isn’t glued to a computer screen, she spends time enjoying as much outdoors as Colorado has to offer, especially fishing, hiking and skiing.
Susan Mac Cormac
Morrison & Foerster
Susan Mac Cormac is a partner in the Corporate Department of Morrison & Foerster's San Francisco office. She serves as Co-chair of the Energy and Clean Technology Groups. Ms. Mac Cormac has extensive experience representing startup to late-stage private companies primarily in the clean technology, renewable energy and sustainable space. She provides corporate and finance advice in connection with equity and debt financings, mergers, acquisitions, asset purchases and sales, reorganizations, and joint ventures. She regularly advises boards of private and public companies, special committees, and CEOs on corporate governance as it relates to sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issues. In addition to her representation of nonprofit corporations involved with Sustainability and CSR, providing advice to their boards on fiduciary issues, conflicts of interest, and other corporate matters, she has deep experience and expertise in structure for nonprofit/for-profit "Hybrids" and new corporate forms.
Director, Infrastructure Solutions
Talk Topic: How Open Standards Based Fast Charging is Accelerating Electrification Around the World
Rachel Moses leads infrastructure solution development at Greenlots. A key member of the leadership team, she guides strategy, sales, and market development for the firm's open standards-based electric vehicle (EV) charging platform. Rachel has spent her career at the edge of EV charging technology. Prior to Greenlots, she worked for Better Place, an industry pioneer in EV battery and charging systems. There she served as Commercial Analyst and Technical Sales Manager, managing the operation and deployment of a first-of- its kind EV charging infrastructure as part of the Australian government's ambitious smart grid initiative.
Rachel holds a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from the University of New South Wales and is involved in the Bay Area chapter of Women in Cleantech & Sustainability as well as Young Professionals in Energy.
Julia Murphy is a skilled investment professional with 14 years of energy and finance (project & corporate) experience in utilities, private equity and renewables. Prior to Ultra Capital, Julia worked for 3Degrees, Babcock & Brown, and PG&E. She has an MBA from University of Chicago Booth and a BS from Occidental College.
Dr. Maslina Tasrin Othman
R&D technical team
Formerly with Tetrasun-First Solar
Talk Topic: Thriving in global R&D with cross cultural challenges
Maslina Tasrin Binti Othman is Malaysian nationality and moved to the US in 1998 to further studies. Dr. Othman received BS (Honors), Master in Electrical Engineering and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Missouri-Columbia, in 2000, 2002 and 2007 respectively with ~10 years’ experience in R&D semiconductor and solar industries. Her master research program was in remote sensing study. She developed data fusion process in merging microwave sensor data (Canadian Space Agency) and passive optical sensor data (NASA) for land-use classification mapping for Boone County, Missouri. At Ph.D. program, she switched gear to semiconductor. Her Ph.D. research was in spectroscopic ellipsometry analysis of nanoporous low-k thin films processed via supercritical CO 2 for next-generation microelectronic devices. Dr. Othman also contributed in nanoporous thin film analysis for high-k and bio-medical applications. She has 8 publications from her graduate degree program research work. She was a Scientist-World Wide Labs, Global Quality for MEMC, a manufacturing silicon wafers for semiconductor industries. Dr. Othman was responsible for developing characterization methods, designing global test procedure, transferring and aligning technology to worldwide manufacturing facilities (S. Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Italy, USA and Malaysia). She then joined Total Gas an Power New Energies USA, seconded to SunPower as a Characterization Platform Manager in R&D division. In 2014, Dr. Othman joined First Solar as R&D engineer responsible in accessing Silicon supplier’s technology and capabilities worldwide, and to identify the best technology that fits to First Solar/Tetrasun solar cell product. Her other interests are fitness, travel, and nutrition.
Head of Business Development
The CSR Group
Talk Topic: Using Your Gut(s) to Drive Your Career and Life Choices
Adrienne Pierce has spent more than 20 years in environmental and semiconductor technology managing products, building business partnerships, juggling a family and learning tons. Adrienne currently is the head of Business Development for The CSR Group, a leader in supply chain sustainability. Adrienne loves the “creamy centers” connecting technology and arts (SMART); mechanics and story; delivery and flexibility (Agile). A passionate believer in the transformative power of renewable energy and the necessity of corporate social responsibility, she is to committed sustainability. Adrienne has done work for Edwards Vacuum, CleanTech Open, TapRoot and one of her most recent gigs was in IT, as a program director with SunEdison. She supplements her eclectic credentials of a Chemical Engineering degree, an international M.B.A. and a stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in Gabon, with creativity, curiosity and lots of chocolate.
Lisa Ann Pinkerton
Founder and Chairwoman
Women in Cleantech & Sustainability
Lisa Ann Pinkerton is founder of Women In Cleantech & Sustainability, a San Francisco Bay Area group dedicated to the advancement of women in various environmental and technology sectors. She is also Founder and President of Technica Communications, where she handles marketing, social media, content production and public relations for cleantech and biotech startups. Additionally, Lisa Ann is Co-Founder and Marketing Chair for the Global Cleantech Cluster Association, an international speaker and moderator and documentary filmmaker. Lisa Ann is a former award-winning broadcast journalist who reported for National Public Radio, PBS Television, WPXI-NBC, American Public Media, and Free Speech TV.
Talk Topic: Millennials, Women, and Sustainability—Myths and Truths
Caroline is based in GlobeScan’s San Francisco office working with diverse clients on stakeholder intelligence and engagement projects related to reputation, sustainability and corporate brand. Prior to joining GlobeScan in 2014, Caroline was a Senior Program Officer at ICLEI, where she managed a national energy and resource efficiency program. Prior to ICLEI, she was a Strategist at Saatchi & Saatchi S working with Fortune 500 companies and cleantech startups on strategic marketing, stakeholder engagement around sustainability, CSR, and social impact.
Dr. Laura Stachel
Talk Topic: The Power to Save Lives
Laura E. Stachel, M.D., M.P.H., Executive Director, the cofounder of WE CARE Solar, is an obstetrician /gynecologist with fourteen years of clinical experience. She holds an M.D. from University of California, San Francisco and an M.P.H. in Maternal and Child Health from University of California, Berkeley. Laura was the Associate Director of Emergency Obstetric Research in West Africa for the Bixby Center for Population Health and Sustainability. She was the P.I. on a MacArthur Foundation project on We Care Solar Suitcase usage in Nigeria and Uganda, and was coinvestigator for a collaborative Population Council study that assessed the standard of maternity care in Nigerian state hospitals. Laura was a staff researcher at the Blum Center for Developing Economies at U.C. Berkeley. She serves on the Editorial Board for the Berkeley Wellness Letter and cochairs a international working group on Energy and Health for the UN Foundation. Laura has won numerous awards including the 2015 UN DESA “Powering the Future We Want” Award, international work and was a 2013 CNN Hero.
Catherine Von Burg
Catherine Von Burg is President and CEO of SimpliPhi Power, a technology company that designs and manufactures intelligent, nontoxic, efficient, energy dense storage and management systems. Her career spans a diverse portfolio of strategic planning, policy development, executive management, and multidisciplinary team building. Committed to the transformation of the power grid and adoption of clean energy and distributed energy storage, she has conducted biomedical research, published white papers and spearheaded national program, policy and business driven initiatives with organizations such as Pew Charitable Trusts, Rockefeller Institute, Columbia University, NY March of Dimes Foundation, John Hopkins School of Biomedical Engineering, Wilderness Education Association and First 5 Commission of California. Catherine graduated from Columbia University in New York and holds a Master’s degree from University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy.
Director, Energy Efficiency Programs
Karen Zelmar is the Director of Energy Efficiency Programs within PG&E’s Customer Energy Solutions organization, responsible for leading the management and growth of PG&E Energy Efficiency programs that target all utility customer segments – Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Agricultural, and Local Governments. Prior to that she was Director of Pricing Products for PG&E and focused on helping customers better engage with their energy usage through pricing options, energy information analysis tools and payment methods. Before joining PG&E, Ms. Zelmar has worked for SunPower, AOL, NAVTEQ and Price Waterhouse performing various leadership roles in product management, marketing, operations and consulting. Ms. Zelmar earned her MBA at UC Berkeley and is originally from Chicago, where she earned a BA in Economics at Northwestern University.