The 75th Governor of Rhode Island
On January 6, 2015, Gina M. Raimondo became the 75th Governor of Rhode Island and the state’s first female governor. During her time in office, Governor Raimondo has kick-started the state’s economy and created thousands of jobs. Rhode Island’s unemployment rate—the highest in the country during her first campaign for governor—is now in line with the national average and the lowest it’s been in three decades. She’s made record investments in infrastructure, education and job training. Under her leadership, Rhode Island became the fourth state in the country to offer tuition-free community college to every high school graduate.
Governor Raimondo knows that climate change is a major threat to the Ocean State and its 400 miles of coastline. When the Trump administration pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, the Governor committed Rhode Island to meeting its goals. Unlike leaders in Washington, Gina knows that the future of energy is offshore wind, not offshore drilling. Rhode Island is the first–and still only–state in America with an offshore wind farm and thanks to the Governor’s leadership, by 2023, Rhode Island will be able to power half its homes by wind alone. Rhode Island is now a member of RGGI, a regional climate alliance that seeks to curb carbon emissions. The Governor has also taken executive action to combat the issue of plastic pollution, and supports investments to preserve Rhode Island’s state parks and beaches.
Before becoming Governor, Gina served as Rhode Island’s General Treasurer. She has a background in venture capital and holds degrees from Harvard, Oxford and Yale. Gina and her husband Andy live in Providence with their two kids, Ceci and Tommy, and their rescue dog, Sparky.
Ron is the Co-Founder and CEO of Closed Loop Partners, an investment firm focused on the development of the circular economy via investments in sustainable consumer goods and packaging companies, innovative recycling technologies and advanced supply chains. Prior to Closed Loop Partners, Ron was the Deputy Commissioner of Sanitation, Recycling and Sustainability for New York City, as well as the Co-Founder and CEO of RecycleBank. Ron received an MBA from Columbia Business School, and has been an Adjunct Professor at his alma mater since 2010.
Since 2001 Peter Damgaard Jensen is the CEO of PKA.
After graduating in 1981 from The University of Aarhus as a master of Political Science he joined the Association of County Councils in Denmark. In 1985 he moved to the Danish Nurses Organization in Denmark where he had different management positions. He left the Danish Nurses Organization in 2001 to join PKA.
Peter is a member of the board in The Danish Insurance Association and has previously been chairman and vice chairman of the board.
He is the vice chairman in Forca Ltd (a company in the pension fund and life insurance industry)
Peter was a member of the Board in DEAS (Dan-Ejendomme) – Denmark’s biggest property management company – in the period 2001-2006.
Peter is a member of the advisory board of The Danish SDG Investment Fund for SDG investments in emerging markets and member of the advisory board in Axcel Ltd (leading Danish private equity Company)
Since January 2017 Peter is the Chair of IIGCC. Peter had been an IIGCC Board Member since December 2013.
Peter is a member of the “Global Commission on Adaption”. The commission was founded in October 2018 by the Dutch government. The commission will be working with reports and action tracks in 2019 and 2020.
Matthew Nelson was appointed Chair of the Department of Public Utilities in February 2019. Nelson began his energy career at the DPU in 2007 in the Natural Gas Division. Subsequently, Nelson served as the Supervisor of Regulatory, Policy, and Planning for Eversource Energy as part of the nationally recognized Mass Save program. Returning to the DPU, Nelson became the Director of Electric Power, as well as the director of Regional and Federal Affairs. During Nelson’s time at the DPU, he investigated a wide range of utility issues, including grid modernization investments, general rate case issues, solar and renewable energy development, energy efficiency, climate strategies, competitive supply, and storm restoration issues. Nelson’s work at the DPU and elsewhere has focused on reducing costs to ratepayers, while improving reliability and continuing to drive down greenhouse gas emissions. Nelson is a graduate of Stonehill College, and holds a Master’s degree in economics from Tufts University.
Mr. Gerber is the Director for New Energy & Blockchain in IBM’s Energy, Environment & Utilities Industry. He is responsible for the development of solutions for non-traditional utility functions, specifically focused on integrating distributed energy resources and the industry’s blockchain strategy and execution globally.
Previously he was the Director of the Smart Lifecycle Asset Management (SLAM) initiative. In this role he was responsible for the Strategy, Sales, and Solution Development of SLAM solutions. SLAM is focused on asset intensive clients across the Aerospace, Automotive, Electronics, Manufacturing, Energy & Utilities, Oil & Gas, and Travel & Transportation industries. SLAM solutions seek to leverage information across an asset’s lifecycle through information management, advanced analytics, and optimization.
Prior to that, Mr. Gerber was the Power Generation Leader for the Energy & Utilities industry at IBM. In this position he was responsible for devising, developing and executing the solution portfolio strategy and capabilities for all of IBM’s power generation business. This includes capabilities for fossil, nuclear, and renewable generation areas.
Mr. Gerber has over 30 years of industry experience providing advanced solutions to the utility industry. He has been deeply involved in electric utility solution development and implementation, as well as having served in executive management positions. Prior to working at IBM Mr. Gerber was the CEO of a power plant simulation company, which was successfully sold to a major control system company, where the business continues to operate to this day. Mr. Gerber also served as the VP of operations and strategy for an internet-based file storage company.
Mr. Gerber has a Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters of Control System Engineering degree from Stanford University.
Richenda is the Managing Director for Empowering Clean Economies at the Rocky Mountain Institute. She joined the Institute in May 2019 from the non-profit Global LPG Partnership where she had served as Chair, International Institutions since 2016, working with African governments and other partners on residential energy solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has also served for the last three years as a member of the World Bank's Energy Program's (ESMAP) Technical Advisory Group (TAG), providing strategic oversight of their $135 million energy portfolio.
From 2010-2016 she founded and led Energy Access at the United Nations Foundation including its engagement with the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. She established the “Energy Access Practitioner Network” which rapidly grew to over 2,300 members delivering a range of off-grid and mini-grid renewable energy solutions to address lack of electrification in many developing countries.
Richenda has more than 25 years of executive management experience and previously worked in private equity and as an impact investor on a range of emerging markets renewable energy solutions. She served as a founding board member of the Good Energies Foundation which supports a range of energy access solutions in East Africa, South Asia and, at that time, in Central America. She also served as CEO of international women’s micro-entrepreneurship NGO, Trickle Up, for nearly five years.
Richenda is currently a board director of SELCO India and Energy 4 Impact and since 2010 has served as a founding U.S. Women’s Clean Energy Ambassador” within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Energy, Education and Empowerment (C3E) initiative.
Madeleine Mineau is the Executive Director of Clean Energy NH (CENH), a membership-based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting clean energy and technologies through education and advocacy for a stronger economic future.
Madeleine represents the organization and over 500 members on policy matters at the NH legislature and Public Utilities Commission. Prior to joining Clean Energy NH, Madeleine was co-president of Granite State Hydropower Association, the trade organization for small hydropower owners and operators in New Hampshire.
She was also the Waterways Manager for the City of Nashua, New Hampshire’s second-largest city. Madeleine has a PhD in ecology and was an academic researcher before making a career shift to energy.
Robert Armstrong directs the MIT Energy Initiative, an Institute-wide initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology linking science, technology, and policy to transform the worlds energy systems. A member of the MIT faculty since 1973, Armstrong served as head of the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1996 to 2007. His research interests include energy, the rheology of complex materials, and polymer fluid mechanics.
In 2008, Armstrong was elected into the National Academy of Engineering for conducting outstanding research on non-Newtonian fluid mechanics, co- authoring landmark textbooks, and providing leadership in chemical engineering education.
Armstrong received the Warren K. Lewis Award in 2006 and the Professional Progress Award in 1992, both from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the 2006 Bingham Medal from the Society of Rheology, which is devoted to the study of the science of deformation and flow of matter. Armstrong was a member of MIT’s Future of Natural Gas and Future of Solar Energy study groups and is co-chairing the Future of Storage study currently underway. He co-edited Game Changers: Energy on the Move with former Secretary of State George P. Shultz.
Anne Watson is the Mayor of Montpelier, Vermont. Prior to her election as Mayor, she served as a City Councilor in Montpelier and as a member of the Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee. Anne has been a strong advocate for the city’s net-zero energy goal.
Since Anne joined the council, the city has made significant energy infrastructure investments that resulted in a 56% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between 2011 and 2016. Anne co-wrote the document that led to a one megawatt solar array for the City of Montpelier. As Mayor, Anne continues to champion energy policy and sustainability efforts for the City of Montpelier. Anne is also an award winning high school science and math teacher.
She has taught physics, engineering, and math at Montpelier High School for the past fourteen years. She has a BS in physics from Penn State and an MEd in Secondary Education from the University of Vermont. Anne is a 2015 Rowland Fellow and a Senior Knowles Fellow.
Angela Hultberg is the global Head of Sustainable Mobility at Ingka Group (formerly IKEA Group). She is in lead of efforts related to the sustainable mobility agenda, reducing customer and co-worker travel emissions as well as achieving zero emission home deliveries and services.
Previously, Angela was leading the sustainability work within Customer Fulfilment, focusing on creating a truly sustainable multichannel network for Ingka Group. This included lowering emissions, working with circular initiatives and waste reduction, supply chain management and much more.
Angela holds a masters of law degree from Lund University and has worked for PwC and Scania before joining Ingka Group.
As the Vice President of Energy Storage, Jacqueline is strategically driving energy storage project development opportunities for Ameresco, a leader in the distributed energy space. Jacqueline is a Board member for the national Energy Storage Association (ESA). Prior to joining Ameresco, Jacqueline was the Vice President of Emerging Technologies, at Customized Energy Solutions (CES) where she advised clients on how to value energy storage resources and interpret the changing market rules. She worked directly with her clients on interconnection, pricing, contract evaluation, and requirements for participation in the wholesale markets. During her tenure, CES was recognized by the ESA with the Brad Roberts Outstanding Industry Achievement award. Jacqueline has over 25 years of experience in the electric power industry. She worked for the California ISO in the areas of policy and market design. She also worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on international power sector restructuring efforts. She has earlier career experience working for an independent power project developer, and she began her career at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Jacquie has a B.A. from Rutgers University and an M.B.A. from George Washington University.
Carolyn Ryan oversees the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s public policy and research department, which develops and advocates for policies that contribute to the economic success of our region. Since joining the Chamber in 2015, Carolyn has developed the organization’s policy priorities and positions and elevated its role in public policymaking.
Previously, Carolyn was a policy analyst at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (MTF) where she focused on issues of tax and municipal finance, among other areas. Prior to MTF, Carolyn was a consultant with Public Financial Management in Philadelphia where she was a member of the state-appointed financial oversight teams for Pittsburgh and Reading, Pennsylvania. She previously held positions with the Office of the Legislative Counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Harvard University development office.
Carolyn holds a B.A in English from Williams College, where she was co-captain of the women’s varsity volleyball team, and an M.P.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, where she received the Audrey Miller Poritzky award for leadership. She is a board member of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership and an advisory board member for the New England Public Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
Dr. Carter received his Ph.D. in Ecology with distinction from the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia (UGA) and completed his B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He was a faculty member at UGA, and was the founding Director of Butler University’s Center for Urban Ecology (CUE). Since 2014, Dr. Carter has served as president of Second Nature where he helped develop and implement strategy and programs that accelerate climate action in, and through, higher education.
Tom Burton’s zeal for innovation and passion for energy and sustainability have shaped the clean energy industry. He created one of the nation’s first clean energy legal practices. Clients ranging from investors to entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies rely on him for creative and strategic legal solutions, and he has completed hundreds of venture capital and private equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, and IPOs. He guides the industry’s next generation of leaders through active involvement with start-up organizations and accelerators. The Northeast Clean Energy Council recognized his pioneering role in the Northeast with a Decade of Influence award in 2017.
Under Tom’s leadership, the Mintz Energy & Sustainability Practice has completed more than 500 transactions across energy sectors totaling over $8.5 billion since 2006. Serving more than 250 clients, spanning the ecosystem from emerging companies to large corporations, venture capital and private equity funds, investment banks, project developers, and family offices, the firm is recognized nationally as a leading law firm in the space.
“Mintz was one of the first law firms to develop a practice focused on energy and sustainability innovation, and we continue to help sustain the industry by promoting innovation, catalyzing finance, acquiring talent, and developing corporate partnerships. We have partnered with Horizon since its inception because we believe that connecting all sectors of the industry in this forum will drive business and boost the clean energy economy."
Nick is Braskem North America’s Vice President for Legal, External Affairs & Communications. Over the past eight years, he has helped lead Braskem’s growth strategy in the United States, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. Additionally, Nick serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of love.futbol—a non-profit dedicated to partnering with underserved communities throughout the world to plan, build and manage safe spaces for youth. There he has helped lead the organization’s growth strategy to 6 new countries on 5 different continents in partnership with Nike, ESPN, City Football Group, Coca-Cola and other leading brands in sports.
Dr. Kavita Ravi is the Senior Director of Utility and Technical Services at Blue Wave Solar, where she is responsible for interconnection and energy storage in Blue Wave’s solar plus storage projects. Previously, she led programs to demonstrate viable business models for energy storage at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). In 2016, she co-led the State of Charge report that explored the market opportunities and barriers for energy storage in Massachusetts. At MassCEC, she also established a program to support universities and companies leverage clean energy funding opportunities.
Prior to MassCEC, Kavita worked on microgrids and energy access issues with the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. From 2011 through 2013, she served as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the U.S. Department of Energy where she led market transforming programs to promote energy efficiency. Kavita has a Ph.D in Computer Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder and worked for several years in the private sector commercializing the technology of her doctoral research.
Dr. Emily Reichert serves as Chief Executive Officer of Greentown Labs, the largest clean technology startup incubator in the United States. As the company’s first employee, Emily has spearheaded the rapid growth of Greentown Labs into a global center for clean technology innovation, attracting visitors and partners from around the world.
Emily started her career at Arthur D. Little as a Ph.D. scientist and progressed into R&D, business development and general management roles. Prior to Greentown Labs, she was the Director of Business Operations at the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry where she helped grow the angel-funded startup into a sustainable contract R&D business with a mission to minimize environmental impact of chemical products. Emily also served as a MIT Sloan Fellow in Innovation and Global Leadership as well as a Venture Labs Fellow at Flagship Ventures, a Boston-based Venture Capital firm.
Emily has served as a board member or as a key advisor for a number of innovation and entrepreneurship-focused organizations including the Northeast Clean Energy Council, Cleantech Open Northeast, Cyclotron Road, the Incubatenergy Network and the MIT Enterprise Forum. She has been appointed to leadership positions on innovation, economic development, entrepreneurship and clean technology commercialization at both the state and federal level including Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Economic Development Planning Council and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Emily has earned international recognition for her leadership in cleantech innovation and has received invitations to speak at International Conferences such as Les Rencontres Economiques d’Aix-en-Provence, France, and the Fish Family Foundation’s Japanese Women’s Leadership Initiative in Tokyo, Japan.
She holds a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned her MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Asim is the Vice President of Commercial Strategy and Customer Experience at Bloom Energy, a provider of breakthrough solid oxide fuel cell technology that generates clean,
reliable, and highly-efficient power onsite. Asim’s responsibilities at Bloom Energy include new market development, commercial execution and strategy, market research and analysis, customer engagement and experience, and corporate marketing.
Prior to Bloom Energy, Asim worked for CURRENT Group, a Smart Grid solutions provider, as the Chief of Staff for the CEO focused on building the executive team and strategic planning as well as marketing and business development activities. He previously also advised electric utility and telecommunication clients on strategy and systems integration initiatives while working for Deloitte Consulting.
Asim earned a BS in Commerce with Distinction from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.