Speaker Bios

Jackie Biskupski

Mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah

Jackie Biskupski took office as Mayor of Salt Lake City in 2016. Her political career also includes 13 years as a member of the Utah House of Representatives, where she made history as the state’s first openly gay elected official. The Mayor’s top priorities include economic development, homelessness, air quality, affordable housing, and creating an inclusive and welcoming city. Under the Mayor’s leadership, Salt Lake City adopted a plan to be powered by 100% clean energy by 2032, with an 80% reduction in carbon output by 2040. A Minnesota native, the Mayor earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Arizona State University.

Allison Clements

Program Director of Clean Energy Markets, Energy Foundation

Allison Clements guides the Energy Foundation’s strategies to ensure regulatory and capital markets drive decarbonization and the energy transition. She focuses on policies involving the role of utilities, public utility commissions, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the financial sector. Allison previously served as founder and principal at Goodgrid, LLC, and worked at the Natural Resources Defense Council. In addition, Allison spent several years in private law practice providing federal regulatory guidance to utilities and independent power producers at Troutman Sanders LLP, as well as negotiating energy infrastructure project financings at Chadbourne & Parke. She began her career working on legislative and electoral campaigns for the League of Conservation Voters.

Kevin de León

President pro Tempore of the California State Senate

As President pro Tempore Emeritus of the California State Senate, Kevin de León has led the nation to establish landmark clean-energy mandates, climate and environmental protections, and immigration reforms. This includes authoring and passing Senate Bill 100, which legally mandates California to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2045. He also authored SB 535 and SB 1275, which resulted in milestone environmental equity programs.

Before entering into politics, Senator de León served the public as a community organizer. He graduated with honors from Pitzer College. He also holds roles as a visiting professor at UC Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, and USC, and serves as a Distinguished Policymaker-in-Residence and Senior Analyst with the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation.

JR DeShazo

Director, UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation

JR DeShazo directs the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and is Chair of the Public Policy department. He has a Ph.D. in Urban Planning with a concentration in Economics from Harvard University, a master in Development Economics from Oxford University, St. Antony’s College, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and earned a bachelor in Economics and History at the College of William and Mary.

Bob Dixson

Mayor Emeritus of Greensburg, Kansas

Bob Dixson served as Mayor of Greensburg from May 2008 to November 2018. He and the City Council led the way in the process of rebuilding Greensburg following the May 4, 2007 EF5 tornado that destroyed 95% of the community. Sustainable building, renewable energy and green technologies are the cornerstones of the recovery of Greensburg. Community involvement and public/private partnerships have been essential in the recovery efforts. Former Mayor Dixson has presented to groups around the world on post-disaster recovery and sustainability.

Brandon Hurlbut

Co-founder, Boundary Stone Partners

Brandon Hurlbut is a co-founder of Boundary Stone Partners where he advises clean energy and mobility companies.  He previously served as Chief of Staff to Secretary Steven Chu at the U.S. DOE, where he managed the Department’s principal initiatives and oversaw day-to-day operations of a federal agency with a $29 billion budget and a 115,000 person workforce. He served on the board of directors for DOE’s $38 billion investment fund in clean energy. He began working in the Obama Administration by serving in the White House as the President’s liaison to the energy and environment cabinet agencies. Brandon currently serves as a member of the board of directors to Sparkfund, Swell Energy, and The Solutions Project.  He is a co-host of “Political Climate,” a bipartisan podcast about energy and climate issues.

Roger Kim

Executive Director, Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund

Roger Kim is Executive Director of the Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund, as well as a Senior Advisor at the Democracy Alliance. Roger brings extensive experience working in the public, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors on climate, energy, and social justice. Previously, Roger was Senior Advisor to the Mayor of San Francisco, served on the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and was Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), where he founded APEN Action to educate and mobilize Asian American voters in California. Roger serves on the board of directors of the League of Conservation Voters, Climate Mayors, and Roosevelt Forward.  

Chuck Mcilhinney

Senator Emeritus of Pennsylvania

Senator Chuck Mcilhinney, Jr. was elected to represent the 10th Senatorial District of the Pennsylvania State Senate in 2006. Senator Mcilhinney was a leading advocate for open space preservation and land use management. He was also a leader in promoting energy efficiency and played a vital role in the House passage of legislation to set statewide energy efficiency standards. Before his election to the Senate, he spent ten years in the PA House of Representatives. Senator Mcilhinney was the prime sponsor of the 100% Renewable Energy Bill in the PA Senate.

Mary Nichols

Chair, California Air Resources Board

Mary Nichols is the Chair of the California Air Resources Board, where she occupies the attorney seat. She has served on the Board under Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (1975–82 and 2010–18), Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (2007–2010) and Governor Gavin Newsom (2019—present). She also served as California’s Secretary for Natural Resources (1999–2003), appointed by Gov. Gray Davis.When not working for the State of California, Mary was a senior staff attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council; Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, in the administration of President William Jefferson Clinton; and headed the Institute of Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. Over a career as an environmental lawyer spanning over 45 years, Mary Nichols has played a key role in California and the nation’s progress toward healthy air. She has also led the Board in crafting California’s internationally recognized climate action plan.

Carla Peterman

Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Southern California Edison

Carla Peterman is Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Southern California Edison, one of the nation’s largest electric utilities. She is responsible at the national and state levels for the company’s Regulatory Affairs and Energy and Environmental Policy organizations, overseeing regulatory strategy and operations and environmental affairs. Previously, Peterman served on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) from 2013 to 2018, where she led several CPUC clean-energy initiatives, as well as the California Energy Commission. Peterman holds a Doctor of Philosophy in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley.

Julia Pyper

Senior Editor, Greentech Media; Podcast Host, Political Climate

Julia Pyper is a contributing editor at Greentech Media where she covers the global clean energy transition, with a focus on renewable energy, electric mobility and grid edge technologies. She is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, as well as the host and producer of Political Climate, a bipartisan podcast on energy and environmental issues in America, presented by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute. Previously, Julia covered climate policy for E&E News in Washington, DC, and has conducted reporting projects in the Maldives, Israel and Germany. Her writing has also been published in Scientific American and The New York Times.

Carmen Ramírez

Mayor Pro Tem of Oxnard, California

Carmen Ramírez, Oxnard Mayor Pro Tem, has served on city council since 2010, having been elected to a third term in November 2018. In 1974, she graduated from Loyola School of Law in Los Angeles and has practiced law ever since as a legal aid attorney, a coordinator for Ventura Superior Court’s Self Help Center, and now in private practice. She has many civic duties, including serving on the Clean Power Alliance Board of Directors and chairing its Energy Planning and Resources committee. She is very proud of her efforts working for environmental justice for the people of Oxnard.

Patricia Roybal Caballero

Representative, New Mexico

Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero was reelected to her fourth term in the New Mexico Congress in 2018. Among her accomplishments in Congress, Caballero cosponsored Senate Bill 489, the Energy Transition Act, which requires that New Mexico’s electricity will be 50% renewable by 2030, with a goal of 100% by 2045. She also served as the New Mexico House Democratic Caucus Chair and the National Treasurer of the National League of United Latin American Citizens. Previously, she held roles in community and regional planning, public administration, and organizing. She is a native New Mexican and tribal member of Piro Manso Tiwa Tribe, Pueblo of San Juan de Guadalupe, in Las Cruces Caballero.

Sammy Roth

Energy Reporter, Los Angeles Times

Sammy Roth covers energy for the Los Angeles Times, with a focus on the electric grid and climate policy. He previously reported for The Desert Sun and USA TODAY, where he wrote about renewable energy, the California drought and public lands. For several years, he wrote a weekly email newsletter, first titled “The Current” and later “Climate Point.” He grew up in Los Angeles and studied sustainable development at Columbia University.

Maritza Silva-Farrell

Executive Director, Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN)

Maritza Silva-Farrell is the Executive Director at ALIGN, an experienced organizer, political strategist, and coalition builder with a track record of winning campaigns for the 15 years of which she has been working in the progressive movement. A native of Ecuador, Maritza earned her BA in journalism from the Central University of Ecuador, after which she came to the U.S. and saw the need to get involved as an activist. Maritza has focused on issues around climate, labor, and affordable housing, and has played a critical role in coalitions such as Climate Works for All, New York Renews, Real Affordability for All, and Caring Across Generations. Maritza is on the board of Partnership for Working Families, New York Communities Organizing Fund (NYCOFI), the Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills, and Jobs with Justice.

Gael Tarleton

Representative, State of Washington

Gael began her career as a senior defense intelligence analyst for the Pentagon, working on U.S.-Soviet nuclear security issues. Gael was elected to the Washington State House in 2012 to represent the people of the 36th District. She currently chairs the House Finance Committee. She was instrumental in passing Washington’s landmark 2018 Clean Energy Act convert the state’s electric grid to 100% renewable resources.

She serves on the board of directors of The Ploughshares Fund, a non-profit dedicated to reducing nuclear threats. Gael holds a Master’s Degree in Government and National Security, and Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Service, from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Jodie Van Horn

Director, Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign

Jodie Van Horn is the Director of Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign, a grassroots effort working with American cities and towns to accelerate the transition to 100% renewable energy and ensure the success of an equitable and just clean energy economy. Jodie has worked for over a decade at the intersection of technology and sustainability, building campaigns and cross-sector partnerships to address climate change and drive widespread adoption of clean energy solutions. She joined the Sierra Club in 2011 and held prior positions at Rainforest Action Network, GoodGuide and Greenpeace International. She served on the board of Black Rock Solar, and currently sits on the Board of Directors at Farm Forward.

100% Strategy Session Speakers and Facilitators

Tony Dutzik

Chair, Global Warming Program Team, Environment America

Tony Dutzik serves as chair of the global warming program team with Environment America, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting America’s air, water and open spaces. He is also associate director and senior policy analyst at Environment America’s affiliated think tank, Frontier Group. For nearly two decades, his research and writing has focused on the intersection of climate, energy, and transportation policy. The author of dozens of reports on these and other issues, his work has earned coverage in media outlets ranging from National Public Radio to the Financial Times.

Bill Holland

Senior Director, State Policy and Advocacy, League of Conservation Voters

Bill Holland serves as the League of Conservation Voters’ Senior Director for State Policy and Advocacy. He leads LCV’s state issue education work including designing Clean Energy for All, LCV’s first network-wide issue campaign focused on advancing 100% clean energy. In that role, along with serving as a board member of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, he co-developed the campaign getting all candidates for New Jersey governor to commit to 100% clean energy, and making New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy the nation’s first gubernatorial candidate to commit to 100% clean energy—a commitment nine other governors made in the 2018 election cycle. Prior to LCV, he directed the New Jersey Working Families Alliance. He also held roles with Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and the Apollo Alliance. Bill began his career as Lead Organizer for Green Corps, the Field School for Environmental Organizing. He graduated from Grinnell College.

Dan Jacobson

State Director, Environment California

Dan Jacobson drives the strategy development and execution of Environment California’s campaigns and lobbying in the California state Capitol. He has successfully advocated for the passage of dozens of bills into law, including measures to ban toxic chemicals, bring 1 million solar roofs to California, commit the state to divest from coal, and the 100% clean energy law. He has also spearheaded two winning ballot campaigns, one that defended California’s groundbreaking Global Warming Solutions Act against an oil industry-backed repeal effort, and another to ban single-use plastic bags in grocery stores. Dan recently won the Clean Power award from the Clean Energy Campaign and the State Policy Champions award from IREC.

Jeff Mauk

Executive Director, National Caucus of Environmental Legislators

Jeff Mauk assumed the role of NCEL’s Executive Director in 2014, overseeing the organization’s program work, fundraising, and administration. Since then, NCEL has increased its membership from 867 to over 1,200 legislators, grown its staff from two to seven FTEs, developed a new website and branding, and restructured its staff and board of directors to maximize impact and sustainability. Jeff previously served as NCEL’s Climate and Energy Program Coordinator. Prior to his employment at NCEL, Jeff worked as a legislative assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives and staffed several statewide political campaigns. In 2009 he helped found CLEAN, the Coalition of Legislators for Energy Action Now, a task force of state legislators created to support federal action on federal climate policy. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies and Theater from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.

Susan Rakov

Clean Energy Program Team Chair, Environment America

Susan Rakov chairs Environment America’s Clean Energy Program Team. She is also the managing director of Frontier Group, the research and policy development arm of The Public Interest Network, as well as a Senior Vice President of that network. A 35-year veteran of public interest organizing and advocacy, she developed the Network’s approach to advocacy research, bridging the gap between academia and the grassroots and dismantling “issue silos.” She has overseen the production of hundreds of reports, white papers, conference presentations, op-eds and journal articles, working closely with analysts to stake out positions, hone messages and develop new areas of investigation. Susan graduated with honors from Harvard with a degree in Social Studies. She lives in Santa Barbara with her family.

Emily Rusch

Executive Director, CALPIRG

Emily Rusch is the Executive Director of CALPIRG, the California Public Interest Research Group. In that role she directs CALPIRG’s advocacy efforts, and is a leading voice in Sacramento and across the state on protecting public health, consumer protections and defending our democracy. She worked closely with CALPIRG’s network of supporters, allies, and student volunteers to advocate for SB 100, California’s landmark commitment to 100 percent renewable energy. She started her public interest career as the Clean Energy fellow for New Jersey PIRG in 2001, and still remembers the day that the first wind turbines arrived in New Jersey.

Rob Sargent

Energy Program Director, Environment America

Rob Sargent, Energy Program Director, Environment America – For more than two decades, Rob has built support across the country for clean energy. He has helped lead successful efforts to win strong clean energy and climate policies, including renewable energy standards, clean cars standards, carbon caps and solar policies. He currently oversees Environment America’s 100% Renewable Energy Campaigns. Rob has authored and co-authored many reports, including: We Have the Power: 100% Renewable Energy for a Clean, Thriving America; The Way Forward on Global Warming: Reducing Carbon Pollution Today and Restoring Momentum for Tomorrow by Promoting Clean Energy; Renewables on the Rise: A decade of progress toward a clean energy future; Wind Power to Spare: The Enormous Energy Potential of Atlantic Offshore Wind; and Making Sense of Energy Storage: How Storage Technologies Can Support a Renewable Future. He is is a 1982 graduate of the University of Vermont.

Aura Vásquez

Environmental Advocate and Former L.A. Dept. of Water and Power Commissioner

Aura Vasquez is an Afro-Latina immigrant, fearless environmental and social justice advocate, and a voice for people whose voices have been unheard. As a Commissioner for the L.A. Department of Water and Power, Aura supported millions in investments in energy efficiency, solar and electric vehicle programs, and incentives to lower power bills for all residents. Her leadership was instrumental in retiring three coastal gas plants, putting L.A. on track to reach 100% renewable energy by 2045. Among Aura’s accomplishments, she helped ban single-use plastic bags and was the mastermind in the ‘Beyond Coal’ Campaign, which resulted in a commitment by the City of L.A. to go coal-free by 2025. She is currently running to represent Los Angeles City Council District 10.

Wendy Wendlandt

Senior Vice President and Political Director, The Public Interest Network

Wendy is Senior Vice President & Political Director of the Public Interest Network, which runs non-profit organizations committed to a vision of a better world, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to getting things done. Wendlandt has been a leader in the environmental and political advocacy communities since she started with WashPIRG, the Washington Public Interest Research Group, in 1984. She is Chairwoman of the Environment America and Environment California Research and Policy Centers and a founding Board member of Green Corps, the field training school for environmental organizers, and the Green Century Funds, the nation’s only family of fossil fuel free mutual funds. Wendy lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their dog, and spends her free time hiking anywhere she can. @wendywendlandt is a 1983 graduate of Whitman College.

%d bloggers like this: