Speakers

Keynote Day 1

February 25th, 9:00 am – 9:30 am

President Angel Cabrera

Ángel Cabrera is the 12th and current President of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Previously, he served as the President of George Mason University and of Thunderbird School of Global Management, and the former dean of IE Business School.

As a business educator, Cabrera has played a key role in advancing professional ethics, internationalization, and corporate social responsibility. In 2007, while serving as a senior advisor to the United Nations Global Compact, he was the lead author of the “Principles for Responsible Management Education” (PRME). A United Nations–supported initiative that advances sustainable development through management education, PRME has now adopted by more than 800 schools around the world. He is also a co-founder of the University Global Coalition, a global network of universities working in partnership with the United Nations in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.

He’s been named a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, a “Star of Europe” by Businessweek, a “Henry Crown Fellow” by the Aspen Institute, and a “Great Immigrant” by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. He has received honorary degrees from Miami Dade College and Universidad Politécnica of Madrid. 


Keynote Day 2

February 26th, 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm

Kim Greene

Kim Greene is the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Southern Company Gas, the leading natural gas company in the industry. She ensures the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to more than 4.2 million utility customers in Georgia, Illinois, Tennessee and Virginia. In addition, she oversees non–utility businesses that deliver value through energy-related retail products and services, wholesale gas services and gas midstream operations, including storage facilities and gas pipeline investments. 

Greene is a strong voice in the energy sector, especially on issues related to safety, emerging technologies, innovation and STEM-related education. She is a respected thought leader and advocate for the future of energy – from national energy policy to the overall customer experience.  

Greene serves as an Oil & Natural Gas Liaison Co-Lead for the Electric Subsector Coordinating Council, which is the principal liaison between federal government and the energy sector on security issues.  Additionally, she serves on the boards of directors of Valero Energy Corporation, American Gas Association, Gas Technology Institute and Morehouse School of Medicine. Previously, she served on the board of directors of the Electric Power Research Institute for eight years, including one year as Chair.   


Energy TEDx-style Talks

February 26th, 8:45 am – 9:55 am

TEDx-style Speaker | Wiebe Boer

February 26th, 8:45 am – 9:05 am

Dr. Boer is the Chief Executive Officer of All On and joined the team from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where he was one of the founders of the strategy firm’s Lagos office. Prior to BCG, Dr. Boer spent five years with the Heirs Holdings Group in Lagos, playing roles including Chief of Staff to the Chairman, Director of Strategy, and CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Dr. Boer has also worked in the Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa Regional Office in Nairobi, McKinsey & Company, and with World Vision Mauritania where he managed a USAID funded development project. While conducting his doctoral research in Nigeria for his Yale PhD thesis, Wiebe co-founded AfriOne, the first ISP in North Central Nigeria. He has served on a variety of corporate and public sector boards across Africa, and is also a widely published author and speaker. His most recent book, A story of Heroes + Epics: The History of Football in Nigeria, published by Bookcraft in 2018. Dr. Boer earned a PhD and two Masters degrees from Yale University and a Bachelor’s degree from Calvin College, all in history. He spent one year studying political science at the University of Jos, and completed his primary and secondary education at Hillcrest School, also in Jos, Nigeria where he was born and raised.

TEDx-style Speaker |  Dr. Devon Gardner

February 26th, 9:10 am – 9:30 am

Devon Gardner has been the Program Manager for Energy and Head of the Energy Unit at the Caribbean Community Secretariat, since September 2014. In this role, Devon has oversight of the Energy Program, which is tasked with the identification of common policies and strategies for transforming the energy sector within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) . This transformation requires a shift in a majority of the energy systems within the region from their current states of inefficiency and over-dependence on imported fossil sources, which exposes them to the uncertain uncertainties and volatilities of mostly expensive global oil prices, to a state of greater efficiency and high penetration of indigenous renewable sources. In particular, the Energy Program promotes a transition to energy systems that favor sustainable and clean energy production, as well as efficient delivery and use, which simultaneously provides legal certainty for investors and improved predictability in price and supply for users.

TEDx-style Speaker |  James Ellsmoor

February 26th, 9:35 am – 9:55 am

James Ellsmoor is a serial entrepreneur and writer, bringing to life his passion for sustainability and renewable energy. At the age of just 26, he is Co-Founder and Director of Solar Head of State, an international nonprofit working with governments in the Caribbean and Pacific islands to raise awareness of renewable energy through high-profile solar installations on iconic government buildings. He was recognized on Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 List in 2017.


Energy Burden Workshop

February 26th, 11:15 am – 12:15 pm

Michael Oxman

Michael joined Scheller College in 2016 as the Managing Director of the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business where he teaches business sustainability courses and oversees industry outreach, partnerships, and educational initiatives. From 2016-2018, he and Beril Totkay led the Understanding Energy Burden and its Potential Solutions for Atlanta study.

Prior to joining Scheller, Michael spent over twenty five years working at the intersection of international business, sustainability, and risk management including serving in leadership roles at Acorn International LLC and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR).  In these roles, he advised a broad range of international energy and mining companies on local content, social impact, risk management, community engagement, reporting, CSR and human rights initiatives.  Michael also has extensive commercial experience through his work at Chevron, Price Waterhouse, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in political risk, fiscal analysis, and strategic planning functions. Michael’s career spans assignments in the US and a broad range of international locations including two overseas residential assignments in Central Asia. 

Dr. Marilyn Brown

Marilyn Brown is a Regents’ and Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systemsin the School of Public Policy. She joined Georgia Tech in 2006 after a distinguished career at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where she led several national climate change mitigation studies and became a leader in the analysis and interpretation of energy futures in the United States. 

Marilyn Brown is a Regents’ and Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systemsin the School of Public Policy. She joined Georgia Tech in 2006 after a distinguished career at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where she led several national climate change mitigation studies and became a leader in the analysis and interpretation of energy futures in the United States. 

Alicia Scott

Since the fall of 2020, Alicia has been leveraging her diverse background in finance, public sector, and consulting to serve as an advocate for our nations most disenfranchised communities in her role as a Program Manager for the Just Energy Project at the Partnership for Southern Equity. In addition to other projects, Alicia manages the Just Energy Academy (JEA) to help educate the next generation of equity leaders who aspire to be energy equity and climate justice leaders in their communities.


Day 1 Opening Session

February 25th, 8:45 – 8:55 am

Dr. Daniel Molzahn

Professor Molzahn is an Electrical Engineering professor at Georgia Tech and advisor to the Georgia Tech Energy Club. Prior to this position, Dr. Molzahn was a computational engineer at Argonne National Laboratory in the Center for Energy, Environmental, and Economic Systems Analysis (CEEESA), where he currently holds an affiliate position. His research involves developing optimization and control algorithms to improve the environmental sustainability, economic efficiency, and reliability of electric power systems.


The Road to SDG 7:
Policy-Focused Panel

February 26th, 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Moderator | Becca Ward

Becca Ward is the Managing Director of the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI), a non-profit focused on creating a new kind of energy leadership. Becca oversees CELI’s 5-month Fellowship Program, educational programming, and leadership development, and is based in Chicago, IL. Previously, Becca worked in the U.S. Senate for 7 years, serving as a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) covering energy and climate policy. Becca uses she/her/hers pronouns.

Panelist | Tim Echols

Shortly after graduating from the University of Georgia, Tim and his wife Windy founded TeenPact, a training experience for conservative high school students.  The program began at the Georgia Capitol and now operates in 42 states having training 50,000 students. After building TeenPact, Echols ran for and was elected to statewide office in 2010 serving as Public Service Commissioner. His primary job is energy regulation. When he took office, Georgia was 34th in solar power.  Now, 11 years later, the state is 9th in the nation in approved solar

Echols created the Clean Energy Roadshow that has traveled the state every summer for the last nine years. This educational event travels to cities around the state helping commuters, businesses and municipal governments evaluate alternative fuel for their transportation and residential use.

Panelist | Andrea Crooms

Andrea Crooms is a Senior Advisor in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Their previous roles include EERE Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, and Deputy Assistant Secretaries for Operations and Transportation. In addition, they were a supervisor in both the Advanced Manufacturing and Weatherization Offices.

Andrea has served the Department for over 10 years in a variety of roles bringing legal, environmental, economic, and equity expertise to numerous projects and programs. Their work focuses on innovation in the structures, systems, and policies the Department utilizes to develop technological solutions to the world’s most challenging problems. Andrea has also worked in Washington, DC, Lexington, KY, and Rabat, Morocco for the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Panelist | Chandra Farley

Chandra Farley is the Director of the Partnership of Southern Equity’s Just Energy group. In this position, she crafts people-first strategies to advance equity-centered energy, utility, and climate policy and programs.  Her team works with communities across the southeast through coalition building, leadership development, community organizing, and leveraging data and research. She has also led the Grants for Green initiative, an energy efficiency project involving over 250 nonprofits which has resulted in a $1 million annual savings in utility costs.


 

GT 10 Under 10 – Energy

February 25th, 9:35 am – 10:55 am

This event features rapid fire talks and Q&A sessions from 10 GT alumni who have graduated within 10 years and have had major impacts in the energy sphere.   

Dr. Micaela Taborga Claure

Researcher at ExxonMobil 

February 25th, 9:35 – 9:43 am

Dr. Kara Evanoff

Director of Customer Programs at Sila Nano

February 25th, 9:43 – 9:51 am

Andrew deRussy

President and COO at Enpower Solutions

February 25th, 9:51 – 9:59 am

Chhavi Maggu

Business Strategy Manager (Energy Transition) at Accenture

February 25th, 9:59 – 10:07 am

Dr. Roderick Jackson

Lab Program Manager for Buildings Research at NREL

February 25th, 10:07 – 10:15 am

Anish Prasai

Director of Hardware at Varentec, Inc.

February 25th, 10:15 – 10:23 am

Bryson Allison

Environmental Engineer at Duke Energy

February 25th, 10:23 – 10:31 am

Brian Tyson

Manager of Clean Energy Planning & Implementation at Pudget Sound Energy

February 25th, 10:31 – 10:39 am

Dr. Brent Nelson

Power System Resource planner at Ascend Analytics

February 25th, 10:39 – 10:47 am

 

Mary Shoemaker

Senior Research Analyst at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)

February 25th, 10:47 – 10:55 am


The Road to SDG 7:
Data-Focused Panel

February 25th, 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

Moderator | Professor Cale Reeves

Cale is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Public Policy. He explores the individual-level decision-making processes that drive emergent policy outcomes, focusing mainly on understanding the green technology adoption/diffusion system. As a computational social scientist, he enjoys applying cutting-edge methods such as agent-based modeling and natural language processing to problems that require broad systems-aware approaches, thus contributing to the search for solutions for so-called “wicked problems” like climate change. He hopes to understand how the exchange of information within social networks can be explicitly leveraged in intervention designs to achieve more effective programs and more efficient policy.

Panelist | Professor Le Xie

Dr. Le Xie is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University. His research interests include power systems modeling and control, integration of renewable variable energy, design and optimization of competitive power systems, and theory and application of cyber-physical energy systems.

Michael Chanin, CEO of Cherry Street Energy

Michael Chanin is the founder and CEO of Cherry Street Energy, the largest non-utility renewable energy provider in Georgia. Michael founded the business informed by his background in structured financial products and growth oriented businesses. He started his career in Goldman Sachs’ Special Situations Group, ran finance and operations for a San Francisco-based technology company, and has invested in renewable energy markets since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, where he received a MPhil in development studies, and Northwestern University, where he received a BA in American studies and history.