Bios of summit presenters appear below. To learn more about what they had to say, see our speaker presentations page.
Maximilian Auffhammer George Pardee Professor of Sustainable Development
Associate Dean, Division of Social Sciences
Auffhammer joined the faculty at UC Berkeley in 2003. He received his B.S. in environmental science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1996, a M.S. in environmental and resource economics at the same institution in 1998, and a Ph.D. in economics from UC San Diego in 2003. His research focuses on environmental and resource economics, energy economics and applied econometrics. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in the Energy and Environmental Economics group, a Humboldt Foundation Fellow and a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Auffhammer serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. His research has appeared in The American Economic Review, The Review of Economics and Statistics, The Economic Journal, the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, The Energy Journal and other academic journals. Auffhammer is the recipient of the 2007 Cozzarelli Prize awarded by the National Academies of Sciences, the 2009 Campus Distinguished Teaching Award and the 2007 Sarlo Distinguished Mentoring Award.
Executive Director, Institute for Energy Efficiency
UC Santa Barbara
David Auston is Executive Director of the Institute for Energy Efficiency at UC Santa Barbara and the Chemical Life Cycle Collaborative (CLiCC). Prior to joining UC Santa Barbara, he was President of the Kavli Foundation. He has been a member of the technical staff and department head at AT&T’s Bell Laboratories (now Lucent Technologies), Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics and Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University, Provost of Rice University and President of Case Western Reserve University.
Auston has contributed to research in the fields of lasers, nonlinear optics, and solid-state materials. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society.
A native of Toronto, Canada, Auston earned bachelors and masters degrees in engineering physics and electrical engineering from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from UC Berkeley.
Anthony D. Barnosky
Professor, Department of Integrative Biology
Barnosky studies how changes in the physical environment—such as climate change and mountain building—contribute to the evolution of mammal species and faunas at varying temporal and geographic scales. Field aspects of the work include collecting fossils from long stratigraphic sequences that can be well-dated by biostratigraphic, paleomagnetic, or radioisotopic techniques. Lab analyses utilize database and GIS systems to identify faunal changes through space and time; the faunal patterns are then compared with independently identified changes in the physical environment to test various evolutionary and biogeographic predictions.
Sandra A. Brown
Vice Chancellor for Research
UC San Diego
Sandra A. Brown, Ph.D. is Vice Chancellor for Research and a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at UC San Diego. She oversees the Office of Research Affairs which supports, facilitates and promotes world-class research at UC San Diego by creating opportunities, enhancing research enterprise, and promoting innovation. She oversees or collaborates with 20 Organized Research Units, the Animal Programs, Contracts and Grants, University-Industry Relations, Technology Transfer, Stem Cell Research, Research Ethics, Government Research Relations and Postdoctoral Scholars programs. UC San Diego has achieved approximately $1 billion in research funding each of the past three years. Brown has earned national and international recognition for her developmentally-focused alcohol and drug intervention research.
Ralph J. Cicerone
National Academy of Sciences
Ralph J. Cicerone is President of the National Academy of Sciences and Chair of the National Research Council. His research has focused on atmospheric chemistry, the radiative forcing of climate change due to trace gases, and the sources of atmospheric methane, nitrous oxide, and methyl halide gases. His scientific work has involved him in shaping science and environmental policy nationally and internationally. In 2001, he led a National Academy of Sciences study of the current state of climate change requested by President Bush.
He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science from the Franklin Institute (1999), the Albert Einstein World Award in Science from the World Cultural Council (2004), and the James B. Macelwane Award from the American Geophysical Union (1979). He served as AGU President (1992-1994) and was awarded AGU’s 2002 Roger Revelle Medal for outstanding research contributions to the understanding of Earth’s atmospheric processes, biogeochemical cycles, and key elements of the climate system. Cicerone is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He is a foreign member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, Academia Sinica, the Real Academia de Ciencias, and the Royal Society.Cicerone was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (BSEE and captain of the baseball team) and the University of Illinois. He began his research career at the University of Michigan. In 1989 he joined UC Irvine, where he was founding Chair of the Department of Earth System Science and later Chancellor (1998-2005). Cicerone has served on the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Committee (2009-2013), and is a trustee of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
William Drew (Bill) Collins
Division Director, Climate & Ecosystem Sciences
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
William Collins is an internationally recognized expert in climate modeling and climate change science. He serves as the Director for the Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division (CESD) in the Earth and Environmental Systems Area (EESA) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL, Berkeley Lab). In addition, Collins is a senior scientist at LBNL, a Professor in Residence in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at UC Berkeley, and the Director of the Climate Readiness Institute (CRI), a multi-campus initiative to prepare the Bay Area for climate change.
Before joining UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab, Collins was a senior scientist and Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee for the DOE/NSF Community Climate System Model project at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). He was a lead author on the fourth assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), for which the IPCC was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, and is also a lead author on the Fifth IPCC Assessment. Collins is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and was awarded the DOE Secretarial Honor Award for launching DOE’s Accelerated Climate Model for Energy in 2015.
Professor of Management
Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, Anderson School of Management
UC Los Angeles
Magali Delmas has written more than 50 articles, book chapters and case studies on business and the natural environment. Standing at the crossroads of policy and management, Delmas’ research focuses on the various interactions between environmental policy and business strategy at the national and international level. Delmas' current work includes the analysis of the effectiveness of firms' voluntary actions to mitigate climate change and the investigation of the barriers and incentives to the adoption of energy efficient solutions. She is also engaged in refining current methodologies to measure and communicate firm’s and products’ environmental performance. She is particularly interested in understanding the effectiveness of eco-labeling and certification strategies.
Tamara “TJ” DiCaprio
Sr. Director, Environmental Sustainability
As Sr. Director of Environmental Sustainability, TJ is the chief architect responsible for designing and managing Microsoft’s internal carbon fee model. Her efforts drive accountability while supporting innovation in efficiency, green power and low-carbon economic development in emerging nations.
Recently, TJ was awarded the Aspen Institute Fellowship and in 2014, TJ received the C.K. Prahalad award for Global Business Sustainability Leadership. In 2013, TJ was recognized by the U.S. Congress and bestowed the Individual Leadership award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She was also listed in the Top 35 Women Leaders in Sustainability by Triple Pundit, the Guardian’s 2013 Unlikely Climate Heroes and invited to speak at the 2013 White House Women and Environment Summit.
She brings an educational background in Environmental Studies and Energy from UC Santa Barbara where she received the 2015 Environmental Studies Alumna of the Year award and an MBA in Sustainable Business and Government Policy Administration from Marylhurst University.
On a personal note, TJ is a certified pilot and enjoys sailing. She has led several expeditions piloting aircraft across the Americas and Africa and sailed extensively off the coast of Croatia, Polynesia, North America and Turkey.
Juliann Emmons Allison
Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies
Juliann Emmons Allison is an Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies and Public Policy at UC Riverside. She is also Associate Director of the Center for Sustainable Suburban Development, and Chair of the department of Gender and Sexuality Studies at UC Riverside. Her research and teaching interests emphasize political economy, environmental politics and policy, and community-based social change, especially as it relates to the gender dimensions of conflict resolution and environmental sustainability. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the California Energy Commission, the California Department of Transportation, the Energy Foundation and the Haynes Foundation.
UC San Diego
Ellen Esch is biology graduate student at UC San Diego studying how climate change impacts southern California ecosystems. Her research maintains a specific focus on the direct and indirect effects of altered precipitation regimes on carbon cycling. She hopes to better understand how ecosystems can best be managed and restored in the face of climate change for carbon storage, biodiversity and other ecosystem services. Apart from research, she is an active volunteer docent with the Canyoneer Program at the San Diego Natural History Museum where she enjoys educating the public on the interesting natural phenomena and ecological patterns in natural spaces throughout San Diego County.
Kevin L. Faulconer
City of San Diego
Kevin L. Faulconer became the 36th mayor of San Diego on March 3, 2014, on a campaign message of bringing San Diego together and restoring integrity to City Hall.
Shortly after taking office, Mayor Faulconer began implementing his vision for “One San Diego,” a unified city with an inclusive city government that creates opportunities for San Diegans and delivers results for every neighborhood.His accomplishments include directing 50 percent of all new major revenue toward neighborhood improvements; doubling the miles of streets repaired annually; hiring the first female police chief in San Diego history; improving emergency response times in underserved neighborhoods; increasing hours at libraries and recreation centers to their highest level in a decade; creating a year-round indoor homeless shelter for families and veterans that replaced temporary outdoor winter tents; negotiating a five-year agreement with police officers to address recruitment and retention problems; helping innovative companies grow and expand right here in San Diego, and bringing a customer-service attitude to city government.
Associate Professor of Political Science
UC San Diego
Fonna Forman is founding co-director of the UC San Diego Center on Global Justice and the Blum Cross-Border Initiative and is an affiliate of the Center for Urban Ecologies. She is a political theorist best known for her revisionist work on Adam Smith, recuperating the ethical, spatial, social and public dimensions of his political economy. Her current work focuses on theories and practices of global justice as they manifest at local and regional scales, and the role of civic engagement, public space, and cross-sector collaboration in strategies of equitable and sustainable urban transformation. Present sites of investigation include Medellín, Colombia and the San Diego-Tijuana border region. She has just completed a volume of collected essays (with Amartya Sen) on critical interventions in global justice theory and is presently writing papers on “municipal cosmopolitanism” and “the architecture of civic freedom.” She is co-investigating with Teddy Cruz a Ford-funded study of citizenship culture in the San Diego-Tijuana border region, in collaboration with the Bogota-based NGO, Corpovisionarios. She is a special advisor on civic and urban initiatives to the City of San Diego, and with Cruz is leading the development of its new Civic Innovation Lab.
Forman is an advocate for deepening university-community research partnerships and currently serves on the advisory boards of the UC San Diego Global Health Initiative, the Urban Studies and Planning Program, IICAS, the Global Health major, the Law & Society minor and the Thurgood Marshall College Dimensions of Culture Program. From 1999-2001, she was Assistant Editor of Political Theory and is currently Editor of the Adam Smith Review.
Adriana K. Gomez
Carbon Neutrality Fellow
Adriana K. Gomez is the Carbon Neutrality Fellow from UC Merced and a sophomore studying Earth Systems Science and Psychology. Born and raised in Sacramento, she has always been fascinated by the way that environmental and political discussions come together in her hometown and how these conversations translate nationally and internationally. In 2013, she performed in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland and seeing another culture’s powerful connection with the natural landscape solidified her interest in studying the relationship between societies and ecological systems. She continued pursuing this passion while working as a news reporter for Access Sacramento as well as interning at the California Energy Commission in 2015.
At UC Merced, Gomez is involved in a multitude of projects that study the intersection of cultural nuances and environmental conservation. In addition to her work with the Carbon Neutrality Initiative, she works with the Student Sustainability Council to promote positive lifestyle changes among students, serves as Intern Manager at the UC Merced Law Clinic and helps survey water and soil quality for the Sierra Foothills Conservancy and the Yosemite Leadership Program.
Susanna B. Hecht
Professor, Urban Planning
UC Los Angeles
Hecht is an American geographer and a professor of Urban Planning at UCLA. Her early work on the deforestation of the Amazon led to the founding of the subfield of political ecology. This subfield of geography embraces sociology, economics, history, literature, ecology, environmental studies and a wide variety of other fields in an effort to paint a more intricate picture of a particular geographic region and the influence it has on the world around it as well as how the world impacts the region.
The Amazon rain forest is her primary subject of inquiry and she is the co-author of the watershed book, Fate of the Forest: Destroyers, Developers and Defenders of the Amazon with Alexander Cockburn, originally published in 1990, but updated and reissued by the University of Chicago Press in 2010. In 2004, Fate of the Forest was named one of the most influential books in cultural geography by the American Association of Geography. The book has become a classic text in environmental studies and has won numerous awards. She is widely considered a preeminent authority on forest transition and sustainable agriculture. In addition to her academic work, she has also written popular articles for The Nation, New Left Review and Fortune Magazine.
Commissioner, California Energy Commission
David Hochschild was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in February 2013. He fills the environmental position on the five-member Commission where four of the five members by law are required to have professional training in specific areas—engineering or physical science, environmental protection, economics, and law.
Hochschild’s career has spanned public service, environmental advocacy and the private sector. He first got involved in the solar energy field in 2001 in San Francisco as a Special Assistant to Mayor Willie Brown where he launched a citywide $100 million initiative to put solar panels on public buildings. He went on to co-found the Vote Solar Initiative, a 60,000-member advocacy organization promoting solar policies at the local, state and federal level. He served as executive director of a national consortium of leading solar manufacturers and worked for five years at Solaria, a solar company in Silicon Valley. In 2007-2008, he served as a commissioner at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
For his work to advance clean energy, Hochschild was awarded the Sierra Club’s Trailblazer Award, the American Lung Association’s Clean Air Hero Award and the Department of Energy’s Million Solar Roof True Champion Award. Hochschild holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College and a Masters of Public Policy degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs.
Cofounder and Managing Director
T2 Venture Creation
Greg Horowitt is the Cofounder and Managing Director of T2 Venture Creation and has spent more than 25 years working in startups and venture capital. He is the co-author of the bestselling book, The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley and has consulted on innovation with top organizations like the Aspen Institute, National Academies of Science, World Bank and U.S. Department of State. He worked under Warren Buffett as an executive at a Berkshire Hathaway operating company, is a Kauffman Fellow, and has been a founder, investor and board member in many leading organizations.
UC San Francisco
Nicole Jackman is a second year anesthesiology resident at UC San Francisco. She obtained her M.D./Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut and completed her internship in medicine at UC San Francisco. Her research interests include sustainability and her doctoral research was in the field of neuroscience, specifically neuroimmunology. She hopes to remain in the academic setting and inspire others within the medical community to be more passionate and engaged about climate science, especially as it pertains to global health.
Daniel M. Kammen
Director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory
Kammen is the Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy at t UC Berkeley, with parallel appointments in the Energy and Resources Group, the Goldman School of Public Policy and the department of Nuclear Engineering. He was appointed the first Environment and Climate Partnership for the Americas (ECPA) Fellow by Secretary of State Hilary R. Clinton in April 2010.
Kammen is the founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL), Co-Director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment and Director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center. He has founded or is on the board of over 10 companies, and has served the State of California and U.S. federal government in expert and advisory capacities.
Pradeep K. Khosla
UC San Diego
Pradeep K. Khosla is UC San Diego’s eighth Chancellor. He leads a campus with more than 30,000 students, six undergraduate colleges, five academic divisions, and five graduate and professional schools. Khosla initiated and led a comprehensive, all-inclusive strategic planning process to unify the campus and define UC San Diego's future. The initiative resulted in a Strategic Plan that sharpened the campus’s mission and vision as a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public university.
An internationally renowned electrical and computer engineer, Khosla previously served as Dean of the College of Engineering and Philip and Marsha Dowd University Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Society for Engineering Education. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Association for Advancement of Science, the American Association of Artificial Intelligence and the Indian Academy of Engineering. His awards include the 2012 Light of India Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the George Westinghouse Award for contributions to improve engineering teaching. In 2012, he was named as one of the 50 most influential Indian-Americans by SiliconIndia.
Student Engagement Fellow, Carbon Neutrality Initiative
Cody Lee is an undergraduate majoring in Social Ecology with a minor in Global Sustainability at UC Irvine. As a Student Engagement Fellow through the Carbon Neutrality Initiative, he began the process of networking and connecting the fellows from across the 10 campuses. Cody is academically fascinated with the patterns of society related to systems complexity, urban form and decentralization. He sees himself involved with policy and planning in the near future. Enjing the simple pleasures, an ideal day for Cody includes food, family, friends and philosophy.
Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Vice Chancellor, Marine Science, UC San Diego
Margaret Leinen is the Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Vice Chancellor for Marine Science at UC San Diego. The 111-year-old Scripps Institution is one of the largest oceanographic research institutes. Leinen is an ocean biogeochemist and paleoceanographer whose research includes study of ocean carbon cycling and the role of the oceans in climate.She is also the President-Elect of the American Geophysical Union, the largest geoscience society in the world, and has also served as the President of The Oceanography Society and Chair of the AAAS Section on Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Science. She served as Assistant Director for Geosciences, U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) from 2000-2007. She has been the Vice Chair of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme, Chair of the U.S. Global Change Research Program and Vice Chair of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program.
Stella Li is the President of BYD Motors, a global green technology company based in Los Angeles, California that produces cutting-edge, battery-electric vehicles, battery-energy storage solutions, solar farms and energy efficient LED lighting systems. Stella is responsible for overseeing the company's day-to-day operations and long-term strategic vision. She is also the architect of BYD’s thriving expansions in the Americas—including its North America headquarters in Los Angeles in 2011 and its electric bus, truck and energy module factories in Lancaster, California in 2013. Prior to becoming President, Stella served as BYD’s Senior Vice President and was responsible for successfully expanding the company’s operations around the world. Under Stella’s leadership, BYD has achieved exponential market growth, developed invaluable partnerships and became a dominant global force across multiple industries.
Senior Engineering Fellow
Jeff Lievense was trained as a chemical engineer, graduating with highest honors from The University of Michigan. He subsequently earned his Ph.D. from Purdue University. With 34 years of experience in industrial biotechnology, he has broad and deep knowledge in bioprocess development, as well as project and functional management. He made key contributions to commercial development of many fermentation and chemical products, spanning enzymes, amino acids, aromatics, polyols, organic acids, carotenoids, biogums, sweeteners and hydrocarbons—these having diverse applications in fuels, human and animal nutrition, clinical diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, synthetic dyes and polymers. Lievense is currently a Senior Engineering Fellow at Genomatica, a San Diego based bioengineering technology company that develops bio-based processes for sustainable chemicals from alternative feedstocks. In 2014, he was recognized as an Outstanding Chemical Engineer by Purdue, an award given to only 145 of the Chemical Engineering School’s 11,000 alumni. He has been on the instructional team of UC San Diego Extension’s highly rated Microbial Fermentation Workshop since 2013.
McClatchy Chair of Communications and Associate Professor of Cognitive Science
Matlock is the McClatchy Chair in Communications and Founding Faculty in Cognitive Science at UC Merced. In 2004, she signed on with the newest University of California campus to take the lead in planning what eventually became our Cognitive and Information Sciences program. Before doing post-doctoral research at Stanford University, she started her Ph.D. training at UC San Diego and finished at UC Santa Cruz.
A cognitive scientist in linguist by training, she is interested in how people use and understand language. Some of her research examines how the content of political campaign messages affects voters. Other work investigates how metaphors are interpreted “in the wild,” for instance, in natural discourse about technology, math, or politics, or how grammatical form influences reasoning about past events. Some of her work also looks at how people use gestures in natural discourse.
Her professional duties include serving as Associate Editor for Cognitive Linguistics and serving on the editorial boards of Metaphor & Symbol as well as Environmental Communication. She is a member of the Cognitive Science Society governing board and a standing member of NIH’s Language and Communication Study Section (LCOM). She is Director of the Center for Climate Communication. She was formerly Vice Chair of the American Indian Council of Mariposa County, and was raised in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in California.
Academic and social entrepreneur, Gavin McCormick applies behavioral economics to energy markets. While a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley, Gavin discovered that low-carbon electricity can be provided at a much lower cost by simply correcting for the effects of known cognitive biases on electricity market incentive structures. He is currently on leave from UC Berkeley to serve as cofounder and Executive Director of WattTime, a nonprofit organization empowering smart device companies to leverage this technology to draw cleaner electricity from the regular power grid. He has been named an Echoing Green Fellow, Sage Scholar and Fast Forward Fellow. His prior work with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Lab and NERA Economic Consulting includes applying behavioral economics to analyze strategic implications of environmental regulations. He is a graduate of Williams College.
Helena Molin Valdés
Head of the Secretariat of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC)
Helena Molin Valdés is an experienced leader within the United Nations system and a long-time proponent of sustainable development, climate change mitigation and adaption, and disaster reduction. She coordinated the Making Cities Resilient campaign and was a crucial person from UNISDR in the development and negotiation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2004-2005. She has authored, co-authored or coordinated many papers, handbooks, global reviews and reports on local development, sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and resilience. She has worked extensively with both UNEP and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and has organized and led international delegations and events, including at RIO+10, Rio +20 and several of the UNFCCC COPs.
Mario J. Molina
UC San Diego
Molina holds a Chemical Engineer degree from UNAM (Mexico) and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from UC Berkeley. He is the President of the Mario Molina Center in Mexico City, professor at UC San Diego and was formerly an institute professor at MIT. He serves on the U.S. President's Committee of Advisors in Science and Technology. He has received more than 40 honorary degrees and numerous awards for his scientific work, including the Tyler Prize in 1983, the UNEP-Sasakawa Award in 1999 and the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Walter Heinrich Munk
Professor Emeritus, Geophysics and Secretary of the Navy/Chief of Naval Operations Oceanography Chair
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Often referred to as the world's "greatest living oceanographer,” Munk has contributed to several areas of oceanography, but especially to the understanding of circulation and tides. He has contributed through his research to other fields of biology and astronomy that were not fully appreciated until several decades after he performed his original work.
Munk received a Ph.D. in oceanography in 1947 from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and has spent his entire professional career at Scripps. In 1947, he became an assistant professor. In 1954, he became a professor of geophysics and was named a member of the University of California's Institute of Geophysics. In 1960, he established a branch of the institute on the Scripps campus in La Jolla, California. Until 1982, he served as director of the Scripps branch and as an associate director of the university-wide institute, which was renamed the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP). Munk's association with IGPP continues today.
Munk has won numerous awards during his research career. He received the National Medal of Science in 1983 and the 1999 Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences for his fundamental contributions to the field of oceanography—the first time the prize was awarded to an oceanographer. In 2001, he was the inaugural recipient of the Prince Albert I Medal in the physical sciences of the oceans, which Prince Rainier of Monaco created in cooperation with the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans.
Galletti Professor of Bioengineering
UC San Diego
Bernhard Palsson is the Galletti Professor of Bioengineering, the Principal Investigator of the Systems Biology Research Group in the Department of Bioengineering, and a Professor of Pediatrics at UC San Diego. Palsson has co-authored more than 400 peer-reviewed research articles and has authored four textbooks. His research includes the development of methods to analyze metabolic dynamics (flux-balance analysis, and modal analysis), and the formulation of complete models of selected cells (the red blood cell, E. coli, CHO cells, and several human pathogens). He sits on the editorial broad of several leading peer-reviewed microbiology, bioengineering, and biotechnology journals.
He previously held a faculty position at the University of Michigan for 11 years and was named the G.G. Brown Associate Professor at Michigan in 1989, a Fulbright fellow in 1995, and an Ib Henriksen Fellow in 1996. He is the author of 40 U.S. patents, the cofounder of several biotechnology companies, and holds several major biotechnology awards. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Palsson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is a Fellow of both the AAAS and the AAM.
Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego and Chair of the Summit
Ramanathan discovered the greenhouse effect of Choloro-fluoro-carbons in 1975. He predicted in 1980 that global warming would be detected by 2000. He led the Indian-Ocean-experiment that discovered the widespread Aamospheric brown clouds and the large warming effect of black carbon. Recently, he showed that mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants will slow down global warming significantly during this century. The United Nations has adopted Ramanathan’s recommendations and formed the Climate and Clean Air Coalition with the support of the then Secy of State Hillary Clinton.
He has won numerous awards. He was honored as the 2013 Champion of Earth for Science and Innovation by the United Nations and named as the 2014 Global Thinker by the U.S. Foreign Policy. He has been elected to the National Academy of Science, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical society, among others. He currently serves in Pope Francis’ Council for the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
Energy Program Manager
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Doug Rotman is Energy Program Manager at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Rotman began his LLNL career in 1985 working across atmospheric chemistry, climate and energy. He has served as group leader for Atmospheric Chemistry, deputy division leader in the Atmospheric Science Division, program leader for Energy and Environmental Programs and Program Director for Energy and Environmental Security.
Rotman’s research interests include energy systems research, integration of new technologies onto smartgrid systems and climate analysis at the global and regional scale for improved formulation of climate change adaptation strategies. He has served on advisory panels for DOE, NSF and NASA, including as chair of the DOE National Energy Research Scientific Computing User group committee developing input to a five-year DOE Office of Science computing plan.
He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley.
Professor Emeritus, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UC Irvine and Director, National Fuel Cell Research Center
Samuelsen is interested in energy conversion, fuel cells, combustion, fuel sprays, laser diagnostics, air quality, turbulent transport, alternative fuels, the modeling of reacting flows, practical energy systems and the conflict between energy and the environment.
Samuelsen's current research activity focuses on energy generation, distribution and utilization, and includes the production of electricity, motive power and propulsive power from both fuel cells, gas turbines and hybrids of both. His work also explores the environmental impact of these energy systems, the dynamic between energy generation and atmospheric quality, and the development of environmentally preferred, high-efficiency energy generation integrated into buildings and building complexes.
Samuelsen directs the Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP), which encompasses the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC), the UC Irvine Combustion Lab (UCICL) and the Pacific Consortium on Energy and the Environment (PARCON). His work at the UCICL is directed toward the development of advanced stationary gas turbine power systems. Research at the NFCRC is leading the evolution of power generation fuel cells, and the PARCON accelerates the development and deployment of advance energy systems around the world.
Senior Policy Fellow, Energy & Transportation Cluster
Former State Assemblymember Nancy Skinner is a social justice advocate and energy and climate protection trailblazer. In the California State Assembly, Skinner authored important new laws, including expanding rooftop solar, renewing the Self-Generation Incentive Program, directing the Public Utilities Commission to include energy storage in utility procurement, funding energy upgrades at California’s K-12 schools and improving the energy efficiency of buildings built pre-Title 24. Skinner is also known for her groundbreaking gun violence preventions law and the “E-Fairness” bill that required sales tax collection from Amazon and other Internet retailers.
Skinner was elected to the Berkeley City Council while she was a grad student at UC Berkeley. There, she introduced the nation’s first Styrofoam ban and the first 50% waste reduction and recycling goal. She is a cofounder of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability where she directed ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protection program involving over 2000 cities worldwide in GHG emissions reduction actions. She also served as the US Director for The Climate Group engaging Fortune 500 companies in climate leadership. Skinner has a B.S. and M.A. from UC Berkeley.
Executive Director, UNEP and
Under-Secretary-General, United Nations
The United Nations General Assembly in 2006 unanimously elected Achim Steiner as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme for a four-year term, and subsequently for a further four years in 2010. Following the decision of the 68th General Assembly of United Nations, Steiner’s mandate has been extended for two years up to June 2016.
From March 2009 to May 2011, he was also Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON). Before joining UNEP, Steiner served as Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) from 2001 to 2006, and prior to that as Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams. His professional career has included assignments with governmental, non-governmental and international organizations in different parts of the world including India, Pakistan, Germany, Zimbabwe, USA, Vietnam, South Africa, Switzerland and Kenya. He worked both at grassroots levels as well as at the highest levels of international policy-making to address the interface between environmental sustainability, social equity and economic development. Steiner serves on a number of advisory councils and boards including as the International Vice Chair of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED). His work has been recognized for a number of awards such as the Tallberg Foundation’s Award for Principled Pragmatism and the Steiger Award for “commitment and important work in the protection of the planet.” In 2009 His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco conferred upon Steiner the decoration of Officer of the Order of Saint Charles.Steiner, a German and Brazilian national, was born in Brazil in 1961. His educational background includes a B.A. from the University of Oxford as well as an M.A. from the University of London with specialization in development economics and policy. He also studied at the German Development Institute in Berlin as well as the Harvard Business School.
Director, Strategic Energy Initiatives
UC Sand Diego
Byron Washom has served as Director of Strategic Energy Initiatives at UC San Diego since 2008. Previously, he served as the CEO of a technical due diligence firm in CleanTech while concurrently serving as Sr. International Advisor to the World Bank and being a four-time Rockefeller Foundation Grantee in renewable energy development. In 1984, Washom received an R&D100 for one of the world’s 100 most outstanding innovations based on his entrepreneurial leadership that set eight technical world records for the conversion efficiency of sunlight-to-grid connection which remained unsurpassed for 24 years. Fast Company magazine named him to their June 2010 cover story “100 Most Innovative Persons in Business.”
At UC San Diego, Washom is responsible for bringing quantum innovations in zero- and low-carbon technologies to its 42 MW microgrid that self-generates 85% of its annual electrical load at a GHG emissions rate approximately 25% below California’s energy mix and a cost approximately half that of direct-access electricity. During his tenure at UC San Diego, he has helped to deploy 3 MW of PV, 2.5 MW/5 MWH of energy storage, 2.8 MW of a directed biogas fuel cell with the world’s first fuel cell-absorption chiller, 1.25 million gallons of thermal energy storage and 75 Level II and 5 DC Fast EV charging stations.
Kim A. Wilcox
Kim A. Wilcox was appointed as UC Riverside’s ninth chancellor in August 2013. Since then, he has spurred a new era of campus growth, embarking on the expansion of the faculty by 300 ladder-ranked positions; development of new facilities for research, teaching and public service; and placing a new emphasis on institutional globalization.
Wilcox is a long-time national advocate for increased access to quality higher education and for the particular role public universities play in the United States. Under his leadership, UC Riverside became a charter member of the University Innovation Alliance, a collaboration of major public research universities in America seeking to improve student graduation rates and outcomes across all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. Wilcox participated in the 2014 White House College Opportunity Day of Action, at which President Barack Obama recognized the Riverside County Education Collaborative and the participation of UC Riverside and regional school districts in improving the pipeline from K-12 to two- and four-year colleges.
UC Riverside, with 22,000 students, hosts the most diverse student population of any major research university in the nation and has received acclaim for student outcomes. Wilcox, himself, was a first-generation college student, matriculating at Michigan State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Audiology and Speech Sciences. He also holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Purdue University.
Ellen D. Williams
Ellen Williams is the Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, ARPA-E, in the Department of Energy. The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment.
Prior to Senate confirmation for her role in ARPA-E, Williams had been the Chief Scientist at BP (2010-2014), and a Distinguished University Professor in the Institute of Physical Science and Technology and the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland.
Williams has a distinguished history of professional service, including chairing the development of the NAS report on Technical Issues for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and extensive working in providing technical advice to the U.S. government, primarily through the Departments of Energy and Defense. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Physical Society, American Vacuum Society and American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been recognized by awards from the American Physical Society and the Materials Research Society.
Director, Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute
Paul Wright is the A. Martin Berlin Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute. His research takes place in the Advanced Manufacturing for Energy (AME) laboratory. Funds from industry, foundations, the federal government, and the California Energy Commission (CEC), support an integrated research program on the resilience & analytics of energy systems. Individual PhD projects cover a broad spectrum: Communicating MEMS-sensors for advanced electrical-grids and gas distribution systems; Energy harvesting; 3D printing of storage systems; Demand Response, and Condition Based Monitoring (CbM) of energy systems. These projects are the catalysts for start-ups such as Imprint Energy, Persistent Efficiency, and Wireless Industrial Technologies.