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ACG Climate and Energy Tour Participants

Members of Climate and Energy Tour
Members of Climate and Energy Tour
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Updated: 5/20 1:41 pm

Dan Boyce works as the Capitol Bureau Chief for Montana Public Radio. A native Montanan, Dan graduated from the University of Montana with a broadcast journalism degree in December, 2008. He accepted his current job at MTPR after more than two years working as a reporter with KBZK-TV in Bozeman. Dan has won local, regional, and national awards for both his radio and television reporting. His work has appeared nationally on the NPR programs All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition as well as on CNN and The CBS Evening News.  In addition to the ACG Cimate/Energy Study Tour, Dan has taken part in a journalism fellowship in Germany and another in Pakistan. 

Before taking the helm of the ACG in February 2005, Mr. William Drozdiak was Executive Director of the Transatlantic Center of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. The center, which was created in 2001 to serve as the first independent American policy institute in Brussels devoted to U.S.-European relations, serves as a base of operations for distinguished American scholars, policy analysts, and journalists conducting research on the Atlantic partnership; organizes conferences, seminars, and exchange visits; and helps supervise GMF grantmaking in Europe. Mr. Drozdiak worked for two decades as an editor and foreign correspondent for The Washington Post. As Chief European Correspondent until 2001, he was primarily responsible for covering major political, economic, and security issues across Europe, with special emphasis on NATO and the European Union. He also has covered globalization issues including energy, the environment, and new technologies. From 1990 to 2000, he served as the Post’s Bureau Chief in Paris and Berlin. During that time, he wrote and reported on the fall of the Berlin Wall and German unification, the leadership eras of Helmut Kohl and François Mitterand, and the Balkan Wars. For his coverage of NATO’s air war on Kosovo, he was part of a Washington Post team selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for international affairs in 1999. From 1986 to 1990, Mr. Drozdiak served as the Post’s Foreign Editor and supervised its award-winning coverage of the Middle East and the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe. Before joining the Post, Mr. Drozdiak worked as State Department Correspondent for Time magazine and later covered the Middle East while based in Cairo and Beirut for Time and The Washington Star. He reported on the first peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, the fall of the Shah of Iran, the assassination of Anwar Sadat, and the war between Iran and Iraq from both sides of the conflict. Prior to becoming a journalist, Mr. Drozdiak played professional basketball in the United States and Europe from 1971 to 1978. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1971 with bachelor’s degrees in political science and economics. He also earned a master’s degree at the College of Europe in Bruges and studied at the Institute of European Studies at the University of Brussels. 

Carl William “Bill” Eger III is the Energy Manager for the City of Alexandria (Alexandria, VA). He leads technical, program, and policy development and implementation for Alexandria’s energy, climate change mitigation, and related sustainability initiatives.  He formerly held position as Energy Manager for the City of Cleveland (Ohio) in the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.  Bill holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, and Master of Science in Engineering from the University of Dayton.  Bill is a registered Professional Engineer, US Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional, and holds a Certificate of Public Management from the George Washington University. 

Helena Kane Finn took up her current position as Vice President and Director of Programs at the American Council on Germany in New York in September 2010. A career diplomat of the Department of State she served as Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin (2007 - 2010) and as Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv (2003 - 2007).  She has been the Cyrus Vance Fellow in Diplomatic Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York (2002 - 2003). She has also been Director of the Turkish Studies Program at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (2002). As Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (2000 - 2001), Dr. Finn was responsible for the State Department's global academic, professional and youth exchanges, including Fulbright and the International Visitor program. Helena Kane Finn has served overseas as the Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey (1997 - 2000).  Prior to that, she was the Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, Austria (1995 - 1997). She was the Public Affairs Officer and Director of the Amerika Haus in Frankfurt-Main, Germany (1992 - 1995). She has been the Desk Officer for Greece, Turkey and Cyprus.  

Robert J. Freitas is President and Founder of Sundial Energy, Inc., a solar and LED lighting company providing primarily off-grid solutions for commercial and institutional customers.  Sundial Energy currently is engaged in research in renewably powered emergency back-up systems focused on critical network nodes.  Bob served 19 years as Cooperative Extension faculty with the University of Arizona (UofA), Department of Ag. & Biosystems Engineering Department, before taking an early retirement to start Sundial Energy.  At the UofA, as Principal Investigator and CO-PI, he brought in multi-million dollar research grants and directed cross- disciplinary research teams focusing on large scale agriculture waste reduction and pollution prevention.  Bob also served 8 years as the UofA-International Arid Land Consortium’s Project Director for a multi-university, multi-country project that involved extensive travel to the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, organizing and leading teams of faculty members principally engaged in water and wastewater treatment, water and natural resources conservation.  Prior to joining the UofA, Bob managed and led teams of development professionals in various African countries in start-up through full implementation of projects funded by USAID, multi-lateral donors and private foundations.  Prior to this, Bob began his overseas career in Latin America and Africa with Peace Corps as an agricultural extension agent.  Before becoming involved in international development work, Bob worked as an AZ State Senate staff member (Natural Resources Committee) and for the AZ Association of Counties.  Bob holds an MS in Watershed Management/Hydrology, a BA in History/Political Science, is married with three children, and resides in Tucson, Arizona. 

Johanna Gregory joined the ACG in late 2011 as a Program Assistant.  Johanna earned a BA with honors from Connecticut College in 2010 earning a double major in German Studies and European History. While at Connecticut College she was selected as a scholar of the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts, during which time she completed an integrative research project on the constitutional banning process of extremist groups and parties in Germany, focusing mainly on Rightwing extremist activity in the state of Saxony. Prior to joining the ACG Ms. Gregory was in Northern Germany on a Fulbright Scholarship. Johanna has spent quite some time living and working in Germany, including a period of studies at the University of Tübingen.  

The Hon. John Hannah received his B.A. from Pomona College, Claremont, CA in 1980, and his J.D. from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1984.   He was a law clerk for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge William C. Canby.  He then practiced law in Phoenix, primarily in the areas of commercial litigation and criminal defense, until his appointment to the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County in 2005.   He is past chair of the Arizona State Bar Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct and is a former adjunct professor of law at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. 

Tom Hawley has been covering traffic and transportation in Southern Nevada since 1985, initially as a helicopter reporter.  In 1995, Tom joined KSNV-TV/Channel-3, the NBC affiliate in Las Vegas, where his reporting expanded to include a wide variety of issues related to transportation, ranging from the underlying causes of congestion to alternative transportation, to the effects of traffic on society and the environment.  He also reports on local history and the outdoors.  Tom is a Fellow with the RIAS-Berlin Kommission, a two-time winner of Southern Nevada Electronic Media Awards and a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.  

Since 2001, Sarmad Hussain has been the foreign policy advisor and Chief of  Staff to different Members of the German Parliament. Before that, he was at the speechwriting section of the President of the German Parliament and the Committee on European Affairs. He  worked also at NATO in Brussels the German Permanent Mission to United Nations in New York and the European Parliament. His publications include pares about the CFSP and the relation between NATO and EU as well as a booklet about Parliamentary terminology written for the German Parliament. He is fluent in German, English, French and Urdu. He holds an MA in Political Science and International Law from the Unviersity of Bonn and is a PhD candidate at the University of Bonn, Germany. His research topic is the EU common foreign and security policy and the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI). Sarmad is a fellow of the 2000 Manfred Woerner Seminar. His most recent TV appearance was an interview in CNN-International on "The New Immigration Law in Germany". 

Colin Manasse has been involved in the renewable energy and environmental sectors since 2000 when he first built an electric car. Since then, he has earned a BA in international relations and environmental policy, an MA in international environmental policy, and an international MBA. He has worked in environmental statistics at the UN, with whom he remains a registered expert in joint implementation. In recent years, he has focused on renewable energy development and energy efficiency both in the USA and Africa, working for Southern California Edison, the Industrial Assessment Center, and Elephant Energy among others. He has presented his research on the multiple and mutual potential benefits that arise from the intersection of the environment, energy technologies, and society at various international conferences, such as the 1st Urban Environment Congress in Brasilia, Brazil and the 3rd International Green Energy Conference in Västerås, Sweden. 

Gregg Mast is President and CEO of Earthtech Energy, a company specializing in biomass to energy project development. Founded in 2004, the company provides commercialization assistance to key partners leveraging Earthtech Energy’s innovation and know-how within the bioenergy industry. Gregg is also the Minnesota State Director for the Cleantech Open, a not- for-profit organization that runs the world’s largest accelerator for cleantech startups. Gregg has previously served as the Vice President with The BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota, a not-for- profit organization dedicated to the advancement of bioscience-related industries to create jobs for the citizens of Minnesota. Gregg was responsible for convening and leading diverse stakeholder groups to develop a long-term strategic direction for Minnesota in the areas of biomass thermal, combined heat and power (CHP), advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals. Early on in his career, Gregg worked in a variety of corporate finance and management capacities, including at Allianz Life and Target Corporation. Gregg received a B.A. from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and a M.B.A. from the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas.

Janet Milkman has worked in energy conservation and renewables and smart growth policy and practice at the state and local levels for over 25 years. She is chief executive of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, the local chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, developer of the LEED standard aimed at reducing the impact of buildings on climate change and human health. DVGBC focuses on education, K-12 Schools, and policy development and implementation at the federal, state and local level. Recent successes include energy benchmarking and disclosure policies for Philadelphia’s commercial buildings. Before joining DVGBC, Janet served as Executive Director of 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, leading advocates for land use reform and redevelopment of Pennsylvania’s cities. Janet also directed non-profit organizations focused on land use and energy issues in New Jersey and Minnesota, and began her career at the New York City Office of Management and Budget and then the Department of Environmental Protection. Janet has a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a Master in Public Administration from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany and is a LEED Green Associate.  

Reid Rutherford is CEO Photon Finance LLC. Reid co-founded Photon Finance, a developer of distributed commercial and utility scale solar photovoltaic generating plants in 2006. He has over 35 years of business management, finance and venture capital experience. Photon projects include Utility, Commercial, Institutional, Educational and Military facilities in North America and Hawaii (including the US Navy NAVFAC Pacific $500 Million and the Army Corps of Engineers $7 Billion Renewable Energy Multiple Award Contract). Reid’s career has been marked by combining new technologies with innovative financing structures. Reid has founded several Silicon Valley finance and technology companies, including: eFinance Corporation, a pioneer of online credit delivery services; Concord Growth Corporation, which grew to become one of the largest independent California commercial finance companies; and Research Applications for Management, a provider of decision support software for transit agencies throughout North America. In addition to introducing practical Power Purchase Agreements for commercial and institutional solar generating plants, Photon was a key developer of standardized PPA documentation to the distributed solar industry. Reid earned a MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in Palo Alto, Calif. and a BA in Religion from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. 

Senator Steve Southerland represents District 1 in Tennessee, which includes Cocke, Greene, Hamblen and Sevier Counties in Northeast Tennessee. He is a retired mortgage broker. He is involved in his community as a deacon at the Buffalo Trail Baptist Church, a member of the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, and the National Rifle Association. He has served as a member of the Tennessee State Senate for 11 years, and is the Senate Deputy Speaker. He is also the Chair of the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, and he is a member of the Senate Commerce and Labor and Senate Transportation and Safety committees, as well as the Senate Republican Caucus, Joint Fiscal Review Committee and National Conference on State Legislatures.  

Edward Stern is the Executive Director of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA). Prior to taking on this role Edward served as the Communications Director for the Colorado Senate Majority Office. Prior to that, he served as the Deputy Press Secretary and Campaign Manager for U.S. Congressman John Salazar. Before entering politics and renewable energy, Mr. Stern was an award-winning journalist based in New York and Colorado. Mr. Stern brings a tremendous passion for solar energy, a keen understanding of U.S. politics, an appreciation for Colorado's economic and demographic diversity, and a strong desire to build consensus and promote COSEIA as the solution-oriented and trusted strategic partner that it has grown to become.

Appointed to her post by the President, Heidi VanGenderen is the Director of the Office of Public Engagement at the U.S. Department of Energy.  As such, Ms. VanGenderen oversees efforts to effectively build the narrative supporting a clean energy economy, convey the Administration’s considerable energy accomplishments and plans going forward; reinforce the “all of the above” strategy and strategic message framework; and help create the space for a robust clean energy policy discussion and agenda going forward through coordinated engagement.  Prior to her current post, she served as Director of National and Regional Outreach for the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) where she was part of the policy team.  Prior to ACORE, she served as a Senior Energy Advisor for the Worldwatch Institute. A Colorado native, Heidi previously served as Colorado’s first gubernatorial climate advisor where she oversaw creation of the state’s first Climate Action Plan. She was a core team member in passage of Amendment 37, Colorado’s citizen initiated renewable energy standard. Heidi directed the work of the Wirth Chair in Environmental and Community Development Policy at the Graduate School of Public Affairs of the University of Colorado where she focused prominently on energy and climate change.  She also served as Deputy Director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. She has worked on energy and climate issues in the non- profit, public, academic and private sectors as an organizer, writer, researcher, and public speaker for the whole of her professional career. She completed a Chevening Fellowship on Finance and Investment in a Low-Carbon Economy in Edinburgh and London in 2009 and is a graduate of Carleton College. 

Chris Williams, is a long time sustainable energy policy activist. He is currently Vermont Organizer for the Citizens Awareness Network, a grassroots organization working to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear station and replace it with sustainable energy generation. Williams has a long professional history working with public interest organizations. For 18 years he was the executive director for Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, a not for profit consumer and environmental advocacy organization. CAC conducts extensive grassroots public education campaigns concerning, public utility regulation, energy policy, environmental policy, and the preservation of family farms.  

Emily Yates is a Program Officer in the Urban and Regional Policy Programs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States where she manages content and operations for three initiatives: the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Leadership Activities, Cities in Transition and the Detroit/Torino Partnership.  Building on a strong background working in both public and private sector, Emily incorporates her wide-ranging knowledge of community revitalization, neighborhood planning, economic development and public realm design into the development and implementation of program content. Prior to joining GMF, Emily held a variety of positions in different countries that focused on the intersection of economic development, sustainable urban design and community engagement. Most recently, Emily managed the City of Cleveland’s Transportation for Liveable Communities Initiative, with the goal of enhancing the economic vibrancy of existing communities and promoting healthier communities from an integrated transportation perspective. In her experience as a consultant, Emily created economic development strategies and investment manuals for cities in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada.  Ms. Yates is the recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt German Chancellor/ Bundeskanzler Fellowship, which funded a year of research focused on German approaches to the implementation of sustainability policy and climate change adaptation in brownfield development.  While in Hamburg, she also crafted innovative strategies and solutions that were integrated into regional planning policies to reduce the impact of climate change on the metropolitan area of Hamburg as part of the KLIMZUG-Nord project. Ms. Yates holds a Bachelors of Arts in Landscape Architecture degree from Arizona State University.

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