Steering Committee:

Dimitry Gershenson co-leads Facebook’s Energy Access (EA) Program, which he helped design, develop, and  scale.  Prior  to  Facebook,  Dimitry was a researcher and project lead at UC Berkeley, where he worked on market assessment for off‐grid energy  in  Kenya,  financing  facility  design  for  microgrids  in  developing  economies,  and  public-private  partnership  development  for  universal  electrification  in  South  Sudan.  Overall,  Dimitry  has  7  years  of industry  and  academic  experience  in  energy,  finance,  and  international  development.  Dimitry  holds  a  B.S.  in  Natural  Resource  Management  from  Rutgers  University  and  an  M.S.  in  Energy  and  Resources from UC Berkeley.

Vrinda Manglik is an Campaign Representative for International Clean Energy Access at the Sierra Club, where her work includes advocating for increased investment in energy access.  Previously, she worked as a Research Associate at the Environmental Law Institute and as a Scoville Fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council - both in Washington, DC.  She received  her bachelor's degree at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY, and a master's in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Kate McGinnis is the Market Director for AES Energy Storage, focused on the western US and Canada. She leads business development and sales in the region for the AES Advancion® platform. Prior to joining AES, she led development of stationary storage projects co-located with oil & gas infrastructure globally at Chevron, where she was also involved with the development of renewable projects including geothermal, solar thermal, and wind. Kate's project development experience spans 6 continents. Kate is treasurer and a board member of the California Energy Storage Association. She holds a BS in Environmental Science from George Washington University and an MBA from Cornell.

Jane Oyugi was born in Tanzania and is passionate about implementing solar projects to tackle the critical issues in energy, water, health and education so as to improve livelihoods and economic development. She is Co-Founder and CEO of Sustenersol Company Ltd., a project developer in Tanzania focused on developing affordable and sustainable solar microgrids and energy efficiency projects. Previously, she was VP of Product at a solar microgrid provider, Director at a global Wi-Fi roaming provider, a Management Consultant to mobile operators with Deloitte Consulting and a Software Engineer with IBM. She has an MBA from Georgetown University and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University.

Gil Shefer is an associate in the energy & infrastructure group at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP's San Francisco office, where he advises renewable energy developers and sponsors on a wide variety of matters, including tax equity financings, energy storage acquisitions, power purchase and sale agreements, and EPC and supply agreements. Prior to joining Orrick, Gil assisted attorneys at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, consulted on a micro-finance project for the Honorable Aloisea Inyumba, Rwandan Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, and served as an economic consultant for the World Bank’s Kigali Office, where he led a tourism sector study. He received a B.Sc. from NYU’s Stern School of Business, J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and Masters in Economic Law from Sciences Po Paris.

Marina Solomon is currently working in project development at GCL New Energy helping to develop utility-scale solar plants across the U.S., South Africa, Latin America and India. She completed a master’s in Global Affairs with a concentration in Energy and Environmental Policy at NYU in 2012 and has a B.A. from Brandeis University in International Studies and Spanish. Her involvement in Energy Access SF has been a great way to stay connected with her interest in the intersection of international development, renewable energy and climate change mitigation. She hopes the events the group puts on will help create a collaborative local community with a strong voice to push for access to renewable energy in the developing world and help provide quickly developing nations the tools they need to “leapfrog” over the dirty energy sources of the 20th century.

Strategic Advisors:

Lucinda Gibbs leads Energy Access business development at Shell New Energies in London. Previously, she worked on global market strategy, corporate development, and energy access partnerships at First Solar in San Francisco. She has also worked as a management consultant and for development-related organizations in South Africa, India, and Honduras. Lucinda has an MA in International Policy (with a focus in Energy) and a BA in International Relations, both from Stanford University.

Carlos Abreu is Director, Distributed Generation Solutions (global) at First Solar. He was previously a Principal in the Renewable Energy group at PG&E, an Advisor to Powerhive (solar microgrid start-up), an investment banker, an international development consultant (USAID, UNDP), and a management consultant. He has a MBA and a MIA (Master of International Affairs) from Columbia University, a BA in Economics/International Area Studies and Political Science from UCLA, and is a Bay Area native.

Victoria (Tori) Arch is the Director of Strategy at Angaza Design, a San Francisco-based social enterprise providing Pay-As-You-Go solutions for solar devices. Prior to Angaza, she performed a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University in which she studied the neurophysiology of cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika. She has a BS from Stanford, and a PhD from UCLA.

Isabelle Christensen has 10 years experience in roles ranging from product management, business development, strategy, project finance and development. She has structured financing for 500MW of PV projects globally and developed 200MW of greenfield projects in frontier markets.  Prior to joining the PV revolution, Isabelle worked in ERP software as a product manager. Isabelle holds a dual PHD in Astroscience and Economics. Additionally she has a BSEE and currently working on her doctorate thesis for clinical psychology. She is deeply passionate about energy access in developing countries after having spent majority of her childhood growing up in Tanzania and Rwanda without electricity. In her spare time Isabelle runs a microfinance non profit for female entrepreneurs in Central Asia and DRC Congo. She is also an active member of Engineers without Borders Kenya Chapter.

Aditya Khandekar is a Senior Scientific Engineering Associate at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Previously, he has worked at a public policy think tank in Mumbai working on clean energy issues and at a technology start-up developing airborne wind energy systems in Zurich. Originally from Mumbai, India he has done his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from BITS,Pilani and a Masters in Development Practice from the University of California Berkeley.

Himani Phadke is the Interim Head of Standards Setting at the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) in San Francisco. Himani leads SASB’s research on sustainability issues, their potential to affect corporate value, and on how sustainability metrics can inform investment decisions. Himani has previous experience in financial consulting at LECG, London, and financial sector policy development at the UK Treasury. Himani also co-founded a renewable energy social enterprise, REwiRE. The company was focused on scaling up energy access solutions for emerging markets through innovative financing and community participation.  Himani has an MA in International Policy—Energy and Environment, from Stanford University, an MSc in Development Economics from Oxford University (UK) and a BA in Economics and Statistics from Mumbai University (India). She is passionate about sustainable development and continues to be interested in scaling up energy access in emerging markets.

Jenean Smith is the Director of International Programs for GRID Alternatives.  She has worked for Mitsubishi Electric’s solar division and Trojan Battery’s renewable energy division.  She founded and ran Power to the People, a non-profit organization that brings solar electricity to rural communities Nicaragua, for six years until it was acquired by GRID Alternatives in 2014.  Before working in the renewable energy industry, she worked for the Riecken Foundation in Honduras and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua.  She has a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, an MBA from Northeastern University, and a Master's degree in Sustainable International Development from the Heller School of Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Jenean enjoys driving her solar-powered electric car around the Bay Area.

 

Energy Access SF is a volunteer-based organization.