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We are honored to host an esteemed group of thought leaders who are driving climate action at the 'Last Stop Before COP'! New speakers will be added here weekly.

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Olivia Albrecht

Ms. Albrecht is Chief Sustainability Officer at Aspiration, the leading sustainable fintech and carbon offset manager based in Marina del Ray, California. In the business of sustainability, Aspiration helps companies, consumers and communities profitably deliver on their decarbonization ambitions. Ms. Albrecht is also a Sustainability Advisory Board member at Persefoni, the prominent carbon accounting software platform based in Tempe, Arizona. In addition, she is involved with several geospatial data companies focused on the role of satellite imagery in tracking, monitoring and analyzing sustainability risks. Ms. Albrecht spent 10 years at PIMCO where she was most recently Head of ESG Business Strategy leading a diverse and integrated team of over 50 investment professionals across departments and functions.

Previously, Ms. Albrecht helped lead PIMCO’s Global Fixed Income product strategy team representing $100bn assets with clients spanning Asia Pacific, EMEA and the Americas split across institutional and retail investors. Ms. Albrecht currently serves on the Leadership Council of New America, a policy think tank in Washington DC, in addition to the Milken Institute’s Public Advisory Council. Ms. Albrecht earned a BA degree in Philosophy from Princeton University, an MBA from Columbia University’s Business School and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Ms. Albrecht played Division 1 Varsity Women’s Soccer at Princeton University.

Chief Sustainability Officer, Aspiration

Karen Appell

Karen is the Climate Adaptation Lead for the Water group at AECOM Metro New York where she oversees the Extreme Weather Initiative for the region. With more than 20 years of experience, Karen manages multidisciplinary teams that develop strategic solutions for the planning, design, and construction of complex infrastructure projects, focusing on climate adaptation. Working across the engineering, ecology, and landscape architecture fields, she specializes in employing a comprehensive approach in integrating resilient and sustainable elements for both coastal and inland projects. Currently, Karen manages Rebuild By Design – Hudson River for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the municipalities of Hoboken, Jersey City, and Weehawken, New Jersey, and other public and private stakeholders to design and construct a coastal flood risk reduction project that will secure a more resilient future for one of the country’s densest and most transit-oriented areas. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University with a concentration in Environmental Systems Engineering and a graduate certificate in Water Resources Engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology.

Climate Adaptation Lead, AECOM Metro New York

Andrei Cherny

Aspiration CEO Andrei Cherny has spent more than twenty-five years working to make the financial system more sustainable and fair. He combines a background as an advisor to some of America’s top companies, the co-founder and president of a media start-up, a financial fraud prosecutor, historian, Navy reserve officer, and a nationally recognized economic policy expert. Before co-founding Aspiration, Andrei launched and grew Democracy Journal to one of the most widely read idea journals in America. There, he worked with Elizabeth Warren to help start the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. A former Clinton White House aide, he was the youngest White House speechwriter in American history.

His 2000 book, The Next Deal, showed how business and government would be transformed by people’s demands for more and better choices. He is also the author of The Candy Bombers and is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of California Berkeley law school.

CEO and Co-founder, Aspiration

Jonathan Foley

Dr. Jonathan Foley is a renowned climate & environmental scientist, writer, and speaker. He is also Executive Director of Project Drawdown — the world’s leading resource for climate solutions.

Executive Director, Project Drawdown

Paula Glover

Paula R. Glover has served as President of the Alliance to Save Energy since 2021. A dynamic leader with more than 25 years of experience in the energy industry, Ms. Glover is the seventh president in the Alliance’s 43-year history.

Ms. Glover previously served as President and CEO of the American Association of Blacks in Energy, a non-profit professional association whose focus is to ensure that African Americans and other minorities have input into the discussions and development of energy policy, regulations, and environmental issues. In this role, she was responsible for managing the national office, and providing strategic direction and leadership for the organization. Prior to this role, Ms. Glover served as AABE’s Vice President of Operations and as the organization’s Director of Communications.

 

President, Alliance to Save Energy

Rei Goffer

Rei Goffer is the Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Tomorrow.io, which helps countries, businesses, and individuals better manage their weather-related challenges with the best information and insights. His portfolio of activities includes the company’s Space and Government business units. He is passionate about developing technologies that change lives and transforming seemingly crazy ideas into reality. Rei also serves on the Board of TomorrowNow.org, the independently operated non-profit founded by Tomorrow.io focusing on climate security for underserved communities. Prior to Tomorrow.io, Rei served for 10 years in the Israeli Air Force as an F16 navigator, and division head in the R&D command. Rei holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 

Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer

Ruth Gratzke

Ruth Gratzke is President of Siemens Smart Infrastructure in the United States.  In this role, she leads operational and commercial activities for Siemens’ smart building, grid edge and energy infrastructure portfolio.

Comprised of five business units – Building Products, Digital Grid, Distribution Systems, Electrical Products and Regional Solutions and Services Americas – Siemens Smart Infrastructure delivers building IoT, automation, fire safety, security, energy, low and medium voltage, and smart grid solutions as well as control components to the U.S. commercial, industrial and utility markets. Ruth originally joined Siemens in 1995 and relocated to the US in 1999 to lead the US-based steelmaking business.  Subsequently she held positions in Corporate Strategy and C-level sales, followed by general management roles in Building Technologies and Industrial Automation.

CEO, Siemens Smart Infrastructure

Will Hazelip

Will Hazelip is the President of National Grid Ventures (NGV), US Northeast. NGV operates outside of National Grid’s regulated business in the US and UK, where it develops, operates, and invests in energy projects, technologies, and partnerships to accelerate the development of a clean energy future.

He is responsible for identifying new growth opportunities and strategic partnerships that will enable a clean energy future. He leads a diverse, cross-functional team who manages a portfolio of energy infrastructure businesses. Will joined National Grid in 2015 as Vice President of
Business Development to help create and grow NGV, and today it operates at $50 million profit.

Will has more than 20 years of strategy, business development, transaction, finance, and operations experience.

Prior to joining National Grid, Will spent seven years at Duke Energy in various leadership roles across the organization. During his time at Duke, he led the acquisition and subsequent management of Path 15, an electric transmission company in California and the divestiture of DukeNet, a regional telecom provider. He was also responsible for origination and development of new business opportunities for the non-franchise electric transmission unit in North America.

He serves as a member of the board of directors for Soluna Holdings, Inc. with two subsidiaries, MTI Instruments and Soluna Computing.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Emory University and an International Master of
Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.

President, National Grid Ventures, US Northeast

Pat Johnson

Pat Johnson is Community Offshore Wind’s Vice President and Deputy Project Director. Together, Pat and the team are focused on responsibly developing their lease in the New York Bight for the benefit of all stakeholder communities to enable a clean, fair, and affordable energy future.

Pat is a CFA Charterholder and an investment analysis professional. Pat has been working at National Grid Ventures (NGV) for nearly 5 years and in the energy sector for nearly 10. During his time with NGV, Pat has been focused on developing clean energy infrastructure in the northeast US, including offshore wind, energy storage, and renewable-enabling transmission. Pat has led the development of multiple projects on behalf of NGV that have been submitted into RFPs. Pat is passionate about the natural world and excited to be a leader in the ongoing transformation of our energy systems.

Pat holds a BA in conservation biology from Middlebury College, an MS in Wildlife Management from The Ohio State University, and an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

VP and Deputy Project Director, Community Offshore Wind

BJ Jones

B.J. has more than 20 years of public sector experience, working on a variety of initiatives to improve customer service, safety, transparency, and accountability in government. He started his career in state and local government consulting, working on engagements that included modernizing the Georgia Department of Revenue, conducting a statewide performance audit for South Carolina, modernizing motor vehicle services for the state of New Jersey, and analyzing the economic impacts of expanding Metrorail in Northern Virginia. He then joined New York City government in the first term of the Bloomberg administration, working his way up to serve in a variety of roles, including Assistant Commissioner of Strategic Planning and Implementation at the Department of Buildings and, later, Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations. Throughout his tenure with the city, he has been involved in a number of groundbreaking initiatives, including implementation of the city’s first online permitting system, the first overhaul of the building code in 38 years, expansion of the city’s job application portal, and providing temporary shelter and housing repairs for victims of Hurricane Sandy. As President and CEO at the Battery Park City Authority, he has overseen the development of the organization's first strategic plan, creation of a new five-year capital plan, diversification of community program offerings, the closing of $673 million in financing, and the launch of ambitious new resiliency, sustainability, and affordability initiatives. B.J. received his undergraduate degree in Management from Gettysburg College, a Master of Public Administration from American University, and a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a certified Project Management Professional.

President & CEO, Battery Park City Authority

Anna Malhari

Anna Malhari is COO of Veris Residential and leads the company’s ESG Task Force and Investor Relations. Under her leadership, Veris Residential signed the UN Global Compact and became the first U.S. real estate company to endorse the Climate Group’s EV100 initiative. Ms. Malhari is a Full IEMA member (MIEMA) and a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv), and holds a CEMS Master in International Management from the Business University in Prague and the University of Cologne. She is a member of Fast Company’s Executive Board and one of GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum’s 2022 Influencers in Multifamily Real Estate.

COO, Veris Residential

Miranda Masssie

Miranda Massie directs NYC’s Climate Museum, the first climate-dedicated museum in the US. She left a career in social justice law to lay the groundwork for the Museum. Her prior honors as a civil rights impact litigator include Fletcher Foundation, W.E.B. Dubois Institute, and Harvard Law School Wasserstein Public Interest Fellowships, as well as a Mentorship-in-Residence at Yale Law School. She is a public voices fellow with the OpEd Project and Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and a regular guest speaker who emphasizes the need for a cultural shift toward civic action on the climate emergency.

 

Director at the Climate Museum

Doug Perkins

Doug Perkins is Community Offshore Wind’s President and Project Director. He leads the team and ensures that we deliver on our promises – to produce local clean energy for all. Together with the team, he is driving the strategy and implementation of the project and supports our engagement with key stakeholders in our local communities, policy makers, suppliers, and all other neighbors to our project. 

Doug has over 11 years’ experience in renewable energy development, with his last five years focused on offshore development in the US Northeast.  Doug has a BA in Environmental Science from Boston University with a concentration in Coastal Ecology.

President and Project Director of Community Offshore Wind

Suzanne Seymour

Suzanne Seymour is the Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing and Communications at Inspire. In her role, she is responsible for driving consumer awareness of the company utilizing integrated strategies informed by creative and analytical thinking. Suzanne manages a team of excellence that leads the storytelling of Inspire's mission, values, and products through engaging campaigns, compelling content, and programs that demonstrate the company’s commitment to accelerating a net-zero carbon future. She also oversees Inspire's corporate and consumer communications efforts.

Prior to Inspire, Suzanne served as Head of Marketing and Communications for Japanese apparel retailer Uniqlo and held numerous leadership positions in the Beauty industry at Kiehl's and Estée Lauder.

SVP Brand & Communications, Inspire Clean Energy

Alan Steel

Alan Steel is the President & Chief Executive Officer of the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation, which operates the Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side. Under Mr. Steel's leadership, the Javits Center has launched an historic expansion project. Upon his appointment in 2012, Mr. Steel led the completion of a comprehensive renovation and operational overhaul that included significant investments in energy efficiency, security and technology. Prior to the Javits Center, Mr. Steel spent more than 30 years as an event management executive and United Kingdom trade development official. He is the former President of George Little Management (GLM) and worked for more than 15 years with the British government in a number of trade-related positions. In 2014, Mr. Steel was awarded with the King’s Glove award by the International Association of Exhibitors and Events (IAEE) for his enriched contributions to the trade show industry in New York and beyond. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for New York City Audubon and New Yorkers for Parks.

 

President and CEO at NewYork Convention Center Operating Corporation

Richard Yancey

Richard C. Yancey, AIA, LEED AP, is the founding Director of the Building Energy Exchange, Inc. (BEEx), an independent, nonprofit organization that connects the New York real estate and design communities to energy and lighting efficiency solutions through education, exhibitions, technology demonstrations, and research. BEEx identifies opportunities, navigates barriers to adoption, broker’s relationships, and showcases best practices at their resource center in downtown Manhattan. An early-adopter of sustainable design, Richard has led a diverse array of project types, including institutional, commercial, and both single and multi-family residential, campus planning, and transit-oriented developments, including a 1.2 million SF mixed-use development in Norwalk, CT.

Founding Director, Building Energy Exchange

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