Skip to content

Speakers

The Honorable Kelly Ayotte

Former U.S. Senator, New Hampshire; Senior Adviser, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions

Kelly Ayotte served in the United States Senate from 2011-2016, where she chaired the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and the Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations.  She also served on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Aging Committees.  Senator Ayotte served as the “Sherpa” for Justice Neil Gorsuch, leading the effort to secure his confirmation to the United States Supreme Court.  

From 2004-2009, Senator Ayotte served as New Hampshire’s first female Attorney General. Prior to that, she served as the Deputy Attorney General, Chief of the Homicide Prosecution Unit and as Legal Counsel to Governor Craig Benson. She began her career as a law clerk to the New Hampshire Supreme Court and as an associate at McLane Middleton.

... more

Jeffrey Ball

Scholar-in-Residence, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Lecturer, Stanford Law School

Jeffrey Ball is a writer whose work focuses on energy and the environment. Ball’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Fortune, the New Republic, Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Slate, among other publications. At the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Ball heads a project assessing comparative advantage in the globalizing clean-energy industry.

Ball came to Stanford in 2011 from The Wall Street Journal, where he was the paper’s environment editor and before that was a columnist and reporter focusing on energy and the environment. He and his wife are resident fellows of Roble Hall, Stanford’s largest four-class undergraduate house, where he launched and directs the Roble Living Laboratory for Sustainability at... more

Sally Benson

Professor of Energy Resources Engineering

Sally M. Benson, who joined Stanford University in 2007, is the co-director of Stanford's Precourt Institute. A Professor in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; she studies technologies and pathways to reducing greenhouse gas emissions including geologic storage of CO2 in deep underground formations and energy systems analysis for a low-carbon future. She also directs Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project.

Prior to joining Stanford, Benson was Division Director for Earth Sciences, Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Sciences and Deputy Director at LBNL.

Professor Benson serves on the Board of Directors for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Climate Central. Currently she also serves on the Advisory... more

Jeffrey D. Brown

Research Fellow, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance; Lecturer in Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Jeffrey D. Brown is a Lecturer for the joint Law School/Business School course “Clean Energy Project Development and Finance”, co-taught with Professor Dan Reicher and fellow Lecturer Dave Rogers. In that course, first taught in Winter 2015, the instructors expose law, business, and engineering students to the inter-related economic, financial, legal, engineering and policy factors that must be successfully managed to bring a clean energy project into production.

Jeff was named a Research Fellow at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance in June 2016. He is researching the interactions of federal energy and environmental regulation, state and ISO power markets regimes, and federal clean energy grants and tax incentives upon the financial feasibility of projects to decarbonize the... more

David Fedor

Research Analyst, Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy, Hoover Institution

David Fedor is a research analyst on the Hoover Institution’s Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy. He has worked in energy and the environment across China, Japan, and the United States. Formerly at the Asia Pacific Energy Research Center and Stanford’s Collaboratory for Research on Global Projects, Fedor has also consulted for WWF China, the Asian Development Bank, and the Korea Energy Economics Institute. He holds degrees in earth systems from Stanford University.

Anne Finucane profile photo

Anne Finucane

Vice Chairman at Bank of America; Chairman of the Board of Bank of America Merrill Lynch Europe

Anne M. Finucane is vice chairman at Bank of America and also serves as chairman of the board of Bank of America Merrill Lynch Europe. As a member of the executive management team, Finucane is responsible for the strategic positioning of Bank of America and leads the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG), capital deployment and public policy efforts. Finucane  focuses on the company's outreach to shareholders on social and governance issues, and implementing innovative ways to deploy capital and expand business opportunities in support of the broad themes outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including affordable housing, sustainable energy, clean water and sanitation, education and health care.


As chairman of the board of Bank of America... more

Kate Gordon

Senior Advisor, Paulson Institute

Kate Gordon is a nationally recognized expert on the intersection of clean energy and economic development. She provides strategic project and policy advice to a variety of foundation, NGO, and corporate clients, including as a Senior Advisor at the Paulson Institute, where she provides strategic support on issues related to climate change and sustainable economic growth. She is also a nonresident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal as one of the paper’s “Energy Experts.” Gordon is perhaps best known for her work as the founding Executive Director of the “Risky Business Project,” co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer, and focused on the economic risks the U.S. faces from unmitigated climate change... more

Thomas Heller

Lewis Talbot and Nadine Hearn Shelton Professor of International Legal Studies, Emeritus

An expert in international law and legal institutions, Thomas C. Heller has focused his research on the rule of law, international climate control, global energy use, and the interaction of government and nongovernmental organizations in establishing legal structures in the developing world. He has created innovative courses on the role of law in transitional and developing economies, as well as the comparative study of law in developed economies. He has co-directed the law school’s Rule of Law Program, as well as the Stanford Program in International and Comparative Law. Professor Heller has been a visiting professor at the European University Institute, Catholic University of Louvain, and Hong Kong University, and has served as the deputy director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International... more

John Kerry profile photo

The Honorable John Kerry

Former U.S. Secretary of State; Chairman, Bank of America Global Advisory Council

John Kerry served as the United States’ 68th Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017. As America’s top diplomat, he guided the Department’s strategy on nuclear nonproliferation, combating radical extremism, and the threat of climate change. His tenure was marked by the successful negotiation of the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris Climate Agreement. From 1985 to 2013, he served as a U.S. Senator representing Massachusetts, and was Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2009 to 2013.  He served in the U.S. Navy, completing two combat tours of duty in Vietnam for which he received a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Combat V, and three Purple Hearts. He received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his law degree from Boston College Law School. He currently serves as the... more

Joaquim Levy

Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, World Bank Group

As Managing Director and World Bank Group Chief Financial Officer, Joaquim Levy is responsible for the financial and risk management strategies of the World Bank Group and for the institutions that make up the Group. This includes development of new, innovative financial products and services, oversight of the financial reporting, risk management, and mobilization of financial resources in alignment with the Group’s strategy. Levy contributes to the international dialogue on financial standards and best practices, primarily through his representation of the Group at the Financial Stability Board.

Levy joined the World Bank Group in February 2016. Previously, he served as the Minister of Finance for the Federal Republic of Brazil, working with the president and government in reforming... more

Priscilla Lu

Managing Director, Sustainable Investments Alternatives and Real Assets, Deutsche Bank

Priscilla joined Deutsche Bank in January 2014 as Managing Director of Sustainable Investments Alternatives and Real Assets for Deutsche Asset Management in Asia. She heads up private equity and asset management investments for clean energy and environment industries in China, and is on the Green Finance Committee organized by the People’s Bank of China, and also a member of the International Partners Committee of AMAC, the regulatory organization for Asset Management in China. Formerly she was the Founder and Managing Partner of Cathaya Capital, a cross border fund investing in Healthcare and Clean Tech in China. She has over 14 years of experience investing in technologies companies in China with experience from venture capital investments in Silicon Valley since 2003. Prior to this, she was chairman... more

Dr. Arun Majumdar

Director, Precourt Institute for Energy, Jay Precourt Professor, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and of Photon Science and, by courtesy, of Materials Science and Engineering

Dr. Arun Majumdar is the Jay Precourt Provostial Chair Professor at Stanford University, a faculty member of the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering (by courtesy) and co-Director of the Precourt Institute for Energy, which integrates and coordinates research and education activities across all seven Schools and the Hoover Institution at Stanford. He is also a faculty in Department of Photon Science at SLAC.

Dr. Majumdar's research in the past has involved the science and engineering of nanoscale materials and devices, especially in the areas of energy conversion, transport and storage as well as biomolecular analysis. His current research focuses on electrochemical and thermochemical redox reactions that are fundamental to a sustainable energy future,... more

Ashby Monk

Executive Director, Stanford Global Projects Center, Stanford University

Dr. Ashby Monk is the Executive and Research Director of the Stanford Global Projects Center. He is also a Senior Research Associate at the University of Oxford and a Senior Advisor to the Chief Investment Officer of the University of California. Dr. Monk has a strong track record of academic and industry publications. He was named by aiCIO magazine as one of the most influential academics in the institutional investing world. His research and writing has been featured in The Economist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Institutional Investor, Reuters, Forbes, and on National Public Radio among a variety of other media. His current research focus is on the design and... more

Neha Palmer

Head of Energy Strategy, Global Infrastructure, Google Inc.

Neha Palmer has close to 20 years of experience in the energy sector.  She began her career at Pacific Gas and Electric, where she held roles on the Engineering, Energy Supply and Trading, Renewables, and Corporate Development teams. In addition, Neha spent time on Wall Street at Goldman, Sachs & Co. as an investment banker focused on electric utilities. Neha currently leads the team that procures energy and electric infrastructure for Google's global portfolio of datacenters. Key efforts of the team include managing the company's energy portfolio, and sourcing as much renewable energy as possible to power Google's operations. Google has announced over 2 GW of renewable energy purchases around the globe, and is the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy. Neha holds a BS in Civil Engineering... more

Dan Reicher picture

Dan Reicher

Executive Director, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance; Lecturer, Stanford Law School

Dan Reicher is Executive Director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University, a joint center of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Law School, where he also holds faculty positions. Reicher came to Stanford in 2011 from Google, where he served since 2007 as Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives. Reicher has more than 25 years of experience in energy and environmental policy, finance, and technology.  He has served three Presidents including in the Clinton administration as Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Department of Energy Chief of Staff, as a member of President Obama’s Transition Team and Co-chair of the Energy and Environment Team for Obama, and as a staff member of President Carter’s... more

Purna Saggurti

Chairman of Global Corporate & Investment Banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Purna Saggurti is ​Chairman of Global Corporate & Investment Banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York. The Global Corporate and Investment Banking business had $12.5 Billion in revenue in 2016 and the Investment Bank was ranked #3 globally. Prior to being named to his current role, Saggurti served as the co-head of Global Corporate & Investment Banking. Saggurti is a member of the operating committee of Bank of America. He is on the board of the Environmental, Social and Governance Committee and is Vice Chairman of the Global Diversity & Inclusion Council for the Bank. 

Prior to Bank of America acquiring Merrill Lynch, Saggurti was head of Americas Origination at Merrill Lynch, which included all Investment Banking coverage, Mergers & Acquisitions and Capital Markets... more

Alicia Seiger

Managing Director, Sustainable Finance Initiative, Precourt Institute for Energy

Alicia Seiger is a lecturer at Stanford Law School and leads sustainable and energy finance initiatives at Stanford law and business schools and the Precourt Institute for Energy. A serial entrepreneur and pioneer of new business models, Alicia was at the forefront of the web advertising and carbon offset industries before pursuing solutions in sustainable finance. Alicia co-founded the Aligned Intermediary, an investment advisory group helping large-scale investors channel capital into resource innovation investments and Stanford Professionals in Energy (SPIE), a resource platform connecting Stanford alumni from all seven schools around the world. Alicia serves on the board of PRIME Coalition and Ceres, and advises student entrepreneurs building climate solutions. She holds a MBA from the Stanford... more

Gireesh Shrimali

Social Science Research Scholar

Gireesh Shrimali is a Precourt Scholar at the Sustainable Finance Initiative at Stanford University. He is also a visiting scholar at the Energy Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab as well as at the Center for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College. Previously, he was the Director of Climate Policy Initiative’s India Program, and a Research Fellow at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University. He has taught at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Monterrey as well as the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

His current research focus is on renewable energy finance and policy; in general, on the catalytic role of finance in getting to the 2C climate target; and, in particular, on pathways for provision of low-cost,... more

George Shultz

Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution

George P. Shultz is the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Advisory Council Chair of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford. He leads Hoover's Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy, which addresses energy policy in the U.S. and its effects on domestic and international political priorities, particularly national security.

Shultz is one of two individuals who have held four different federal cabinet posts; he has taught at three of this country's great universities; and for eight years he was president of a major engineering and construction company. He attended Princeton University, graduating with a BA in economics, whereupon he enlisted in the US Marine Corps, serving though 1945. He later earned a PhD in industrial economics from the... more

Sumant Sinha

Chairman & CEO, ReNew Power

Sumant Sinha is the Founder Chairman and CEO of ReNew Power, one of India’s largest clean energy companies.  In a matter of six years since the company was founded, ReNew Power has organically grown to own over 3,000 MW of commissioned and under-construction clean energy assets (for perspective, India’s cumulative energy capacity across all energy forms is 310,000 MW). To fund this growth, Mr. Sinha has raised over $900 million in equity and $ 2.5 billion in debt capital, making ReNew one of India’s most well capitalized companies. After graduating from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in 1992, Sumant worked as an investment banker with Citi and ING Barings in the U.S. and the U.K. In 2002, he moved to India to become Group Chief Financial Officer... more

Theresa Whitmarsh

Executive Director, Washington State Investment Board

Theresa J. Whitmarsh is Executive Director of the Washington State Investment Board, one of the United States’ leading institutional investors, managing nearly $116.5 billion of state pension, insurance, and other assets. The WSIB is a leader in private asset investing, with private equity, real estate, and tangible assets comprising 43 percent of its retirement portfolio. Theresa joined the WSIB in 2003 with 20 years’ experience in business, government, and media. She has a Master of Business Administration from Pacific Lutheran University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Seattle Pacific University. Theresa currently serves as Chair of the Council of Institutional Investors and she is immediate past Chair of the Pacific Pension & ... more

Raymond Wood

Managing Director, Global Head of Power, Utilities & Renewables, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Ray serves as a Managing Director and Head of the Global Power, Utilities & Renewables Group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He leads coverage teams across the industry landscape of regulated utilities, independent power, clean energy and global manufacturing as well as private equity and infrastructure sponsors. Over Mr. Wood's 27-year career, he has assisted clients on noteworthy strategic transactions and financings, a number of which have been named "Deal of the Year." He has transaction expertise across the spectrum of mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, leveraged finance, structured finance, commodities and privatizations.

Recent Transaction/sector focus includes:

•  Utility M&A and strategic advisory

•  Yield Co(s) (Public & Private)

• ... more

The Honorable Betty T. Yee

California State Controller

State Controller Betty T. Yee was elected in November 2014, following two terms of service on the California Board of Equalization.  As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member. Ms. Yee was first elected to the Board of Equalization in 2006 where she represented 21 counties in northern and central California.  She was elected to her second four-year term in 2010.

Now serving as the state’s chief fiscal officer, Ms. Yee also chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Boards.  These two boards have a combined portfolio of nearly $500 billion.  Ms. Yee also serves on the Ceres Board of Directors, a nonprofit... more