Advisory Board

Hashem Akbari

AkbariDr. Akbari is a Building, Civil, and Environmental Professor and Research Chair at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, a post he has held since June 2009. At Concordia, Dr. Akbari teaches courses in engineering and urban energy and environment and continues his research in urban heat islands and mitigation technologies. He is also developing research programs in building automation and demand response. Prior to joining Concordia University he was the founding Group Leader of the Heat Island Group, a Senior Scientist, and a principal investigator in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

During his tenure, the Heat Island Group conducted several experimental and simulation studies to quantify the energy saving potentials of cool roofs and shade trees, performed meteorological and air-quality simulations to characterize the air quality benefits of heat island mitigation technologies, collaborated with leading roofing materials manufacturers to produce advanced cool roofing materials, and worked with many agencies and organizations to develop related codes and standards for implementation of heat island technologies. Some notable contributions include: assisting the California Energy Commission and California utilities to develop cool roof rebate programs; leading efforts to incorporate cool roof provision in the ASHRAE building energy efficiency standards 90.1 and 90.2; leading efforts to incorporate cool roof provisions in the California Title 24 building energy efficiency standards; helping cities and states to develop cool roof standards; and assisting air quality management districts to develop heat island mitigation guidelines for improving ambient air quality. Dr. Akbari also initiated the creation of the Cool Roof Rating Council, a non-profit organization which measures, rates and labels the optical properties of roofing material surfaces, and is currently serving on its board.

Dr. Akbari earned his Ph.D. (1979) in engineering and M.Sc. (1978) in industrial engineering and operation research from the University of California, Berkeley (1979, 1978). He has also holds a M. Sc. in nuclear engineering from MIT (1977) and a B. Sc. is in gas engineering from the Abadan Institute Technology (1971).

Dian Grueneich

Dian GrueneichDian Grueneich is a nationally and internationally recognized energy expert, with 35 years’ experience. Her expertise covers energy efficiency, demand response, smart grid, renewable energy resources, transmission, and climate change. She has extensive experience in all facets of energy policy and regulation, utilities, market development and innovation, and key factors driving U.S. and global energy investments.

Dian served as a Commissioner on the California Public Utilities Commission from 2005-2010 and led its efforts on energy efficiency, developing the California Long-Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan and overseeing a 40% expansion of California’s energy efficiency funding, resulting in a 3-year, $3.8 billion program, the largest efficiency program in the U.S. Dian also streamlined California’s transmission siting process and led the successful permitting of three major new transmission lines to carry renewable energy, a $6 billion in new energy infrastructure now under construction. Dian initiated the California Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI), helped launch the Western Renewable Energy Zone Initiative (WREZ), and served as the first Chair of the Western Governors’ Association’s Demand Side Management Committee for Western transmission planning.

Dian’s professional recognitions include the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) 30th Anniversary Award for outstanding contribution in the field of energy efficiency, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Clean Energy Award, eeGlobal Forum’s first Visionary Award for energy leadership, and ACEEE’s National Champion of Energy Efficiency Award.

Dian currently serves on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Electricity Advisory Committee, the DOE-EPA State Energy Efficiency Action Plan Leadership Group, the Leadership Council of the China-U.S. Energy Efficiency Alliance, the Advisory Council of Stanford University’s Precourt Energy Institute, and the Advanced Energy Economy Advisory Board. Dian also serves as a Clean Energy Education & Empowerment U.S. Ambassador.

Dian is a graduate of Stanford University and holds a J.D. from Georgetown University.

Catherine Hunt

HuntDr. Hunt is R&D Director in Innovation Sourcing & Sustainable Technologies at The Dow Chemical Company. Dr. Hunt is actively building collaboration teams across Dow with universities, companies, national labs and government agencies (esp., DOE and DOD) focused on accelerating the pace of innovation. Dr. Hunt began her career as a senior scientist in analytical research at Rohm and Haas in 1984 after completing an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University. During her 25 years at Rohm and Haas, Dr. Hunt held positions of increasing responsibility, from research scientist to process chemist to plant laboratory manager to Director of their worldwide Analytical and Computational Competency Network (better known as ACNET) and ultimately, Corporate Sustainability Director and Leader for Technology Partnerships.

Dr. Hunt holds an A.B. in Chemistry (Cum Laude) from Smith College and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis. She was the 2007 President of the American Chemical Society where she championed education, collaboration and innovation, especially related to the Sustainability of Energy, Food and Water.

Dr. Hunt serves on several advisory boards including: Rochester Institute of Technology National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Mayor Nutter’s Sustainability Advisory Board for the City of Philadelphia, and the National Academies Roundtable for the Science and Technology of Sustainability. She is a member of American Chemical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Sigma Xi and the New York Academy of Science.

Dr. Hunt is especially proud of the RetroFIT Philly’s Coolest Block Contest project with the City of Philadelphia, the Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia, The Dow Chemical Company and The Dow Foundation. For details visit:

Over her professional career, Dr. Hunt has received numerous awards; she was named one of the “Best 50 Women in Business” in Pennsylvania by Governor Rendell (2007), received the Smith Medal from her alma mater’s Board of Trustees (2008), was selected as the Outstanding Alumna from the University of California, Davis (2009), and was elected as a Fellow by the AAAS (2007) and, more recently, she was in the inaugural class of Fellows of the American Chemical Society (2009).

Gregory Kats

KatsGreg played important roles in developing the energy efficiency and green building industries, and is a long-time thought leader and innovator in energy efficiency, green buildings, renewable energy and the transition to a low carbon economy. He is President of Capital E ( ), which works with cities, corporations and financial institutions to design, scale and implement clean energy and low carbon strategies and technologies. Capital E invests in early stage cleantech/green firms and has equity stakes in 15 firms with the collective capacity to cost-effectively cut building CO2 by 50% and city CO2 by 40%.

Greg previously served as Managing Director at Good Energies, a multi-billion dollar global clean energy PE/VC fund, where he led investments in smart grid, energy efficiency, green materials and green buildings. He served for 5 years as the Director of Financing for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. He was the Founding Chairman of IPMVP and built it into the international energy and water efficiency design, measurement and verification standard that has served as the technical basis for ~$50 billion in building efficiency upgrades globally, and has been translated into 10 languages. He was the principal advisor in designing the US national design standard for green affordable housing, and recently helped design the World Bank’s large new green building financing program. Greg was also a founder of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), and was a founder of the country’s first green bank. He helped design and develop LEED, and in 2011 was the first recipient of the US Green Building Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Greg serves on the congressionally established board guiding the greening of all US federal buildings, on the Green Ribbon Committee guiding the greening of the District of Columbia, and on a National Academy of Sciences board on strengthening US global competitiveness. Greg earned an MBA from Stanford University and (concurrently) an MPA from Princeton University, a BA from UNC as a Morehead Scholar, and is a Certified Energy Manager. Greg serves on a half dozen boards, is the author of Greening Our Built World: Costs, Benefits and Strategies, and frequently keynotes conferences and testifies before Congress.

Laurie Kerr

profile pictureLaurie Kerr has been a national leader in urban sustainability policy. As Deputy Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability under Michael Bloomberg, Kerr helped develop PlaNYC, New York’s influential sustainability plan, and spearheaded the development of New York’s innovative green building and energy efficiency policies. These included the first comprehensive policies by any jurisdiction to address energy efficiency in existing buildings, the greening of New York’s codes and regulations, a clause that solves the splint incentive problem in commercial leases, and programs by city government and leading sectors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% in ten years — which currently impact over half a billion square feet of space.

Subsequently, Kerr conceived and launched the City Energy Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council, which is assisting ten major American cities – from Los Angeles to Chicago, Houston and Atlanta — in developing large-scale efficiency policies similar to New York. She is now the Director of Advocacy at the Urban Green Council, where she is advising New York City on strategies that will put it on course to achieve 80% carbon reductions by 2050.

Laurie Kerr is a licensed architect and has a BA in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale, an MS in Applied Physics from Cornell, and an M. Arch. from Harvard.  Kerr was awarded the AIANY’s Public Architect Award in 2012, and serves on the boards of the Building Energy Exchange, AIANY, and the Global Cool Cities Alliance. Her articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Slate, and Architecture Magazine.

Ronnen Levinson

LevinsonDr. Ronnen Levinson is a Staff Scientist and Leader of the Heat Island Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley, California. Within his research portfolio he develops cool roof, wall, and pavement materials; improves methods for the measurement of solar reflectance; and quantifies the energy and environmental benefits of cool surfaces. He serves on the boards and technical committees of the Cool Roof Rating Council and the Global Cool Cities Alliance, and advises policymakers, code officials, utilities, and building rating programs about cool surfaces. He holds a B.S. in engineering physics from Cornell University and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He has authored or co-authored over 100 publications, and serves on the editorial boards of Energy & Buildings, Solar Energy, Solar Energy Advances, and Scientific Reports. He received the 2016 Marty Hastings Award for outstanding contributions to the Cool Roof Rating Council, and a 2016 R&D 100 Award for invention of the Cool Roof Time Machine.

Arthur Rosenfeld

RosenfeldDr. Rosenfeld received his Ph.D. in Physics in 1954 at the University of Chicago under Nobel Laureate Enrico Fermi, and then joined the Department of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley. There he joined, and eventually oversaw, the Nobel prize-winning particle physics group of Luis Alvarez at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) until 1974. At that time, he changed his research focus to the efficient use of energy, formed the Center for Building Science at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and led it until 1994.

From 1994 to 1999 Dr. Rosenfeld served as Senior Advisor to the U. S. Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. In 2000 California Governor Gray Davis appointed him Commissioner at the California Energy Commission, and in 2005 he was re-appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was responsible for the Public Interest Energy Research program, with an annual budget of $82 M; for Energy Efficiency, including the California energy efficiency standards for buildings and for appliances; and collaborated with the California Public Utilities Commission to oversee California’s Energy Efficiency Program with an annual budget of $1 billion. He retired from the CEC in January, 2010.

Dr. Rosenfeld is the co-founder of the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy (ACEEE), and the University of California’s Institute for Energy and the Environment (CIEE).

He is the author or co-author of nearly 400 refereed publications, received the Szilard Award for Physics in the Public Interest in 1986, the Carnot Award for Energy Efficiency from the U.S. Department of Energy in 1993 and the Berkeley Citation in 2001 from the University of California. He is most proud to have received in 2006 the Enrico Fermi Award, the oldest and one of the most prestigious science and technology awards given by the U.S. Government.

In 2008 in London, The Economist magazine awarded him Innovator of the Year in the field of Energy and Environment. In 2010 he was voted into the National Academy of Engineering.

In 2010 he was appointed Distinguished Scientist Emeritus at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where he devotes much of his attention to an international campaign for the adoption of white roofs and “cool colored” surfaces to reduce heat islands and mitigate global warming.

In 2011, President Medvedev presented Dr. Rosenfeld with the prestigious Global Energy Prize in recognition of his lifetime of achievement in energy efficiency.

In 2013, Dr. Rosenfeld received a National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama for his development of energy efficient building technologies as well as related building standards and policies.

Kurt Shickman

Kurt ShickmanKurt is the former Executive Director of the Global Cool Cities Alliance (GCCA). Prior to joining GCCA, he was the Director of Research for the Energy Future Coalition and the United Nations Foundation’s Energy and Climate team. His work involved building broad and diverse coalitions of stakeholders around key clean energy and climate change policies at the local, state, and federal level with a particular emphasis on dramatically scaling up the deployment of energy efficiency in existing residential and commercial buildings. Kurt received his Masters degree with a focus on Energy Policy and Economics in 2007 from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He has also worked in management consulting and corporate finance for several multinational firms including Royal Ahold, MCI Worldcom, and Federal Realty Investment Trust. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University.

Stephen Wiel

WielDr. Wiel is an engineer with forty-nine years of experience dealing with various energy and environmental matters. Dr. Wiel retired from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in 2005 and is currently serving as the President of the Board of the Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP), an organization which grew out of a collaborative partnership that he initiated at LBNL in 1996 to stimulate the use of energy efficiency standards and labels worldwide. He also is currently serving as the Nevada Representative of the Southwest Energy Efficiency project (SWEEP).

From 1992 to 2005, he worked for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he served as Head of the Energy Analysis Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). During his career at LBNL he also established LBNL’s Washington Office, served as senior advisor to the US Department of Energy on integrated resource planning and demand-side management in the utility sector, led the greenhouse gas mitigation component of the U.S. Country Studies Program, and created the initiative on international energy efficiency standards and labels that evolved into CLASP.

For the eight years prior to joining LBNL, Dr. Wiel was a Public Service Commissioner, regulating the prices and conduct of Nevada’s investor-owned utility companies. For seven years before that, he owned an energy and environmental planning firm in Reno, and was a part-time Engineering Professor at University of Nevada, Reno. He served as the Chairman of NARUC’s Conservation Committee for four years, contributing significantly to the development of electric and gas utility companies’ integrated resource planning, their investment in demand-side management, incentives for conservation profitability, and environmental accounting. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.

Dr. Wiel has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. He has published 151 books, articles, reports and papers on the subject of energy efficiency and the environment. He has served as a member of teams advising officials in Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, China, Australia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, the Russian Federation and Mexico, and has otherwise travelled extensively in his work.

John Wilson

WilsonMr. Wilson is the Buildings Program Director at the Energy Foundation. Prior to joining the Energy Foundation, he was an economist and commissioner advisor at the California Energy Commission from 1977 to 2008. His activities emphasized developing new appliance efficiency standards, oversight of the Commission’s $80 million per year Public Interest Energy Research program, and developing long-term scenarios for California’s energy system. He was a winner of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s “Champion of Energy Efficiency” award in 2006 for his work on increasing the efficiency of appliance power supplies. Mr. Wilson was a founding board member of the New Buildings Institute. He has B.A. and M.A. degrees in economics from the University of California (Berkeley and Davis)