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Speaker Bios


Jeff Ball

Jeffrey Ball
Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance
Stanford University

Jeffrey Ball is scholar-in-residence at Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, and a lecturer at Stanford Law School. At the center, Ball heads a project assessing comparative advantage in the globalizing clean-energy industry, focusing on how China and the U.S. might deploy cleaner energy more economically efficiently. Ball came to Stanford in 2011 from The Wall Street Journal, where he was environment editor, columnist and reporter. He has also written about the energy and the environment for The Atlantic, Fortune, Slate and many other publications. Ball received a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University.

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Allen Bard

Allen Bard
Chemistry
University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Allen Bard joined the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) in 1958, and has spent his entire career there. He has been the Hackerman-Welch Regents Chair in Chemistry at UT since 1985. He spent a sabbatical in the CNRS lab of Jean-Michel Savéant in Paris in 1973 and a semester in 1977 at the California Institute of Technology, where he was a Sherman Mills Fairchild Scholar. He was also a Baker lecturer at Cornell University in the spring of 1987 and the Robert Burns Woodward visiting professor at Harvard University in 1988.

He has worked as mentor and collaborator with 91 PhD students, 18 M.S. students, over 200 postdoctoral associates, and numerous visiting scientists. He has published over 950 peer-reviewed research papers and 76 book chapters and other publications, and has received over 23 patents. He has authored three books, Chemical Equilibrium (1966), Electrochemical Methods—Fundamentals and Applications (1980, 2nd Ed., 2001, with L. R. Faulkner), and Integrated Chemical Systems: A Chemical Approach to Nanotechnology (1994). He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Chemical Society 1982-2001. His many awards include the ACS Priestly Medal (2002), the Welch Foundation Award in Chemistry (2004), the Wolf Foundation Prize (2008), Distinguished Scientist Award (Southeastern Universities Research Award – SURA) (2009), The 2011 National Medal of Science (awarded February 2013), Enrico Fermi Award (Awarded February 2014 - US Department of Energy), and the Torbern Bergman Medal (Swedish Chemical Society, Analytical Division).His research interests involve the application of electrochemical methods to the study of chemical problems and include investigations in scanning electrochemical microscopy, electrogenerated chemiluminescence and photoelectrochemistry.

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Christopher Barile

Christopher Barile
Materials Science and Engineering
Stanford University

Christopher Barile is a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Professor Michael McGehee in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. His research interests lie at the intersection of electrochemistry and materials science with a focus on solving problems related to energy storage and efficiency. Barile helped launch a new project in the McGehee group to develop smart windows. He received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and M.S. and B.S. degrees in chemistry from Stanford.

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Brian Bartholomeusz

Brian Bartholomeusz
Executive Director Innovation Transfer
TomKat Center
Stanford University

Brian is the TomKat Center’s executive director of innovation transfer. In this position, he assists in the commercialization of energy-related technology inventions and innovations resulting from research at Stanford. Brian has held senior technology management positions in startups and established companies. He has focused on business and technology strategies, and managed the development and commercialization of new products for renewable energy and consumer electronics. Brian has co-founded three startups, has advised numerous others and participated in a successful initial public stock offering. He has written more than 25 peer-reviewed publications and submitted 14 granted and pending patents. Brian earned a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Stanford, and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Cambridge University.

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Sally Benson Photo

Sally Benson
Director of GCEP
Stanford University

Sally M. Benson joined Stanford University in 2007. She holds three appointments at Stanford: professor of energy resources engineering in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; co-director of the Precourt Institute for Energy, the campus-wide hub of energy research and education; and director of the Global Climate and Energy Project. An internationally recognized scientist, Benson is responsible for fostering cross-campus collaborations on energy and guiding the growth and development of a diverse research portfolio. Formerly, Benson was at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where she held a variety of key positions, including Associate Director for Energy Sciences and director of the Earth Sciences Division. A groundwater hydrologist and reservoir engineer, Benson is regarded as a leading authority on carbon capture and storage. She also uses energy systems analysis to help guide decisions about the most promising pathways for clean energy development.

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Wout Boerjan

Wout Boerjan
Plant Systems Biology and Bioinformatics
University of Ghent

Wout Boerjan is a professor at the University of Ghent in Belgium, and group leader in bio-energy at the university’s VIB Department of Plant Systems Biology and Bioinformatics. His primary focus is on understanding the biosynthesis and structure of lignin to provide the fundamental knowledge necessary to improve biomass processing into fermentable sugars.  The work is aimed at underpinning the transition from a fossil-based to a sustainable bio-economy. In 2009, Boerjan was named Forest Biotechnologist of the Year by the Institute of Forest Biosciences. He received a Ph.D. in plant biotechnology from the University of Ghent.

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Matteo Cargnello

Matteo Cargnello
Chemical Engineering
Stanford University

Matteo Cargnello is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. After receiving both his degrees (comparable to B.S. and M.S.) in chemistry in 2006 and 2008, he obtained his Ph.D. in manotechnology in 2012 at the University of Trieste in Italy. He was a post-doctoral scholar in the Chemistry Department at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the faculty at Stanford. He is the recipient of the ENI Award Debut in Research 2013 and the European Federation of Catalysis Societies Award as best European Ph.D. thesis in catalysis in 2013. His research interests are in heterogeneous catalysis and photocatalysis and in the technological exploitation of nanoparticles and nanocrystals.

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Clint Chapple

Clint Chapple
Biochemistry
Purdue University

Clint Chapple is a distinguished professor of biochemistry at Purdue University. His research focuses on phenylpropanoid metabolism in plants, particularly Arabidopsis and poplar. A major component of his research deals with lignin biosynthesis and its promising role in biofuel production. Chapple has received several honors from Purdue, including the Herbert Newby McCoy Award and the Agricultural Research Award. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and serves on the editorial board of The Plant Cell, a leading research journal. Chapple received three degrees from the University of Guelph in Canada: B.Sc. and M.Sc. in botany, and a Ph.D. in chemistry.

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William Chueh

William Chueh
Materials Science and Engineering
Stanford University

Chueh is an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and a Center Fellow of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University. He is a principal investigator on the GCEP effort entitled, "Maximizing Solar-to-Fuel Conversion Efficiency in Photo-Electrochemical Cells with Heat and Concentrated Sunlight" and the exploratory effort, "Gas Molecules as the Next-Generation Thermoelectric: Extracting Electricity from Hot Gas with No Moving Parts."

Chueh received his B.S. in applied physics, M.S. and Ph.D. (2010) in materials science from Caltech. Prior to joining Stanford in 2012, he was a Distinguished Truman Fellow at Sandia National Laboratories. Chueh has received numerous honors, including the Solid State Ionics Young Scientist Award (2013), Caltech Demetriades-Tsafka-Kokkalis Prize in Energy (2012), and the American Ceramics Society Diamond Award (2008). In 2012, he was named as one of the "top 35 innovators under the age of 35" by MIT's Technology Review.

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Yi Cui

Yi Cui
Materials Science and Engineering
Stanford University

Yi Cui is a professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford, and of photon science at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. His research focuses on nanomaterials for energy storage, solar cells, topological insulators, biology and the environment. Cui is an associate editor of Nano Letters, co-director of the Department of Energy’s Bay Area Photovoltaics Consortium and Battery 500 consortium, and co-founder of Amprius Inc. and 4C Air Inc. He is a fellow of the Materials Research Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry. His honors include a Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience, and the David Filo and Jerry Yang Faculty Scholar at Stanford. He received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Science and Technology of China, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University. His GCEP efforts include “Toward High-Efficiency Thin Film Solar Cells Combining Multi-Junctions and Nano-Scale Light” and “Self-Healing Polymers for High-Energy-Density Lithium Ion Battery.”

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David Danielson

David Danielson
Former Assistant Secretary
U.S. DOE's Office of EERE

David Danielson joined Stanford University in 2016 as an energy scholar at the Precourt Institute for Energy. In addition to co-teaching the Energy Transformation Collaborative, he serves as interim executive director of the Precourt Institute’s Bits and Watts Initiative at Stanford. Danielson is a global expert in the development of next generation clean-energy technologies and the creation of new R&D and organizational models for high-impact clean energy innovation. Prior to joining the Precourt Institute, he served as assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy for four years. He was also employee #1 at the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency — Energy (ARPA-E), which focuses on developing high-risk, high-reward clean-energy technologies. Prior to his government service, Danielson was a clean-energy venture capitalist. He received a Ph.D. in materials science from MIT, and was the founder and president of the MIT Energy Club.

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Reinhold Dauskardt

Reinhold Dauskardt
Materials Science and Engineering
Stanford University

Reinhold H. Dauskardt is the Ruth G. and William K. Bowes Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University. Dauskardt and his research group work extensively on integrating new hybrid materials into emerging energy technologies, and on the biomechanical function and barrier properties of human skin and other soft tissues. His awards include the Henry Maso Award from the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, the IBM Shared University Research Award and the U.S. Department of Energy Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment Award. Dauskardt received bachelor and master of science degrees from the University of Witwatersrand, and a Ph.D. from Witwatersrand and the University of California-Berkeley.

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Charles Dismukes

Charles Dismukes
Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Rutgers University

G. Charles Dismukes is a distinguished professor at Rutgers University in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, and the Waksman Institute of Microbiology. He also serves on the executive committees of the Rutgers Energy Institute and the Institute for Advanced Materials, Devices and Nanotechnology. Prior to coming to Rutgers in 2009, Dismukes was a member of the chemistry faculty at Princeton University for 30 years. His research interests include chemical and biological methods for catalysis, renewable solar-based fuel production, and natural and artificial photosynthesis. His research lead to the discovery of the water-oxidation catalyst responsible for oxygen production in natural photosynthetic organisms, providing key insights on the production of renewable hydrogen from water. Dismukes has served as adviser to the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. He received a B.S. in chemistry from the Lowell Technological Institute and a Ph.D. in radiation physical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Shanhui Fan

Shanhui Fan
Electrical Engineering
Stanford University

Shanhui Fan is a professor of electrical engineering and director of the Edward L. Ginzton Laboratory at Stanford University. He is a principal investigator on the GCEP efforts, High-Efficiency Thin Film Solar Cells Using Nanoscale Light Management and Nighttime Radiative Cooling: Harvesting the Darkness of the Universe. His research interests are in fundamental studies of solid-state and photonic structures and devices, especially photonic crystals, plasmonics and meta-materials, and applications of these structures in energy and information technology. Fan has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a David and Lucile Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences Award for Initiative in Research and the Adolph Lomb Medal from the Optical Society of America. He is a fellow of IEEE, the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America and SPIE. Fan received a Ph.D. in theoretical condensed- matter physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Thomas Jaramillo

Thomas Jaramillo
Chemical Engineering
Stanford University

Recent years have seen unprecedented motivation for the emergence of new energy technologies. Global dependence on fossil fuels, however, will persist until alternate technologies can compete economically. We must develop means to produce energy (or energy carriers) from renewable sources and then convert them to work as efficiently and cleanly as possible. Catalysis is energy conversion, and the Jaramillo laboratory focuses on fundamental catalytic processes occurring on solid-state surfaces in both the production and consumption of energy. Chemical-to-electrical and electrical-to-chemical energy conversion are at the core of the research. Nanoparticles, metals, alloys, sulfides, nitrides, carbides, phosphides, oxides, and biomimetic organo-metallic complexes comprise the toolkit of materials that can help change the energy landscape. Tailoring catalyst surfaces to fit the chemistry is our primary challenge.

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Matthew Kanan

Matthew Kanan
Chemistry
Stanford University

Matthew Kanan is an assistant professor of chemistry at Stanford University. His research focuses on challenges in heterogeneous and molecular catalysis with an emphasis on developing scalable CO2 utilization technologies. His group has invented “grain-boundary-rich” heterogeneous electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction to liquid fuels and carbonate-promoted C–H carboxylation reactions for commodity carboxylic acid synthesis. Kanan was named one of the Talented 12 by Chemistry and Engineering News (2015) and a Dreyfus Environmental Postdoctoral Mentor (2012). He is also recipient of the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2014). Kanan studied chemistry as an undergraduate at Rice University and received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard University.

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Ann Karim

Ann Karim
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Stanford University

Ann Karim is a Ph.D. candidate working with Professor Alfred Spormann in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her work has focused on developing genetic tools to engineer non-traditional microbial hosts. Karim graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S.E. in chemical engineering, a concentration in environmental engineering and a minor in interdisciplinary design.

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David Laird

David Laird
Department of Agronomy
Iowa State University

David A. Laird is a professor in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University, where he leads a soil-science research team. His research interests include sustainable bioenergy systems, using the biochar co-product of biomass pyrolysis as a soil amendment, soil-biochar-climate-crop interactions and the development of soil-sensing technology. Laird was a research and lead scientist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service for 22 years before joining the Iowa State faculty in 2010. During his career, he has authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and book chapters. He received a Ph.D. in agronomy from Iowa State.

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Nathan Lewis

Nathan Lewis
Department of Chemistry
California Institute of Technology

Nathan Lewis is the George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology and principal investigator of Caltech’s Beckman Institute Molecular Materials Resource Center. His research interests include artificial photosynthesis and electronic noses. Lewis studies ways to harness sunlight and produce chemical fuel by splitting water to generate hydrogen. He is also developing an electronic nose, which consists of chemically sensitive conducting polymer film capable of detecting and quantifying a broad variety of analytes. He leads fundamental research on light-induced electron transfer reactions at surfaces and in transition metal complexes, surface chemistry and photochemistry of semiconductor/liquid interfaces and the development of sensor arrays that use pattern recognition algorithms to identify odorants, mimicking the mammalian olfaction process. Lewis received a B.S. and M.S. in chemistry from Caltech, and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from MIT.

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Katharine Mach

Katharine Mach
Department of Global Ecology
Carnegie Science

Katharine Mach is a senior research associate at Carnegie Science’s Department of Global Ecology. Her research is generating next possibilities for assessment of climate change risks and response options. Her work focuses in particular on improved methods for integrating diverse evidence, incorporating expert judgment, and communicating and validating resulting syntheses of knowledge. The goal is advancing foundations for climate solutions. From 2010 until 2015, Mach co-directed the scientific activities of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which focuses on impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. This work culminated in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report and its Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University and A.B. from Harvard College.

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Arun Majumdar

Arun Majumdar
Mechanical Engineering
Precourt Institute for Energy
Stanford University

Arun Majumdar is the Jay Precourt Professor at Stanford University, where he is a member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering faculty and co-director of the Precourt Institute for Energy.  His research focuses on using electrochemical reactions for thermal energy conversion, thermochemical water-splitting reactions to produce carbon-free hydrogen, understanding the limits of heat transport in nanostructured materials, and a new initiative to re-engineer the electricity grid. In 2009, President Obama nominated him as the first director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy in the Department of Energy (DOE), where he served until 2012. He was also the acting under secretary of energy and a senior advisor to Energy Secretary Steven Chu. After leaving the DOE and before joining Stanford, Majumdar was the vice president for energy at Google. Prior to joining the DOE, he was on the faculty at University of California–Berkeley and was associate laboratory director for energy and environment at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Majumdar serves on the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s advisory board, and the science boards of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is a member of the international advisory panel for energy of the Singapore Ministry of Trade & Industry, and the U.S. delegation for the U.S.–India Track II dialogue on climate change and energy. In 2014, the U.S. State Department appointed him as a science envoy with an emphasis on energy and innovation in Poland and the Baltics. Majumdar is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received a BTech in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology–Bombay, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from UC-Berkeley.

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Mike McGehee

Michael McGehee
Materials Science and Engineering
Stanford University

Michael D. McGehee is a professor of materials science and engineering, and a senior fellow of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University. His primary research interests are organic semiconductors, patterning materials at the nanometer-length scale and renewable energy. He pursues all of these interests by making nanostructured organic-inorganic photovoltaic cells. McGehee serves as a technical adviser to several companies, including NextTint, Next Energy, Plextronics and Sinovia. In 2007, he was awarded the Materials Research Society Outstanding Young Investigator Award. He received a B.A. in physics from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in materials science from the University of California-Santa Barbara.

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Nicholas Melosh

Nicholas Melosh
Materials Science and Engineering
Stanford University

Nicholas A. Melosh received his B.S. in chemistry from Harvey Mudd College in 1996. He did his graduate work on block-copolymer silica composites with Brad Chmelka and Galen Stucky at the University of California at Santa Barbara, receiving a Ph.D in materials science and engineering in 2001. His postdoctoral training was on molecular electronics and nanoscale patterning with Jim Heath at the University of California, Los Angeles and the California Institute of Technology from 2001-2003. He joined Stanford University as an assistant professor of materials science and engineering in September 2003.

Melosh's research interests include molecular electronics and plasmonics, diamondoids, dynamic self-assembly of biomolecules and lipid bilayers as nano-bio interfaces. He is a recipient of the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, the Frederick E. Terman Fellowship and the MDV Innovators Award.

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Nancy Pfund

Nancy Pfund
Founder & Managing Partner
DBL Partners

Nancy E. Pfund is founder and managing partner of DBL Partners, a venture capital firm whose goal is to combine top-tier financial returns with meaningful social, economic and environmental returns in the regions and sectors in which it invests. She currently sponsors or sits on the board of directors of several companies, including: SolarCity, Farmers Business Network, The Muse, Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Off-Grid Electric and Primus Power, and, prior to their public offerings, Tesla Motors and Pandora Media. Pfund also sits on the Board of Trustees for National Geographic Society, is a member of the advisory council for The Bill Lane Center for the American West; the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance (formerly the National Advisory Board on Impact Investing); and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Prior to founding DBL, she was a Managing Director in Venture Capital at JPMorgan, having started her investment career at Hambrecht & Quist in 1984. Her earlier work included Intel Corp., The California Governor’s Office, Stanford University and The Sierra Club. Pfund received her BA and MA in anthropology from Stanford University, and her MBA from the Yale School of Management.

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Burton Richter

Burton Richter
Physical Sciences, Emeritus
Stanford University

Former Director, SLAC National Accelerator Center

Burton Richter is the Paul Pigott Professor in the Physical Sciences, Emeritus, at Stanford University, and former director of the SLAC National Accelerator Center. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1976, the Enrico Fermi Award in 1972 and the National Medal of Science in 2014. Since stepping down as director of SLAC in 1999, Richter’s focus has been on energy issues, including his recent book, Beyond Smoke and Mirrors. Richter is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Department of Energy's Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee and Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy Advisory Council. He received a B.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Richard Sassoon

Richard Sassoon
Global Climate and Energy Project
Stanford University

Richard Sassoon is the managing director of the Global Climate and Energy Project where he coordinates and oversees all day-to-day operations and provides strategic direction to the Project. Prior to joining GCEP, Sassoon was senior scientist and assistant vice president at Science Applications International Corporation, where he worked with the U.S. Department of Energy in strategic planning and management of its environmental research programs. His research interests are in the area of photochemical solar energy conversion and storage systems. Sassoon received his B.Sc. in Chemistry from Leeds University, and his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.

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Adam Slavney

Adam Slavney
Chemistry
Stanford University

Adam Slavney is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Chemistry Department at Stanford. He works with Assistant Professor Hemamala Karunadasa on the synthesis of new perovskite materials with a focus on double perovskite phases. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in Chemistry in 2014.

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Alfred Spormann

Alfred Spormann
Chemical Engineering
Stanford University

Alfred Spormann is a professor of chemical engineering and of civil & environmental engineering at Stanford University. He directs a research group focused on developing fundamental understandings of microbial electron-transferring processes in natural and engineered environments. His recent GCEP projects include a study of microbial electrosynthesis for the carbon-neutral production of useful chemicals and biofuels. Spormann is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and recipient of a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. He received a doctorate in natural sciences from Philipps University in Germany.

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Gary Smyth

J. Gary Smyth
Executive Director of Global Research & Development
General Motors

Dr. J. Gary Smyth is executive director of global research and development at General Motors Company. He has held numerous positions in GM’s advanced powertrain organization and was named engineering director of advanced propulsion system controls in 1999, with responsibilities including advanced diesel and advanced emission development. In 2004, Smyth transferred to GM R&D as director of the Powertrain Systems Research Lab, where his responsibilities included directing all research and development globally for conventional and hybridized propulsion systems. In 2010, he was promoted to executive director of the North American Science Labs at GM Global Research and Development. Smyth is an active member of SAE International, and was a founding member of the executive leadership team for the SAE North American International Powertrain Conference. A native of Northern Ireland, he received a B.Sc. and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from The Queen’s University of Belfast.

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James Sweeney

James Sweeney
Director – Precourt Energy Efficiency Center
Professor of Management Science and Engineering
Stanford University

James (Jim) Sweeney is a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University and founding director of Stanford’s Precourt Energy Efficiency Center. His professional activities focus on economic policy and analysis, particularly in energy, natural resources and the environment, concentrating on energy efficiency in the United States. Sweeney is a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution, Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, U.S. Association for Energy Economics, and the California Council on Science & Technology. He is also a member of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s external advisory council and the California Energy Commission’s Petroleum Market Advisory Committee. Sweeney is the author of Energy Efficiency: Building a Clean, Secure Economy, a new book published by Hoover Institution Press. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from MIT and a Ph.D. in engineering economic systems from Stanford.

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Laurence Tubiana

Laurence Tubiana
French Special Representative
2015 Paris Climate Conference

Dr. Laurence Tubiana is the French ambassador for climate change negotiations, and the special representative for COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Paris in 2015. She also chairs the administrative council of the French Development Agency (AFD), co-chairs the executive committee of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), and is a member of the U.N. Scientific Advisory Board. Tubiana is a globally recognized specialist on climate change and development issues, and has authored more than 100 papers, reports and books on these topics. In 2001, she founded the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (Iddri). From 1998 to 2002, she advised French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin on sustainable development issues. She served as director of global public goods at the Ministry of Foreign affairs from 2009 to 2010. Tubiana received a Ph.D. in economics from the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Paris Institute of Political Studies).

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Richenda Van Leeuwen

Richenda Van Leeuwen
Former Executive Director of Energy Access
United Nations Foundation

Richenda Van Leeuwen is a consultant and long-time advocate for decentralized renewable energy solutions for un-electrified communities around the world. She is a member of the board of directors of SELCO India, a leading renewable-energy social enterprise, and advises many other organizations delivering off-grid and micro-grid clean-energy services in Asia, Africa and the Americas. From 2010-2015, Van Leeuwen directed the United Nations Foundation's efforts on sustainable energy. Prior to that, she was a senior adviser at the private-equity firm Good Energies, where she led emerging-markets renewable energy investments. From 2001-2005, Van Leeuwen served as CEO of Trickle Up, an international NGO focused on microenterprise development. She is also a founding ambassador of CE3, the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment initiative to encourage the participation of women in clean technology. Van Leeuwen received a B.Sc.in geography from the University of Durham and an MBA from Durham University Business School in the U.K.

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Nuoya Yang

Nuoya Yang
Materials Science and Engineering
Stanford University

Nuoya Yang is a sixth-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford. She works with Professor Stacey Bent on the application of atomic layer deposition in heterogeneous catalysis. Her research has focused on understanding the effects of metal oxide materials on the conversion of syngas to higher oxygenates, a potential route for producing fuels and chemicals from renewable resources. Yang received a B.S. in materials chemistry from Peking University in China.

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