Greentech Speakers

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Administrator, U S Environmental Protection Agency, 1989-1993

Co-Chairman of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling

Mr. Reilly has enjoyed careers in public service, non-governmental organizations, and private sector finance. For more than 20 years he was a Senior Advisor to TPG Capital, an international investment partnership. During his tenure with TPG, he was the Founding Partner and CEO of Aqua International Partners, a private equity fund dedicated to investing in companies in the water sector. Before joining TPG, Mr. Reilly was the first Payne Visiting Professor at Stanford University.  He was Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1989 to 1993, during which he led efforts to pass a new Clean Air Act and headed the U.S. delegation to the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio in 1992. He served as president of World Wildlife Fund and later chairman of the board; president of The Conservation Foundation; and director of the Rockefeller Task Force on Land Use and Urban Growth. Mr. Reilly is the chairman of the board of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University.  He has chaired the Board of the Global Water Challenge and Climate Works Foundation. Mr. Reilly serves on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Water Partnership, the board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the board of the Union of Concerned Scientists. He has also served on several corporate boards, including DuPont, ConocoPhillips, and Royal Caribbean. From 1970-1972 he was a senior staff member at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. President Clinton appointed Mr. Reilly as a founding Trustee of the Presidio Trust of San Francisco.  President Obama appointed him co-chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Future of Offshore Drilling, and in late 2012 to the President’s Global Development Council for which he headed the working group on climate smart food security. He served in the U.S. Army to the rank of Captain, 1966-1968. He received his AB from Yale, JD from Harvard Law School and an MS in Urban Planning from Columbia.

He and his wife Elizabeth reside in San Francisco.


Paul Hagen

Principal, Beveridge & Diamond, PC

Paul Hagen is a Principal at Beveridge & Diamond where he helps clients navigate increasingly complex environmental requirements governing global supply chains and products across their life-cycle. He serves as a strategic advisor to companies on new circular economy initiatives with a focus on the reuse of products, recycling, waste classifications, and logistics. For more than two decades, he has represented clients in the electronics sector on the negotiation and implementation of international controls and trade bans arising under the Basel Convention, a global agreement governing the transboundary movement of wastes and recyclables. Paul also advises companies on compliance with expanding Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) laws governing the management of used and end-of-life electronic equipment, batteries, medical devices, unwanted pharmaceuticals, and other regulated products. Paul is active with many of the country’s leading conservation organizations. He serves on the board of the Conservation Fund, which since its founding has protected over 8 million acres of natural lands and working landscapes. He is a former board chair of the Environmental Law Institute and Chesapeake Conservancy. He has advised non-profit clients on the protection of whales, conservation of albatrosses and other seabirds, and sustainable fisheries management.

Scott Fulton

President, Environmental Law Institute

Scott Fulton is President of the Environmental Law Institute. Previously, Mr. Fulton was a partner at Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., and served as General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and in a number of other top governmental leadership positions, including EPA Deputy Administrator, head of EPA’s Office of International Affairs, Judge on the Environmental Appeals Board, and head of the Agency’s enforcement program. He also served as Assistant Chief of the Environmental Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Environment and Natural Resources Division. He teaches International Environmental Governance as an adjunct professor at George Washington School of Law, is a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, and a member of UN Environment’s International Advisory Committee on Environmental Justice.

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Brad Marten

Managing Partner, Marten Law LLP

Brad Marten is the Managing Partner of Marten Law LLP, an environmental law firm he founded and has grown to 15 lawyers practicing in four states. He is consistently ranked by his peers as one of the nation’s top environmental lawyers. Brad is a former President of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, and a Board member of the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC. He organized and now chairs the annual GreenTech Conference, bringing together technology and environmental leaders to discuss the future of environmental protection.

Brad has earned his national reputation by successfully representing clients in nearly every sector of the economy across the United States for the past 40 years. These include clients in several of the largest environmental damages cases ever brought in the country, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Alaska in 1989, and dozens of other cases and transactions for clients in the mining, manufacturing, refining, transportation, food processing, agricultural, and financial services industries. Brad has been recognized as one of the top 500 lawyers in the United States by Law Dragon, and by Best Lawyers and other peer publications for over 15 years. 


Katie Thomson


Katie Thomson currently serves as Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Worldwide Transportation and Logistics at Amazon.  Before joining Amazon, Katie played a pivotal role in shaping national transportation law and policy as general counsel of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) (2013-2016) and as chief counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (2012-2014) during the Obama Administration.  She also served as counselor to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood on energy, climate, and environmental matters from 2009 to 2012.  

Before joining the government in 2009, Katie was a member of the environmental group at Sidley Austin in Washington, D.C.  Immediately prior to joining Amazon, Katie chaired the transportation practice group at Morrison Foerster, where she advised clients on emerging technologies in the transportation sector.  Katie received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and her Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Katie currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Environmental Law Institute and is a trustee of MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois.  

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Andrey Zarur, Ph.D.

Co-Founder & CEO, GreenLight Biosciences

Dr. Zarur is Co-Founder & CEO of GreenLight Biosciences. Dr. Zarur has been active in early stage life sciences companies for over 25 years and has actively participated in the creation, IPO and M&A of over a dozen companies in the life sciences industry.  Prior to starting GreenLight, Dr. Zarur was the Managing Partner at Kodiak Venture Partners, an early-stage, technology-driven venture fund based in Boston. He is also a Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Solid Biosciences and Lumicell, Inc.  

Dr. Zarur was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2005. He has been a Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management since 2002. Dr. Zarur holds Masters’ of Science degrees and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and undergraduate degrees from the National University of Mexico. Dr. Zarur is the author of several peer-reviewed articles and holds over 100 provisional and issued patents.


Steve Hauser

CEO, GridWise Alliance

Mr. Hauser serves as CEO of the GridWise Alliance, a national industry led organization that promotes the modernization of the nation’s electricity infrastructure.  He is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on transforming the power sector to meet future economic, environmental, and energy security mandates. For more than 30 years, Mr. Hauser has been a leader in clean energy and smart grid technology development efforts including solar, wind, batteries, electric vehicles, GIS software, geothermal, microgrids, fuel cells, and building energy efficiency. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and has authored and contributed to numerous articles and books.  

Mr. Hauser was the driving force behind the creation of the GridWise® Alliance, the Global Smart Grid Federation, and related smart grid organizations. Since 2000, he has brought together hundreds of companies to create a broad industry vision to transform the electricity sector, policies, markets, and technologies. Mr. Hauser has testified before both House and Senate Energy committees, significantly raising the visibility of these issues with federal and state policy makers. He participated as a key advisor to the National Science and Technology Council’s Smart Grid Task Force resulting in the White House release of the “Policy Framework for a 21st Century Grid”. He has held senior management positions at various companies and DOE labs.

Steve Hauser serves as CEO of the GridWise Alliance and was the driving force behind its success for more than 15 years.  He is a nationally and internationally recognized expert of transforming the power sector, often referred to as the “Father of the Smart Grid”.  Steve is an engineer by training, focusing his entire 40 year career on developing and commercializing innovative energy technologies and systems.  He lives in Denver with his wife Nancy, 5 kids and 2 grandkids.  

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Janet Peace

Senior Vice President of Policy and Business Strategy, C2ES

Janet Peace is the Senior Vice President of Policy and Business Strategy at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). She manages much of the center's policy work, it work on climate resilience and its engagement with the business community, including its Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC), the largest U.S.-based association of companies devoted to climate-related policy and corporate strategies. 

Dr. Peace brings more than 25 years and a wide spectrum of experience on environmental issues to her work at C2ES. She is a recognized expert on market-based climate policy and is an advisor to the World Bank’s High Level Panel on Carbon Pricing Competitiveness.  She is also part of the selection committee for the Geneva Climate Prize, an advisor to the Carbon XPrize, and a past member of the review team for the Fourth National Climate Assessment, National Research Council’s Roundtable on Climate Change Education and the Council of Canadian Academies on oil sands environmental technologies.

She holds a Ph.D. and Master of Science in economics and an undergraduate degree in geology.


Joan Burns Brown

Lead Counsel, IBM

Joan Burns Brown is Lead Counsel for the IBM Blockchain Ecosystems Group & IBM Blockchain for Healthcare Incubation Center, as well as lead negotiator for IBM Research healthcare deals.  Joan advises IBM senior leadership with respect to privacy, security, compliance, and overall risk mitigation regarding various emerging technologies including blockchain, AI, and quantum computing.


Eddie Pettis


Dr. Eddie Pettis is a staff software engineer at Google in Sunnyvale, CA. He currently serves as uber tech lead for the Datacenter Software (DCSW) team where he is responsible for Google's data center management and optimization software. Previously, Eddie led the Datacenter Intelligence program, architected Google's strategy for machine learning-based cooling control systems, and managed the DCSW Power team. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University in 2008, specializing in operating system-directed power management techniques, and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas in 2002. In his spare time, Eddie is the lead guitarist and lead vocalist for a passable cover band, Urs Truly.


Lisa Jacobson

President, Business Council for Sustainable Energy

Lisa Jacobson serves as the President of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), a 55 member trade association representing the energy efficiency, renewable energy and natural gas industries. Ms. Jacobson has advised states and federal policymakers on energy, tax, air quality and climate change issues. She is a member of the Department of Energy's State Energy Efficiency Steering Committee, the United States Trade Representative’s Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee and Gas Technology Institute’s Public Interest Advisory Committee.  Ms. Jacobson has testified before Congress and has represented energy industries before the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Prior to her position with the BCSE, Ms. Jacobson was a legislative aide to the U.S. Congress; received a Master’s in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science; and a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of Vermont.

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Nat Sahlstrom

Director, Amazon Web Services Energy Strategy

Nat Sahlstrom leads Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) global energy practice. His team is responsible for energy procurement, water resource management, utility and regulatory management and delivering AWS’ long-term goal of 100% renewable power. Earlier in his career, Nat was manager of energy policy and principal energy strategist for AWS's parent He also spent time as a business development manager, energy project finance and public policy consulting. He holds an MBA from the University of Washington where he also earned his undergraduate degree in economics. 

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Dr. Mahesh Morjaria

VICE PRESIDENT, PV Systems, First Solar

Dr. Morjaria leads the R&D effort in PV technologies for utility-scale solar plants at First Solar. Over the past nine years, he has established himself as a leading expert in the area of solar generation and in addressing key challenges associated with integrating utility-scale solar plants into the power grid. Dr. Morjaria previously worked at GE for over twenty years in power systems including wind energy. His academic credits include B.Tech from IIT Bombay, and M.S. & Ph.D. in Engineering from Cornell University.


Neal Elliott, Ph.D., P.E. 

Senior Director of Research, The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Neal Elliott is the Senior Director of Research of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), coordinating ACEEE's overall research efforts. Elliott has been with ACEEE since 1993, and is an internationally recognized expert and author on energy efficiency programs and policies, industrial energy policy, combined heat and power, and a frequent speaker at domestic and international conferences. He is the recipient of the 2014 Industrial Energy Technology Conference Energy Award.

Prior to joining ACEEE, Elliott was an adjunct associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University and Senior Engineering Project Manager at the N. C. Alternative Energy Corp. (now Advanced Energy). Elliott received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University, and was a Dean's Fellow and received a Ph.D. from Duke University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in North Carolina and holds six patents. Elliott serves as Treasurer of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance and on the board of Industrial Energy Technology Conference.

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John Lovenburg

Vice President, Environment, BNSF Railway

John Lovenburg is the vice president, Environment for BNSF Railway. He leads a team of employees responsible for environmental strategy and communication, sustainability, energy, permitting, compliance, remediation, hazardous materials, environmental law, and industrial wastewater.

Mr. Lovenburg has more than 20 years of prior experience in environmental consulting with CH2M (now Jacobs) where he was vice president, Global Site Remediation and Revitalization.

Mr. Lovenburg is active in conservation and natural infrastructure projects. He is a member of The Nature Conservancy’s Business Council, oversees BNSF’s conservation giving with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and serves as an Advisory Board Member of the Montana Outdoor Legacy Foundation.

Mr. Lovenburg is a Board member of the Environmental Law Institute.

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Stephen Harper


Stephen Harper is Global Director, Environment, Energy and Sustainability Policy, at the Intel Corporation. In that capacity, he is responsible for advising senior management and leading company influencing efforts on a wide variety of topics, ranging from chemicals management to energy efficiency, water policy and the role of Intel’s products in helping meet society’s toughest sustainability challenges. Outside Intel, Harper is widely known as a connoisseur of all things Irish, both solid and liquid. Harper serves on a number of outside boards (including the Energy Foundation, Energy Foundation China, the Chesapeake Conservancy, the Center for Innovation in Conservation, and the Center for Environmental Policy at American University). Prior to Intel, Harper served in senior positions at Amoco Oil Company, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ICF Consulting, and the California State Coastal Conservancy. He has served in these positions while continuing to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a professional rodeo clown. Stephen has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, where he graduated with highest honors. He also has a Master’s in International Affairs from Princeton University, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and has conducted graduate studies in city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Fred Iutzi

President, The Land Institute

Fred Iutzi is President of The Land Institute, located in Salina, Kansas. Fred is originally from an eighth-generation farm family in western Illinois. His career has previously included roles in agricultural research and rural community and economic development at Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Western Illinois University, Practical Farmers of Iowa, and Iowa State University. Fred received an MS in sustainable agriculture and agronomy from Iowa State University and a BA in geography from the University of Missouri and is a Certified Crop Adviser.

Founded in 1976, The Land Institute is working toward an agriculture and a culture that are sustainable over the long haul. Land Institute plant breeders and ecologists are developing perennial grain crops and polyculture cropping systems that mimic the structure and function of natural ecosystems while providing substantial food yield. Parallel work digs into social and cultural dimensions of sustainability.


Giuliana Torta

Counsellor for Environment, Fisheries and Ocean policies 

EU Delegation to the US

Giuliana Torta serves as Counsellor for Environment, Fisheries and Ocean policies at the EU Delegation to the US in Washington DC. The implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan is an expanding area of policy work in the EU, and in the dialogue with partner countries.

Giuliana has been working in the European Commission headquarters for 11 years before moving to the US in February 2017. She has over 25 years of experience in environmental policies, ranging from biodiversity and nature conservation, international forestry, climate adaptation and sustainable development. She was previously posted as Environment Adviser in the EU Delegation for the Pacific, with responsibilities over regional programmes on environment, forestry and rural development. Giuliana holds a PhD in Forest Ecology and is a forester by background.


Kristen Benedict

Air Sensors Team Lead, U.S. EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards

Kristen Benedict is in EPA’s Office of Air and serves as the team lead on collaborative efforts to promote the understanding, collection, and use of data generated by emerging measurement technologies. Her team is comprised of experts across disciplines including ambient and source measurement, health and environmental impacts, permitting, data collection and display, analysis, and outreach. Kristen received an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia and a Masters degree from North Carolina State University in Atmospheric Science.


Mary Maxon


As Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences, Dr. Mary Maxon oversees 650+ people in three scientific research divisions and the DOE Joint Genome Institute. She believes that cultivating talent and promoting inclusion are central to the creation of a successful work environment driven by a diversity of partners working toward shared objectives. Dr. Maxon was Assistant Director for Biological Research at OSTP under President Obama. Previously, Dr. Maxon ran the Marine Microbiology Initiative and co-developed California Science and Technology Policy Fellows Program for the California Legislature at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Dr. Maxon’s policy experience also includes drafting the intellectual property policies for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Maxon received her Ph.D. from the UC Berkeley in Molecular Cell Biology and did postdoctoral research in biochemistry and genetics at the US San Francisco. Dr. Maxon’s research experience also includes working in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. 


Kathleen Merrigan


Merrigan is an expert in food and agriculture, celebrated by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2010. She serves as the Kelly and Brian Swette Professor in the School of Sustainability and directs the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University. From 2013-2018, she was executive director of sustainability, director of the GW Food Institute, and professor at George Washington University. From 2009 to 2013, Merrigan was deputy secretary and COO of the United States Department of Agriculture, a 110,000 person, $150 billion federal department. Over the decades, Merrigan has been actively involved with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, including as first woman chair of the Conference of Ministers. She is well known for authoring U.S. law establishing organic food standards. Merrigan is currently a board member of FoodCorps, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Artemis, and World Agroforestry (ICRAF). She is a partner in Astanor Ventures and an advisor to S2G Ventures, two firms investing in ag-tech innovations. Merrigan holds a PhD from MIT, a MA from University of Texas at Austin, and a BA from Williams College. 

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Alma Cardenas

Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Environmental Sustainability

Alma has over 20 years of experience in technology across multiple disciplines, including software development, consulting services, product engineering, and business performance. She holds a BS in Computer Engineering from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and completed post-graduate courses from Stonybrook University and Pace University in New York.

In 2010, she joined Microsoft where she has managed global incubation programs—building capabilities and helping Microsoft partners and customers adopt innovative technologies to build successful businesses in the cloud.

Alma now serves as a Senior Program Manager for Microsoft’s AI for Earth initiative. This five-year and $50 million investment program is designed to democratize the use of cloud and AI technologies to resolve critical environmental challenges in the areas of agriculture, biodiversity, climate change and water. The program provides access to cloud and AI technologies to organizations working at the intersection of environmental science and computer science. She is responsible for program outcomes to accelerate and enable organizations to build new models that can drive data insights to help measure, monitor, model, and ultimately manage earth systems.

Alma is passionate about using technological disruptors to address and mitigate climate change and drive informed decision-making across the globe.