Board of Directors

Our board members are essential to the operations of ASES and hail from all corners of the solar and renewable energy field. They are tasked with ensuring our programs are aligned with the ASES mission. Board elections are held annually and by special appointment. For more information, please contact chair@ases.org.

  • Robert Foster

  • Chair

Robert is an international renewable energy development specialist who has worked in over 40 countries for the past 35 years. He has implemented thousands of RE projects utilizing solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, and biomass technologies. Robert has been an ASES member since 1990 and has served as Chairman of the Texas Solar Energy Society, as well as President of the El Paso Solar Energy Association.

Robert is a retiree from New Mexico State University after 25 years as the International Manager for the Southwest Region Solar Experiment Station and still teaches NMSU RE courses. He was Technical Manager for the DOE/USAID Mexico Renewable Energy Program for Sandia Labs; Winrock International (WI) wind energy manager for the USAID Dominican Republic Electrical Energy Sector Project; Texas Tiger Team lead for the DOE Solar America Initiative; and instructor for the NREL Wind Energy Applications Symosium. Robert was the World Bank solar consultant for the Honduras Proyecto de Infraestructura Rural, and Nicaraguan Programa de Energía Renovables in Zonas Aisladas. He was Chief Engineer for the USAID Afghanistan Clean Energy Program. He worked with WI and SunDanzer in Kenya to develop direct drive solar milk chillers for the USAID Powering Agriculture Energy Grand Challenge. He is presently collaborating with Sheladia and the Asian Development Bank on solar water pumping for Bangladeshi farmers, as well as with WI and SunDanzer and the International Fund for Agricultural Development on direct drive solar chillers for fish preservation in East Africa.

Robert earned a B. S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a MBA from NMSU. He is a returned Peace Corps volunteer from the Dominican Republic. Robert grew up on the Mexican border in El Paso where he still lives and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese

  • Abraham Ellis

  • Vice Chair

Abraham has spent the bulk of his 25-year professional career working on solar and other renewable technologies from the point of view of research (performance modeling, reliability, manufacturing), grid integration (systems analysis, inverter technologies), and applications ranging from rural development to large-scale PV power plants. He feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on solar as part of an educational institution, an investor-owned utility and a national laboratory, where he led a $15M/year R&D program.

His experience includes work as a research engineer at Southwest Technology Development Institute (SWTDI) at New Mexico State University (NMSU) from 1995 to 2000, system planning engineer at Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) from 2000 to 2008, and research lead in renewable systems integration at Sandia National Laboratories since 2008, where he currently serves as Program Manager for Energy Efficiency and manufacturing, and Program Deputy for Secure Energy and Earth Systems. Between 2014 and 2019, He also managed Sandia’s Solar and Distributed Systems Integration Department.

  • Paulette Middleton

  • Secretary

Paulette Middleton is a strong advocate for the rapid transformation of the global energy system to renewable energy for all, used wisely and efficiently. During her 40-year career as an atmospheric chemist specializing in assessments that bring science to support appropriate decision making related to energy and the environment, she has come to deeply appreciate the need for this energy system transformation, and for advancing sustainable living. Her professional experience includes leadership positions at University of Texas (PhD Chemistry 1973), National Center for Atmospheric Research, Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at the State University of New York at Albany, Science & Policy Associates, Inc., and RAND. In addition to being ASES Co-Chair, she is Secretary of the International Solar Energy Society Board and does environmental and energy consulting through her company Panorama Pathways (www.panoramapathways.net).

  • Joshua Peterson

  • Treasurer

Joshua Peterson is a renewable energy advocate and very active in the community having served on environmental and education boards such as, The Colorado Sierra Club, The Cottonwood Institute and mPowered.  He also volunteered with community solar organization Grid Alternatives, installing solar power installations in Western Colorado.  His interests include solar policy and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to aid in solving climate related issues and the optimization of solar power operations.  He is also a thought leader in climate change related issues, artificial intelligence and machine learning policy and operational optimization.  He is committed to the clean energy transition and working with individuals and companies to develop adaptation strategies.  Joshua currently works for Kaiser Permanente managing a team of data scientists and data engineers.  He holds a B.S. in Finance and Economics from Chancellor University, an MBA from Case Western Reserve University and an MA from American Military University in International Relations and Conflict Management.  He is currently pursuing a doctorate in Management from Case Western University.  Joshua also served in the United States Army, deploying to several locations in the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

  • Dara Bortman

Dara, along with her husband Mark, owns and operates Exact Solar, which installs residential and commercial solar energy systems in NJ and PA. They are proud to be one of the only installers in the Greater Philadelphia area that installs solar electric/PV, solar water heating, and solar pool heating systems. Dara manages Sales, Marketing, HR and IT for the company. After 15 years, Exact Solar has a reputation for exceptionally high quality installations, award-winning customer service, deep community connections and effective environmental policy advocacy. Exact Solar is a “business for good” that provides living wages for their employees, donates time and services to those in need in their local community, and runs almost 100% on clean, renewable, solar energy. To be successful at defining company strategy and moving clean energy forward in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Dara partners regularly with local environmental groups and non-profits to share how solar energy systems work, how they reduce fossil-fuel usage and increase grid resiliency, all while saving consumers money. Dara graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Computer Science Engineering degree in ’91.

  • Kaycee Chang

Kaycee Chang believes in the future of renewable energy and in the future of young leaders in the renewable energy industry. Her background is in environmental engineering and mechanical engineering, with experience in solar thermal energy. She is currently working for the California Energy Commission. Kaycee has been involved with the student chapters of ASES and encourages students and young professionals to become more proactive in the renewable energy field. In her free time, she enjoys reading, doing yoga, and being outdoors.

  • Wyldon King Fishman

Wyldon Fishman is an ASES Fellow, Founder and President of New York Solar Energy Society (NYSES) since 2007 delivering consumer resources on energy conservation and renewable energy, and distributing Green Energy Times. She analyzes legislation and state programs, and communicates with legislative staffs in New York City, New York State and Washington, DC. Wyldon is also a thought leader and organizer of the Solar Salon NYC series and NYSES conferences. She travels to local events and facilitates “Make A Solar Module” workshops. As a chapter leader and Fellow of ASES, she helps coordinate the yearly National Solar Tour and assists new chapters and emerging professionals. Wyldon also mentors a local organization working on food, energy and environmental justice, and is a regular contributor to local magazines, the NYSES publications and Green Energy Times. In 2014, she won the Rebecca Vories award.

  • David Ginley

David S. Ginley’s current activities are in the areas of the general class of defective transition metal oxides including high temperature superconductors, LiTMO2 rechargable Li battery materials, ferroelectric materials, transparent conducting oxides and electrochromic materials. Another focus of his work is on the development of new nanomaterials for organic electronics and as biofilters etc.

Dr. Ginley’s work is directed primarily at the development of new atmospheric processing approaches to photovoltaics.

Some of Dr. Ginley’s work in progress is on the development of high quality materials (single crystal films) by pulsed laser deposition, sputtering, IBAD, and characterization of the materials in the doped and undoped states by optical and transport measurements. In addition to developing a fundamental understanding of the interrelationship of structure and electronic properties, Dr. Ginley and his research group are applying what they learn to improved devices, i.e. batteries, frequency agile electronics, photovoltaics, electrochromics and flat panel displays. To transition these results to more practical approaches, they are investigating the development of nonvacuum, direct writeable electronic materials. This is done through the development of nanoparticulate and ink based precursors. This involves the synthesis of the nanoparticles, development of inks and ink deposition techniques, derivation of a fundamental understanding of the sintering behavior of nanoparticles and the evolution of the bulk structural and electronic properties.

Dr. Ginley’s work has developed new inks for metallization and the development of highly anisotropic oxide nanoparticles. Currently, Dr. Ginley is also the principal investigator (PI) on new programs in the areas of combinatorial materials science for high throughput discovery of new electrooptical materials including transparent conducing oxides, nitrites and borides.

  • Marc Perez

marc_perez

Marc is an expert in solar energy with over a decade of field experience in academia and industry. He is currently a Senior Consultant at Clean Power Research where he helps power the energy transformation by researching cost-effective and environmentally-sound pathways to a 100% solar future. Prior to Clean Power research, Marc was a Senior Research Engineer & patent holder at MGH, an energy storage technology startup based in Montpelier France and at a BIPV developer in New York City. A dual French-American citizen, he received his Ph.D. in Earth & Environmental Engineering from Columbia University, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and Egleston Doctoral Scholar. His dissertation examined the lowest environmental and economic cost solutions to resolving solar resource intermittency.

  • Laura Rigell

Laura Rigell serves as Solar Manager for the Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA), a municipal government entity driving the development of a robust, inclusive clean energy market in Philadelphia. Laura’s leadership has resulted in the execution of the nation’s largest single Solarize initiative and has launched the nation’s first 3-year vocational training program for high schoolers in solar installation. Her focus is at the intersection of climate change and equity, rooted in the belief that the transition to clean energy must include everyone. Laura is committed to ramping up solar adoption in the U.S. at the scale and pace required by the climate crisis, while benefiting marginalized communities. Laura’s commitment to this goal is evidenced by her extensive volunteer commitment as a founding member of Serenity Solar, a grassroots initiative to connect North Philadelphia residents with solar energy and jobs.

  • Achyut Shrestha

Achyut Shrestha joined the NC Clean Energy Technology Center in 2014 as a Policy Analyst. He is the Principal Investigator for the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Community Solar for the Southeast project, providing technical and outreach support to make solar affordable and accessible through community solar projects in the Southeast. His field of interest lies in energy policy, energy markets, smart grids and energy poverty. Achyut holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Physics from Hampshire College and a Master’s Degree (magma cum laude) in Energy Regulation and Law from Vermont Law School (VLS). At his previous work as a research associate at VLS, he analyzed the Smart Grid development in Denmark and researched legal and regulatory frameworks for different urban microgrids in the United States. As an intern at World Resources Institute (WRI), Achyut worked on a project to assess ratepayer-funded industrial energy efficiency programs.

  • Karen Soares

Karen Soares is a small business owner with over 20 years of combined experience in leadership, technology, training, communications and energy. She has a creative knack for developing and deploying automated environments to increase and improve productivity for customers.

For the past 8 years, Ms. Soares has been a dedicated energy consultant who has been intimately engaged in building systems, centered on energy efficiency, auditing, quality assurance and training. She has trained more than 100 participants on Green IT & Energy for Colleges and Non-Profit organizations. She is a dynamic leader who values excellence in her work, believes strongly in quality standards and process improvements.

Ms. Soares holds principal positions with Go Eagle Energy, LLC, (GEE) and GENNX Technologies. She currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Barber-Scotia College Inc. (B-SC), a private, co-ed, Historically Black College (HBCU), located in Concord, NC, founded in 1867 by Rev. Luke Dorland, who was commissioned by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), to ‘find a place’ and establish an institution in the South, to educate the daughters of freed slaves. 

In 2008 Barber-Scotia College saw the need and demonstrated a commitment to educating students in alternative energy technologies, when the institution became the first and only HBCU to offer a degree in Renewable Energy. The College is developing the technical workforce, while ensuring a diverse population is on the front lines, shaping the Energy sector. “We are building a model of Institutional Advancement and Excellence and we are dedicated to the effective training of future professional leaders to serve our changing world.” As Chairman, she leads the charge for the College’s mission to build the “Campus of the Future” for the future.

It is her desire to help underserved communities and expand the ASES organization’s reach by sharing its mission and values with students and institutions across the globe to make an impact on preserving the environment for future generations.

Ms. Soares is currently pursuing a Master of Science Degree in field of Engineering Law from the College of Energy Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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