Women in Solar Energy (WISE) Forum
MODERATOR: Marlene Brown
The purpose of the WISE forum is to inspire women to become more technically involved in solar, not just peripheral to it. It’s easy for us to talk about what we do, but this isn’t a forum to just talk about our jobs, but about how we got where we are and the obstacles and barriers that we’ve come up against and broke through or just moved out of the way to continue on our path. this is a forum for accomplished women to share lessons learned and heartfelt stories about their lives. It is the story about the journey.
Allison ArchambaultPresident of EarthSpark International
Allison Archambault is president of EarthSpark International, an organization that builds business models to expand access to electricity. Partnering with towns that do not have electricity in Haiti, EarthSpark builds solar-powered electricity grids that energize homes and power local industry. EarthSpark’s community-based “Feminist Electrification” won the United Nations’ UNFCCC “Momentum for Change” award in 2018 for its integrated approach of combining gender, climate, and local resilience in infrastructure development. The Green Climate Fund has just committed $10M towards EarthSpark’s $45M project finance deal that will energize 22 additional towns with 100% solar+storage in the next 4 years.
Allison co-founded SparkMeter, a leading provider of smart meters and grid management tools, which now serves grid operators in 25 countries.
Prior to her time with EarthSpark, Allison consulted to clean energy companies, governments, and advocacy groups. She previously worked with 3TIER on large-scale renewable energy siting and integration and with GridPoint in the early days of combining distributed energy storage, solar PV, and energy management.
Ms. Archambault is a National Geographic Explorer and the winner of the 2017 Department of Energy, MIT + Stanford Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Award.
She earned a B.A. (hons) from Tufts University and a Master of International Public Policy degree from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Amna KhanDirector, Stewardship and Partnerships, Policy and BICEP Network for Ceres
Amna Khan joined Ceres in October 2017 as the Director of Stewardship & Partnerships for Ceres Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) Network. She works with the Senior Program Director of Policy to expand the Ceres BICEP Network and cultivate relationships with new and existing company members. Amna has more than ten years of experience in energy and non-for-profit organizations working with institutions such as the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) as their Deputy Director of Member Services where she focused on raising contributions from Fortune 500 member companies. She served as an industry spokesperson for more than a dozen international and domestic events promoting the U.S. wind energy industry. She also worked with the NRDC Action Fund as their Director of Strategic Partnerships where she served as the project manager for an alliance between two of the leading environmental groups with a focus on building political power with existing and new donors. Prior to joining Ceres, Amna had her own business development and fundraising consulting practice working with organizations whose focus was on clean energy and mitigating climate risks.
Christine LinsExecutive Director of GWNET – Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition
Christine Lins works as Executive Director of GWNET, the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition, which aims at empowering women in the sustainable energy sector. Furthermore, she runs her own consultancy and is Member of the Board of Directors of ISES, the International Solar Energy Society.
From July 2011 until March 2018, Christine Lins acted as Executive Secretary of REN21, the Renewable Energy Policy Network of the 21st Century, headquartered at UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme in Paris/France.
Between 2001 and 2011, Ms. Lins served as Secretary General of the European Renewable Energy Council. Previously, she worked in a regional energy agency in Austria promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
Ms. Lins holds a Masters degree in international economics and applied languages. She has more than 23 years of working experience in the field of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.
Kaitlyn Bunker Ph.D. P.E.Principal at the Rocky Mountain Institute
Kaitlyn Bunker, Ph.D., P.E. leads the Islands Energy Program at Rocky Mountain Institute, including leading energy modeling and technical analysis to complete integrated resource plans in partnership with Caribbean island utilities, governments, and regulators. These plans take a whole-systems view of various options for the future of the electricity sector on each island, and lead to specific investment plans for clean energy solutions. She has worked closely with stakeholders in Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Bermuda. Kaitlyn also leads modeling efforts related to small island microgrid opportunities. She joined RMI after completing a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI.
Marta VictoriaAssistant Professor, Department of Engineering, Aarhus University
Marta Victoria obtained her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Aeronautical Engineering from the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) in 2007. She did her thesis on High-Efficiency Concentrating Photovoltaic Modules at the Solar Energy Institute (UPM) and spent 4 months as a visiting researcher at the SunLab of the University of Ottawa (Canada). In 2014, she obtained the PhD graded with Summa cum laude and received the Outstanding Doctorate Award assigned by UPM to the top Ph.D. theses. Since 2019, she works as Assistant Professor at the Department of Engineering, Aarhus University (Denmark) where she teaches courses on thermodynamics, solar energy, and renewable energy systems. Her current research interests include the modeling of large-scale energy systems with high renewable penetration and the analysis of how to integrate large amounts of solar PV electricity.
Shelley Cohen Director of Solar Programs for the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU)Shelley CohenDirector of Solar Programs for the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU)
Shelley Cohen is a career energy efficiency and renewable energy professional with extensive
experience in the Washington, DC, region. Ms. Cohen’s expertise is in developing turn-key renewable energy projects and delivering comprehensive efficiency services to large-building projects. Currently, Ms. Cohen serves as the Director of Solar Programs for the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU), where she manages the administration of the DCSEU’s Solar for All program. The DCSEU’s Solar for All program incentivizes the rapid deployment of solar across the district with all output going to benefit low income residents. Ms. Cohen oversees all aspects of program
administration, including the program’s $32 million, 3-year budget. In addition, she manages a team of 8 solar industry professionals that work to break down barriers and make solar accessible and affordable. Over her career, Ms. Cohen has worked in private industry, non-profit, and government sectors. Ms. Cohen served as CEO and Co-founder of Alpha Solar Group, a woman-owned solar consulting firm focused on solar, microgrids, and storage solutions. During her 14 years at Ameresco, Ms. Cohen developed over 15MWs of renewable energy, and implemented energy efficiency projects with local governments and learning institutions. Ms. Cohen works to advance the role of women in the clean-energy industry through her leadership on many national and regional boards in the Mid-Atlantic region, including the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), MDV-SEIA, and the DC Environmental Film Festival (DCEFF). She is a graduate of Tufts University and holds an MPA from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Ms. Cohen lives in DC with her husband and two daughters in an eco-friendly home that includes 12kw of solar and cool roof.