Clean Tech Innovation ~ A Berkeley Tradition

Speakers & Panelists


Severin Borenstein
Severin Borenstein is E.T. Grether Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the Haas School of Business, Director of the University of California Energy Institute, and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA. He is also an affiliated professor in the Agricultural and Resource Economics department and the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley. He received his A.B. from U.C. Berkeley in 1978 and Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1983. His research focuses on business competition, strategy, and regulation. He has published extensively on the airline, oil and gasoline, and electricity markets, as well as on insurance, e-commerce, mining, natural gas and other industries. Borenstein was a member of the Governing Board of the California Power Exchange from 1997 until 2003 and served on the California Attorney General’s gasoline price taskforce in 1999–2000. During 1999–2002, he was co-director of NBER’s research project on e-commerce. Most recently, his research has focused on the evolving airline industry, real-time retail electricity pricing, and the economics of renewable energy and climate change.


John Geesman
John Geesman has been a prime mover in California's energy policy for the past 30 years, most recently as a California Energy Commissioner from 2002 to early 2008. He was the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the California Power Exchange during the ill-fated market restructuring in the late 1990s, and also served on the Board of the California Independent System Operator. His first service in government was as Executive Director of the California Energy Commission from 1979 to 1983. An attorney by training, he worked as an investment banker in the bond markets for nearly 20 years. He is the co-Chair of the American Council on Renewable Energy and the originator of the provocative blog, GreenEnergyWar.com.


Zach Gentry
Zach Gentry MBA 05 is the co-founder of Adura Technologies. Adura Technologies provides wireless lighting management solutions that save businesses significantly on lighting costs. The solution installs in less than five minutes per fixture with no operational downtime. In addition to the dramatic energy savings, the solution enables building owners to quickly reconfigure their lighting controls as building use and occupancy changes. Adura has received numerous awards for its technology, including a Flex your Power award and the Energy Efficiency Prize from the inaugural California Clean Technology Open. Zach has spent the past twelve years in business development and marketing roles in energy, technology and financial services. Prior to Adura, he was with SunPower Corporation, a solar panel manufacturer, working on their U.S. commercial building strategy. He holds an MBA and BA from UC Berkeley.


Shannon Graham
Shannon Graham MBA 03 is an Associate Director with Navigant Consulting, Inc.’s (NCI) Renewable Energy group. Since joining NCI’s San Francisco office in 2004, Ms. Graham has helped clients make investment decisions in renewable energy, primarily in the area of solar photovolatics for distributed applications. Her clients include: leading renewable energy equipment manufacturers, global integrated oil companies, municipal and investor owned utilities, large industrials and investors considering entry into renewable energy, and leading state and federal agencies, such as the California Energy Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy. Ms. Graham holds an MBA from Haas (2003) and an MA from the Energy & Resources Group (2001).


Jonathan Harris
Jonathan Harris MBA 96 is an Executive Director within the Private Wealth Management division of Morgan Stanley. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in 1996, he was a Research Analyst for Fisher Investments and worked for the CNA Insurance Companies. Jonathan received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Jonathan has been featured as one of the Top 100 Wealth Advisers in America in a survey conducted by R.J. Shook, featured in Barron’s each of the last three years. Jonathan focuses on managing equity portfolios and structuring solutions for concentrated equity positions. He was a leading sponsor of the UC Berkeley Energy Symposium and advises the University’s Center for Energy Innovation. He is currently Vice-Chairman of the Haas School’s Development Council and a past recipient of the school’s “Raymond E. Miles Alumni Service Award and the University of California, Berkeley Foundation “Young Bear” Award. Jonathan lives in Orinda, California with his wife, Alyssa, and his children Carly, Brian, and Olivia.


Jay Keasling
Jay Keasling received his BS in Chemistry and Biology from the University of Nebraska in 1986; his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1991; and did post-doctoral work in Biochemistry at Stanford University from 1991–1992. Keasling joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley as an assistant professor in 1992, where he is currently professor. Keasling is also a professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Berkeley, a Sr. Faculty Scientist and Director of the Physical Biosciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Director of the Berkeley Center for Synthetic Biology, and Chief Executive Officer of Joint Bioenergy Institute. Dr. Keasling’s research focuses on engineering microorganisms for environmentally friendly synthesis of small molecules or degradation of environmental contaminants. Keasling’s laboratory has engineered bacteria and yeast to produce polymers, a precursor to the anti-malarial drug artemisinin, and advanced biofuels and soil microorganisms to accumulate uranium and to degrade nerve agents.


Kathy Klotz-Guest
Kathy Klotz-Guest MBA 01 is founder of Powerfully Funny, a marketing firm that helps companies come up with new product ideas and then creatively market them to the world. Kathy helps organizations use levity to increase innovation, and as a marketing tool to build relationships between customers and products. She combines 16 years of strategic and tactical marketing experience in a fast-paced high-tech environment with a background in improvisation and writing. She has managed teams and launched products for companies such as SGI, Gartner, MediaMetrix, Excite@Home, and Dow Jones to name a few. She has an MA and an MBA from UC Berkeley, and writes and speaks extensively on the fun-creativity-innovation connection, and on the serious role of humor in marketing. Contact her at kathy@powerfullyfunny.com.


Brenda LeMay
Brenda LeMay MBA 01 is the Director of Project Development at Horizon Wind Energy and began working with Horizon Wind Energy in February 2003, leading Horizon’s development efforts in California. Brenda has been involved in the permitting, regulatory, real estate and commercial efforts for Horizon. Before joining Horizon, Brenda developed energy assets in Brazil, managed project finance transactions, and analyzed infrastructure investments. She began her career at BOT Financial Corp. as a financial analyst and portfolio manager with the Project Finance group. Brenda received a B.S. from Bentley College in finance in 1992 and a M.B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley Haas School of Business in 2001. She currently resides in Berkeley.


Sanjay Wagle
Sanjay Wagle MBA 01 is a Principal with VantagePoint Venture Partners and brings seven years of experience in private equity and project finance, with a focus on the clean technologies sector, including renewable energy, clean water, transportation and materials. Sanjay’s experience with Clean Tech began at Haas, where he was part of a team that won the Global Social Venture Competition with an ocean wave energy technology. After Haas, Sanjay served as an Associate and Assistant to the Chairman of Blum Capital Partners and then became a founding Principal of Expansion Capital Partners, a venture capital firm focused on investing in clean technologies. Sanjay joined VantagePoint’s Clean Tech group in 2005. Prior to Haas Sanjay served as an Investment Officer at the International Finance Corporation, a unit of the World Bank, where he focused on leading and structuring project financing for private sector infrastructure projects in the power, transport and water sectors. Sanjay earned a BA from Harvard University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley (2001), where he served as President of the MBA student government.


Catherine Wolfram
Catherine Wolfram is an associate professor of business administration at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, executive director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Innovation at Berkeley, and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA. She is also an affiliated professor in the Agricultural and Resource Economics department and the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley. Her research focuses on the economics of energy markets. She has studied electricity industry privatization and restructuring around the world. She has published papers on the performance of competitive wholesale markets, the effects of restructuring on generation efficiency and the effects of environmental regulation on the electricity sector. She received a PhD in economics from MIT. Before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley, she was an assistant professor of economics at Harvard University.