Our Team

Hal is the CEO of Energy Innovation. He was founder and CEO of Energy Foundation, served as Environment Program Director at the Hewlett Foundation, and helped establish Energy Foundation China; the European Climate Foundation; and the Indian Sustainable Energy Foundation. He was appointed to panels by Presidents Bush (41) and Clinton, and is currently President and Chairman of the Board for several financial, science, and philanthropic groups. He is a Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment at the Paulson Institute, received the Heinz Award for the Environment in 2016, the UN Clean Air and Climate Change Award in 2018, and the State of California’s Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award in 2019. Hal has B.S. and M.S. degrees from Stanford University.

Sonia Aggarwal

Vice President

Sonia Aggarwal is Energy Innovation’s Vice President, leading the firm’s Power Sector Transformation, Energy Policy Solutions, California Climate Policy, Urban Sustainability, and Communications programs. Previously, Sonia worked for ClimateWorks Foundation and advised on projects for the International Energy Agency and clean energy companies. Sonia was the 2019 recipient of a national award from the U.S. Department of Energy for her leadership in clean energy advocacy. She has a B.S. from Haverford College in astronomy and physics, and an M.S. from Stanford University in engineering focused on energy.

Olivia Ashmoore

Policy Analyst

Olivia is a Policy Analyst at Energy Innovation, focused on the firm’s Energy Policy Solutions program. She provides research and analysis to support EI’s climate policy modeling. Prior to joining Energy Innovation, Olivia worked as a graduate student fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Olivia holds a B.A. from Oberlin College in Environmental Studies and a M.A. in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley.

Sara Baldwin

Electrification Policy Director

Sara is Energy Innovation’s Electrification Policy Director, where she leads the firm’s electrification policy practice area in tandem with the Power Sector Transformation program to develop a roadmap for economy-wide electrification. Sara provides guidance to federal and state policymakers across the U.S. along with other stakeholders on policy pathways to electrify and decarbonize buildings, vehicles, industry, and other sectors of the economy. She previously served as Vice President of Regulatory for the Interstate Renewable Energy Council and as a Senior Policy Associate for Utah Clean Energy. Sara is a member of GridLab’s advisory board and hosts the Grid Geeks podcast. She earned her B.S. in Environmental Studies and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Utah, graduating with honors.

Chris Busch

Director of Research

Chris is Energy Innovation’s Research Director and leads the firm’s California climate policy program.  His recent efforts have focused on developing a California version of EI’s Energy Policy Simulator, offering insights into the best combination of policies for delivering on the state’s ambitious 2030 emission reductions goal.  Chris is an expert in carbon pricing policy, and his research has shed light on the oversupply of tradable permits in the Western Climate Initiative.  He previously worked for the BlueGreen Alliance, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and holds a PhD in environmental economics from UC Berkeley.

Minshu Deng

Policy Analyst

Minshu Deng is a Policy Analyst for Climate Imperative, an Energy Innovation project to secure just and ambitious climate wins at the scale and pace needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. She previously worked as an analyst and environmental scientist at Eastern Research Group, Inc. consulting on projects for federal and state agencies including EPA, OSHA, NOAA, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Minshu also conducted research at an energy policy nonprofit focused on the effects of early nuclear power plant shutdowns. She received her Master of Environmental Management with a specialization in energy systems from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a B.A. in Environmental Science and Policy from Duke University.

Christina Fernandes

Chief Financial Officer & Director of Operations

Christina is the Chief Financial Officer & Director of Operations at Energy Innovation, where she manages the firm’s human resource operations, as well as its internal financial and accounting systems. She is also responsible for structuring the firm’s policies and procedures, and overseeing its fiscal and legal compliance. Prior to Energy Innovation, Christina oversaw business operations in a higher education setting. She earned a MBA degree from CSU East Bay with a concentration in global innovation. Christina also received a B.A. cum laude in Sociology with a focus on Race and Ethnicity from the University of San Francisco.

Todd Fincannon

Full Stack Developer

Todd Fincannon is Energy Innovation’s Full Stack Developer, where he works with the firm’s policy programs to visualize smart energy policy through interactive web applications. Prior to joining Energy Innovation, Todd was technical co-founder of three startup companies focused on electronic mail, network management, and financial services. He pivoted to climate work after the 2007 IPCC report revealed the urgency of the climate crisis. His work brings climate and energy models to life for audiences worldwide, including policymakers and the public. Todd holds a B.S. degree in mathematics from the University of Houston. He lives in Berkeley, California. (He/Him/His)

Eric Gimon

Senior Fellow

Eric consults as a senior fellow with Energy Innovation. He is a main contributor to the firm’s America’s Power Plan project and is an adviser for non-profits and foundations interested in energy (namely electricity) and climate issues. Eric holds a B.S. and M.S. from Stanford University in mathematics and physics, and a Ph.D. in physics from UC Santa Barbara. He has a 15-year active career researching quantum gravity and high energy physics. Eric’s work at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley, and an AAAS fellowship with the Department of Energy inspired his transition to climate and energy policy.

Dongquan He

China Director

Dr. He is Energy Innovation’s China Director, and conducts the firm’s programs in China with a specific focus on urban sustainability. His project work includes new city and non-motorized system planning and design, city retrofits, public transit optimization, and conducting studies to support national policies and standards development. Dr. He previously worked with Energy Foundation (EF) China and Argonne National Laboratory, and holds Ph.D. and bachelor degrees from Tsinghua University, with a major in environmental science and engineering.

Virginia Lacy

Director of Philanthropic Services

Virginia is Energy Innovation’s Director of Philanthropic Services, where she leads work with the firm’s clients to create effective strategies to achieve their climate and energy philanthropy goals. She has almost 20 years of experience working in clean energy, the electricity sector, socially responsible investing, and environmental policy. Most recently, Virginia was a Principal at the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) where she helped lead RMI’s Electricity Program. Virginia has a B.A. in government from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Environmental Management from Yale University.

Clarissa Lopez

Operations Associate

Clarissa is Energy Innovation’s Operations Associate, where she directly supports the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Operations across all of the company’s overall business activities. Prior to joining Energy Innovation, Clarissa worked as an administrative assistant at a full-service immigration law firm based in San Francisco. Clarissa holds a B.S degree in Health Science from CSU East Bay.

Megan Mahajan

Senior Policy Analyst

Megan is a Senior Policy Analyst at Energy Innovation, focused on the firm’s Energy Policy Solutions program.  She evaluates which policies can most effectively meet climate and energy goals in the United States and around the world.  Prior to joining Energy Innovation, Megan worked as a Research Analyst at Nathan Associates Inc., where she assisted in preparing expert witness reports for environmental litigation.  Her work largely focused on the necessity and consistency of cleanup work under the National Contingency Plan and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, as well as penalty negotiations for alleged environmental statute violations.  Megan earned a M.S. in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University and a B.S. in Environmental Geosciences from the University of Notre Dame.

Silvio Marcacci

Communications Director

Silvio is Energy Innovation’s Communications Director, leading media relations and strategy. He has over 15 years’ experience, and has been a bylined columnist at top media outlets. Silvio previously founded independent public relations company Marcacci Communications, promoting clean energy and climate change policy. Additional experience includes serving as director of public relations for Bloomberg TV series energyNOW! and as vice president at public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard, where he managed campaigns for energy industry clients. Silvio started his career in New Jersey government and politics, and has a dual B.S. with honors in history and political science from Rutgers University.

Amanda Myers

Policy Analyst

Amanda is a Policy Analyst at Energy Innovation, focused on power sector transformation policy research and analysis. She also provides project support to Energy Innovation’s leadership team.

Prior to joining Energy Innovation, Amanda worked on the policy teams at ChargePoint and SolarCity. During her undergraduate studies, Amanda interned at the Environmental Law & Policy Center and the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Amanda holds a B.A. from Northwestern University in Political Science with minors in Chinese Language and Business Institutions.

Bruce Nilles

Executive Director

Bruce Nilles is Executive Director of Climate Imperative, an Energy Innovation project to secure just and ambitious climate wins at the scale and pace needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. For the two years prior to joining Climate Imperative, Bruce was Managing Director at Rocky Mountain Institute focused on accelerating building electrification. Before that he spent 15 years building and leading the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, a nationwide effort to replace coal plants with clean energy. He holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and spent the first four years of his career at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. He is the 2018 recipient of the Packard Foundation Climate Breakthrough Award and was recognized by Politico in 2015 as “one of the thinkers, doers, and visionaries transforming American politics.” Bruce holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Mike O’Boyle

Director of Electricity Policy

Mike is Energy Innovation’s Director of Electricity Policy. He directs the firm’s Power Sector Transformation program to uncover policy solutions for a clean, reliable, and affordable U.S. electricity system. He has worked with stakeholders from a variety of states—including California, New York, Oregon, Hawaii, and Minnesota—to help improve the link between public policy goals and the motivations of electric utilities. Mike graduated cum laude from ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, focusing on energy and international law, and has a B.A from Vanderbilt University in Philosophy and Asian Studies, with a minor in Economics.

Robbie Orvis

Director of Energy Policy Design

Robbie is the Director of Energy Policy Design at Energy Innovation, where he leads the Energy Policy Solutions program. For this program, Robbie manages EI’s research analyzing which policies can best meet climate and energy goals using EI’s in-house model, the Energy Policy Simulator, as well as other energy and climate policy models. He has helped develop and deploy EPS models in more than a dozen countries, where it has helped advise governments, research institutes, and advocacy organizations on which climate policies are most effective. Robbie is also a co-author of Designing Climate Solutions: A Policy Guide for Low-Carbon Energy. He holds a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University and a B.S. from UC Berkeley.

Jeffrey Rissman

Industry Program Director & Head of Modeling

Jeffrey is Energy Innovation’s Industry Program Director and Head of Modeling, and leads the company’s work on technologies and policies to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions from the industry sector. He is also the originator and developer of the Energy Policy Simulator, a computer model quantifying cost and emissions impacts of various policy combinations. His previous work at the firm focused on clean tech R&D. Jeff holds an M.S. in Environmental Sciences and Engineering and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from UNC Chapel Hill, and a B.A. in International Relations with honors from Stanford University.

Prodipto Roy

Program Officer

Prodipto is a Program Officer at Energy Innovation, where he works with the firm’s clients to achieve their climate and energy philanthropy goals. Prior to joining EI, he worked on decarbonization policy at ClimateWorks Foundation, and on sustainability and climate resilience in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office. Prodipto has a B.S. from the UC Los Angeles and an MBA from UC Berkeley.

Joe Ryan

Executive Director of Global Initiatives

Joe Ryan is Energy Innovation’s Executive Director of Global Initiatives, marshaling and managing support for organizations dedicated to adopting sectoral climate policies worldwide. Before joining EI, he was Executive Vice President at Securing America’s Future Energy, where he led operations and oversaw all organizational initiatives. Prior to that, Joe served as Vice President for Latin America and Oil Campaign Director at the ClimateWorks Foundation where he led a consortium of international foundations to reduce transport emissions in the U.S., Europe, China, India, Mexico and Brazil. Prior to ClimateWorks, Joe served as a program officer at the Hewlett Foundation for 11 years. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese and received his Ph.D. in economic history from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Shana Silver

Philanthropy Associate

Shana Silver is a Philanthropy Associate for Global Initiatives at Energy Innovation, where she helps manage global partnerships and grantmaking efforts focused on the adoption of sectoral climate policies in key countries around the world. Prior to joining EI, she worked as a Program Assistant at the Meyer Foundation, a racial justice and systems change organization in Washington, D.C. Shana holds a M.S. in International Development from the University of Edinburgh and B.A. in Sociology and Leadership Development from Penn State University.

Sarah Spengeman

Deputy Director of Communications

Sarah Spengeman is Energy Innovation’s Deputy Director of Communications, where she designs campaigns to help program staff effectively communicate their original policy analysis, research, and modeling to policymakers and the media. Prior to joining EI, Sarah was the associate director for communications and advocacy at Health Care Without Harm, where she led the organization’s work to leverage the economic, political, and moral influence of the healthcare sector for climate policy solutions at all levels of government. Sarah is a board member of Interfaith Power and Light, and is co-author of a chapter on health professional climate advocacy in the forthcoming book Global Climate Change and Human Health: From Science to Practice. She earned her B.A. in political science from Westmont College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Notre Dame.

Giselle Stern

Executive Assistant

Giselle is Energy Innovation’s Executive Assistant. Prior to joining Energy Innovation, she was an Executive Assistant to the CEO and Senior Vice President of a global food company. In addition to her administrative support, Giselle has previously served for many years in the non-profit world, mainly through leadership positions in fundraising and development. She holds a B.A. in English with an Art History minor from Hunter College (CUNY), and an MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University, where she was a recipient of a Zora Neale Hurston Award.

Lana Vali

Philanthropy Associate

Lana Vali is a Philanthropy Associate at Energy Innovation, where she helps the firm’s clients achieve their climate and energy philanthropy goals. Prior to joining Energy Innovation, she worked as a Program Coordinator at Malama Kaua’i, a nonprofit dedicated to sustainability in Kaua’i, Hawai’i. Lana holds a B.A. degree in Mathematics from Amherst College.