State-City Collaboration on Clean Energy Transformations, takes place from May 29–30 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and will feature a wide range of international speakers, experts and other content providers. This page will be updated as new participants are added. See the draft agenda. Receive the latest conference news by subscribing to Renewable Cities’ mailing list.
Director, Project Climate at UC Berkeley, and former Director of the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
Ken Alex will be the director of Project Climate at UC Berkeley starting this summer, focusing on the most promising climate solutions and moving them more quickly to policy and scale. From 2011 to 2018, Ken was a Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown, the Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, and the Chair of the Strategic Growth Council, focusing on climate, energy, environment, and land use issues.
Before joining the Governor’s Office, Ken was the Senior Assistant Attorney General heading the environment section of the California Attorney General’s Office, and the co-head of the Office’s global warming unit. From 2000 to 2006, Ken led the California Attorney General’s energy task force, investigating price and supply issues related to California’s energy crisis.
Ken is a graduate of Harvard Law School and holds a B.A. in political theory from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Mayor of Smithers, B.C. and Chair of the BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council
Taylor Bachrach was elected Mayor of Smithers in 2011 and is currently serving his third term. An advocate for strong climate action at the local level, Taylor also serves as a member of the BC government’s Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council and chair of the BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council.
In 2018, he was selected as one of four Federation of Canadian Municipalities Climate Champions. Taylor is a director of the Northern Development Initiative Trust and President of Go By Bike BC.
Executive Director, Renewable Cities
Alex has two decades of experience in climate and energy policy, planning and engagement. He has served governments, real estate developers, utilities, university think tanks, municipal associations, and non-profits.
Before establishing his own consultancy, Alex led community climate and energy services for an urban planning and design firm, and a global engineering operation, Golder Associates. He led multiple award-winning community energy plans recognized for innovative carbon modeling and mapping, implementation readiness, and powerful triple bottom line analysis.
While serving the David Suzuki Foundation, Alex oversaw projects on renewable power and conservation in Ontario, a Canadian deep GHG reduction agenda, and high integrity carbon offsets.
Alex attributes some of his strongest policy solutions to meaningful engagement with earnest skeptics and open-minded opponents.
Alex earned his MSc at Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute.
Councillor, City of Vancouver
Adriane Carr has been a Vancouver City Councillor since 2011. Born in Vancouver, she earned a master’s degree in urban geography from UBC, then taught for 12 years at Vancouver’s Langara College. She left teaching to join the executive team at the Wilderness Committee, helping win protection for dozens of key wilderness areas. In 1983 Councillor Carr co-founded the BC Green Party, North America’s first Green Party, and in 1984 co-founded the Green Party of Vancouver. She led the BC Greens from 2000–2006, then served as Green Party of Canada Deputy Leader from 2006 to 2014. She currently chairs the Vancouver elected Greens caucus. Councillor Carr has two adult children and lives in Vancouver’s West End with her husband Paul George.
Director of Maintenance and Vehicle Technology, Foothill Transit
Roland Cordero, Foothill Transit’s Director of Maintenance and Vehicle Technology is responsible for procuring, deploying and ensuring the maintenance of transit vehicles and all related technology. Roland has 15 years of experience working in the transit industry in varying capacities from finance, operations, facilities and fleet maintenance. Roland has been involved in the deployment of Foothill Transit’s electric bus project and full-electrification initiative since 2010. Foothill Transit has a fleet of 33 battery-electric buses, four in-route charging stations located at Pomona Transit Center and Azusa Intermodal Transit Center and is developing a scalable in-depot charging infrastructure to support the agency’s 100% electric fleet initiative by 2030 and the California Air Resources Board’s Innovative Clean Transit Rule. Roland holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from California State University – Los Angeles and an MBA from University of Phoenix. He is also a proud alumni of the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Leadership APTA Executive Management Program and ENO Center for Transit Executive Management Program. He earned a Certificate in Environmental and Sustainability Management Systems from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Principal Transportation Planner, Portland Metro
Kim Ellis is a Principal Transportation Planner and project manager with Metro, the directly elected regional government for the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. Since 1996, Kim has worked in the Regional Planning Division, which is responsible for the region’s long-range transportation planning. Kim served as project manager for development of the region’s 2014 Climate Smart Strategy – which focused on reducing passenger vehicle emissions through land use and transportation policies and investments. The Portland region was the first of Oregon’s eight metropolitan areas to embark on this work. From 2015 to 2018, Kim oversaw a major update to the transportation plan for the region. Most notably, the effort brought together community and business leaders, transportation officials and elected officials and jurisdictional staff from 24 cities and three counties to advance implementation of the Climate Smart Strategy and establish new regional policy for improving transportation for marginalized communities – and safe streets for all residents.
Kim holds a master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia (1995) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology with a Minor in Environmental Studies from James Madison University (1990). She is member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (2000) and an active member of the Women’s Transportation Seminar.
President, Vancouver Regional Construction Association
Fiona is passionate about business and has over 25 years’ international experience, gained in the U.K., Asia Pacific and Canada, working in the private and not-for-profit sectors.
In her almost 6 years at the VRCA, Fiona has rebuilt the 90-year old organization from the ground up. Under her leadership, the VRCA has undertaken an industry-wide education needs assessment, the results of which help VRCA and others to deliver programming that meets the industry’s future education needs. And, understanding the importance of the industry doing its part to support the climate change goals of both Vancouver and B.C., she led a team that vigorously pursued and secured the opportunity for the VRCA to host Canada’s first and only Zero Emissions Building Exchange (ZEBx).
Looking forward, it is Fiona’s goal to evolve the VRCA into Canada’s premier centre for construction excellence by 2027 so that it is leading by example and inspiring others as a future-focused, relevant and invaluable resource to the construction industry.
Senior Policy Advisor, Housing Division, Office of Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Canada
Chris has worked for the governments of B.C. and Canada in energy efficiency and clean energy for the built environment since 2007. In 2014-2015 he managed the national implementation of major updates to the EnerGuide Rating System (ERS) for Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), eventually helping to ensure that the ERS v.15 was included as a compliance pathway under the BC Energy Step Code. Chris participated in the original Energy Step Code advisory committee, and worked for BC’s Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (MEMPR) on a number of implementation support initiatives. Most recently, before returning to NRCan in April, 2019, Chris was the Acting Director of MEMPR’s Community Clean Energy Branch, focussing on renewable generation at the community scale and supporting the clean energy ambitions of BC’s Indigenous communities. Prior to that, Chris acted for 18 months as the MEMPR Director responsible for the Province’s Clean Energy Vehicle Program, where he helped lay the groundwork for the B.C. zero emission vehicle mandate and oversee various market transformation programs.
In his new role back with NRCan, Chris is based in Victoria, with a mandate to build upon the already deep collaboration between NRCan and various government agencies in B.C.
Director of Public Policy—Canada, ChargePoint
Suzanne Goldberg is an energy, climate, and electric vehicle policy expert with over 10 years of experience. She is currently the Director of Public Policy for ChargePoint in Canada, the world’s leading electric vehicle (EV) charging network, with more than 64,000 places to charge on its network around the world. In this role she covers federal, provincial and municipal affairs, managing engagement on electric vehicle policy across Canada. Prior to ChargePoint, Suzanne was the Director of Research and outreach for START at Simon Fraser University and a founding partner of the consulting firm Navius Research.
Policy and Strategic Advisor, Community Services and Housing Division, Washington State Department of Commerce
Emily Grossman is the Policy and Strategy Advisor for the Community Services and Housing Division at the Washington State Department of Commerce. She has worked in the areas of homelessness and housing policy development for fifteen years. In her current role, she works to align housing policy throughout the agency, provides policy recommendations related to affordable housing development and preservation, and serves as the staff liaison to Governor Inslee’s Affordable Housing Advisory Board. She has been with the Department of Commerce since April 2016. Emily has a B.A.from the University of Washington and a J.D. from Seattle University School of Law.
Senior Director, Demand Policy and Analysis Division, Office of Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Canada
Abla Hanna is the Senior Director in the of the Demand Policy and Analysis Division in the Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). Prior to taking on the Senior Director position, Abla was Director of the Buildings and Industry also in OEE where she led a team of program and policy experts dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in Canada’s industrial and built environments. Prior to joining OEE, Abla held several positions in NRCan’s Major Projects Management Office where she provided horizontal leadership to ensure clear and predicable regulatory reviews for high-profile resource development projects. Previously, Abla held Senior Policy Analyst positions in Service Canada and First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (formerly Health Canada).
Director of Planning and Land Use Policy, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Province of British Columbia
Jennifer Hill is the Director of Planning and Land Use Policy in BC’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. She currently oversees the Branch’s land use planning program, policy and legislative initiatives related to housing and climate action. She is a Registered Professional Planner (RPP) and has previously served on the Planning Institute of BC Council.
Senior Planner, Regional Planning Division, Metro Vancouver Regional District
Raymond Kan is a senior planner in the Regional Planning Division at the Metro Vancouver Regional District. Raymond believes in the capacity of public policy to improve the conditions of cities for all residents. His recent work, in collaboration with a diverse group of partners, include the Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Study, Regional Parking Study, and policy development for the Regional Affordable Housing Strategy and Metro 2040 Regional Growth Strategy. Prior to Metro Vancouver, Raymond worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in San Francisco and TransLink. Raymond holds a Master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the University of British Columbia.
Professor and Chairperson, School of Environmental Engineering, University of Seoul
Prof. Hyunook Kim is a professor and the Chairperson of School of Environmental Engineering, the director of the R&D Center of Core Technology for Water Treatment, an Associate Editor of Chemosphere, Critical Review in Environmental Science & Technology, Energy, Ecology, and Environment, and Frontiers of Environmental Science and Engineering. He is the Editor-In-Chief of Water-Energy Nexus. He got his B Sc in Environmental Science at Yonsei University in 1994 (Seoul, Korea), M Sc in Environmental Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in 1997 (Baltimore, MD, USA), Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland in 2000 (College Park, MD, USA).
After he had been awarded his Ph.D. degree, Prof. Kim had worked for the US Department of Agriculture for about 3 years until he joined the University of Seoul as an assistant professor in September 2002. Currently, Prof. Hyunook Kim’ researches focus on the modeling and automatic control of water or wastewater treatment processes, and anaerobic digesters. He also develops sensors or analytical techniques to measure trace organic pollutants, which can be used for the purpose of process control.
Principal, Muse & Effect Consulting
Janice Larson is a policy, planning and partnerships consultant, with over 22 years of experience in public policy development and implementation, focused on strategic planning, regulatory and economic development, community and international relations.
Janice was from 2014-2107 the Executive Director, Regional Innovation Initiatives with the BC Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, based in Kelowna at UBC’s Okanagan campus, and focused on building academic/ community/industry connections to enhance innovation throughout the province.
Janice also worked on the Pacific Gateway Strategy with the BC Ministry of Transportation, and from 2001-2011 she was the Director of Renewable Energy Development with the BC Ministry of Energy, working on the 2002 and 2007 Energy Plans, the BC Bioenergy Strategy, and other initiatives to advance clean technology, renewable energy, energy efficiency, low-carbon transportation and related energy/environmental objectives.
Janice has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Lethbridge, degrees in Education and Law from the University of British Columbia, and she is a non-practising member of the Law Society of British Columbia.
Communications Specialist, Build Small Coalition, Oregon Metro
Frankie Lewington is a Communication Specialist for Oregon Metro focusing on land use and transportation issues, including coordinating work with the Build Small Coalition that advocates for smaller, more varied and more equitable housing choices. His background includes working with the government affairs team at Metro and the planning and building divisions at City of Eugene. Frankie received a BS in Planning, Public Policy and Management from the University of Oregon.
Transportation Planning Advisor, Urban Planning Division, City of Montreal
Guillaume holds a Bachelor’s degree in urban planning and a master’s degree in urban project management from the Université de Montréal. He has been working in the field of mobility and transport for more than a decade. Working at the City of Montreal, Mr. Longchamps has participated in several strategic planning mandates. Its current mandates concern the revision of the City of Montreal’s transportation plan, as well as the implementation of the Parking Policy and the Electrification Strategy. Over the past years, Mr. Longchamps has developed expertise in integrated mobility, particularly new services of mobility.
Director of Solid Waste Planning, Metro Vancouver Regional District
Andrew Marr is the Director of Solid Waste Planning for Metro Vancouver, a federation of the municipalities in the greater Vancouver region of BC. Most of his 28 years with Metro Vancouver has been working in the Solid Waste Services department, specializing in the area of waste reduction and recycling, most recently in the areas of organics management and plastic wastes. Before joining Metro Vancouver he spent 7 years in the private sector (in research & development for rechargeable batteries, and in hazardous waste management). Since 2004 he has also taught Waste Reduction and Recycling Technology at the BC Institute of Technology.
Director of Building Codes and Standards, Building and Safety Standards Branch, Province of British Columbia
Zachary May is the Director of Building Codes and Standards for the Province of British Columbia, with the Building and Safety Standards Branch. He is a member of the national standing committee for Housing and Small Buildings (Part 9), and the standing committee on Energy Efficiency with the National Research Council. In BC, Zachary is the Chair of the BC Energy Step Code Council, a multi-stakeholder advisory body that supports the development and implementation of the Energy Step Code.
Senior Advisor to Sacramento, CA Mayor Darrell Steinberg
Mike McKeever was the Chief of Staff to Sacramento’s Mayor Steinberg and currently serves as a senior advisor. Prior to that he was the CEO of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments after leading their groundbreaking Blueprint planning program for 3 years.
McKeever has dedicated his nearly 40-year career to promoting collaborative action between communities and organizations, promoting economic and environmental sustainability, and helping to develop and apply innovative planning software that allows professional planners and thousands of residents access to high quality information to help understand how neighborhoods, cities and regions function. His first major planning role in the Sacramento region was as a senior planner with Parsons Brinckerhoff, where his responsibilities included project management of the Transit for Livable Communities program for Sacramento Regional Transit. Developed by working with the city and county of Sacramento and multiple stakeholders, that project created land use plans for all of the light rail stops in the system.
McKeever was a key player, working with then California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, in writing Senate Bill 375, a groundbreaking bill linking regional transportation, land use, housing and climate change planning. After Governor Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law in 2008, the California Air Resources Board appointed McKeever to chair a statewide advisory panel to advise the Board how best to proceed with implementation of the law.
North America Regional Director, C40 and former Mayor of Toronto
David Miller is the North American Director, C40 Climate Leadership Group, and Global Ambassador of inclusive climate action. He is responsible for supporting North American Mayors in their climate leadership and for building a global movement for socially equitable action to mitigate and adapt to climate change. He served as Chair of C40 Cities from 2008 until 2010.
Miller was Mayor of Toronto from 2003 to 2010. Under his leadership, Toronto became widely admired internationally for its environmental leadership, economic strength and social integration. He is a leading advocate for the creation of sustainable urban economies, and a strong and forceful champion for the next generation of jobs through sustainability. Miller has held a variety of public and private positions and served as Future of Cities Global Fellow at Polytechnic Institute of New York University from 2011 to 2014. David Miller is a Harvard trained economist and professionally a lawyer.
Chief Executive, Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association
Charlotte Morton studied for her MBA at London Business School before setting up a car club business. Asked to establish the business side of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association in 2009, she saw the potential of an industry that can deliver huge potential and value to the UK. Given the even bigger global potential, which must be achieved if the Paris climate change targets and UN Sustainable Development Goals are to be met, Charlotte played a pivotal role in establishing the World Biogas Association in 2016 to promote and increase the rate of uptake of biogas globally. Charlotte is also on the board of Green Gas Trading Ltd, which runs the Biomethane Certification Scheme.
Senior Advisor, Netherlands Enterprise Agency
Sonja Munnix works as a senior advisor at Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland). She stimulates e-mobility in the Netherlands. Sonja is the secretary-general of a Dutch steering committee on the internationalisation of electric mobility, working towards facilitating Dutch companies in their international activities. She is active as the Dutch representative in international networks such as the Electric Vehicle Initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM-EVI) and the Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Technology Collaboration Programme of the International Energy Agency (IEA HEV-TCP).
Next to her work on e-mobility, Sonja has been involved in (electric) car sharing, the monitoring of sustainable mobility and the promotion of energy efficient driving behaviour (eco-driving). She is also educated as an internal coach on Technological Innovation Systems.
Senior Policy Analyst, Cities, Urban Policies and Sustainable Development Division, OECD
Atsuhito Oshima is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and currently working on OECD programmes on building environmental performance and housing affordability.
Prior to joining the OECD, Atsuhito served the Japanese government and engaged in developing and implementing policies to promote affordable rental housing and energy-efficient buildings. He also served Nara Prefecture, a subnational government in Japan, as the director of housing policy department and promoted renovation projects for public housing sites and revitalization support programs for depopulating municipalities.
Atsuhito earned master’s degrees in public policy from Georgetown and Syracuse University in the US.
Green Building Program Manager, City of Vancouver
Sean Pander, Green Building Program Manager for the City of Vancouver is a professional engineer with a background in urban planning and is a recipient of Canada’s Clean50 award.
Originally an engineer for a large multinational oil pipeline company, his transfer to Chicago from the Canadian prairies catalyzed personal inquiries into what made cities contribute to, or inhibit, the ability of citizens and the natural environment to thrive.
Following a shift in his professional direction, Sean managed the development of Vancouver’s global award-winning Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. More recently he developed the city’s Zero Emissions Building Plan that has been recognized by the World Green Building Council for its leadership.
Initial implementation of the Plan has resulted in new regulations, supported by industry and aligned with the UNECE Framework Guidelines on Energy Efficiency Standards, that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new construction by 70%. Supplementary work has catalyzed developers of thousands of new housing units to voluntarily pursue zero emission construction.
Sean’s team at the city is now expanding its scope to consider embodied emissions, construction methods, and materials such as mass timber along with approaches for improving the health, resilience, and sustainability of existing buildings.
Senior Sustainability Advisor, TransLink
Dom Repta is the Senior Sustainability Advisor at TransLink where he leads the development of TransLink’s Carbon Fleet Strategy – an electrification strategy for almost 1,500 buses throughout 21 Municipalities and a service area of over 1,800 square kilometers. Dom’s team also recently led the development and successful issuance of TransLink’s first Green Bond (October 2018), valued at $400 million and has helped TransLink be recognized as an APTA Platinum Level Signatory and a Greenest Employee Award recipient two years in a row. Dom has also taught Sustainability Management at the British Columbia Institute of Technology since 2015. Prior to joining TransLink, Dom was the Senior Corporate Responsibility Strategist at TELUS for 8 years, and received a Masters Environmental Studies from York University in 2001.
Ambassador, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and former Mayor of Vancouver
Gregor Robertson is a leader and entrepreneur in politics and business who’s committed to building a healthy, biodiverse world with vibrant, green, inclusive cities. He is Global Ambassador of @Mayors4Climate, helping the 9,200+ cities in the Global Covenant of Mayors tackle climate and energy challenges. Gregor served three terms as Mayor of Vancouver from 2008-2018. During his tenure Vancouver’s economy led the country and the city achieved record-setting years for building housing, childcare and job space, growing public transit ridership and investment, and achieving the lowest carbon emissions in North America. He chaired Canada’s Big City Mayors Caucus, the Mayors Council on Regional Transportation, and was Host Mayor of the 2010 Olympics. Prior to his decade as Mayor, Gregor was elected to the BC Parliament from 2005-8, and he was an organic farmer and entrepreneur, co-founding and leading Happy Planet Foods, Canada’s leading fresh juice, smoothie and soup brand.
Team Lead, Sustainable Community Program, BC Hydro
Robyn Wark MRM MCIP is Team Lead of BC Hydro’s Sustainable Community program, and a leading strategist and coach on low carbon communities. Robyn co-creates peer networks, innovation labs, committees and councils to bring partners together to solve sustainability challenges (eg the Community Energy Manager Network, Energy Step Code Council, and Local Government Electric Vehicle Peer Network). Robyn is a popular speaker, and shares lessons from her work with professional organizations, business, universities, and government.
Her work has won multiple awards from associations such as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Union of BC Municipalities, and the Canadian Institute of Planners. In 2013 she was awarded the Individual Award for Leadership in Advocacy & Innovation from the Planning Institute of BC.
Public Policy Manager, FortisBC
Dana Wong has been working on energy and climate issues for 15 years in the private and non-profit sectors, as well as through international development organizations based in the U.S. She engages FortisBC’s customers, Indigenous communities and other stakeholders in developing and implementing sustainable energy solutions to support cleaner, efficient and resilient energy systems across B.C. She holds a Master’s degree in economics, energy and environmental policy from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and has achieved the GHG-IQ designation from the Canadian Standards Association. She also currently sits on the Board of Directors at the Community Energy Association, a non-profit dedicated to building local government capacity and action on climate and energy initiatives.
Policy Director, Clean Energy Canada
An accomplished analyst and advocate, Dan has significant knowledge and experience in the field of energy and environmental policy, and has authored numerous studies and articles on clean energy and climate change policy. Since 2001, Dan has lobbied for policy change, testified before regulatory and legislative bodies, and commented on energy issues for a wide range of media outlets. He holds degrees in environmental science and management, and conducted graduate research as a Social Science and Humanities Research Council scholar.