E2 and 1 Hotels are delighted to introduce the inaugural class of the 1 Hotels Fellowship at E2. Over the next year, these future leaders will work to advance policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment through 10 exciting clean energy projects.
Salem Afeworki, Los Angeles, CA
Communicating benefits of electric vehicles
Salem aims to advance the science of clean energy communication, help leaders communicate more effectively, and increase the public’s understanding of electric vehicle (EV) risks and opportunities. The project’s main goal is to understand disadvantaged communities’ viewpoints on EV technology, and work to tailor the messaging on how private sector/developer/elected officials can address concerns to “clean up and green up” the most polluted and underserved neighborhoods.
Salem says her personal goal will be to “improve my leadership skills and connect with peers to implement solutions that align with United Nations SDGs.”
Salem Afeworki, LEED GA, ENV SP is the Founder and Program Director of Value Sustainability, a leading provider of sustainability, climate change and community engagement advisory services headquartered in Orange County, CA. Ms. Afeworki is also a member of Los Angeles County Sustainability Council, serves at the City of Irvine Green Ribbon Committee, and is a United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN) Local Pathway Fellow.
Cory Connolly, Detroit, MI
Crafting clean energy leaders program
Cory will create the a Clean Energy Leaders Program to support the growing community of clean energy volunteers and professionals in Michigan. The project will involve hosting three retreats that will educate young professionals about policy and advocacy, deepen understanding and solidarity across sector and industry, and build a lasting and strong clean energy community that will be cohesive and collaborative. The Michigan Clean Energy Leaders Network will also identify one Michigan-specific policy challenge during the first retreat that the whole cohort will work toward solving collaboratively.
Cory hopes his Michigan Clean Energy Leaders Program will cultivate “a diverse, collaborative, connected, and talented community of young clean energy leaders that will drive policy and business initiatives now and for years to come.”
Cory Connolly is the Chief Operating Officer for Levin Energy Partners, a firm specializing in clean energy finance via a clean energy finance mechanism called Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE. Previously, Cory worked as a Senior Research Associate at the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Law Institute. He holds a Bachelors of Arts in International Relations from James Madison College at Michigan State University.
Alex DeGolia, Denver, CO
Effectiveness of public-private clean energy projects
Alex will focus on documenting how local clean energy projects in conservative and politically diverse areas can better cultivate public support for climate action in ways more traditional approaches cannot. Through analyses of five to six civic projects, Alex will detail how the projects impacted the local economy, who the primary decision-makers were, and how the projects influenced local residents’ perspectives on climate change.
Alex says his project “has the opportunity to have a meaningful impact on future climate and clean energy political strategy.”
Alex DeGolia is an environmental researcher, political organizer, and outdoor educator. He received a PhD from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara. Previously, Mr. DeGolia worked as a research manager for the Analyst Institute, in the Obama Administration for the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Commerce, and as an organizer on the 2008 Obama for America campaign.
Adam Fischer, Durham, NC
Examining major renewable commitments
Highlighting ambitious commitments by cities and individual corporations to source 100% of their electricity from clean energy, Adam’s project aims to examines the potential for public-private joint solutions and identify key policy and market drivers that can enable future collaboration.
Adam Fischer is pursuing dual Masters degrees at the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment and Sanford School of Public Policy, and has worked in energy and climate policy as an intern, researcher, and consultant. At Duke, he serves as Senior Editor for the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum, co-teaches the UN Climate Change Negotiations Practicum, and previously held a research assistantship at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Prior to beginning his studies at Duke, Mr. Fischer spent five years as a Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, supporting the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) in Washington, D.C.
Kevin Fitzwilliam, New Orleans, LA
Advancing renewable energy generation
Kevin project focuses on working with electric cooperatives and municipal utilities in Louisiana to diversify their electricity generation mix with clean energy, and to implement energy-efficiency programs. Kevin’s project aims to replicate the success found with similar projects in Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
Kevin relishes the opportunity “to advance the renewable-energy economy in Louisiana and the Gulf South” and believes “it is especially important for clean-energy advocates in traditionally less-receptive areas of the country to receive support from organizations like E2.”
Kevin Fitzwilliam works for Joule Energy, a solar-energy firm that has been a leader in helping New Orleans to become a top 10 solar city in America. Kevin also has created three business ventures pertaining to sustainability. Kevin is from New Orleans, LA, and his interest in environmental protection began with the awareness of coastal land loss and its effect on livelihoods and the seafood industry in Louisiana.
Adam Hasz, Cambridge, MA
Highlighting equitable, community-driven energy policy
Adam will build an interactive website highlighting the economic benefits of equitable, community-oriented energy policy in Massachusetts through 2030. He will also create a monthly roundtable to build trust and understanding between the various energy stakeholder groups.
Adam says he is excited to use the E2 Fellowship to expand his research “around ways to develop energy systems that are just and democratic and, and to demonstrate the potential for the clean energy economy to create shared wealth for marginalized communities.”
Adam Hasz is a Master in City Planning candidate at MIT. Most recently, Mr. Hasz directed the climate advocacy organization SustainUS and worked towards a net-zero emission goal within the Paris Agreement.
Greg Hopkins, Boulder, CO
Building an online cleantech marketplace
Greg aims to develop an online cleantech marketplace for small commercial buildings, connecting eligible energy efficiency and distributed solar projects with qualified energy service contractors and crowd-sourced investment capital. His city-based approach will pilot in Boulder, CO.
Greg says his project’s online marketplace “will streamline and scale clean energy projects in small commercial buildings – addressing the market barriers holding back this sector by connecting crowd-sourced equity with turnkey implementation.”
Greg works within the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Buildings Practice. Before joining,, Greg worked in the commercial real estate industry in New York City. Most recently, he helped launch the U.S. real estate investing platform of Allianz, where he was responsible for evaluating acquisitions of office, retail, and multifamily. He earned a master’s degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, focusing on energy and environmental aspects of buildings.
Genevieve Liang, Los Angeles, CA
Enhancing clean energy job training
Genevieve’s project will survey the enrollment, graduation and employment rates of participants in clean energy job training programs in California, and apply this research for establishing such training programs in the greater South Los Angeles region where there is a significant lack of clean energy workforce development opportunities.
Genevieve says she is “excited for the opportunity to produce a living resource that can strengthen clean energy policy benefits for local economies”.
Ms. Liang serves as Executive Director of Cardborigami, an early-stage nonprofit centered on temporary shelter innovation. Previously, Genevieve was SVP of Development for Mirasol Development LLC, VP of Business Development at community solar pioneer Clean Energy Collective, and Manager of Utility Scale Projects at Sharp Corporation’s Solar Electric Solutions Group. Ms. Liang has an MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business, and extensive experience in energy projects, markets, and regulatory policy.
Bronte McGarrah, Somerville, MA
Cultivating cleantech success stories
Bronte’s project addresses the threat of federal budget cuts to programs for cleantech and clean energy innovation by creating a multimedia platform to share the stories of successful environmental entrepreneurs. The stories will be framed and specifically targeted towards an audience not likely to support an increase in federal spending but who also may not have realized the connection between cleantech innovation and economic growth.
Bronte says she hopes her multimedia platform “allows the voice of the entrepreneurs to be at the forefront of the movement advocating for the expansion of investment in federal clean energy policy.”
Brontë McGarrah serves as the Executive and Government Relations Coordinator at Greentown Labs, the nation’s largest cleantech incubator located in Somerville, MA. Ms. McGarrah completed her Bachelor’s Degree at Connecticut College where she studied Government and Environmental Science.
Marilyn Waite, San Francisco Bay Area
Careers in clean energy campaign
Marilyn’s project highlights the opportunities in women-led, green economy startups throughout the country, focusing on ventures that solve sustainability challenges in the energy and agriculture sectors, a twelve-part article series will be featured in GreenBiz.
Marilyn says she hopes the project will “create excitement for sustainable energy and agriculture career opportunities among budding entrepreneurs and future business leaders.”
Marilyn Waite is author of Sustainability at Work, serves on the Board of Directors for The Biomimicry Institute and lectures on sustainable business at UIBE in Beijing. Marilyn previously led the energy practice at Village Capital, modeled and forecasted energy solutions to climate change as a Senior Research Fellow at Project Drawdown, and served on the Board of Directors for Engineers for a Sustainable World. She holds a Masters Degree with distinction in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.