AWWI’s board sits together at a common table to collaborate on shared goals. Board members are drawn equally from the wind industry and science and conservation organizations. This diversity and balance is an essential part of AWWI’s charter and is required by our bylaws.
Rene Braud, Director of Environmental Compliance and Policy, Pattern Energy Group
Rene Braud was recognized for her long-standing commitment to environmental excellence in the Wind Industry as the Recipient of the first AWEA Special Achievement in Environmental Leadership in 2010.
She joined Pattern Energy in 2011 to further develop and structure the environmental affairs team. She manages environmental policy and assists operations in developing the environmental programs.
Rene has been employed by the wind industry’s leading developers, including NextEra, BP Wind, & EDP Renewables to establish or strengthen their environmental programs. She provides leadership on numerous committees in the Wind Industry including: AWEA Siting Committee; Board of Directors, American Wind Wildlife Institute; USFWS Wind Turbine Guidelines Federal Advisory Committee (FAC).
She began her career studying to be a wildlife biologist and has over 27 years’ experience in environmental policy and permitting, including 19 years in energy siting & permitting, and over 14 years in wind energy.
Rene is a 1990 graduate of South Texas College of Law, did her Master’s work in environmental science at UT’s School of Public Health, and her undergraduate work at University of Houston.
Scott Davis is the Director of Conservation for The Nature Conservancy’s 19-state Central Division, focusing on large multi-state conservation initiatives ranging from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. He has worked for The Nature Conservancy for 16 years, previously serving as the Director of Conservation Programs and Associate State Director in Ohio, the acting State Director in Wisconsin, and the State Director of the Tennessee Chapter. Scott holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in aquatic ecology from Miami University and Texas A&M University respectively.
Dave Cowan, Vice President, Environmental Affairs, North America Utility and Global Wind, SunEdison
Dave joined First Wind Energy as Vice President of Environmental Affairs in 2004. Over the next 10 years he oversaw permitting and compliance for the development of the nascent company’s first 1000+ MW of generating capacity, and helped First Wind work through a variety of environmental regulatory processes during a very dynamic period in the industry. In January 2014 First Wind was acquired by SunEdison. As VP Environmental Affairs, North America Utility and Global Wind, Dave is now responsible for environmental permitting and compliance for wind and solar energy projects throughout North America and for wind projects globally.
Dave’s experience prior to joining First Wind includes over 20 years of environmental assessment and permitting as a consultant, and as a Research Associate during and after graduate school with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. He holds a Master’s Degree in Oceanography from Stony Brook University and a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology from SUNY ESF. He is a Certified Wildlife Biologist (The Wildlife Society) and a Professional Wetland Scientist (Society of Wetland Scientists).
Julie Falkner, Senior Director of Renewable Energy, joined the Defenders renewable energy team in February 2011 focusing on offshore and on shore wind development and eastern energy transmission issues. Julie has had been a member of the staff of the Interior appropriations subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations and previously served as a Deputy Chief of Staff in the Department of the Interior under Secretary Bruce Babbitt. She also has worked as a public policy facilitator and natural resource consultant for a number of federal agencies, and has extensive experience working with Native American Tribes. Julie is a lawyer and a graduate of Washington and Lee Law School in Virginia and Albion College in Michigan.
Peter Frumhoff is the Director of Science and Policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), and chief scientist of the UCS Climate Campaign. He has published and lectured widely on topics including climate change impacts, climate science and policy, tropical forest conservation and management, and biological diversity. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and an M.A. in Zoology from the University of California-Davis.
Garry started his Audubon career as a volunteer for Los Angeles Audubon in 2002 with KILL YOUR LAWN, a program modeled after his own yard to reduce water use and green house gases from mowers and blowers, and to create habitat to attract native plants for birds and other wildlife.
He served on LA Audubon Board as Conservation Chair from 2003-2006 when the Board appointed him as the chapter’s first Executive Director.
In 2004, he was elected to the Audubon California Board of Directors in 2004 as representative for the 12 chapters of Audubon in Southern California and served on the Conservation and Marketing Committees and as Chair of the Chapter Committee.
Audubon California asked him in 2008 to take his current position as Chapter Network Director for Audubon California where he oversees Audubon California’s relationship with the 48 chapters in California.
In 2011 his work with chapters on renewable energy permitting issues and ordinances throughout the state led him to an additional position as Renewable Energy Director and a seat on federal, state and local renewable energy policy stakeholder groups in the West and as a spokesperson for renewable energy and birds.
In California he serves or has served on the California Desert Renewable Energy Working Group, DRECP Stakeholders process, Condor/WIND Working Group, Golden Eagle Working Group and Tricolored Blackbird Working Group.
Garry is a graduate of NYU and lives in Los Angeles where he is active in local conservation and environmental issues as Conservation Chair of LA Audubon. When not working for Audubon he travels the world looking for rare birds and has racked up a life list of over 6,500 species, so far.
Nathanael is director of NRDC’s renewable energy policy program. His expertise is in renewable energy, its research and development, and the economic challenges that must be overcome so that they can be deployed quickly and with the greatest environmental benefits.
Nathanael started at NRDC right out of college in 1992. After two years he left to attend grad school, where he also worked for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He returned to work with NRDC in 1996. His background in science, engineering, and economics allows him to translate cutting edge technology developments into policy recommendations. He holds a degree in public policy from Brown University and a master’s degree from Berkeley. Read More
Tim Hayes is the Environmental Director for Duke Energy Renewables. He has been with Duke Energy and its predecessor companies Cinergy Corp., PSI Energy and Public Service Company of Indiana for 27 years. He has a B.S. from Indiana State University Life Science. He has been named the Indiana Izak Walton League Conservation Partner of the Year, the Ducks Unlimited Indiana Conservationist of the Year, and received the Hoosier Life-Time Achievement Wildlife Award from the Wildlife Society.
Mr. Hiester joined RES (Renewable Energy Systems) in 2010 and leads the company’s strategy development. His career, which began in wind energy in 1978, has included also generation development of biomass, geothermal, natural gas, wind and solar for regulated utility and non-utility companies both in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Hiester returned to a renewable focus in 2003 where has been a principal and leader involved in the development of over 3,000 MW of wind and solar. Mr. Hiester is a nationally recognized figure in wind resource assessment.
Mr. Hiester’s unique background as a commercial leader and atmospheric scientist has informed his overwhelming desire to address climate change. His interest is in the space where science, commercial success, and policy intersect to create positive progress for societies and the environment.
Mr. Hiester holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics from Colorado College where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and a Master of Science in Atmospheric Science from the University of Washington.
Eric Holst is the Senior Director, Working Lands, at the Environmental Defense Fund. Holst previously served as executive director of the Resources Legacy Fund and Program Officer for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. He holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and a B.S. from the University of California, Davis.
Tom Kiernan began as CEO of the American Wind Energy Association on May 28, 2013. Prior to that he spent 15 years as President of the National Parks Conservation Association.
Kiernan, a native and long-time resident of Arlington, Va., graduated from Dartmouth College in 1981 with a degree in Environmental Computer Modeling. He began his career with the Nantahala and Rocky Mountain Outdoor Centers, and in 1984, joined Arthur Andersen & Co. as a Management Consultant. Tom left the firm after three years to pursue his MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business. While at Stanford, he also served as Assistant to the Director of Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality.
Upon completing his degree, Kiernan moved to Washington, D.C., to join the Environmental Protection Agency as Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator. A year later, he was promoted to Chief of Staff of the Office of Air and Radiation, and then in 1991 was appointed Deputy Assistant Administrator where he was instrumental in the Bush Administration’s efforts to implement the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. For his leadership role in negotiating consensus after 12 years of litigation on a $450 million pollution control project at the Grand Canyon, he received the Gold Medal – the Agency’s highest award for employees.
At the conclusion of the Bush Administration, Kiernan co-founded the environmental consulting firm E3 Ventures, focused on working with private sector clients to expedite Clean Air Act implementation. In 1994, he was hired as Executive Vice President of the Audubon Society of New Hampshire. In this role, he was charged with managing the society’s operations, which included four nature centers, four stores, educational programs, field research, and the management of 8,000 acres of land. In 1995, he was named President, where he successfully led the organization to a balanced budget.
In 1998, Kiernan was named as President of National Parks Conservation Association. He led the organization through dramatic growth of its field offices from 7 to 23, its members and supporters from 300,000 to over 800,000, and its net assets from under $5 million to over $60 million. He also led a successful five-year capital campaign that raised 108 percent of its goal and established NPCA as an effective political force in Washington.
Jim Lyon is Vice President for Conservation Policy, where he is responsible for directing policy making, and advancing NWF’s conservation advocacy campaigns across the organization. He has worked in the environmental conservation community for over 35 years, including 18 years at NWF. Jim’s conservation work has included the Climate Change policy; BP Gulf oil spill, Mississippi River and Everglades restoration; protecting America’s Public Lands (including special places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge); preserving the Farm Bill’s sweeping conservation programs; and defending keystone environmental protection laws like the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Endangered Species Act. Earlier, Jim served as Vice President for Mineral Policy Center, and worked on many conservation issues at the (former) the Environmental Policy Institute. He has lobbied and testified before Congress, has written numerous reports and books on natural resource policy, worked in conservation coalitions and with many citizen organizations across the country, and has successfully raised grants to fuel programming.
Kelley Myers is the Conservation and Recreation Division Administrator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. In this role, she oversees fish and wildlife, state parks, forestry, land and water trails, real property acquisition, facility improvement and conservation law enforcement programs for the state of Iowa. She is Iowa’s director representative to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Kelley has been with the DNR since 2003, mostly serving as an attorney for the programs she now leads. She also managed renewable energy and efficiency grant programs for the state. She did serve as the General Counsel for the former Iowa Department of Economic Development in 2010, during which time she focused on business development, flood recovery and disaster relief programs.
Kelley holds a B.S. degree in Agriculture (emphasis in Natural Resources) from the University of Missouri in Columbia. She earned her law degree from Pennsylvania State University and is licensed to practice law in Iowa.
Kelley lives in Des Moines with her husband and their two young sons. They fill their free time traveling, camping, fishing and playing.
Dr. Laura Nagy is the Director of Permitting and Environmental at Iberdrola Renewables. Dr. Nagy is an ecologist with over 20 years of experience, specializing in avian systems, population ecology, and statistical ecology. Dr. Nagy has experience in strategic planning for wildlife issues including technical study design, identification of avoidance and minimization measures, development of mitigation measures, and project-specific wildlife monitoring. Dr. Nagy’s has been providing biological support to the wind industry on wildlife related issues on emerging regulatory issues such as eagles and endangered species and their associated Eagle Conservation Plans (ECPs), Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs), and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents. She previously worked as a consultant for the wind and solar industries at DNV GL and Tetra Tech and completed her post-doctoral research at the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Roby Roberts is the Vice President, Communications and Government Affairs, at EDP Renewables. He brings more than 20 years of experience in renewable-energy policy, communications, business development and regulatory affairs. He has been chair and board member of the American Wind Energy Association and is currently chair of the Canadian Wind Energy Association.
Jim Walker is Vice Chairman of the Board and former CEO of EDF Renewable Energy. He is a past board member and president of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a former member of the California Energy Commission and served in the Nixon and Ford Administrations. He has a B.A. in physics from Princeton University and a Doctorate from Harvard Business School.
As president of RNRG, Justin Wheating is responsible for overseeing the company’s operations, providing strategic direction, and leading the executive management team.
Justin joined RNRG as chief financial officer in 2009 and became president in January 2014. With more than 30 years of finance and accounting experience in both the domestic and international arenas, he previously held executive positions at MacGregor Golf, Burton Snowboards, and Dynastar Skis. Prior to RNRG, he was the chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Simon Pearce, where his leadership increased profitability and improved organizational cohesion.
Justin earned his FCA (Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales) at accounting firm Deloitte & Co.
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