Solar with Justice Project Team
The Solar with Justice project’s goal is to encourage greater state and community collaboration on equitable solar development. The project plans to do this through developing knowledge products, facilitating productive conversations, and fostering innovative models of state and community collaboration. Project team members play different roles to support these goals, including academic research, community and state outreach, and technical analysis.
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Sustainable Capital Advisors
Trenton Allen is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Sustainable Capital Advisors (SCA). Sustainable Capital Advisors is a consulting and financial advisory firm that provides a comprehensive suite of services to support the successful deployment of capital for sustainable energy projects, domestically and internationally. Mr. Allen is an experienced energy and banking professional with 20+ years and $30 Billion in infrastructure financing experience. Mr. Allen has financed a wide range of energy infrastructure projects including energy efficiency, renewable energy and water projects for utility, business, state and local government clients across the country. For example, he successfully led the inaugural $67 million bond financing for the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility. Prior to founding SCA, Mr. Allen was a director at Citi, developing financing strategies for utility-scale and distributed renewable energy projects including solar, biomass and energy efficiency that combined traditional project finance structures utilizing equity and debt investments with tax and environmental credit monetization strategies.
Just Energy Interim Director, Partnership for Southern Equity
Cicely has worked with organizations spanning the South’s equity movement, including Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, Atlanta Community Food Bank, Common Market SE, EcoWomanist Institute, Georgia Tech, National Black Food and Justice Alliance, New GA Project’s Black + Green Agenda, and United Way of Greater Atlanta.
Of special note is Cicely’s experience spearheading the production of Resilient Atlanta and the transition of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability to Office of Resilience under the 100 Resilient Cities program pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation to respond to urbanization, globalization, and climate change in metro areas.
Cicely was awarded the Outstanding Atlanta Community Service Award in 2014 and Creative Loafing‘s Neighborhood MVP in 2015.
Sr. Project Manager – Solar, Energy Trust of Oregon
Sector Lead - Renewable Energy, Energy Trust of Oregon
Betsy Kauffman leads Energy Trust of Oregon’s renewable energy sector, which provides cash incentives and technical assistance to solar, hydro, and biopower projects in Oregon. The program has funded more than 19,000 commercial, residential, and large-scale solar projects and more than 20 hydro and bio projects. Prior to joining Energy Trust, Betsy worked at For the Sake of the Salmon where she managed the Salmon-Friendly Power program, one of Oregon’s first programs to allow utility customers to choose a renewable power option. Betsy has bachelor’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.
Associate Professor, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Janelle Knox-Hayes is the Lister Brothers Associate Professor of Economic Geography and Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. She holds a visiting research fellowship at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University. Her research focuses on the ways in which social and environmental systems are governed under changing temporal and spatial scales as a consequence of globalization.
Senior Vice President, Sustainable Capital Advisors
As Senior Vice President at Sustainable Capital Advisors, Victor Rojas leverages his experience across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to deliver policy, capital markets advisory and financial structuring expertise to advance climate change and environmental justice efforts.
Victor joined SCA after serving as Senior Manager for Clean Energy Finance with the Environmental Defense Fund. Victor’s prior experience includes Deputy Commissioner with the City of Chicago Department of Environment; Senior Vice President with Sindicatum Carbon Capital/Managing Director of Sindicatum Carbon Technologies; Principal with Medley Capital; Managing Director for Cleantech Investment Banking at First Analysis Securities; Managing Partner of San Joaquin Venture Partners, and Assistant Vice President with First Chicago Capital Markets Public Finance. Victor also served a Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs and Public Liaison at the United States Department of the Treasury and Legislative Counsel for a senior member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Victor earned his B.S. degree at University of California, Berkeley and his J.D. at Hofstra University.
Sr. Program Strategies Manager, Energy Trust of Oregon
Lizzie Rubado helps customers tap into clean, affordable energy in new and unique ways as a Senior Program Strategies Manager at Energy Trust of Oregon. Lizzie has been with Energy Trust for 15 years, and currently leads innovation and strategic planning, with a focus on underserved customers and communities. Energy Trust is an independent, non-profit organization that offers information, services and cash incentives to help customers save energy and produce their own power from renewable resources.
Director of Partnerships, Access & Equity Program, Vote Solar
Leah Taylor serves as the Director of Partnerships, Access & Equity Program for Vote Solar. Leah leads Vote Solar’s Just Partnership Strategy to support the organization's national and state-level campaigns, ensuring that the people most impacted by energy decisions have a voice in shaping them.
Since 2011, Leah’s career has centered around building and sustaining inclusive partnerships at the community, regional, and national level to help create a more just and abundant future for all. Prior to Vote Solar, Leah lead projects focused on increasing opportunity and success of Indigenous-owned businesses, preventing veteran suicide across the country through a community integration and partnership-based approach, supporting community-based research to address racial health disparities, and most recently working with visionary rural leaders in 21 states to develop inclusive digital economy ecosystems.
Leah immigrated to the United States from Canada more than 10 years ago, first living in Georgia, and now Vermont. They hold a Masters Degree in Globalization Studies from McMaster University, and an undergraduate degree in International Development Studies from York University.
Research Associate Professor -- The Harris School of Public Policy, The University of Chicago
Kim Wolske is a research associate professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and a fellow with the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC). Her work draws on the fields of environmental, social, and cognitive psychology to examine the behavioral dimensions of energy issues, with an eye toward improving the design of public-facing policies and programs. Most recently she collaborated with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as part of the Department of Energy's Sunshot Initiative to investigate strategies for lowering the soft costs of residential rooftop solar. Other research examines how different ways of framing climate change solutions may influence public perceptions of the issue and support for mitigation and adaptation policies.