Solar with Justice Report Project Team
Warren is the Executive Director of the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA). He oversees the organization’s day-to-day operations and leads strategy development. He has produced many reports for CESA, including Returning Champions: State Clean Energy Leadership Since 2015. Prior to working for CESA, he was Director of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, Executive Director of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, and Deputy Director for Programs at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University.
Chandra is Director of the Just Energy Program for the Partnership for Southern Equity. She provides leadership, strategy, and coaching to ensure the program achieves its energy equity goals and optimizes its impact in the community. She works in partnership with environmental and equity organizations throughout the American South to engage diverse communities around issues of energy inequity, democracy, and climate justice. She was previously a Program Manager for Southface Energy Institute.
Nate is a CESA Project Director. He manages the “Scaling Up Solar for Under-Resourced Communities Project,” an initiative funded by the US Department of Energy to advance three distinct subsets of the LMI solar market: single-family homes, manufactured homes, and multifamily affordable housing. In 2018, he was named to Renewable Energy World’s Solar 40 Under 40 list, which recognizes solar energy leaders under the age of 40. He holds a JD with a certificate in Environmental & Natural Resources Law. He is licensed to practice law in Vermont.
Berneece is Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi. She previously was Interim Chair and Program Coordinator for the Department of Community & Regional Planning at Alabama A&M University. Before joining the university, she worked for a consulting firm and was a Senior Urban Planner and Director of the Department of Statistics and Economic Planning for the Nevis Island government. She holds a PhD in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences.
Nicole Hernandez Hammer
Nicole is a CESA Project Director working on solar for under-resourced communities. She is a sea-level researcher, climate change expert, and environmental justice advocate. A Guatemalan immigrant, she works to address the disproportionate impacts of climate change on communities across the US. She previously was an advocate at the Union of Concerned Scientists, Florida field manager for Moms Clean Air Force, an environmental blogger for Latina Lista, and assistant director of the Florida Center for Environmental Studies at Florida Atlantic University.
Bentham is the principal of PaulosAnalysis, consulting and writing on clean energy policy, technology, and trends, for non-profit, media, industry, research, and phil- anthropic clients. He is an affiliate at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, sits on the board of CESA, and serves on the Berkeley Energy Commission. He was a program director with the Energy Foundation from 2000 to 2013. For CESA, he wrote Bringing the Benefits of Solar to Low-Income Consumers: A Guide for States and Municipalities.
Tony is Assistant Professor at University of Michigan’s School for Environment & Sustainability. His research focuses on energy justice, exploring disparities in residential energy generation, consumption, and affordability. Among his many publications are “Targeting Energy Justice” and “A Community-Based Approach to Low-Income Residential Energy Efficiency Participation Barriers.” He has a PhD in Public Administration and an MS in Engineering Management.
Robert is Senior Finance Director for CESA and Clean Energy Group. With over 25 years of experience in community development and energy-related commercial finance, he has deep expertise in designing, implementing, and evaluating financing programs, financial products, and related services in the areas of clean energy and sustainable community development. He was formerly Managing Director of Energy Finance for The Reinvestment Fund, a leading innovator in the financing of neighborhood and economic revitalization.
Laura is a Program Associate for CESA, where she works on initiatives to make solar more accessible to low- and moderate-income communities. Laura was previously a Global Energy Fellow at Vermont Law School where she worked in the Institute for Energy and the Environment as a team leader in identifying strategies to overcome barriers to low-income solar ownership in Vermont. Laura received an LLM in Energy Law and a JD from Vermont Law School.
Danielle is Director of the Inclusive Clean Economy Program at The Nathan Cummings Foundation. She served in the Obama Administration as Senior Advisor for External Affairs and Acting Director for Stakeholder Engagement at the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Prior, she held roles at The Raben Group, serving as Green 2.0’s founding executive director; the Hewlett Foundation; and served on the National Academies of Sciences Gulf Research Program’s Advisory Board. She holds a MS in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Rudy serves as Director of Investments at The Solutions Project, managing grantmaking strategies to advance 100 percent clean energy for 100 percent of the people. Rudi also leads a national effort to organize philanthropy and increase investments in rural electric cooperatives. He also serves as a steering committee member at the 100% Network. Follow him on Twitter @LatinoSublime.
Maria Blais Costello
Maria is the Manager of Program Administration for CESA, where she is responsible for managing grants and communications for CESA projects. Maria directs CESA’s State Leadership in Clean Energy awards program and coordinates development activities and special events. She manages communications, report production, and editing. She also serves as CESA’s corporate secretary.