Rocky Mountain Institute is governed by a self-perpetuating Board that has complete oversight and policy responsibility, is kept currently informed of the Institute's affairs, confers frequently on an individual basis with RMI's operating officers, and meets for two days twice a year.
Current Board Members
Shelburne, Vermont. BA Physics and Philosophy, Amherst College. Chairman FIRST. John is the retired Founder and Chairman of Boston Scientific Corporation a 16,000 employee, $6 billion world-wide company that is a leader in the field of “Less Invasive Medicine.” He holds numerous patents and has published and lectured extensively on the technology of various medical devices and on the technical, social, economic, and political trends and issues affecting healthcare. His major interests are science literacy for children, education, and the process by which new technology is invented, developed, and introduced to society.
Seattle, Washington. BA, University of Washington; Accounting. Principal and Executive Vice-President of McKinstry, a Seattle-based construction, energy and facility services firm. During his 35-year career, David has championed countless marketing and strategic initiatives for his firm and others within the industry. He is widely respected for his contributions to creating McKinstry’s positioning strategy, which has enabled the company to emerge as a valued thought-leader on the sustainable built environment. In addition, David has played a significant role in establishing McKinstry’s Innovation Center, a business incubator created to help newly established companies quickly bring their products and services to market. David currently serves on the executive committees of Enterprise Seattle and the Washington Clean Technology Alliance, of which he is a former board chair. He is also a Seattle Chamber of Commerce board member and former chair of the Construction and Green Design/Building Skills panel for the Workforce Development Council of King County.
Roy Bedlow is Chief Executive and co-founder of Low Carbon. Founded in 2012, Low Carbon deploys capital into renewable energy development companies and renewable energy projects with the aim of creating as many MWs of clean, green electricity as possible. Investments to date have included projects generating electricity from solar PV, concentrated solar power, onshore wind and anaerobic digestion.
Prior to focusing on climate change, Roy was Vice President and General Manager of Palm for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Before joining Palm, Roy founded the European entity of Handspring in Geneva Switzerland. Earlier roles included European Director of Iomega International in Geneva and a variety of sales and marketing positions at Apple Computer, which culminated in European Marketing Director, based in London and Munich.
Roy is a director of Andromeda Capital, a private equity firm investing in climate change, education and communities. Roy sits on the Board of the energy efficiency technology company, enModus and the Board of Sparx, which is developing new technology to revolutionize learning.
San Francisco, California. San Francisco State University; American Studies. Former owner of a design-build residential construction firm. Artist, fine art painting, exhibited widely in U.S. and Japan with works owned by numerous private and public collections. Trustee of The Ayrshire Foundation. Member, National Advisory Board, Union of Concerned Scientists.
Richmond, California. BS, Structural Engineering, Cornell University; MS, Mechanical Engineering, MIT; MA, Architecture, UC at Berkeley. Founder and CTO, SunPower Corporation Systems. Founder, Former founder, CEO and Chairman of PowerLight, a leading and global supplier of PV products and systems. Author of numerous papers and holds over 30 patents on building-integrated photovoltaic and related products.
Suzanne Farver, Chair, Finance Committee
Woody Creek, Colorado. BA, Grinnell College (Phi Beta Kappa), economics; JD, University of Denver; ALM in Environmental Management (Class Marshal), Harvard University. Suzanne teaches corporate social and environmental responsibility classes to graduate students at Harvard University, promoting many of the holistic and positive business concepts advanced by RMI. The classes are taught on campus and online and are some of the most popular courses in the environmental and sustainability curriculum. Before her studies in sustainability, Suzanne was the executive director of the Aspen Art Museum, where she oversaw a major restructuring of the organization and its finances to bring the once struggling organization back to vibrancy. She is an active board member for several other organizations, including the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and the Denver Art Museum.
Mark Ferron is a leader in the intersection of energy, the environment, finance, and philanthropy.
Mark currently serves on the Board of Governors of the California Independent System Operator, which manages the high-voltage electricity system in California and parts of the West. He is also active with a number of environmental and other mission-driven organizations. (Full Bio)
Arjun is the Chief Believer of TeleSoft Partners, a special situations venture capital firm. Over the last two decades, he has overseen investing in and helping build 61 companies, of which 37 companies have gone public or been acquired. Earlier in his career, Arjun was a Technology Strategy Consultant for high-tech clients with McKinsey, where he led top management projects for Apple, AT&T, AMD, Siemens/ROLM and Vodafone. Arjun serves on the boards of Calient Networks, Nexant and Validity Sensors. He is a Henry Crown Fellow and Trustee of the Aspen Institute. Arjun joined Rocky Mountain Institute’s board of trustees in the spring of 2009. He has an MS and BS Computer Science, Phi Beta Kappa, from WSU, BA Economics from St. Stephen's College, and an MBA from Stanford. Arjun is a passionate outdoorsman and splits his time between Aspen and San Francisco.
Michael Haas is the Founder and CEO of Orion Renewable Energy Group LLC (Orion), Co-Founder of RDC Developments Ltd. (RDC), and the Founder of Alliance for Climate Education (ACE). Orion, headquartered in Oakland, CA, was formed in 1998 and became an early pioneer in the development of low cost, utility scale renewable energy. (Full Bio)
Maria van der Hoeven
Maria van der Hoeven served as Executive Director of the International Energy Agency from September 2011 to September 2015. Under her leadership, the IEA admitted its 29th member, Estonia, and increased its cooperation with OPEC and the International Energy Forum (IEF) as well as signed a partnership accord with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). A member of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate led by former President Felipe Calderón of Mexico, Ms. Van der Hoeven has initiated discussions at the IEA between policy makers and industry representatives on the impact of climate change on energy security, and sought to raise awareness among young people around the world of the problem of climate change and the need to get informed and take action. (Full Bio)
Jules was previously CEO of Topell Energy BV, a company developing a leading technology for the torrefaction of biomass. Before that, Kortenhorst served as the founding CEO of the European Climate Foundation, the largest philanthropic organization in Europe focused on influencing government policy on climate and energy. At the ECF among others, he lead a major effort to develop the roadmap for decarbonized power generation in Europe. Before launching the foundation, he was elected as a member of the Dutch parliament for the Christian Democratic Party.
Earlier, Kortenhorst was the CEO for International Operations of ClientLogic Corporation, a global leader in outsourced Customer Relationship Management solutions. Earlier in his career, Kortenhorst worked for eight years for the Royal Dutch Shell in several roles and countries, and in his last position was the managing director of Shell Bulgaria. Kortenhorst graduated with high distinction from Harvard Business School and holds a master's degree in monetary economics from Erasmus University in The Netherlands. He began his career as an analyst at McKinsey & Co. in Amsterdam. Kortenhorst is married and has four children.
Amory B. Lovins, Cofounder, Chief Scientist of RMI and Chairman Emeritus
Snowmass, Colorado. MA, Oxford (by special resolution), twelve honorary doctorates; physicist, author, consultant. (Full bio)
Reuben Munger, Chair, Investment Subcommittee
Boulder, Colorado. B.A., Politics and Economics, and B.S., Business Administration, magna cum laude, Washington and Lee University. Currently Founder and Managing Partner of Vision Ridge Partners, L.L.C. which aims to develop financially viable solutions to the global climate crisis. Mr. Munger was a co-founder and CEO of Bright Automotive, Inc a fleet focused electric vehicle company. He was formerly a Managing Director at The Baupost Group, L.L.C., a $25 billion investment firm. Founding member of the Electrification Coalition, Director of the Stand for Children Leadership Center and the Energy Systems Network.
Jean Oelwang is the CEO of Virgin Unite, the entrepreneurial foundation of the Virgin Group and a Partner in the Virgin Group focused on People Innovation. In 2003, Jean left her post as joint CEO of Virgin Mobile. Australia to begin working with Richard Branson and the Virgin staff from around the world to create Virgin Unite. Over the last 10 years, Jean has worked with partners to create new approaches to social and environmental issues, such as the Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship and a global platform to support budding entrepreneurs. She has built collaborations to incubate a number of global leadership initiatives such as The Elders, the Carbon War Room and The B Team. In addition, Jean has been instrumental in working with over 25 Virgin businesses across 15 industries to put the wellbeing of people and planet at their core. (Full Bio)
José María Figueres Olsen
Jose Maria Figueres Olsen joined the Carbon War Room as its Chair in 2009. In 2012 he became the organization's President (Chief Executive). After a successful business career (1979-1987), José María served as Minister of State and was later elected President of Costa Rica (1994-1998) at the age of 39. As President he created a comprehensive national development strategy based on the tenets of sustainability: sound economics, investment in human development, and a strong alliance with nature. (Full Bio)
Martha C. Pickett, Managing Director and General Counsel of RMI
Snowmass, Colorado. BA, Guilford College; MCDP, College of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado, Denver; JD, University of Denver; President, Windstar Land Conservancy; member of Advisory Board to Catawba College’s Center for the Environment. (Full bio)
George Polk is the Managing Partner of Tulum Trust, a private equity firm which works primarily with family offices and delivers high returns while having a meaningful impact on climate change. Among other things, Tulum has a special focus on industrial energy efficiency, where it funds energy generation projects that have very significant greenhouse gas impact and an annual cash yield of circa 15% for the 20+ year life of the project.
George has been applying his skills as an institution builder, investor, and philanthropist to the challenge of creating a viable and vibrant low carbon society since 2007, when he stepped out of a successful career as a technology entrepreneur to focus on tackling climate change. (Full Bio)
Mary Powell has served as president and chief executive officer for Green Mountain Power (GMP) Corporation since 2008. Powell launched an ambitious energy vision to provide low-carbon, low-cost and reliable power to Vermonters. She is leading an energy transformation, providing customers the latest innovations and comprehensive energy makeovers to help people save money and use less energy. GMP is the first utility to become a member of B Corp, showing a commitment to use energy as a force for good. In 2014 Powell was recognized by Power-Gen as the Woman of the Year, and in 2016 Fast Company named her one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business.
“This is an exciting time to lead an energy revolution and deliver the new energy future customers tell us they want. Joining the Board of Trustees of Rocky Mountain Institute is an honor, and their work will help us drive collaboration and innovation to make this change happen sooner. It is time to move away from the bulk, antiquated grid to an energy system that is generated and used closer to where it is needed,” Powell said.
Elizabeth Sall is the founder and president of UrbanLabs LLC, where she manages a portfolio of mission-driven projects spanning travel analysis research to policy. Prior to UrbanLabs, Sall served as the deputy director for data, technology and analysis, and as the interim deputy director for planning at the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. She is an active volunteer for the Transportation Research Board, serving on the Transportation Research Record Advisory Board and as a member of several committees. She serves on the Sall Family Foundation board, where she leads investment in “Entrepreneurial Initiatives.” Sall has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University and an M.S. from University of Texas.
“I’m honored to be asked to serve and excited to be working with Rocky Mountain Institute to solve the most pressing and complex challenge of our time: climate change,” Sall commented.
Jigar Shah is an entrepreneur and visionary committed to leveraging the next economy by solving the challenging issues of our time. Shah has recognized this as “The Impact Economy.” Shah has noted that a global "Impact Economy" is one in which mainstream investors team up with corporations, entrepreneurs, and governments at scale to solve the big environmental and social problems of our time while generating compelling financial returns – not just average returns. Today, he is CEO of Jigar Shah Consulting and a board member of the Carbon War Room. He works closely with some of the world’s leading influencers and guides policy makers around the globe on key issues to implement solutions for global warming and sustainability that will unlock that next trillion dollar impact economy. (Full Bio)
Todd Stern was “a leading architect of the Obama administration’s international climate change strategy,” according to Politico. Stern was appointed to the position of U.S. special envoy on climate change on January 26, 2009, by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He was the chief U.S. negotiator of the successful Paris Agreement. Stern previously served in the Clinton administration as assistant to the president, and as staff secretary in the White House from 1993 to 1998, during which time he also acted as the senior White House negotiator for the Kyoto Protocol and Buenos Aires negotiations.
“I am delighted to be joining the Board of Trustees of Rocky Mountain Institute. Following the landmark Paris climate agreement last year, the central challenge for countries around the world will be to rapidly accelerate the transition to a clean energy, low-carbon global economy. RMI has been a clean energy leader for years, helping companies and governments take concrete steps to improve their energy profile and paving the way for national energy transition planning with work like Reinventing Fire: China,” Stern said.
Denver, Colorado. BA, Yale University; JD, New York University School of Law. Ted is a business lawyer and a name partner of Moye White LLP where he serves as Chair of the Transaction Section. His legal practice focuses on corporate governance, complex financings, and M&A transactions. He is on AAA’s panel of arbitrators for complex commercial cases and is the Vice President-Americas Region for the International Alliance of Law Firms. He is the author of “Drafting Business Contracts” which was published in 2010. Ted is also the Founding Managing Director of the Estabrook Funds, whose managers are global, multi-strategy absolute return investors. Currently, Ted is Chairman of the Boettcher Foundation and a trustee of the AWM Charitable Trust, the Schlegel-White Foundation, Kent Denver School, and Judi’s House; he has served on numerous civic boards, was the Founding Chairman of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, and has chaired the boards of Biennial of the Americas, Graland Country Day School, Webb-Waring Institute for Biomedical Research, and Webb-Waring Foundation.