Adjunct Professor, Columbia University in the City of New York
Principal and Co-Founder, Vicaris Energy and Technology
Formerly General Manager - The Americas, Global CCS Institute
Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy, U.S. DOE (retired)
Dr. Victor K. Der completed a distinguished 37-year career of leadership, achievement, and promoting international cooperation in science, research and development at the United States Department of Energy. He retired as Assistant Secretary (acting) for Fossil Energy, with responsibilities for office operations and managing the oversight of Fossil Energy's Research and Development program, which includes one of the world’s foremost coal and carbon capture research efforts, as well as the vitally important U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Dr. Der also served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, where he helped provide strategic planning, direction, and guidance for FE’s daily activities, as well as its long-term goals and objectives.
During his DOE career, he developed and implemented several key programs within the Office of Fossil Energy. Prior to becoming the Principal Deputy, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary forClean Coal, where he was responsible for directing clean coal R&D. Included in these responsibilities were implementation of energy technology and policy initiatives relating to clean coal utilization and its role in climate change mitigation, carbon capture and storage, and fuel cells. His earlier positions at DOE also included management of programs in advanced nuclear energy, nuclear waste management, superconductivity, and magnetohydrodynamics.
As General Manager for the Americas at the Global Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Institute,he was responsible for the operations and membership in the Americas regional office which focused on programs for promoting CCS through policy advocacy, thought leadership forums and knowledge dissemination.
Vic is currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia.
He also is a principal co-founder of Vicaris Energy and Technology, LLC, a venture capital entity focusing on new technology start-ups, and advising domestic and international clients instrategic low-carbon energy technology, projects and policy.
He holds a bachelor of science, a master of science, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland and is based in the greater metropolitan area of Washington, D.C.
Managing Director, Constellation Technology Ventures
Scott is the head of Constellation Technology Ventures (CTV), the venture capital investing arm of Exelon Corp. In this role, Scott oversees the CTV investing strategy, the management of the CTV portfolio and the commercialization of new energy technologies within the Exelon commercial platform.
Prior to CTV, Scott was part of the Strategic Systems and Business Operations group where he led a team responsible for market data management, IT governance and supporting business process improvement projects, new business/growth initiatives and integration projects. He held several other roles within the Constellation wholesale commercial organization prior to that.
Scott earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Fairfield University and an MBA from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Director of Materials Science (emeritus)
DuPont Central Research and Development
Dr. Freilich recently retired from DuPont after a 33 year career spent connecting scientific discovery and technology with real marketplace needs. For the last 12 years of his DuPont career, he served as the Director of Materials Science in DuPont Central Research and Development. In that role, Dr. Freilich was responsible for both developing and implementing the technology growth strategies in such rapidly moving areas as solar energy, energy storage, materials for displays, biomaterials, and electronic materials. Prior to his Director role, Dr. Freilich led research organizations in the fields of thin film physics, materials forinformation storage, organic photochemistry, scientific computing, and particlescience. He also held various business roles, including Global Business Managerfor DuPont Titanium Technologies.
While serving as Director of Materials Science, Dr. Freilich held the additional position of Chief Technology Officer of the DuPont Electronics and Communication Platform from 2008 to 2009, and from 2009 through 2012, was appointed as the Chief Technology Advocate for North Asia. He has served on the boards of the United States Display Consortium, DuPont Photonics Technologies, and was the Vice Chair of the Advisory Panel for the Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion. He has also served on the advisory boards for Sandia National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and theNational Research Council of Canada.He currently is Vice Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center at National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Steven holds a bachelor of arts in chemistry from Amherst College, and both a master of science and PhD in chemistry from Harvard University.
President & CEO, Solar Energy Industries Association
600 14th Street, NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
Abigail Ross Hopper is the President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, the national trade organization for America's solar energy industries. She oversees all of SEIA's activities, including government affairs, research, communications, and industry leadership.
Before joining SEIA, Abby was the Director of the Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. As the BOEM's second director, she weighed complex and sometimes conflicting factors to achieve balanced federal energy policy.
She served formerly as the Director of the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) and has broad experience in the energy sector, including working with a wide variety of stakeholders as well as legal expertise. Abby led the MEA from 2012, first as Acting Director and then as Director in June 2013. She also served concurrently as Energy Advisor to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley since 2010. As MEA Director, Abby was pivotal in ensuring the passage of the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013.
She was a lead negotiator representing the State’s interests in both the Exelon/Constellation merger and the FirstEnergy/Allegheny Energy merger, securing millions in benefits for Maryland and its citizens. Abby has also focused significant resources on improving the resiliency of the State’s electric utilities in the face of major storms.
Abby previously spent over two years as Deputy General Counsel with the Maryland Public Service Commission, during which she advised commissioners on a broad range of legal matters arising from their duties as utility regulators.
Before embarking on a career in public service, Abby spent nine years in private practice where she specialized in complex merger and investment counseling and corporate law.
Abby graduated Cum Laude from the University of Maryland School of Law and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dartmouth College.
Chair of the Board, Maryland Clean Energy Center
Founder & CEO, American Microgrid Solutions, LLC
114 S. Washington Street, Suite 202
Geoff is the founder and CEO of American Microgrid Solutions, an advanced energy ecosystem company dedicated to helping clients reduce expense and increase resilience. American Microgrid Solutions works with a broad range of clients including municipalities, senior housing facilities and commercial property owners. A veteran utility executive, Geoff has executed strategic planning, operations, marketing and communications for utility, telecommunications and environmental non-profit organizations. Prior to founding American Microgrid Solutions, Geoff was Vice President of Operations for Easton Utilities, a nationally recognized municipal utility that provides electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, broadband Internet, cable television and utility management software solutions. Geoff managed the effort to diversify Easton Utilities’ generation portfolio by adding solar PV generation and integrating landfill gas generation. Geoff serves on the board of directors of the Maryland Clean Energy Center, previously chaired the American Public Power Association’s Customer Connections Conference and presents at national events. Geoff is a member of the Leadership Maryland Class of 2010 and was awarded the William Donald Schaefer People Helping People Award in 2016 for his work to improve financial literacy through Junior Achievement. Geoff currently serves of the University of Maryland Medical System Shore Regional Health board of directors and has served several other organizations including the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and the Maryland Broadband Cooperative. Geoff earned his Bachelors of Arts from Williams College and a Masters of Business Administration from The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School.
Director, U.S. Army Research Laboratory
2800 Powder Mill Road
Adelphi, MD 20783-1197
Prior to becoming the Director of ARL, Perconti was the director of ARL's Sensors and Electron Devices Director where he was responsible for leading and transitioning the Army's primary basic and applied research programs in sensors, electronics, signal processing, and power and energy component technologies.
Prior to joining ARL in January 2013, Perconti was the director of the Science and Technology Division of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center's Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate for 12 years.
He received a bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering from George Mason University, a master's degree in electrical and computer engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from The George Washington University.
Perconti is a Fellow of the Military Sensing Symposium, a member of the Eta Kappa Nu Electrical Engineering Honor Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Army Acquisition Corps, the Technical Cooperative Program Sensors Multi-Sensor Integration Panel and the Institute of Electrical Engineers, and serves as chairman for the Military Sensing Program, Passive Sensors Committee.
He has published extensively on many aspects of military sensing and countermine/counter improvised explosive device technology, has authored and co-authored over 40 publications including three book chapters, and he holds two patents.
Founder, Generate Capital Inc.
555 DeHaro Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94107
Jigar Shah is the President and Co-Founder of Generate Capital. Jigar was the founder and CEO of SunEdison (NASDAQ: SUNE), where he pioneered “no money down solar” and unlocked a multi-billion-dollar solar market, creating the largest solar services company worldwide. After SunEdison, Jigar served as the founding CEO of the Carbon War Room, a global non-profit founded by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to help entrepreneurs address climate change. Jigar sees business model innovation as a leveraged tool for driving the next productivity revolution – resource efficiency. He is committed to helping entrepreneurs and large companies alike implement resource efficiency solutions using “no money down” project finance models. In 2013, Jigar authored Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy. He holds an MBA from The University of Maryland and BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He sits on the boards of sPower and the Rocky Mountain Institute.
Director, Maryland Energy Administration
1800 Washington Blvd., Suite 755
Baltimore, MD 21230
As deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment, Dr. Tung helped develop innovative solutions for the department to work more efficiently while providing guidance and support to its science-based efforts. Previously, Dr. Tung had worked extensively in the legal and scientific communities. As an attorney, she specialized in business law, intellectual property, and biotechnology patent law. She has also taught at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and studied and performed biomedical research in immunology, pharmacology, and virology.
In addition, Dr. Tung earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law, a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from Wright State University, a postdoctoral associate in pharmacology and virology from the Yale University School of Medicine, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Cincinnati.
University of Maryland Distinguished University Professor
Department of Physics & Institute for Physics and Science Technology
College Park, MD 20742
Distinguished University Professor Ellen Williams earned her B.S. in 1976 from Michigan State University and her Ph.D. in 1981 from the California Institute of Technology. Her research interests are in surface chemistry and nanotechnology. She founded the University of Maryland Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and served as its Director from 1996 through 2009. She served as Chief Scientist at BP from 2010-14, and as Director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) from 2014 until early 2017.