Speaker Bios - CivicWell Policymakers Conference

CivicWell Policymakers Conference

2023 Speaker Bios

Eddie Ahn | Executive Director, Brightline Defense

Eddie Ahn is the executive director of Brightline Defense (“Brightline”), an environmental justice nonprofit. In addition to coalition-building and direct service programs, Brightline has established itself as an effective advocate for sustainable environments and workforce development policies with a team of policy experts, lawyers, and community organizers.

Eddie currently serves as a commissioner for three local and state government agencies related to environmental policymaking: SF Commission on the Environment (as President), Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). In December 2021, he was also inducted into the California Energy Commission’s Clean Energy Hall of Fame for his work in clean energy and equity. Prior to being a nonprofit attorney, he was an AmeriCorps member, teaching art and public speaking workshops in Oakland’s Chinatown.

Eddie has received his J.D. from UC College of the Law, San Francisco, and his B.A. from Brown University. He is also a member of the California State Bar.

Session: The Challenges and Promises of Offshore Wind

Wendy Root Askew | Supervisor, County of Monterey

Wendy Root Askew is proud to serve Monterey County as District 4 Supervisor. Her priorities as Supervisor include: social equity, healthcare access, ensuring the County provides high quality services, access to affordable childcare, water and mass transit solutions, increased accountability and customer service for County services, housing, and recovery from the pandemic. A creative problem-solver with four generation deep roots in Monterey County, Wendy Root Askew is a mother to a young child, wife to an architect, and daughter to a parent educator and retired Army Colonel. As County Supervisor, Askew is committed to advancing policy that promotes the ability of families – in all their forms to have their basic needs met in safe, connected communities where there is opportunity for personal fulfillment, and access to protected natural resources.

Supervisor Askew stepped into her first term on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors with the honor of being selected Chair of the Board by her colleagues. Wendy further serves the residents of Monterey County on a variety of boards, commissions, and committees. She brings over a decade of experience working on health, human services, and public safety policy. From 2016-2020 Wendy served on the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District as a Board Trustee, championing for safe, healthy school, access to technology, and quality teachers.

Session: Building Decarbonization – What Local Governments Can Do

Stacy Atkins-Salazar | Council Member, City of Arcata

With resource scarcity pressuring rural cities to be inventive and build strong regional partnerships, Stacy ran for Arcata City Council in 2020 to bring the community together around a common table to solve the housing, economic, and social challenges facing rural cities. With a background that includes a master’s degree in psychology and owning a small business for over 20 years, she has been a champion for local companies and for progressive housing policies. Stacy is best known for supporting local businesses; serving on the local transportation association; co-facilitating a regional pro-housing collaborative; and creating and supporting housing policies, including limits to short stay rentals and increased density zoning. She is committed to working to balance the quality architecture, accessible parks and open spaces, and the pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure the community desires, while at the same time producing affordable housing.

Session: How to Build More Housing in Your Town

Alberto Ayala | Executive Director, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District

The Board of Directors of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District selected Dr. Alberto Ayala as the agency’s Executive Director and Air Pollution Control Officer in 2017. In this capacity, he leads a team of dedicated professionals focused on the protection of public health and the global climate by advancing the greater capital region towards meeting all national ambient air quality standards, the state’s decarbonization goals, and local commitments for sustainability and climate resilience.

Alberto has 30 years of professional experience. He was Deputy Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at West Virginia University, where he still holds an adjunct appointment, and Design Engineer with Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical. He has a BS in aerospace engineering and MS and PhD in mechanical engineering from UC Davis. His internships were with GE’s Corporate Research Center in New York, the California Energy Commission, and the UCD Atmospheric Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory. Alberto is a respected expert on air quality, climate science and policy. His work has been published extensively, including a recent contribution to the book Ambient Combustion Ultrafine Particles and Health and the upcoming book 3 Forks in the Road, Dieselgate: The Volkswagen cheating scandal.

Session: The Remote Workforce – Environmental and Equity Implications

Catherine Blakespear | California State Senator

Catherine Blakespear was elected in 2022 as the state senator for the 38th district, which represents northern San Diego County and southern Orange County. Catherine previously served eight years in local government, six years as the Encinitas Mayor and two years on the Encinitas City Council.

As mayor of Encinitas, Catherine made her city the first in the County to deliver 100% renewable power and passed a tough climate action plan to reduce emissions.

When the pandemic hit, Catherine delivered emergency financial assistance to help local businesses keep their doors open. As mayor, Catherine banned ghost guns, passed tough safe gun storage requirements, and supported red flag laws to keep guns out of the hands of people who are a potential threat and made her city one of the safest in California.

Additionally, Catherine improved water infrastructure during her time as Vice President of the San Dieguito Water Board, ensuring customers a reliable, clean water supply.

Catherine lives with her husband, two teenagers and her mom in Encinitas.

Session: Effectively Influencing State Climate Policy from a Local Level

Alexander Casey | Director, Housing Affordability Data Lab at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation

Alexander Casey is the Director for the Housing Affordability Data Lab, the Terner Labs program to create analytical tools and datasets to inform more data-based government decisions. He brings public-facing and managerial experience in housing policy research, real estate economics, and housing data metrics.

Prior to joining the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley, Alexander worked as the Senior Manager and Senior Policy Advisor on Zillow Group’s economic research team, analyzing housing data to provide insights and expertise to government, non-profit, and media organizations. Before that, as an Analyst, he worked on consumer protection issues for the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. Alexander holds an MPA from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington, and a BA in Sociology from the University of Minnesota.

Session: How to Build More Housing In Your Town

Cindy Chavez | Supervisor, County of Santa Clara

Supervisor Cindy Chavez represents more than a half million people in East, Central and South San Jose and has made equity the cornerstone of most of her policies. Regionally she is a member of the CalTrain Board of Directors, playing a leadership role in the electrification of Caltrain and planning for high- speed rail. She is also a commissioner representing Santa Clara County on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and serves on the Valley Transportation Authority Board of Directors. Statewide, Governor Gavin Newsom just appointed Supervisor Chavez to the California Board of State and Community Corrections. The BSCC works in partnership with local corrections systems and assists efforts to make improvements in reducing recidivism.

She is responsible for the majority of affordable housing in Santa Clara County after being the architect of the $950-million affordable housing bond passed by voters in 2016. She was instrumental in getting the necessary two-thirds vote for the bond measure to pass. Santa Clara County is way ahead of schedule in building the projects. The County has now funded 41 developments that total more than 4,400 homes throughout Santa Clara County – many of which are now in operation or nearing completion.

Board President Chavez along with many non-profits in Santa Clara County led an unprecedented movement to get a 400 percent increase in funding for survivors of sexual assault, human trafficking and gender-based violence. The goal is for the services to help change the trajectory of women’s lives in the areas of affordable housing, mental health, job training, education and child care.

Session: Building Decarbonization – What Local Governments Can Do

Roger Dickinson | Policy Director, CivicWell

Roger Dickinson

Roger Dickinson serves as the Policy Director for CivicWell, providing direction and advocacy at the state and local levels for the policies, programs, and priorities of the organization. In addition, he works with the Housing Concepts Coalition which brings together diverse stakeholders to advocate for legislative and administrative steps to increase housing.

Previously, Roger served as the Executive Director of Transportation California, a non-profit construction industry coalition which provides public education and advocacy to increase state funding for surface transportation infrastructure. During Roger’s tenure, the legislature passed and the governor signed SB 1, The Road Repair and Accountability Act, the largest transportation funding legislation in California history, and the voters passed Proposition 69 and defeated Proposition 6 in 2018. As a result, California now enjoys an additional more than $5 billion per year in funding for roads, bridges, public transportation, and active transportation.

Roger was elected to the State Assembly in November 2010, and reelected in November 2012, representing the 7th Assembly District including the Cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento. In his first year, he achieved a 100% bill signing success rate – seven bills were approved by the legislature and all seven were signed into law. In the second year of his term, nine more bills were signed by the Governor. In 2013, 11 Dickinson bills were signed into law by Governor Brown. In 2014, his most successful year, 15 bills were sent to the Governor and all 15 were signed in law – another 100% success rate. As a legislator, Dickinson focused on issues related to environmental quality, education, health and human services for children and families, economic development, and consumer protection.

Prior to his election to the Assembly, Dickinson served on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors from February 1994 through 2010. As a member of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, Dickinson played key roles on issues such as health care, welfare reform, economic development, clean air, improved transportation, and smart growth.

Roger currently serves on the boards of the MS Society of Northern California, the Aerospace Museum of California, and the Sacramento Tree Foundation, and is a co-founder of SMART, Sacramento Metro Advocates for Rail and Transit.

Session: Effectively Influencing State Climate Policy from a Local Level

Carl Guardino | VP of Global Government Affairs, Tarana Wireless

Carl Guardino is Vice President for global government affairs at Tarana Wireless, a pre-public technology company whose sole focus is to help bridge the digital divide in unserved and underserved communities. Prior to joining Tarana in 2022, Carl served as EVP of government affairs for Bloom Energy, and was CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group for 24 years.

Carl also serves as Vice Chair of the CA Transportation Commission and is just ending his 4th term – 16th year – on the Commission. He has led or co-led 16 countywide, regional and statewide ballot initiatives for transportation, affordable housing, open space and water. In his spare time, Carl and his wife Leslee run Marathons, long-distance triathlons and duathlons. Carl and Leslee have three young children: Jessica, Siena and Jake.

Session: The Remote Workforce – Environmental and Equity Implications

Siva Gunda | Vice Chair, California Energy Commission

Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Gunda in February 2021 to serve as the Energy Commission’s public member. Gunda was later appointed to Vice Chair in September 2021. He is the lead commissioner on energy assessments.

Gunda served as manager of the Demand Analysis Office and deputy director for the Energy Commission’s Energy Assessments Division. The division forecasts and assesses energy demands and supplies.

Before joining the Energy Commission, he served in a variety of capacities at the Energy Efficiency Institute at the University of California, Davis, including as the director of research, where he directed the institute’s operations and research portfolio.

He holds a master of science in mechanical and aeronautical engineering from Utah State University. Gunda is pursuing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from UC Davis. He is a serious cricket fan and former captain of his college team. He lives with his family in Davis.

Session: The Challenges and Promises of Offshore Wind

Bill Hayward | Executive Chairman and Chief Sustainability Officer, Hayward

Bill Hayward is the Executive Chairman and Chief Sustainability Officer of Hayward, a 100+ year old California lumber and building material supplier. Hayward provides builder’s solutions for build healthy, durable and energy efficient homes. Over the past decade Hayward has developed the data driven Hayward Healthy Home Principles as well as a web based assessment tool for housing and its impact on occupant health called HaywardScore.com. Having scored over 90,000 homes, Hayward has now created the largest data base correlating housing attributes, occupant habits and self reported health symptoms. Hayward understands health and housing and shows builders how to build them in a cost effective manner.

LMB Journal, the leading magazine for the lumber/building material distribution channel, named him Entrepreneur of the Year (2015). In addition, he was named “20 Most Influential Leaders in the Industry” and Hayward was named “Dealer of the Year” for their work in driving sustainability in the industry. On the non-profit side, Bill is Chairman Emeritus of FSC US after having chaired the Forest Stewardship Council US for 5 years. He received his BS from UCLA (85) and completed from the Stanford Executive Program (2006).

Session: Building Decarbonization – What Local Governments Can Do

Arne Jacobson | Director, Schatz Energy Research Center

Arne Jacobson is Director of the Schatz Energy Research Center and Professor in the Environmental Resources Engineering Department at California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt (Cal Poly Humboldt). His areas of research interest include wind and solar power, renewable energy technology deployment, energy policy, and access to energy in off-grid areas of Africa and Asia. He has led a team engaged in multiple projects related to the feasibility of offshore wind resource development on California’s north coast, resulting in the publication of 30 reports over the past three years.

As director of the Schatz Center, Dr. Jacobson leads a team of about 45 faculty, staff, and students engaged in research related to clean and renewable energy. Since joining the university in 2005, he has been awarded grants and contracts totaling over $20 million. In 2010/11, he served as a senior advisor in the Office of Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy. He was a member of a team that received the Secretary’s Achievement Award in 2012 from U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Stephen Chu. Dr. Jacobson has a PhD from the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley, a master’s degree in Environmental Resources Engineering from Humboldt State University, and a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Earlham College.

Session: The Challenges and Promises of Offshore Wind

Julia Kingsley | Senior Consultant, California State Assembly Transportation Committee

Julia Kingsley has been a Senior Consultant for the Assembly Transportation Committee since 2021, after working at the California Transportation Commission, as a legislative aide for Assemblymemeber Friedman, and as an advocate in Sacramento for a suite of environmental issues. She is an alumni of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, and received a degree in Urban and Environmental Policy from Occidental College. Julia is passionate about system change to address climate change, environmental justice issues at large, and how to facilitate consensus. She recently adopted a cat, although she is allergic. She is originally from the North Shore of Boston, MA.

Session: How to Build More Housing in Your Town

John Laird | California State Senator

Senator John Laird represents the 17th State Senate District, which includes all of Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo counties, the majority of Monterey County, as well as parts of Santa Clara County. He previously served as the Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, member of the State Integrated Waste Management Board, a member of the State Assembly, Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Aids Project, and two terms as Santa Cruz Mayor. His lifetime of public service and social justice advocacy saw him become one of the first openly gay mayors to serve in the United States. Senator Laird has been a long-time resident of Santa Cruz with his spouse John Flores.

Keynote Speaker

Anu Natarajan | Lead, Meta Housing Initiative

Anu Natarajan

Anu Natarajan is the Housing Initiative Lead at Facebook, where she leverages her extensive background across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to guide Facebook’s housing policy initiatives, partnerships and investment work. Natarajan is a long-time advocate for sensible, sensitive, and sustainable planning as the engine for economic growth and community building.

Prior to joining Facebook, Natarajan served as the Director of Policy and Advocacy for MidPen Housing, where she worked to find solutions to build more affordable housing in the Bay Area. In her work with the American Leadership Forum – Silicon Valley, Anu focused on community engagement and outreach and built a diverse coalition of more than 35 partners from the Bay Area to solve regional challenges through civic engagement. While at StopWaste, she also worked on sustainability, the circular economy, and climate actions plans. Natarajan has served a total of 10 years as the Vice Mayor and City Councilmember for the City of Fremont, and is the first Indian-American to be elected to a City Council in the Bay Area.

Anu grew up in Bangalore, India, where she graduated from Architecture School. She moved to Seattle on a Rotary International Scholarship as an “Ambassador of Goodwill” and earned her masters degree in Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Session: How to Build More Housing in Your Town

Pam O’Connor | Vice-Chair, Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission

Pam O’Connor, former Mayor of Santa Monica, is an accomplished leader with expertise in planning, transportation, climate and sustainability policy and community engagement, government relations and public affairs. She served as President of the Southern California Association of Governments, Chair of Los Angeles County Metro, and as Chair of the Local Government Commission. She combines innovative thinking with thoughtful use of data to find practical solutions and approaches that are intentional and actionable—with an emphasis on people from all walks of life and a focus on sustainability and building resilience in people and places. She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission, as an alternate Director at Metrolink – the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, on the California Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee, UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies Advisory Board, and the board of Abundant Housing Los Angeles.

Session: Solar, Battery Storage, and Grid Reliability

Jan Pepper | CEO, Peninsula Clean Energy

Jan Pepper has over 30 years of energy and utility experience, with a focus on renewable energy contracting and financing. She joined Peninsula Clean Energy as CEO in May 2016 as the first employee and is leading the organization to deliver 100% renewable energy on a 24/7 basis by 2025, and transition transportation and building energy use away from fossil fuels to clean electricity. Peninsula Clean Energy is the community choice aggregation agency for San Mateo County and the City of Los Banos. Peninsula Clean Energy has two investment grade credit ratings and has saved its customers over $90 million since its inception by delivering cleaner and greener electricity at a 5% discount to all of its customers.

Jan was elected to the Los Altos City Council in 2012 and served as Mayor in 2015 and 2020. She served on the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District from 2013 to February 2017. She earned a BS in civil engineering and an MBA, both from Stanford University. Jan is a registered professional engineer in California.

Jan formerly worked at Silicon Valley Power and has founded four energy-related start- ups. At APX, she developed and pioneered the first use of renewable energy credits, which are now the standard currency for trading and tracking renewable power. At Clean Power Markets, her company designed and implemented the successful Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program for the State of New Jersey.

Session: Solar, Battery Storage, and Grid Reliability

Heidi Sanborn | Board President, SMUD

Heidi Sanborn was first elected to the SMUD Board of Directors in 2018 and began serving on the SMUD Board in January 2019. She represents Ward 7, which includes Arden Arcade, Carmichael, Antelope, Foothill Farms and North Highlands. She’s currently serving as the Board President.

Sanborn is the Founder of the National Stewardship Action Council and has served as its Executive Director since 2015. She is also the founding Director of the California Product Stewardship Council where she served for 12 years prior. These nonprofits are dedicated to reducing waste, increasing recycling and advocating for an equitable, circular economy. She was appointed by State Treasurer Fiona Ma to the Green Bond Market Development Committee in 2019 tasked with efficiently raising billions of dollars in new and affordable capital to build climate-friendly infrastructure. She also was appointed by CalEPA to serve on the Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets and Curbside Recycling in June of 2020 and was elected Chair. The voluntary Commission submitted 34 policy recommendations to the California Legislature, with full consensus votes in its first 18 months, resulting in numerous bills passing in 2021-22 legislative session that were groundbreaking for the field.

Sanborn is also active in the community. She is on the Board of the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento and is co-chair of the Giving Tree committee of the Kiwanis Club of Carmichael which has managed 3 plantings in Ward 7. She served as the President of the Sacramento Chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness – spearheading a walk for mental health, conducting police trainings and teaching family-to-family classes. She was also a Big Sister for six years to a local graduate from the Sacramento Unified School District. Over the past 15 years, Sanborn and her husband have volunteered with Front Street Animal Shelter, fostering 67 dogs to date.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science-Public Service from UC Davis and a master’s degree in Public Administration from USC.

Session: Solar, Battery Storage, and Grid Reliability

Genevieve Shiroma | Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission

Genevieve Shiroma was appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by Governor Gavin Newsom on January 22, 2019. Prior to joining the CPUC, Commissioner Shiroma served as a member of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board from 1999 to 2019, serving as chair from 1999 to 2006, 2011 to 2014, and 2017 to 2019. Previously, she was chief of the Air Quality Branch at the California Air Resources Board from 1990 to 1999, an air quality supervisor from 1984 to 1990, and an air quality engineer from 1978 to 1984. For five terms, from 1999 to 2018, Commissioner Shiroma was the elected Director of Ward 4 of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).

Commissioner Shiroma is presently the lead commissioner for approximately 90 formal proceedings spanning the regulated electricity, gas, telecommunications, transportation, and water industries. She leads the Microgrids and Resiliency proceeding established pursuant to Senate Bill 1339 (Stern, 2018), the rulemakings over transportation network companies, including Wheel Chair Accessible Vehicles and the Clean Miles Standard, the LifeLine discount phone and broadband program, the California Alternate Rates for Energy, the Family Electric Rate Assistance, and Energy Savings Assistance Program, the customer energy investment financing rulemaking, the Energy Efficiency rulemaking, Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) research and development program, Water Consolidation and Acquisition rulemaking, and major general rate cases and rate design proceedings for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, California American Water Company, among others.

Commissioner Shiroma serves as the Commission’s representative on the Low-Income Oversight Board, and is Co-Chair of the Commission’s Emerging Trends, Finance & Administration, and Internal Audits committees. In 2022, Commissioner Shiroma became the President of the Western Conference of Public Service Commissioners (WCPSC) of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). She also serves on the NARUC Water Committee, the NARUC Emergency Preparedness, Recovery and Resiliency Task Force, and Subcommittees on State and National Responses to COVID-19 and Black Sky Response.

Commissioner Shiroma resides in Sacramento and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Materials Science and Engineering from University of California, Davis. She was born and raised as a farm worker’s daughter in the Acampo-Lodi area of San Joaquin County.

Session: Solar, Battery Storage, and Grid Reliability

Darcy Totten | Director of Communications, California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls

Darcy joined the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CCSWG) in 2019 as the Director of Communications. She has over 20 years of experience in crisis communications, journalism, public policy, and external affairs.

Darcy has built several nationally recognized communications efforts including the Commission’s Annual Reports and the #WomenAreEssential campaign, designed to draw attention to the unique and disproportionate ways women were impacted by the pandemic.

She is the primary author of the CCSWG California Women’s Economic Blueprint for Pandemic Recovery which adopts a gendered lens on the economy, recognizing women as key drivers of industry and critical workforce participants central to the state’s recovery.

Darcy holds a bachelor’s degree from Mills College and a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She serves as a Board Member for the Sacramento LGBT Center, is a Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program Senior Fellow, a Coro Fellow, and a Next City Vanguard Fellow (40 urban innovators under 40). She lives in Sacramento with her wife Jasper and too many cats.

Session: The Remote Workforce – Environmental and Equity Implications

Mitch Weiss | Executive Director, California Transportation Commission

Mitch Weiss was appointed Executive Director of the California Transportation Commission in January 2020. As Executive Director, he has guided the Commission in advancing its commitment to equity and climate objectives, including through the issuance of a Racial Equity Statement, creation of an Equity Advisory Roundtable, and current implementation of the Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure. He also ensured the Commission stayed on schedule dedicating funds to transportation projects throughout the COVID pandemic, including the programming of more than $20 billion to transportation projects in 2020.

Mr. Weiss has served as a member of the Commission’s staff for more than a dozen years. Prior to his appointment as Executive Director, he served for two years as Chief Deputy Director. In this capacity, he led the Commission’s implementation of Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act, which provided the first significant, stable, and ongoing increase in California’s transportation funding in more than two decades. This effort included dozens of public workshops and culminated in the commitment of over $9 billion in Senate Bill 1 funds in just 13 months.

Mr. Weiss previously held positions as the Commission’s Deputy Director for Programming, policy advisor for the Commission’s Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee, and the Deputy Secretary for Administration and Finance at the California State Transportation Agency. Prior to these positions, Mr. Weiss held several positions in the budget offices of the California Department of Transportation and the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

Session: The Remote Workforce – Environmental and Equity Implications

Das Williams | Supervisor, County of Santa Barbara

Das Williams

Supervisor Das Williams was elected to represent the First District of Santa Barbara County in June 2016 and took office on January 2, 2017. Williams previously represented the area, along with over half of Santa Barbara County and a quarter of Ventura County in the California State Assembly from 2010-2016. Prior to his service in the Assembly, Williams served 7 years on the Santa Barbara City Council from 2003-2010 and also served as a trustee for Peabody Charter School in Santa Barbara.

As Supervisor, Das has provided leadership through the Thomas Fire and subsequent debris flow that rocked Santa Barbara County in addition to taking proactive leadership to develop clean energy locally and working to protect vital public services, such as our libraries.

In addition to sitting on the Board of Supervisors, Das represents Santa Barbara County on the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Executive Board and serves on several Boards and commissions including CivicWell, Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG), Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD), and others.

Session: Effectively Influencing State Climate Policy from a Local Level

Mike Wilson | Supervisor, County of Humboldt

Mike Wilson P.E. has been county supervisor for the County of Humboldt since 2017 after serving for over a decade as a commissioner on the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District. In 2019 Mike was appointed to the California Coastal Committee as the North Coast Representative.

Supervisor Wilson is a professionally licensed civil engineer and holds a Masters of Science degree in environmental systems engineering from Cal Poly Humboldt. For more than 25 years Mike has been a consultant providing land use and resource planning, environmental engineering and project management for tribes, municipalities and non-profits in the pacific northwest and beyond.

Session: The Challenges and Promises of Offshore Wind

Garrett Wong | Climate Program Manager, County of Santa Barbara; Board Member, Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition

Garrett Wong is the Climate Program Manager for the County of Santa Barbara, and the Collaborative Manager for the Santa Barbara County Regional Climate Collaborative. Garrett leads the County’s policies and programs under the County’s One Climate Initiative and collaborates with local and regional organizations to advance inclusive climate action and adaptation. Prior to the County, Garrett led climate and energy policies, programs and projects for the City of Santa Monica. Garrett is also a Board member of the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition, which provides regulatory representation and capacity for communities and local governments.

Session: Building Decarbonization – What Local Governments Can Do

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