Peter Ambs, MSL Advisor, is IT Director for Presbyterian Healthcare. He was formerly the City of Phoenix Assistant CIO, where he is responsible for application delivery, utility technology, and data science solutions. As the former CIO for the City of Albuquerque, he helped take the City to a #2 top Digital City for 2017 (as ranked by the Center for Digital Government). His interests include IoT, AI/ML, Blockchain, Big Data, DevOps, Cloud, and Cybersecurity, and the integration of energy and smart city systems.
Astrid Atkinson, MSL Advisor, is the founder and CEO of Camus Energy, a startup providing market-based orchestration for the zero-carbon grid. She was previously Director of Software Engineering for Google Product Infrastructure, where she led the teams building development frameworks for all products at Google and service-level infrastructure for server, client, frontend and plugin-based development. She has also served in similar capacities at Google in Search Infrastructure, Google Cloud, and Site Reliability Engineering.
Scott Backhaus, MSL Advisor, is the Coordinator for Electromagnetic Pulse and Geomagnetic Disturbance activities for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. He previously served in multiple roles in his 20-plus years at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), including Program Manager for Office of Electricity, Program Manager for DHS Critical Infrastructure, and team lead for LANL’s component of the DHS National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Group.
Jesse Berst, MSL Advisor, is Managing Director of Global Smart Energy, Inc., a strategic consulting firm. He is also the founder and Chairman of the Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition led by a dozen of the world’s top technology companies, including AT&T, Cisco, Electricite de France, General Electric, IBM, Itron, Microsoft and others. He was formerly Chief Analyst at SmartGridNews.com, the internet’s largest and highest-ranked smart grid site.
Seth Blumsack, MSL Advisor, is an Associate Professor in The John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering at Penn State; an Adjunct Research Professor at the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center; an External Faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute, and Collaborator with the Centre for Research in Energy and Mineral Economics at the University of Curtin, Australia. His work focuses on policy-relevant engineering, environmental and economic research for the energy, electric power and transportation industries.
David Breecker serves as Managing Director of MSL, and its Microgrid Innovation Consortium. He is the founder and President of the Santa Fe Innovation Park, an applied solutions laboratory pursuing fresh solutions to large-scale complex challenges; and Principle Consultant at David Breecker Associates, specializing in strategies for business, industry, and economic development, with extensive work in the energy domain.
Christian E. Casillas serves as an advisor to MSL. His work focuses on helping to build learning and energy systems that support more sustainable communities. Christian has been involved in various aspects of design, testing and implementation of renewable energy systems and training programs in the United States, Central and South America, Africa, and India. Christian holds a PhD and MS in Energy and Resources, an MS in Applied Math, and a BA in environmental engineering.
Larisa Dobriansky, MSL Advisor, serves as Senior Vice President, Legal, Regulatory and Energy Policy for General MicroGrids, Inc. Larisa was formerly Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Energy Policy at the U.S. Department of Energy, where she coordinated and provided strategic policy direction for Departmental activities to implement national energy policy objectives.
Randy Grissom, lead Advisor for MSL’s Microgrid Education Center, has served as both President and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Santa Fe Community College, where he previously served as Dean of Economic and Workforce Development, and Director of SFCC’s Sustainable Technologies Center. He joined the college’s business faculty in 1983, and was New Mexico state director for the Small Business Development Centers from 1989-1994.
Bryan Hannegan is President and CEO of Holy Cross Energy, a member-owned electric cooperative. Prior to joining Holy Cross in July 2017, Bryan was the Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Systems Integration at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Earlier in his career, Bryan served in multiple executive roles over seven years at the Electric Power Research Institute. From 1999-2006 Bryan was an active high-level contributor to U.S. and global energy and environmental policy, helping to formulate the Advanced Energy Initiative and to implement the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Karl Jonietz is a Senior Strategy Advisor to MSL’s Microgrid Innovation Consortium. He is a Guest Scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and former Program Manager for Alternative Energy Programs and Senior Advisor on International Relations there. His long tenure at LANL included various assignments within the Principal Associate Directorate for Science, Technology, and Engineering. He previously served with the U.S. State Department Diplomatic Corps, and was Deputy Chief of Mission for the European Union in Brussels.
Joseph Kunkel is co-Director of MSL’s Energy Sovereignty Institute. He is a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and a Design Director at MASS Design Group, leading a portfolio of indigenous work as part of the Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative. As a community designer and educator, he is focused on capacity building in Indian Country and exemplary Native American Indian housing projects nationwide. His work centers on architecture, planning, construction and design processes that align with indigenous values. Joseph is a member of the 2019 class of Obama Foundation Fellows.
Roger Levien, Ph.D., is a Strategy Advisor to MSL’s Microgrid Innovation Consortium. He is the founder of Strategy & Innovation Consulting, previously held senior positions at the Xerox Corporation in business and technology strategy, and was with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, which he served as General Director from 1975 through 1981. Roger also served on the staff of The RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California and Washington, DC.
Terry Mohn, MSL Advisor, is General Manager Microgrid Developments for Horizon Power in Australia. He previously served as Executive Consultant for Open Access Technology International (OATI), Chief Executive Officer of General Microgrids, Vice President Innovation of BAE Systems, and Chief Technology Strategist for Sempra Energy Utilities, and led the United Nations Foundation’s Sustainability for All microgrid working team.
Douglas Orr, MSL Advisor, has served as Senior Director of Software Engineering at Google in the areas of Cloud, Google Apps, and Network Systems. He has extensive experience in developing software systems and computer security, and has also worked in the area of geospatial data analytics engineering with Descartes Labs, a Los Alamos National Laboratory spinout venture.
Mani Vadari, Ph.D. is an MSL Technical Advisor. He is the Founder and President of Modern Grid Solutions, delivering consulting and training services to a global set of smart grid companies. He was previously Vice-President of Energy Infrastructure at Battelle’s Energy Technology Global Business Unit, and was one of the lead partners in Accenture’s global T&D team where he founded their System Operations and Smart Grid practice.
Nathan Williams, Ph.D., MSL Advisor, is a Research Scientist in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. He developed an interest in energy poverty issues while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso. He then joined the Centre for Energy Research at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa, where he earned a M.Sc. He earned his doctorate at CMU, where his current focus is on innovative ways to expand access to electricity in sub-Saharan African countries.
Kurt Yeager, MSL Advisor, is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), where he led the development of the Electricity Technology Roadmap and the Electricity Sector Framework for the Future. Following his tenure at EPRI, he led the Galvin Electricity Initiative, and has also worked with the MITRE Corporation, the EPA Office of Research, and the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), for which he was the convening lead author for the Global Energy Assessment.
Hisham Zerriffi, MSL Advisor, is an Associate Professor in Forest Resources Management at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Zerriffi’s research is at the intersection of technology, energy and the environment, with a particular focus on rural areas of the developing world. Much of his research focuses on institutional factors impacting the diffusion of new technology, determinants and patterns of household energy choice and welfare implications of rural energy use.