The Solar Foundation’s staff holds substantial experience in the areas of solar market transformation, business development, policy analysis, and program design.
President and Executive Director
In 2010, Andrea Luecke was hired as the first employee after the relaunch of The Solar Foundation. In those early years, it was just Andrea and a shoe-string budget. By the end of 2015, Andrea had grown both The Solar Foundation team and operating budget by nearly 20-fold. Andrea’s leadership, charisma, and impassioned work ethic set the tone for TSF as a whole, as can be seen in the enthusiasm and sheer intellect of the people she has added to the team.
The Solar Foundation is focused on developing and implementing high-level research and national educational initiatives that promote greater solar uptake, leading to solar market transformation. Not only does Andrea provide overall management and strategic direction to the organization, but she is also the lead on TSF’s highly-acclaimed annual National Solar Jobs Census report series; serves as co-chair of the National Solar Schools Consortium; sits as on the advisory committee for the Women in Solar Energy group; and is the vice-chair of the ANSI-IREC Clean Energy Workforce Accreditation Committee. As a subject matter expert, Andrea also frequently presents on practical solar “best practice” approaches and has provided consultation to numerous organizations including the National Academy of Sciences and the Inter-American Development Bank.
Directly prior to joining TSF, Andrea ran the City of Milwaukee’s U.S. Department of Energy Solar America Cities program, “Milwaukee Shines”, where she helped Milwaukee implement policies aimed at increasing solar energy capacity. Andrea was the catalyst and muscles behind getting one of the nation’s first Property Assessed Clean Energy financing programs approved as well as the Milwaukee Metro Solar Hot Water Business Council established. As a result of her front-line experience, she earned the “0-60” award by the U.S. Department of Energy for her leadership and persistence in starting a viable solar program from scratch.
Andrea is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she earned her Master’s in Business and was awarded the highly competitive Center for Economic Development fellowship through the UW Consortium for Economic Opportunity. When she isn’t working toward a solar sustainable future, she can be found playing outside with her young daughter and husband or planning their next trip to Morocco.
Paritosh (Pari) Kasotia is the Deputy Director at The Solar Foundation (TSF) and is responsible for providing operational oversight for all core functions at TSF. In addition to her business acumen, she has strong expertise in the renewable energy markets, energy efficiency, and biofuels. She is the Founder and CEO of Unfolding Energy and was recently named Midwest Energy News’s 40 under 40 Midwest Emerging Clean Energy Leaders. Prior to her role at TSF, Pari led the Iowa Energy Office at the State of Iowa and managed all the undertakings of the Office. Her past experience also includes working at a public policy consulting firm and a non-profit organization. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Iowa Renewable Energy Association (IRENEW) and is active with Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL).
In the past, she has served as the member of the Iowa Energy Center’s Advisory Council. Pari has also served as an adjunct faculty at Drake University and taught an undergraduate course on national energy policy. She has made numerous presentations on clean energy and energy efficiency and is a published author with her work appearing in UN Chronicle and other publications. She holds two Master’s degree; a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Drake University and a Master of Public Affairs (MPA) in Economic Development and Policy Analysis from Indiana University-Bloomington. She has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Drake University in Environmental Policy and Political Science and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) as well as Certified ScrumMaster (CSM).
Ed Gilliland, CEcD, AICP, PMP, CPM
Senior Director of Programs
Ed is the senior director of programs for The Solar Foundation (TSF). His focus includes Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities (SPARC), Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE), and the National Solar Jobs Census. Prior to joining TSF, Ed was Vice President at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) where he managed their Advisory Services and Research Department. He directed all local, state, federal, and international consulting work, completing over 80 projects in 65 cities and regions.
Throughout his career, he has worked at the nexus of economic development, transportation, land use, and the environment. He has helped municipalities with strategic planning, organizational development, program evaluation, stakeholder collaboration, urban revitalization, public/private partnerships, smart growth, transit oriented development, and brownfields redevelopment. He managed multi-year grants with federal agencies such as DOC (EDA), EPA, and DOJ (Weed & Seed). He’s a certified planner (AICP), economic development professional (CEcD), project management professional (PMP), and product manager (CPM). He holds two master’s degrees from the University of Virginia including an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.
Program Director, Brian D. Robertson Memorial Solar Schools Fund
Yolanda Seabrooks serves as Program Director for the Brian D. Robertson Memorial Solar Schools Fund, a project of The Solar Foundation. Yolanda manages the day to day operations of the BDR Fund, whose mission is to provide solar photovoltaic systems to K-12 schools across the nation to increase awareness of solar energy and broaden access to solar education. She also worked on The Solar Foundation’s solar schools tracking report, which was released in September 2014. Before joining the Foundation, Yolanda spent eight years with SunEdison, a global leader in providing turnkey photovoltaic solutions to municipal, state, federal, utility, and commercial customers. There, she worked on the Distributed Generation Project Finance team, where she oversaw diligence for the sale of commercial solar projects to investors. Yolanda is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Philip Haddix leads much of The Solar Foundation’s soft cost reduction work. For several years, he represented TSF and managed its activities under the SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership, a successful U.S. Department of Energy-funded program to develop resources and deliver technical assistance for local governments seeking to promote solar within their jurisdictions. Philip now serves as Principal Investigator for the Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities (SPARC) Technical Assistance Provider program, part of another DOE-sponsored initiative to develop – and help communities qualify for – a new solar designation program designed to recognize communities’ efforts to reduce red tape for solar energy. He also plays a lead role in authoring TSF’s annual National Solar Jobs Census and associated state-level research products. He holds a Master of Public Affairs from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University with concentrations in Energy and Environmental Policy.
Alexander Winn helps direct many of The Solar Foundation’s key programs, including two Department of Energy funded programs – CivicPACE and the SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership – the State Solar Jobs Map, and the Solar Faith Initiative. Before joining TSF, Alexander had been an integral member of The George Washington University Solar Institute since its formation in 2008. There, he managed the Institute’s public outreach, including the Annual Solar Symposium, online communications, and various research efforts. He has worked also on the government affairs team of the Solar Energy Industries Association, providing analysis and public comment support on regulatory issues related to electricity transmission and public land use. Alexander earned a Master in Public Administration degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from The George Washington University.
Manager of Individual and Corporate Giving
Laura Manewitz currently manages all of The Solar Foundation’s fundraising activities, including grant writing, corporate sponsorships, and individual giving. Laura has experience both on and off Capitol Hill, most recently working in political consulting and campaign fundraising for clients including U.S. Senators Mazie Hirono, Chris Coons, and Kirsten Gillibrand, among others. Originally from San Francisco, Laura received her bachelor’s degree in political science at St. Mary’s College of California, where she wrote about the impact of women’s rights on single commodity economies and studied the impact of religious practice on culture while abroad in India. Laura earned her Master of Arts in Public Policy, with a concentration in Women’s Studies, at the George Washington University, where she researched gender equality in national politics. Additionally, while completing her graduate studies, Laura worked as part of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s Impact 2012, which focused on ensuring that, regardless of the election outcome, the resulting Administration and 113th Congress embraced a smart power approach to America’s engagement in the world.
Manager of Data & Research
As Manager of Data & Research for The Solar Foundation, Travis Moore oversees and plays a central role in the utilization of TSF’s vast collection of data in the creation of reports and other research products exploring the economic and societal impacts of solar energy and informing stakeholders at all levels of the benefits therein.
Before rising to his current role, Travis assisted the executive director in many capacities, including administrative support, operational facilitation, and organizational communications. He also worked closely with other senior staff members in the execution of the Foundation’s various programs. Prior to joining TSF, he performed similar duties, as well as policy research and database management, in the nonprofit drug policy reform arena, while also accruing substantial staff support experience over six years of event management in the Nation’s Capital. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Environmental Pre-Law from Ohio University.
Chris Walker serves as a Project Specialist on The Solar Foundation’s Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities team (SPARC). He provides technical assistance to local governments throughout the country to develop and streamline solar programs, policies, and processes. Prior to joining TSF, Chris gained direct experience in the solar industry brokering residential solar projects for SolarCity across Maryland and Washington, DC. Before working in the private sector, he supported global clean energy projects at the Climate Institute in Washington and provided research and editing support to the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program. Chris holds BA and MA degrees from the University of Florida in Political Science, with concentrations in global political economy and sustainable development.
James Schroll serves as a Project Specialist for The Solar Foundation, working primarily on the Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities (SPARC) program. He works with the SPARC team to provide technical assistance to localities addressing the soft costs associated with solar development. Prior to joining TSF, he worked for both the Office of Government Relations at the Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor.
James was appointed to the Arlington County Planning Commission in 2015 and has served on the Arlington County Transportation Commission since 2014. Previously, he served as the president of the Arlington County Civic Federation and president of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association. James earned an MPA from George Mason University and a BA in Political Science from the University of Mary Washington. In 2012, he was a member of the Sorensen Institute’s Political Leadership Program.
Zachary Greene exclusively works on the Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities (SPARC) team at The Solar Foundation. In this role, he provides local governments across the nation with technical assistance to help them achieve SPARC designation. Prior to joining TSF, Zach held several positions at the City of Austin, most recently acting as Director of Communications for former Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. His passion for solar energy arises from internships at the Solar Energy Industries Association and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Zach holds a Master of Public Affairs from The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He also holds Bachelor of Arts in both Economics and Interdisciplinary Studies: Communication, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government from The American University.
As program manager, Roxie is responsible for building and managing our national Solar Schools Program, designed to promote solar installation, and related curriculum integration, at schools and universities across the nation. She also sits on the Designation Program Administration (DPA) team, playing a support role for the Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities (SPARC) program. On the DPA team, Roxie is responsible for assisting with criteria development, branding, promotion, and metric reporting for SPARC. Before coming to TSF, Roxie spent four years working for the Oregon-based American solar manufacturer, SolarWorld. She coordinated their national solar installer network and directed their annual dealer conferences. Roxie brings with her a lifelong passion for renewable energy and energy education, stemming from an early childhood experience that inspired her to “change the world” through alternative energy advocacy. She has a BA from UC Davis in International Energy Policy and enjoys writing, weight training, and guest speaking at schools about renewable energy in her free time.
Timothy Olson, J.D.
Tim Olson currently serves as Program Manager with The Solar Foundation for programs, including: CivicPACE and the SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership. In this capacity, Tim is helping local governments reduce regulatory and financial barriers to solar adoption, and is supporting the development of the future solar workforce. Tim also provides internal legal support to the organization.
Prior to joining TSF, Tim was the Legal and Marketing Director for a private manufacturing and distribution company in Maryland. Tim received his J.D., with honors, from The George Washington University Law School, where he focused his studies on energy and environmental law and policy issues. During law school Tim was a member of The George Washington University Law Review, and held positions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Tim is currently barred in the State of Maryland. Before law school, Tim studied Environmental Science and Physics at Wheaton College in Massachusetts.
As Communications Manager for The Solar Foundation, Billy Connelly is responsible for developing and implementing TSF’s communications strategy and plans and supporting nearly all team projects. He promotes TSF’s reports, programs, and activities through traditional and social media channels, and he may even shout from rooftops to engage our growing community. Billy’s work in corporate communications and marketing for socially responsible businesses spans more than 25 years. He has worked in renewable energy and the voluntary carbon market, sustainable travel, municipal and corporate recycling, public television, and youth activism. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from The University of Connecticut and is one of the 1,000 volunteers in the U.S. trained to deliver the slide presentation from The Climate Reality Project. He is a Veteran of the Connecticut Air National Guard (CTANG), where he worked for 6 years on A-10 aircraft. Strong supporters of solar, Billy and his family own shares in a community supported array (CSA), which supplies clean energy to the grid.
Media Contact: (m) 202-854-8448 bconnelly [at] solarfound [dot][org] @connellybilly @SolarFound
Assistant to the Executive Director
Ian facilitates the activities of the executive director in a multitude of areas, ranging from organizational communications to administrative assistance. When needed, he also collaborates with other staff members in the execution of TSF’s programs. Prior to joining TSF, Ian spent four summers interning for the National Energy Education Development Project, a DC-based nonprofit. While there, he performed similar duties, as well as event coordination for their annual Youth Awards Program. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Geoscience from DePauw University.