The Solar Foundation’s Board of Directors holds substantial experience in the areas of energy policy, law, international energy consulting, government, and campaign building.
Mary Powell – Chair
President and CEO, Green Mountain Power
Mary Powell has served as President and Chief Executive Officer for Green Mountain Power Corporation since 2008, following seven years as Chief Operating Officer. Mary initiated and implemented a strategic and comprehensive restructuring of the company that dramatically transformed Green Mountain Power and has been the backbone of a cultural transformation and service quality improvement. Mary launched an ambitious energy vision to provide low carbon, low cost and reliable power to Vermonters. As a result, the company has built Vermont’s largest wind farm, is building New England’s Solar Capital in Rutland, Vermont and has installed smart grid technology across the entire utility infrastructure. Mary realizes the traditional role of a utility is changing, and is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers. In 2012, Mary led an acquisition of Central Vermont Public Service, with a promise to generate $144 million in savings for customers. GMP has grown from serving 88,000 customers in 2008 to serving well over 260,000 customers, with revenues of more than $640 million and $1.3 billion in assets. In 2014, Mary announced a new partnership with NRG Energy, Inc. to make Vermont a leader in sustainable energy. The partnership will bring innovative clean energy products and services to Vermont, while helping customers manage energy use and save money.
Chief Executive Officer, NEXTracker
As founder and CEO, Dan Shugar helped build NEXTracker into one of the fastest growing cleantech companies in the U.S. Before he started NEXTracker, he served as CEO for the innovative cell manufacturer Solaria Corp. Decades ago, Shugar played a leading role in commercializing the first utility-scale solar trackers while working at APS & NWP Corp. He later served as president of PowerLight Corp., which was acquired by SunPower in 2006. Shugar oversaw revenue growth at PowerLight and SunPower from less than $1 million to more than $830 million and was responsible for the completion of more than 500 projects serving commercial, industrial, and utility clients worldwide. He has invented various PV system applications, holds multiple U.S. patents and has published more than 50 technical papers. Shugar earned a BS in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Golden Gate University.
Scott Sklar – Secretary
President, The Stella Group, LTD
Scott Sklar helms a technology optimization and strategic policy firm, The Stella Group, Ltd, which he founded in 1995. Previously, Scott served as Executive Director for 15 years of two national trade associations concurrently, the Solar Energy Industries Association and the National BioEnergy Industries Association. He also cofounded and ran the US export consortium of renewable energy trade associations, the US Export Council for Renewable Energy, and cofounded its sister energy efficiency entity. He has also held roles at The Solar Lobby and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Scott began his career as an energy aid to Senator Jacob K. Javits, during which time he co-founded the Congressional Solar Caucus. He serves on the boards of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the Renewable Energy Policy Project, in addition to co-chairing the Policy Committee of the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council and serving as Steering Committee Chairman of the Sustainable Energy Coalition. He has coauthored two books, “The Forbidden Fuel: A History of Power Alcohol” and “The Consumer Guide to Solar Energy.” Scott serves as an Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University, and lives in a solar-powered home in Virginia.
Independent Energy Consultant and Former Deputy Assistant Director to the President for Energy and Climate Change
Heather Zichal is an independent energy consultant, providing strategic advice to national and international clients, and a Distinguished Fellow with the Atlantic Council. Most recently, she served as the Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. As the President’s top White House advisor on energy and climate change, Zichal coordinated policy development and implementation on these issues across the Administration. She helped to shape and execute many of the President’s top energy and climate priorities, including establishing historic new fuel economy standards, reducing mercury pollution, and supporting clean energy deployment in the United States. Prior to joining the Administration, Ms. Zichal served as a Policy Director to the Obama Campaign, where she helped craft the 2008 energy platform. She previously served as the Legislative Director to Senator John Kerry after managing energy and environmental issues in the 2004 Presidential campaign. She has also served as Legislative Director for U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and U.S. Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ). During her time in the federal government, Ms. Zichal has been a strong and steady voice for policies that reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, protect public health and our environment, and address global climate change. She grew up in Iowa and is a graduate of Rutgers University.