Andrea Luecke is an entrepreneurial and fearless leader who, over the course of a decade, took The Solar Foundation from zero to an internationally renowned organization that is responsible for some of the solar industry’s most trusted and valuable research and education. As President and Executive Director, Andrea served as the strategic engine, key spokesperson, primary fundraiser, as well as the creator of the Solar Jobs Census, Solar Industry Diversity Study, SolSmart, the Solar Training Network, Summer Solstice, and Solar Saves Lives.
As a means for creating more efficiencies and impact, Andrea led The Solar Foundation through a strategic merger with the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. To facilitate the merger discussions, Andrea voluntarily made a commitment in January 2020 to step down from her role following a successful merger agreement. Her distinguished tenure concluded on November 15, 2020 and she now serves as a consultant to The Solar Foundation and other clients through the consulting firm she launched with her young daughter: ALL Impact Consulting. As the nation’s most prominent voice on solar jobs, workforce challenges, and solar workforce diversity, her consulting firm is positioned to help industry keep up with increased demand for a skilled and diverse workforce.
Prior to The Solar Foundation, Andrea ran the City of Milwaukee’s U.S. Department of Energy Solar America Cities program, “Milwaukee Shines,” from 2008-2010. In this position, she helped Milwaukee implement policies aimed at increasing solar energy capacity, including the implementation of one of the nation’s first Property Assessed Clean Energy financing programs and the establishment of the Milwaukee Metro Solar Hot Water Business Council.
Andrea is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. At the University of Wisconsin, she earned her Master’s in Business, Nonprofit Leadership and Management and was awarded the highly competitive Center for Economic Development fellowship through the UW Consortium for Economic Opportunity.
Andrea Says: “I was fortunate to have been part of a generation that grew up outside — coming home only for meals and then heading back out to play in the creek, ride horses, ride bikes, and climb trees. Being in and around nature made me appreciate and want to protect it. In high school I was an active founding member of the student led Save the Rainforest group, going to various high schools to talk about my experience in the rainforests of Belize. During my 20s and early 30s I was a social justice-seeking minimalist who travelled to some of the most remote and impoverished places throughout South and Central America, Spain, and Morocco. Much of these seven years abroad were spent working with rural cooperatives focused on women’s enterprise activities, sustainable farming, and the environment. But it wasn’t until I was living in Morocco, working as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in the beautiful Anti-Atlas Mountains near the Mauritanian border, that my life’s purpose became clear. I watched people’s health — even my own health — suffer from heavy indoor use of propane gas. Coupled with the fact that many rural women had to travel long distances to cut and haul wood, only to be burned as fuel, I knew there had to be a better way. Inspired by Desertec’s early claims in 2006-2007 that solar in the North African deserts could power the world and King Mohammed VI’s vision for rural electrification, I started planning, while in Morocco, to get a job that would allow me to drive adoption of solar in my backyard and eventually beyond. And I’ve never looked back.”