Pari Kasotia is the Deputy Director at The Solar Foundation and is responsible for providing operational oversight for all core functions at the organization. In addition to her business acumen, she has strong expertise in clean energy markets, energy efficiency, and biofuels. She is the Founder and CEO of Unfolding Energy and was named Midwest Energy News’s 2015 40 under 40 Emerging Clean Energy Leaders. Prior to her role at The Solar Foundation, Pari led the Iowa Energy Office at the State of Iowa and managed all the undertakings of the Office, which included multi-million federal and state energy projects to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy in Iowa communities. Her past experience also includes working at a public policy consulting firm and a nonprofit organization.
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 degrees: 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). Pari currently serves on the Board of the Solar Household Energy Inc. (SHE) and is a member of the Energy Bar Association, Women’s Council for Energy and Environment (WCEE), and United Nations Association (UNA).
Pari Says: “My fondest memories growing up in India were visiting my grandparents and spending considerable time outdoors. This is when I fell in love with nature. As a teenager, I also visited the Himalayas, and as I soaked in the beauty and the enormity of these mountains, I realized how minuscule we are in comparison to the natural world. Going back to urban settings in India and Cote D’Ivoire (Africa), I was not only exposed to a resource-constrained society, but also to the perils of human development such as air pollution, desertification, water shortages, loss of species, and many others. Soon after, I took an environmental science course in high school and decided that I wanted to pursue undergraduate studies in environmental policy and work toward protecting the environment. While not intending to enter the energy sector, I was introduced to it through my work at the Iowa Energy Office, where I led the work on bringing clean energy and energy efficiency to Iowa communities. This was a profound experience because making clean energy choices today is the quickest route to a sustainable future. Since then, I have been relentless in my pursuits to push the clean and renewable energy agenda. The Solar Foundation provides a perfect platform for me to promote the cleanest and most abundant energy source — the sun. My work at The Solar Foundation balances my pragmatism with my passion — I get the best of both worlds — promoting solutions that are practical and transformational as well as shifting toward a future that is cleaner and sustainable.”