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Navigating Global Challenges to Accelerate the Energy Transition
APRIL 16, 2024 | New York City


April 16, 2024
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Lerner Hall
Columbia University

See Location on the Map

Mussabeh Al Kaabi

Chairman of the Board, Mubadala Energy

Musabbeh Al Kaabi leads ADNOC’s Low Carbon Solutions & International Growth Directorate. He is responsible for driving ADNOC’s investments in new energies and low carbon solutions, as well as its international growth, technology, and sustainability strategies.

Al Kaabi currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mubadala Energy and Yahsat. He is also a board member of Masdar, Tabreed, ADNOC Gas and Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi. In the past, he has served on the boards of several leading organizations including First Abu Dhabi Bank, Dolphin Energy, Emirates Global Aluminium, Borealis, Cepsa, NOVA Chemicals and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Musabbeh holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geophysical Engineering from Colorado School of Mines and a Master of Sciences degree in Geoscience from Imperial College, London.

Henrik Andersen

CEO, Vestas

Shalanda Baker

Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, U.S. Department of Energy

Brendan Bechtel

Chairman and CEO, Bechtel

John Berger

CEO, Sunnova Energy International, Inc.

Mr. Berger founded Sunnova in 2012 and has since then served as Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman of the Board. With more than two decades of experience in the electric power industry, Mr. Berger is an energy entrepreneur who has always supported free market competition, consumer choice and the advancement of energy technology to power energy independence. Before Sunnova, Mr. Berger served as Founder and Chief Executive Officer at SunCap Financial, a residential solar service provider. He also founded Standard Renewable Energy, a provider and installer of renewable energy and energy-efficient products and services. Mr. Berger received his Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and graduated cum laude from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering.

Sarah Bianchi

Senior Managing Director and Chief Strategist of International Political Affairs and Public Policy, Evercore

Thomas E. Donilon

Chairman, BlackRock Investment Institute; Former U.S. National Security Advisor

Kate Finn

Executive Director, First People's Worldwide

David Foley

Senior Managing Director in the Private Equity Group and Global Head of Blackstone Energy Partners, Blackstone

Tariye Gbadegesin

Chief Executive Officer of ARM-Harith Infrastructure Investment

Lynn Good

CEO, Duke Energy

Amy Harder

Executive Editor, Cipher

Amy Harder is executive editor of Cipher by Breakthrough Energy. Amy is one of the top national energy and climate change reporters in the country, having built up a reputation of being a uniquely balanced and influential journalist with respect across the spectrum. She joined Breakthrough Energy in early 2021 to help launch Cipher, a publication covering the opportunities and challenges of the energy transition.

Before joining Breakthrough, Amy was with Axios full time since shortly after it launched in 2017, based in Washington DC. In that role, Amy reported on trends and exclusive scoops, while also distilling into understandable formats complex energy and climate issues. Harder has interviewed some of the most well-known leaders in this space, and at the same time bridges the gap between what leaders say and what everyday people care about.

She was the inaugural journalism fellow for the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute for the 2018-2019 school year, where she moderated events and took part in other university initiatives. Previously, she covered similar issues for The Wall Street Journal, based out of its Washington, DC, bureau. Earlier in her career, she wrote for National Journal, also in Washington DC.

She has appeared on PBS' NewsHour, CSPAN, MSNBC, CBS, and NPR, among many other media outlets. She is regularly sought out to speak and participate in events, including moderating and participating in panel discussions, and giving speeches around the country and world.

Amy is originally from Washington State and moved back in 2020, after a dozen years in the other Washington. She received a BA in journalism with honors from Western Washington University. She loves running and cross-country skiing the Pacific Northwest’s best trails.

Selwin Hart

Assistant Secretary-General, Climate Action Team

The Special Adviser ensures delivery of the Secretary-General’s priorities on climate change, from enhanced nationally determined contributions, fossil fuel and coal phase-out, ensuring public and private finance shifts and the transitions necessary to shift the world’s energy, transportation, land and natural systems in alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Before his appointment, Selwin Hart served as the Executive Director for the Caribbean region at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). He was previously the Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American States for Barbados and Director of the Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team, leading the team’s delivery of the 2014 Climate Summit and the Secretary-General’s engagement in the process leading to the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Throughout his career, Mr. Hart has served in several climate action leadership positions,
including as a Climate Adviser for the Caribbean Development Bank, Chief Climate Change
Negotiator for Barbados, as well as the Coordinator and Lead Negotiator on Finance for the
Alliance of Small Island Developing States, a coalition of 43 islands and low-lying coastal States in the Caribbean, Pacific, Africa, Indian Ocean and South China Sea. He was a member of the Kyoto Protocol Adaptation Fund Board from 2009 to 2010 and was elected by the United Nations General Assembly to serve as Vice-Chair of the Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (Economic and Financial) during its sixtieth Session.

Karen Karniol-Tambour

Co-Chief Investment Officer, Bridgewater Associates

Karen Karniol-Tambour is Co-Chief Investment Officer at Bridgewater Associates, responsible for managing the company’s investment process. Karen oversees the systemization of Bridgewater’s research into trading strategies, manages the development of proprietary investment management models, directs the design and implementation of client investment strategies, and publishes timely market understanding to clients and global policy makers via Bridgewater’s Daily Observations. She also co-leads the firm’s Sustainable Investing efforts, overseeing the design of new investment solutions with both financial and sustainability objectives. Karen joined Bridgewater in 2006 after graduating from Princeton University. She serves on the boards of Search for Common Ground and Seeds of Peace. Karen is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, was included in Fortune’s "40 Under 40" most influential leaders in business in 2019, and has been named to Barron's list of "Most Influential Women in US Finance" for three years in a row.

Sinead Kaufman

CEO, Minerals Rio Tinto

As Chief Executive of Rio Tinto’s Minerals portfolio Sinead has accountability for a global suite of businesses including battery materials, titanium dioxide, diamonds, borates, scandium and iron ore pellets and concentrate from operations and projects in Canada, Madagascar, South Africa, Australia, Europe and the US.
The Minerals portfolio is focused on meeting the demand for critical minerals for the energy
transition and Sinead oversaw the creation of Rio Tinto’s Battery Materials business which includes the Rincon lithium project in Argentina, the Jadar lithium project in Serbia and multiple technology partnerships. The Minerals portfolio also includes the recent acquisition of the Platina Scandium Project, a high grade scandium resource in New South Wales.
Sinead brings to her current role deep operational expertise and leadership combined with a track record and a commitment to sustainability and empowerment, advancing a culture of diversity and inclusion in the mining industry.
Sinead first joined Rio Tinto as a geologist in the United Kingdom in 1997 and has since gained international mining experience across a range of commodities including copper, aluminium, bauxite, diamonds, coal, salt, uranium and iron ore in both underground and open pit environments.
Sinead holds a Masters in Mineral Exploration from the University of Leicester and a Degree in Applied Geology with Honours from the University of Birmingham. Sinead has atended INSEAD through a Chief Executive Women scholarship.

Stephen Lovegrove

Former UK National Security Adviser; Distinguished Visiting Fellow CGEP

Luis Alberto Moreno

Board Member, CGEP

Jennifer Morgan

State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Action Federal Foreign Office of Germany

Jennifer Morgan has been State Secretary and Special Representative for International Climate Policy at the Federal Foreign Office since March 2022. Born April 21, 1966 in Ridgewood, New Jersey, she studied Political Science and International Relations at Indiana University, Bloomington and received her Master’s Degree in International Affairs at The American University in Washington, D.C.

In her professional career, Jennifer Morgan held various leadership positions, including Director of the Global Climate Campaign of WWF International and Director of the Climate Program of the think tank World Resources Institute (WRI). She was also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Council for Sustainable Development of the Federal Government. Before her assignment to the Federal Foreign Office, from 2016 to 2022 she was Managing Director of the environmental organization Greenpeace International (GPI). Jennifer Morgan lives in Berlin and has the German citizenship.

Damilola Ogunbiyi

CEO and UN SRSG for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy Sustainable Energy for All

Mari Pangestu

Avinash Persaud

Special Advisor on Climate Change to the President, Inter-American Development Bank

Pedro Pizarro

President and CEO, Edison International

Pedro J. Pizarro is president and chief executive officer of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the nation’s largest electric utilities. Edison International is also the parent company of Edison Energy, a portfolio of competitive businesses providing commercial and industrial customers with energy management and procurement services. He is a member of Edison International’s board of directors.

Pizarro served as president of SCE from October 2014 through May 2016, when he was elected president of Edison International. He was elected chief executive officer in October 2016. Previously, Pizarro was president of Edison Mission Energy (EME) and chaired its board of directors from 2011 until the sale of its assets to NRG Energy in April 2014. EME, a subsidiary of Edison International at the time, was an independent power producer that owned, leased, operated and sold energy and capacity from electric power generation facilities and engaged in hedging and energy trading activities in competitive power markets. Pizarro joined Edison International in 1999, moved to SCE in 2001 and progressed
through several leadership roles before joining EME.

Before his work at Edison International and SCE, Pizarro was a senior engagement manager with McKinsey & Company in Los Angeles, providing management consulting services to energy, technology, engineering services and banking clients. There, he developed corporate strategy, handled mergers and acquisitions and oversaw operational and organizational engagements.

Pizarro earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and held National Science Foundation and Department of Defense graduate fellowships. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Harvard University.

Pizarro was elected as chair for the Edison Electric Institute in June 2023 and serves on the boards of Caltech and 3M. He also co-chairs the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, which is the principal liaison between the federal government and the electric power industry to prepare for and respond to national-level disasters or threats to critical infrastructure.

Pizarro previously served on the boards of the Electric Power Research Institute, Analysis and Resilience Center for Systemic Risk, Argonne National Laboratory, Electric Power Supply Association, California Power Exchange, Colburn School, House Research Institute, Southern California Leadership Council and Western Energy Institute. He also represented the electric industry on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB), co-chaired the SEAB Innovation Working Group, and served on California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery.

Maria Pope

President and CEO, Portland General Electric

Scott Sheffield

Former CEO, Pioneer Natural Resources

Lorenzo Simonelli

CEO, Baker Hughes

Lorenzo Simonelli is Chairman and CEO of Baker Hughes (NASDAQ:BKR). Baker Hughes is an energy technology company that combines innovation, expertise and scale to provide solutions for energy and industrial customers worldwide.

Simonelli was named Chairman of the Board in October 2017 and has been President and CEO since the Company’s creation in 2017, where he oversaw the successful merger of GE Oil & Gas with Baker Hughes Inc. Since 2013, he served as President and CEO of GE Oil & Gas.

Previously, Simonelli served as President and CEO of GE Transportation, a global transportation leader in the rail, mining, marine and energy storage industries. During his five-year tenure, he expanded and diversified GE Transportation by focusing on advanced technology manufacturing, intelligent control systems, and a diverse approach to new propulsion solutions.

He has also served as CFO Americas for GE Consumer & Industrial, as well as General Manager, Product Management for GE Appliances, Lighting, Electrical Distribution and Motors.

Simonelli joined GE’s Financial Management Program in 1994, where he worked on assignments in GE International, GE Shared Services, GE Oil & Gas, and Consolidated Financial Insurance.

He currently serves on the Board of Iveco Group N.V. He served on the Board of, Inc. from 2020-2021 and on the Board of CNH Industrial N.V. from 2019-2021.

Originally from Tuscany, Italy, Simonelli is a Business & Economics Graduate from Cardiff University in South Wales. He is married and resides in Houston.

Sumant Sinha

CEO and Founder, ReNew

A leading first-generation entrepreneur, Sumant Sinha is the Chairman and CEO of ReNew Power – one of India’s largest clean energy companies. Sumant founded ReNew Power in January 2011, with a vision to transform the way energy is produced and consumed in India. Since then, under his leadership, the company has grown exponentially and is today one of India’s premier renewable energy companies with an aggregate portfolio of more than 13 GW spread over more than 140+ sites.

ReNew has been funded by marquee investors including Goldman Sachs, CPPIB (largest Canadian pension fund), ADIA (sovereign wealth fund in the Middle East) and JERA (leading Japanese utility), and has raised more than USD 7.3 billion of capital, both in equity and debt. In August 2021, ReNew became the first Indian renewable energy company to list on NASDAQ (NASDAQ: RNW). ReNew’s current enterprise value is US$10 billion and the company has emerged as one of the leading asset creators in the country over the last 5 years. It now generates nearly 1.8% of India’s total electricity annually and in doing so helps mitigate half a percent of India’s carbon emissions in a year.

Sumant is a passionate advocate for solutions related to climate change and sustainable development and has spoken at various thought leadership platforms, such as World Economic Forum at Davos, COP Summits, Climate Week NYC, CERA Week, and other forums organized by Financial Times, ORF as well as leading global universities. He has written more than 150 opinion articles in leading global and Indian publications on the pressing issues of climate change, renewable energy and sustainable economic growth. Sumant has recently written a book – Fossil Free: Reimagining Clean Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World, which is about the past, present and future of the world’s energy systems in the context of the world’s changing climate and spells out a playbook to create a carbon light future for India. Recently, Fossil Free was featured in the Tata Literature Live Business Book Award 2021 shortlist. Former US Vice President Al Gore describes the book as “a compelling roadmap to a better, cleaner future for India—and other developing regions of the world”.

Sumant is Co-Chair of the Electricity Governor’s Group, and member of the Stewardship Board on Shaping the Future of Energy and Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, at the World Economic Forum. He was recently elected as Co- Chair of the Alliance of CEO Climate Action Leaders India. Sumant also serves as the President of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). He serves on the Board of Directors of the US India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) and the Rocky Mountain Institute.

Sumant has been instrumental in ReNew joining as a founding member of the First Movers Coalition (The First Movers Coalition is a public-private partnership between the US State Department, through Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, and the World Economic Forum). Sumant also serves on the Singapore Government’s International Advisory Panel on Energy, and member - Advisory Committee of India Climate Collaborative- a platform promoting policy advocacy and thought leadership on climate change. He is on the Board of Governors of IIM Calcutta, IIT Delhi and Columbia
University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE). Sumant is an Energy Transitions Commissioner (UK), and chair of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) India. Sumant is also one of the founding members of the CFA Society India that today has more than 3200 members across India consisting of portfolio managers, investment advisors, and other finance professionals.
For his achievements in entrepreneurship and clean energy, Sumant has won several awards and recognitions including 2022 USISPF Global Leadership Award; S&P Global Platts ‘Trailblazer of the Year 2021’; ‘Chairman Of The Year’ at the Stevie International Business Awards 2020; Columbia SIPA ‘Distinguished Alumni Award 2022’; ‘ET Energy’s Chief Executive of the Year 2022’; The Entrepreneur India’s Entrepreneur of the Year award, 2019; Distinguished Alumnus Award – IIM Calcutta 2019; the coveted ‘Economic Times Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ 2018, Distinguished Alumnus Award – IIT Delhi, 2018; ‘EY Entrepreneur of the Year’, 2017’ and ‘Outstanding Start-up of the Year’- Forbes India Leadership Awards 2017. Sumant has also been recognized as an SDG Pioneer by the United Nations Global Compact, a first for any Indian business leader, for his work in the areas of energy transition and gender equality.

After starting his career in the Tata Administrative Service, Sumant worked as an investment banker with Citicorp and ING Barings in the US and UK, before heading finance in one of India’s largest conglomerates, the Aditya Birla Group. He was also COO of Suzlon, India’s largest wind turbine company. Sumant has a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, a diploma in business management from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta and a B. Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

Scott Strazik

CEO, GE Vernova

Justin Worland

Senior Climate Correspondent, TIME

Samaila Zubairu

CEO, Africa Finance Corporation

A champion for African value capture, job creation and industrialisation, Mr. Zubairu has efficiently channeled billions of dollars into transformative infrastructure over three decades of leadership. In his five years as President & CEO of the Africa Finance Corporation, Africa’s leading infrastructure solutions provider has almost tripled investments to $12.7 billion— including the biggest renewable energy acquisition on the continent— and doubled membership to 42 African nations, winning AFC the accolades of Local Impact Champion at the Africa CEO Forum Awards, Equity Deal of the Year for the Infinity Energy Equity Investment and Lekela Power Acquisition at the African Banker Awards and DFI of the Year for Europe and Africa at the IJ Global Awards. Mr. Zubairu was honoured as the African CEO of the Year at the recent AsiaOne Magazine Awards, recognizing his contribution to driving growth and positively impacting communities across Africa through his visionary leadership.

As the pioneer CFO for Dangote Cement Plc, Mr. Zubairu launched Africa’s largest syndicated project finance facility for a local corporation and managed the watershed unbundling of Dangote Industries Limited to listed subsidiaries on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Most recently, as CEO of Africapital Management Limited, Mr. Zubairu partnered with Old Mutual’s African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) to develop the Nigerian Infrastructure Investment Fund1 to drive private equity investment into infrastructure projects across West Africa.

Mr. Zubairu is an Eisenhower Fellow and sits on the Board of Trustees for the fellowship.

Matt Harris

Founding Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners

Dan Yergin

Vice Chairman, S&P Global


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