Board of Trustees
RMI is governed by a self-perpetuating Board that has complete oversight and policy responsibility, is kept currently informed of the Institute’s affairs, confers frequently on an individual basis with RMI’s operating officers, and meets for two days twice a year.
Meet Our Board
Edward D. White
Edward “Ted” White is the Managing Partner of Fahr LLC, the umbrella entity for business leader, philanthropist, and renewable energy advocate Tom Steyer’s business, policy, political, and philanthropic efforts. Ted is also the “name” partner of Denver-based law firm Moye White LLP, where his legal practice primarily focuses on business transactions. Ted is the Founder and Advisory Board Chair of Estabrook Funds which invests in global, multi-strategy investments. His civic leadership includes acting as Chairman of the Boettcher Foundation, Chairman of the RMI, Founding Chair of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, and Director of Advanced Energy Economy Institute. Ted graduated from Yale University with honors and received his J.D. from the New York University School of Law.
Lead Independent Trustee; Chair, Executive and Compensation
Jean Oelwang is the CEO of Virgin Unite, the entrepreneurial foundation of the Virgin Group and a Partner in the Virgin Group focused on People Innovation. In 2003, Jean left her post as joint CEO of Virgin Mobile. Australia to begin working with Richard Branson and the Virgin staff from around the world to create Virgin Unite. Over the last 10 years, Jean has worked with partners to create new approaches to social and environmental issues, such as the Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship and a global platform to support budding entrepreneurs. She has built collaborations to incubate a number of global leadership initiatives such as The Elders, the Carbon War Room and The B Team. In addition, Jean has been instrumental in working with over 25 Virgin businesses across 15 industries to put the wellbeing of people and planet at their core.
Peter Boyer is the former owner of a design-build residential construction firm. He is also a fine art painter, exhibited widely in U.S. and Japan with works owned by numerous private and public collections. In addition to being a Chair of the Development Committee at RMI, Peter is also Trustee of The Ayrshire Foundation, a member of the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Peter holds a degree in American Studies from San Francisco State University.
Mr. Wei DING is founder and chairman of Broad River Capital, a private equity investment management firm set up recently in China. Mr. Ding has over 30 years working experience in financial services, including at World Bank and IMF as an economist and project officer, at Deutsche bank as its China corporate commercial banking head, at Temasek as senior managing director and head of China for investments, and at China International Capital Corporation as head of investment banking and later as head for private equity investments. Mr. Ding retired from the post of chairman of CICC Capital in October 2020. Mr. Ding received his undergraduate training in economics and finance from Remin University of China, postgraduate study in economics from University of Texas at Austin, and Executives Training Program at Harvard Business School.
Chair, Finance Committee
Thomas Dinwoodie is the Founder and CTO, SunPower Corporation Systems based in Richmond, California. He is also the former Founder, CEO and Chairman of PowerLight, a leading and global supplier of photovoltaic products and systems. Dinwoodie has authored numerous papers and holds over 30 patents on building-integrated photovoltaic and related products, and holds a Master’s degree in Architecture from UC Berkeley, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Structural Engineering from Cornell University.
Mark Ferron is a leader in the intersection of energy, the environment, finance, and philanthropy. Mark currently serves on the Board of Governors of the California Independent System Operator, which manages the high-voltage electricity system in California and parts of the West. He is also active with a number of environmental and other mission-driven organizations. Before moving to California in 2009, Mark spent 25 years in global finance, banking, and operations. From 2001 to 2009, he worked as chief operating officer for the Global Markets Division of Deutsche Bank in London, where he had responsibility for all operational activities globally across fixed income, currency, commodity, and equity markets. Mark holds a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in economics from Stanford University.
Michael Haas is the Founder and CEO of Orion Renewable Energy Group LLC (Orion), Co-Founder of RDC Developments Ltd. (RDC), and the Founder of Alliance for Climate Education (ACE). Orion, headquartered in Oakland, CA, was formed in 1998 and became an early pioneer in the development of low cost, utility-scale renewable energy. Michael received his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, and his master’s degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Stanford University. He spends his free time outdoors with his family.
Chief Executive Officer of RMI
Jules was previously CEO of Topell Energy BV, a company developing a leading technology for the torrefaction of biomass. Before that, Kortenhorst served as the founding CEO of the European Climate Foundation, the largest philanthropic organization in Europe focused on influencing government policy on climate and energy. At the ECF among others, he lead a major effort to develop the roadmap for decarbonized power generation in Europe. Before launching the foundation, he was elected as a member of the Dutch parliament for the Christian Democratic Party.
Amory B. Lovins
Cofounder, Chief Scientist of RMI and Chairman Emeritus
Snowmass, Colorado. MA, Oxford (by special resolution), twelve honorary doctorates; physicist, author, consultant.
Dennis McGinn was appointed and served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment from September 2013 until January 2017. Previously, Mr. McGinn served on active duty in the United States Navy for 35 years as a naval aviator, test pilot, aircraft carrier commanding officer, and national security strategist. His capstone assignments as Vice Admiral included serving as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations and as Commander of the United States Third Fleet. Mr. McGinn is former President of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and a past member of the Steering Committee of the Energy Future Coalition, United States Energy Security Council, Bipartisan Policy Center Energy Board, and CNA Military Advisory Board. He currently serves as a board member for the RMI, Customer First Renewables, Willdan Group Inc., HALO Maritime Systems, and is a senior advisor to the Electric Power Research Institute, Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the Center for Climate and Security. Mr. McGinn holds a degree in Naval Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and was a Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Fellow at the U.S. Naval War College.
Martha C. Pickett
Managing Director and General Counsel
Marty Pickett is a Managing Director, Trustee, and General Counsel of RMI. A 17-year veteran at RMI, Marty focuses on the Institute’s advancement in alliances, funding, and governance as well as general strategy and legal counsel. Marty holds a Masters Degree in Community Development and Planning from the College of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado, Denver, and a law degree, with an emphasis in environmental law, from the University of Denver. Prior to joining RMI in 1998, Marty practiced land use planning and land use and real estate law in Denver and Aspen Colorado. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for the Environment at Catawba College in North Carolina, the board and executive committee of Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (a 501(c)(6) organization aka REBA), and the board of REBA Institute.
Chair, Programs & Strategy Committee
George Polk is the Managing Partner of Tulum Trust, a private equity firm which works primarily with family offices and delivers high returns while having a meaningful impact on climate change. Among other things, Tulum has a special focus on industrial energy efficiency, where it funds energy generation projects that have very significant greenhouse gas impact and an annual cash yield of circa 15% for the 20+ year life of the project. George has been applying his skills as an institution builder, investor, and philanthropist to the challenge of creating a viable and vibrant low-carbon society since 2007, when he stepped out of a successful career as a technology entrepreneur to focus on tackling climate change.
Chair, Development Committee
Elizabeth Sall is the founder and president of UrbanLabs LLC, where she manages a portfolio of mission-driven projects spanning travel analysis research to policy. Prior to UrbanLabs, Sall served as the deputy director for data, technology and analysis, and as the interim deputy director for planning at the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. She is an active volunteer for the Transportation Research Board, serving on the Transportation Research Record Advisory Board and as a member of several committees. She serves on the Sall Family Foundation board, where she leads investment in “Entrepreneurial Initiatives.” Sall has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University and an M.S. from University of Texas.
Todd Stern was “a leading architect of the Obama administration’s international climate change strategy,” according to Politico. Stern was appointed to the position of US Special Envoy on Climate Change on January 26, 2009, by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He was the chief US negotiator of the successful Paris Agreement. Stern previously served in the Clinton administration as Assistant to the President, and as Staff Secretary in the White House from 1993 to 1998, during which time he also acted as the senior White House negotiator for the Kyoto Protocol and Buenos Aires negotiations.
Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella
Kandeh Yumkella is an internationally renowned consultant, distinguished development economist, and an expert in agricultural economics with over 25 years of experience. He is founder and CEO of The Energy Nexus Network, a regional ecosystem hub for sustainable energy solutions. Previously he served for almost two decades in United Nations System including as Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and founding Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative. Yumkella is a former Chairman of UN-Energy and a two-term former Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). He has facilitated international cooperation and strategic partnerships with bilateral and multilateral development agendas, including other United Nations agencies. Yumkella is a prominent moderator and public speaker in international forums and addresses issues including climate change, global trade, development, and energy issues.
Steven A. Denning
Steven A. Denning is the Chairman Emeritus of General Atlantic LLC, a firm he joined in 1980 and has helped build into a leading global growth equity firm with almost $80 billion in assets under management. Mr. Denning joined GA after working with McKinsey & Company. He received an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1978. Prior to business school, Mr. Denning served for six years in the U.S. Navy, where he also earned an M.S. degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He received a B.S. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1970, and an honorary doctorate in 2019. Mr. Denning is a member of the Board of Directors of College Advising Corps, the New York Regional Plan Association, the Markle Foundation, Blue Meridian Partners, Inc., the Rocky Mountain Institute and the National Park Foundation, as well as a member of its Executive Committee, and is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Bridgespan Group, and a member of the Starr Companies Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Columbia Climate Board of Advisors, and a member of its Executive Committee. Mr. Denning is Vice Chair of the Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council, Chair of the Global Advisory Council to the President and the Natural Capital Advisory Council, all at Stanford University, and is a member of the Advisory Council of the Freeman Spogli Institute, the Knight-Hennessy Scholar Program Advisory Board and the Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute Advisory Council. Mr. Denning is former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University and former Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of The Nature Conservancy (TNC). He is Emeritus Chairman of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council, and a lifelong Trustee of The Brookings Institution, the American Museum of Natural History and the Georgia Tech Foundation. Mr. Denning grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. He and his wife, Roberta, currently reside in Greenwich, CT and San Francisco, CA.
I am delighted to be joining the Board of Trustees of RMI. Following the landmark Paris climate agreement last year, the central challenge for countries around the world will be to rapidly accelerate the transition to a clean energy, low-carbon global economy. RMI has been a clean energy leader for years, helping companies and governments take concrete steps to improve their energy profile and paving the way for national energy transition planning with work like Reinventing Fire: China.
‐Todd Stern, Board Member