It’s Energy Week in New York.
If we’ve done our jobs correctly, this list of the top ten cleantech leaders in New York today should inspire both enthusiastic agreement and infuriated disagreement.
The exciting thing about the sector today is that its prizes are up for grabs: riches, power and influence are easy to identify in sectors with long histories and established practice, but that isn’t where innovation, economic growth and the promise of personal achievement lies.
As we go through the week and issue more of these lists, the purpose is to incite discussion. New York Energy Week is about bringing together disparate voices and differing ideas, and these lists are part of our contribution to the inaugural Energy Week, as well as part of our broader mission to highlight the new and the exciting in the energy sector.
(Names are listed alphabetically)
Managing Director, Head of Industrial Cleantech
Berkenfeld works alongside New York Energy Week supporter Ted Roosevelt IV in the leadership of one of the world’s largest bank’s cleantech initiatives. A board member of the Sierra Club and a sponsor of Cornell’s Employment and Technology Roundtable, Berkenfeld defines what it means to be a cleantech leader in New York.
Trade Commissioner, Cleantech/Infrastructure Co-Founder, CTA Cleantech
Consulate General of Canada
The inclusion of a Canadian on this list is a testament to the efforts that country, poised on the cusp of its own not-always-comfortable energy transition, has made in engaging with its largest trade partner in the U.S. and with the New York energy community specifically. They’ve flown New York journalists to the Alberta oil sands and have leveraged their own experience in navigating a shift to renewable energy through making their leadership available for informative and transparency-boosting discussions in the city and beyond.
Vice President, Technology and Strategic Planning
Janet Joseph is one of those leaders who seems to be everywhere. Finding out more about New York State’s Energy Plan? Her name appears over and over. Wondering how the state is going to transition to an economy with greater reliability but fewer emissions? As the boss of the New York State’s Energy Research and Development Authority’s energy research, energy analysis and planning functions with more than two decades of agency experience, no one is more aware of the gaps in today’s energy systems and how to fix them.
Global Lead, Energy and Utilities Institute for Business Value
It seems inevitable that one of the most-nominated and most-recognizable members of New York’s cleantech leadership is actually based in Washington, D.C. The trains and planes back and forth between those cities are packed with executives and regulators finding new ways for policy to support innovation. IBM is a major New York company, and the firm that always seems to have gotten everywhere first: when seeking an expert to discuss the cutting edge of cleantech, IBM always has someone available whose credentials and sector knowledge are unbeatable. Juliano uses communication technology with the best of them, perhaps adding to the sense in the New York cleantech community that he manages to be multiple places at the same time.
As the signs all over town attest, New York City is the world’s financial capital. That makes one of the city’s most inventive and cross-disciplinary venture capitalists a must for inclusion on a list of cleantech leaders. Kapoor heads up SJF Ventures’ New York City office and leads the NYC CleanLinks program while also advising NYC ACRE at NYU-Poly. He was nominated multiple times, testament to his commitment to building and strengthening the city’s cleantech networks.
New York City native Kotch describes himself as a startup junkie and has brought both of those attributes to his leadership at the city’s most high-profile incubator for early-stage renewable energy and cleantech companies. In a city economy dominated by huge companies but increasingly looking to startups to drive growth and employment, his relationships across the corporate world have helped build a vital support network for the city’s first generations of leading cleantech companies.