National Board of Directors

Joe Karp - GRID Alternatives Board

Joseph M. Karp

Joseph Karp is a partner in Winston and Strawn LLP's energy group who focuses his practice on regulatory, transactional, and project development matters. He has dealt with natural gas and electricity issues in the United States and internationally. Mr. Karp received a B.A. in Law and Society from State University of New York at Binghamton, where he received the Foundation Award for Academic Excellence and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, in 1986. He received a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1989.

Karen Edson

Karen Edson, President

A 30-year veteran of public affairs and policy, Karen Edson is the Vice President, Policy and Client Services for the California Independent System Operator Corporation (California ISO).  She joined the organization in 2005 and has responsibility for the areas of customer service and industry affairs, government/regulatory affairs, communications, and policy development.  Prior to joining the ISO, Ms. Edson served in a number of senior roles within state government, including Commissioner on the California Energy Commission and Assistant Director of the California Research Bureau.  From 1985-2000 she headed a small consulting firm that specialized in energy policy development and power plant permitting, with clients that included major geothermal and other non-utility power plant developers.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California Berkeley.

Greg Aliff, Treasurer

During a 39-year career with Deloitte, Greg provided professional services in accounting and auditing, regulatory strategy development, and expert testimony on a variety of accounting and financial subjects. Upon retirement in June 2015 he was Vice Chairman and Senior Partner, Energy & Resources. From 2001-2010, Greg served as Deloitte’s U.S. Energy & Resources Leader, responsible for the coordination of Deloitte’s audit, tax, advisory services to the U.S. energy and resources industry. His articles and commentary have appeared in Electric Light & Power, Electric Perspectives, The National Interest and Public Utilities Fortnightly. Greg is a Certified Public Accountant holding a Bachelors of Science in Accounting and a Masters of Business Administration from Virginia Tech.

Ben Tarbell

Ben Tarbell, Secretary

Ben Tarbell is Energy Principal at Google. Prior to Google, Ben held many leadership positions in the solar industry over the last decade including: Mosaic where he was product lead, Solarcity where he was Vice President of Products and led product innovation and business development, MiaSole—manufacturer of thin-film solar modules, and cleantech venture capital firm Nth Power. Before his time in solar, Ben led sustainable product design for IDEO. Ben has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell and an MS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from Stanford.

Mark Andrews

Mark has been serving as the Vice President of Volunteer and Institutional Engagement at Habitat for Humanity International since July 2012. He's been with the nonprofit since 1993, first managing new country programs in Sri Lanka and India. In 1998, he joined the US field support staff before returning to international work as Regional Program Manager for Habitat’s work in the Pacific in 2002. Returning to the United States in 2004, Mark lead a review of Habitat’s US operations resulting a major restructuring of support functions for Habitat’s 1,500 US affiliates. He was then assigned to lead Habitat’s largest corporate relationship, “Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity”. In this joint venture Mark managed staff from both organizations in the design and implementation of a multifaceted $200 million international program.

Ron Binz

Ron Binz was appointed by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter as the Chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission in January 2007 and served until April 2011. As Chairman, Ron led the Colorado PUC in implementing the many policy changes championed by the Governor and the Legislature to bring forward Colorado’s “New Energy Economy.” Ron was an active member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, serving as Chair of NARUC’s Task Force on Climate Policy, and as a member of both the Energy Resources and Environment Committee and the International Affairs Committee. He is currently the Principal of Public Policy Consulting and Senior Policy Advisor for the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University. 

Phyllis Currie, Vice President

Phyllis Currie is on the board of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, the regional transmission organization for a number of Midwest and southern states. She also serves on the Electricity Advisory Committee for the US Department of Energy, and consults on strategic issues for public power and water agencies.  Phyllis spent 14 years as general manager of the Pasadena Water and Power Department, retiring in 2015. During her career in the City of Los Angeles, she held positions which included chief financial officer of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, assistant city administrative officer and director of the city’s rent control program.  She has been board chair of the American Public Power Association, president of the California Municipal Utilities Association and president of the Southern California Public Power Association.

Mara Feeney

Mara has over 30 years of professional experience in socioeconomic impact assessment, land use and housing market analysis, public participation programs and more. Her consulting business has dealt with the evaluation of potential impacts of major development projects on community land use, regional employment and income, population and demographic characteristics, adopted local plans and policies, and quality of life. Mara is deeply involved in her community, serving on several boards including, most recently, the San Francisco Beautiful Board and Habitat for Humanity San Francisco.

William Kissinger

Bill focuses his law practice on energy and environmental matters as a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Brockius LLP. He typically represents conventional and renewable energy companies in matters relating to power plants and transmission before state and federal agencies.  Bill has held senior positions in federal and state government.  He worked at the State Dept. and the White House from 1997-2001.  He was senior deputy legal affairs secretary to Gov. Gray Davis and a member of the Governor’s Energy Task Force during the 2000-2001 electricity crisis.  Bill was also a member of the California Electricity Oversight Board, after being appointed by Gov. Davis in 2002.  He currently serves as a Gov. Jerry Brown appointee to the SF Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Vivian Richardson

Vivian Richardson is a GRID Alternatives client in the Bayview-Hunter’s Point community of San Francisco who has played an active role in her community around housing issues. She worked for more than 20 years as an accounts manager in telecommunications and a project manager for the San Francisco Housing Authority. She is currently providing in-home care for developmentally disabled adults through the Adult Family Home Agency. 

Brad Sparks

Brad is Executive Director of Global Corporate Citizenship for KPMG.  In this role, he focuses on integrating corporate responsibility across the KPMG network, with specific responsibility for the firm’s environmental sustainability initiatives.   He also serves as KPMG’s Liaison Delegate for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.  Prior to Brad’s current position, he served as Director with the Forensic practice of KPMG LLP, assisting clients with a variety of corporate responsibility initiatives such as internal investigations, sustainability reporting, and supply chain integrity.  Other professional experiences include serving as a labor standards monitor with the non-profit Kenan Institute of Asia, a sustainability advisor with KPMG in South Africa, and as an internal auditor with Gateway computers.  Brad is a Certified Public Accountant, has a MBA degree in Sustainable Enterprise from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Masters of Accounting fro

Mary Wenzel

Mary Wenzel is Senior Vice President and Director of Environmental Affairs at Wells Fargo. Under Wenzel’s leadership, Wells Fargo has created aggressive environmental goals to be achieved by 2020. These goals include the conversion of at least 35 percent of Wells Fargo’s buildings to LEED certification; a 35 percent reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions; managing a $100 million environmental philanthropy program; and making $30 billion in investments to environmentally beneficial businesses. Wenzel joined Wells Fargo in December 2004. Prior to joining the company, she worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9 in San Francisco. At the U.S. EPA, Wenzel was responsible for working with tribal nations in the Western region of the U.S. Wenzel also worked for the U.S. EPA in Washington, D.C.,managing renewable energy and Energy STAR programs.

Orson Aguilar

Orson Aguilar is the President of the Greenlining Institute, one of the nation’s largest and most successful multi-ethnic, advocacy and leadership development nonprofits.  Greenlining envisions a nation where race is never a barrier to economic opportunity and communities of color thrive.  Because people of color will be the majority of our nation’s population by 2040, Greenlining believes that America will prosper only if communities of color prosper. Under Orson’s leadership, Greenlining has become a leading voice in the movement to fight redlining by advocating for greenlining policies, particularly in the areas of the economy, the environment, health, energy, voting, and telecommunications.