Embarking on the Great Implementation: What I learned during 16 months at the California Energy Commission

Location: 1605 Tilia Street, Suite 100, Davis, CA
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Join us for an enlightening seminar featuring Ben Finkelor, Executive Director of UC Davis Energy and Efficiency Institute (EEI), as he shares insights and experiences gained during his 16-month tenure as a Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff to Vice Chair Siva Gunda at the California Energy Commission.

In the wake of the summer 2020 rotating outages in California, Ben embarked on a journey of service and leadership, working closely with state officials to plan and navigate an unprecedented scaling of new clean energy resource deployment. Learn about the strategic initiatives and challenges faced during this pivotal period, including the launch of a Strategic Reliability Reserve, goals for future clean energy resources, managing stakeholder tradeoffs, and ensuring energy reliability during extreme weather events like the record-breaking heat wave of September 2022.

As an accomplished professional with a rich background in clean technology and corporate environmental management, Ben brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to the discussion. Discover how his journey and expertise can shape our understanding of the ongoing clean energy transition.

Ben Finkelor serves as Executive Director for EEI, where he’s worked since it was founded in 2006 as the Energy Efficiency Center. Ben also serves as a Senior Advisor on Climate Solutions to the Vice-Provost on Grand Challenges. Prior to joining UC Davis, he served in a variety of roles within the clean technology sector, including Director of Business Development for Sierra Energy, interim Executive Director for CleanStart (a Sacramento-based business incubator supporting local clean energy technology ventures and entrepreneurs), and as a cleantech analyst for the private equity arm of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). Ben earned an MBA from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management and an emphasis in corporate environmental management through the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara. He earned an undergraduate degree from UC San Diego, where he studied Communications and Environmental Science. When he’s not working, Ben enjoys time with family, hiking, backpacking, and playing and coaching ultimate frisbee.