Plenaries & Featured Sessions

Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit: Plenaries & Featured Sessions

Click here to register and sign up for the sessions you wish to attendThe Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit brings together some of the best minds working to further energy efficiency opportunities and technologies in the built environment. Don’t miss a moment of the conversation! Learn more below.

Opening Plenary  Featured Sessions  Closing Plenary


Monday, May 17 from 3 to 4 P.M. Eastern

Opening Plenary: Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm

The Secretary of Energy will deliver the opening keynote. DOE leadership will recognize the 2021 Goal Achievers and recent partner accomplishments.

JENNIFER M. GRANHOLM, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
16th Secretary of Energy

Secretary Jennifer Granholm is leading DOE in helping America achieve President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 by advancing cutting-edge clean energy technologies, creating millions of good-paying union clean energy jobs, and building an equitable clean energy future. Secretary Granholm also oversees DOE’s core missions of promoting American leadership in scientific discovery, maintaining the nuclear deterrent and reducing nuclear danger, and remediating the environmental harms caused by legacy defense programs. Prior to her nomination as Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm was the first woman elected Governor of Michigan, serving two terms from 2003 to 2011.

As Governor, Jennifer Granholm faced economic downturns caused by the Great Recession and meltdown in the automotive and manufacturing sectors. She successfully led efforts to diversify the state’s economy, strengthen its auto industry, preserve the manufacturing sector, and add emerging sectors — such as clean energy — to Michigan’s economic portfolio. Today, one-third of all North American electric vehicle battery production takes place in Michigan, the state is one of the top five states for clean energy patents, and 126,000 Michiganders were employed in the clean energy sector prior to COVID-19.

Secretary Granholm was also the first woman elected Attorney General of Michigan and served as the state’s top law enforcement officer from 1998 to 2002.

After two terms as governor, Jennifer Granholm joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley as a Distinguished Professor of Practice in the Goldman School of Public Policy, focusing on the intersection of law, clean energy, manufacturing, policy, and industry. She also served as an advisor to the Clean Energy Program of the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Jennifer Granholm began her career in public service as a judicial clerk for Michigan's 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. She became a federal prosecutor in Detroit in 1990, and in 1994, she was appointed Wayne County Corporation Counsel.

Secretary Granholm, an immigrant from Canada, is an honors graduate of both the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School. She and her husband, Daniel G. Mulhern, have three children.

KELLY SPEAKES-BACKMAN, U.S. Department of Energy
Acting Assistant Secretary & Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Kelly Speakes-Backman leads and directs the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, focused on creating and sustaining American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy. She oversees the planning and execution of the organization’s $2.8 billion portfolio of research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable transportation. She most recently served as the first CEO of the Energy Storage Association, the national trade organization for the energy storage industry. She has spent more than 20 years working on energy and environmental issues in the public, NGO, and private sectors. In 2019, Speakes-Backman was honored by The Cleanie Awards as Woman of the Year.

 

Monday, May 17 from 4:15 PM to 5:30 PM ET

Accelerating Building Decarbonization: A White House Roundtable with Government & Industry

Join core members of the Biden Administration as they convene industry stakeholders in dialogue on equitable decarbonization of America's buildings, associated opportunities for jobs, and new programs for efficient electrified buildings.

   
  GINA MCCARTHY
White House Office of Domestic
Climate Policy

National Climate Advisor
BRENDA MALLORY
White House Council on
Environmental Quality

Chair
JENNIFER GRANHOLM
U.S. Department of Energy

Secretary
 
   
  MICHAEL REGAN
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Administrator
KATY KALE
U.S. General Services Administration

Acting Administrator
 
   
 

The Roundtable will be moderated by Mark Chambers of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

 

Click MORE below for information about each speaker.

GINA MCCARTHY, White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy
National Climate Advisor

Gina McCarthy is the first National Climate Advisor—the president's chief advisor on domestic climate policy—and leads the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy focused on mobilizing a whole-of-government approach to tackling the climate crisis, creating good-paying, union jobs, and securing environmental justice. She served as 13th Administrator of the U.S. EPA and then as President and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). One of the nation’s most trusted and accomplished voices on climate issues, she has been at the forefront of environmental and public health progress in a variety of leading roles for over three decades. She spearheaded the Obama-Biden Administration’s Clean Power Plan, which set America’s first-ever national standards for lowering carbon emissions from power plants, and helped pave the way for the Paris Climate Agreement. McCarthy graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston and earned an M.S. at Tufts University.
 

BRENDA MALLORY, White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)
Chair

Brenda Mallory is the 12th Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the first African American woman to serve in this role. As chair, she is the principal advisor to the president on environmental and natural resource policies and is particularly focused on environmental justice and climate change issues. Previously, she served as the General Counsel at CEQ and in a number of senior roles at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for nearly 20 years of federal service. She helped shape many of President Obama's signature environmental and natural resource policy successes. She holds degrees from Yale University and Columbia University Law School.
 

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
Secretary

Jennifer M. Granholm is leading DOE in helping America achieve President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 by advancing cutting-edge clean energy technologies, creating millions of good-paying union clean energy jobs, and building an equitable clean energy future. Secretary Granholm also oversees DOE’s core missions of promoting American leadership in scientific discovery, maintaining the nuclear deterrent and reducing nuclear danger, and remediating the environmental harms caused by legacy defense programs. Prior to her nomination as the 16th Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm was the first woman elected Governor of Michigan, serving two terms from 2003 to 2011. An immigrant from Canada, she is an honors graduate of both the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School.
 

MICHAEL REGAN, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Administrator

Michael S. Regan is the 16th U.S. EPA Administrator and the first Black man and second person of color to lead the EPA. Prior to his nomination as Administrator, he served as the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, where he spearheaded the development and implementation of North Carolina's seminal plan to address climate change and transition the state to a clean energy economy. In addition, he established the state’s first-of-its-kind Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory board to better align social inequities, environmental protection, and community empowerment. Administrator Regan is a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and has a master's degree in Public Administration from The George Washington University. He is a native of Goldsboro, North Carolina.
 

KATY KALE, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
Acting Administrator

Katy Kale is the Deputy Administrator and current Acting Administrator of the GSA. In this capacity, she leads a staff of more than 11,200 employees nationwide, overseeing more than 370 million square feet of property, approximately $75 billion in annual contracts, and 225,000 leased vehicles within GSA’s fleet. Prior to her current position, Katy was President & Chief Operating Officer of Elevate. She was also a senior leader in the Obama Administration, serving as Assistant to the President for Management and Administration, Director of White House Operations, and Chief of Staff at GSA. She also served 10 years in the U.S. Senate working on operational and legislative issues for several Senators. Katy is a graduate of George Mason University.
 

MARK CHAMBERS, White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)
Senior Director for Building Emissions

Mark Chambers is Senior Director for Building Emissions for the White House CEQ. He previously served as Director of New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s Office of Sustainability, where he led a team of engineers, architects, policymakers, and city planners to lower New York City’s emissions and align the built environment, waste, transportation, and energy sectors in a citywide response to climate change. Chambers also served as Director of Sustainability and Energy for the District of Columbia, where he focused on securing renewable energy for the District and implementing energy management and resource conservation efforts across the City’s schools, municipal offices, parks, libraries, and other properties. Chambers is a licensed architect and holds a BArch and an M.A. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.


Tuesday, May 18 from 11 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. Eastern

Emerging Trends and Technologies from DOE's National Labs

Join leaders from DOE's National Labs as they share their insights into the future of energy efficiency and highlight the newest trends and emerging technologies. This session will be moderated by Kathleen Hogan, Acting Undersecretary for Science & Energy at DOE.

KATHLEEN HOGAN
U.S. Department of Energy

Acting Under Secretary for Science & Energy
ANGELA BECKER-DIPPMANN
Pacific Northwest National Lab

Director of Program Development, Energy & Environment
MARTIN KELLER
National Renewable Energy Lab

Laboratory Director
THOMAS KURFESS
Oak Ridge National Lab

Chief Manufacturing Officer

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KATHLEEN HOGAN, U.S. Department of Energy
Acting Under Secretary for Science and Energy

Kathleen Hogan is a distinguished national leader in clean energy with a more than 20-year career as a federal executive. She currently serves as Acting Under Secretary for Science and Energy at DOE. Kathleen previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, where she oversaw a more than $600 million annual energy efficiency policy, program, and research portfolio. She also led an EPA division for more than 10 years in the development and implementation of a suite of clean energy policies and programs to cost-effectively address global climate change. Kathleen has been recognized throughout her career for her leadership in public service, most recently with a Presidential Rank Award (2015), The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals Career Achievement Award (2016), and a Secretary of Energy Exceptional Service Award (2018).
 

ANGELA BECKER-DIPPMANN, Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL)
Director of Program Development, Energy and Environment Directorate

Angela Becker-Dippmann is Director of the PNNL Energy and Environment Directorate’s Program Development Office. In this role, she evaluates emerging national, regional, and state energy and environmental priorities, policies, and programs to ensure the most impactful outcomes. Previously a policy analyst at PNNL from 2011-2015, she rejoined the Lab in 2019. In the interim, she served as Staff Director at the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, with jurisdiction over DOE's Office of Science, applied R&D programs, Bonneville Power Administration, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and U.S. Department of Interior. She has extensive experience working with the U.S. Senate, including as a staffer for Sen. Maria Cantwell. Before coming to Capitol Hill, she worked at Energy NewsData Corporation in Seattle.
 

MARTIN KELLER, National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)
Laboratory Director

Martin Keller has been Director of NREL since 2015, where he innovatively and pragmatically applies private-sector best practices to achieve game-changing scientific outcomes. Working collaboratively with his leadership team, his strategy for driving NREL's work focuses on three key initiatives: integrated energy pathways, circular economy, and electrons to molecules. From 2006-2015, Martin led energy, biological, and environmental research programs at Oak Ridge National Lab and served as associate laboratory director for the Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement Science and recently retired as chair of its Industrial Science and Technology Section. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Council for Julich Forschungszentrum, a major interdisciplinary research center in Europe.
 

THOMAS KURFESS, Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL)
Chief Manufacturing Officer

Thomas R. Kurfess is Chief Manufacturing Officer at ORNL. From 2012-2013 he was on leave serving as the Assistant Director for Advanced Manufacturing at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President of the United States, where he was responsible for coordinating Federal advanced manufacturing R&D. He was President of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) in 2018 and serves on the Board of Governors of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). His research focuses on the design and development of advanced manufacturing systems targeting digital manufacturing, additive and subtractive processes, and large-scale production enterprises. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of ASME, SME, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Thursday, May 20 from 3:45 to 5:15 P.M. Eastern

Closing Plenary: Partners' Perspectives

Join Better Buildings and Better Plants leaders from the industrial, local government, multifamily, and retail sectors as they discuss the issues, trends, and challenges impacting their work and the market at large. This discussion will be moderated by Kelly Speakes-Backman, Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy.

DAVID HUGHES
Walgreens

Senior Director for Facilities and Energy Management
SUSHMA MASEMORE
State of North Carolina

State Energy Director & Acting Assistant Secretary for Environment
JONATHAN ROSE
Jonathan Rose Companies

President
STEVE SKARDA
Proctor & Gamble

GHG & Energy Director

Click MORE below for information about each speaker.

DAVID HUGHES, Walgreens
Senior Director for Facilities and Energy Management

David Hughes is the Senior Director of Facilities and Energy Management at Walgreens. His team is responsible for maintaining facility conditions and optimizing energy and GHG impacts across all Walgreens stores located in the United States and Puerto Rico. As seen in their partnership with the Better Buildings Challenge, over the last 10 years, Walgreens reduced its GHG emissions by 20% through more efficient HVAC, LED Lighting, and Energy Management Systems.
 

SUSHMA MASEMORE, State of North Carolina
State Energy Director & Acting Assistant Secretary for Environment

Sushma Masemore has served as the State Energy Director for North Carolina since 2018 and was recently named the Acting Assistant Secretary for Environment. Sushma and her team work to bring clean energy solutions and sustainable practices to North Carolina businesses, citizens, and government operations. She oversees a variety of regulatory programs impacting air, water, waste, energy, and other resources and is involved in the implementation of various climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency She has over 30 years of public and private sector experience related to pollution control and energy systems planning; she has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and is a licensed Professional Engineer in North Carolina.

JONATHAN ROSE, Jonathan Rose Companies
President

Jonathan F.P. Rose’s work focuses on creating more environmentally, socially, and economically just and resilient cities. In 1989 he founded Jonathan Rose Companies LLC, a multi-disciplinary real estate development, planning, project management, and investment firm. Jonathan has led the firm’s development of award-winning projects, investment funds, and city plans that model solutions integrating the issues of affordable housing, community development, culture, and the environment. One of the largest acquirers of affordable and mixed-income housing in the nation, the firm’s innovative work has won awards from many organizations; this includes the Urban Land Institute, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the American Planning Association, and the American Institute of Architects. Jonathan also advises global cities on planning, affordable housing, environmental, and social issues. He has a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from Yale University and a Masters in Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

STEVE SKARDA, Proctor & Gamble
GHG & Energy Director

Steve Skarda is the GHG and Energy Director at Procter & Gamble where he is responsible for delivering P&G’s 2020 sustainability goals related to GHG and energy. Steve leads a team focused on a science-based goal to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 vs. 2010. To date, the team has improved energy productivity by more than 20% across 200 facilities worldwide, saving P&G hundreds of millions of dollars in energy over the last decade. Today, P&G is using 100% renewable electricity across all of the U.S., Canada, and Europe. This combination of renewables and efficiency has led to more than a 50% reduction in absolute emissions over the last decade.

 


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