Energy agency re-appoints board members and appoints new ones – Times Union


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ALBANY — The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has reappointed three members including their existing chairman. And they appointed three new members as well during the past week.

A public authority, or public benefit corporation, the quasi-governmental agency provides information, expertise and grants to help increase energy efficiency. The organization is also playing a key role in helping to target and fund projects that will help New York meet legislated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions going forward.

The nominees were approved by the state Senate on Friday, as this year’s legislative session drew to a close.

Richard Kauffman was reappointed as board chairman. He has served as chairman since 2013. Additionally, Kauffman is an adjunct senior scholar at Columbia University’s Center for Global Energy Policy and also serves as chair of Generate Capital, a leading financier of clean energy projects.

Sherburne “Shere” Abbott, a board members since 2014, also was reappointed. She is a professor of Sustainability Science and Policy and director of Environment, Sustainability and Policy at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Her research and teaching interests lie at the interface of science and society—principally on issues related to climate change, energy and sustainability.

Abbott previously was a senior advisor to President Barack Obama, serving as a deputy to the President’s science advisor. She was responsible for coordinating the research and development portfolio for environment and natural resources, including overseeing the $2.4 billion U.S. Global Change Research Program, and the interagency committees on earth observing systems, air and water quality, disaster reduction, ecological services, toxins, the Arctic, and ocean science and technology.

Jay Koh, also appointed to the NYSERDA Board in 2014, was reappointed as well, filling the economist seat on the Board.

Koh has over 20 years of experience in investing and public policy in the public and private sectors and is co-founder and managing director of The Lightsmith Group. Prior to co-founding Lightsmith in 2016,  Koh was a managing director and partner of Siguler Guff, a global alternative investment firm with over $10 billion under management. He also was head of investment funds and chief investment strategist at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), where he led the agency’s $2.6 billion active emerging markets private equity program.

Arturo Garcia-Costas was appointed to fill the environmental nonprofit representative seat on the Board.

He brings 20 years of policy experience in environmental health, climate change, sustainable energy and biodiversity conservation, and is currently managing the New York Community Trust’s National and New York City Environment programs. He has worked at the local, state and federal levels of government, and ran a United Nations Development Program initiative focused on implementing the Rio Conventions.

While at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration, he led an agency effort to engage with Latinos on their most pressing environmental concerns, and later worked on climate justice issues with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, where he co-authored the environmental justice analysis in the 2009 State Energy Plan.  Garcia-Costas also serves on the board of Friends of the Earth .U.S. and is co-chair of the New York Environmental Funders Network.

Sarah “Sadie” McKeown was appointed to an at-large seat on the Board.

She is executive vice president and head of construction lending and initiatives at The Community Preservation Corporation, leading their construction lending activities including the operation of its six regional field offices located throughout New York. She also oversees CPC’s numerous initiatives, which include its innovative sustainability practice, the ACCESS fund to strengthen and support minority developers and real estate entrepreneurs, and CPC’s partnership with New York State in providing COVID relief funding to small multifamily building owners.

Finally, Frances A. Resheske was appointed to the electric utility representative seat on the Board.

Resheske is senior vice president for Corporate Affairs at Con Edison, serving as both the voice of the company to external stakeholders and driving employee engagement internally. Her background combines corporate affairs, political and regulatory strategy, corporate philanthropy, community and grassroots organizing, and 30 years of experience in nonprofit board leadership. In 2002, she developed Con Edison’s first corporate affairs department, and currently manages 120 employees and a $50 million budget. She is a member of the Leadership, Strategy, and Financial Oversight Steering Committees, the Cyber and Emergency Management Steering Committee (including COVID-19 oversight) and the Diversity and Inclusion Council.  

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