The Team

Christie Howe, Co-President of Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative (BERC) 

Christie Howe is a MBA Candidate at the Berkeley Haas School of Business focused on disruptive clean energy technologies. Christie has held sales, marketing and project management roles in both the public and private sectors. Most recently at FirstFuel Software, a commercial energy intelligence startup, Christie was in charge of building the company’s sales operations group to manage sales proposals, account and deal support, and business development strategy. Christie also worked for four years at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center developing progressive policy to support renewable electric and thermal energy projects.  


Jessie Knapstein, Co-President of Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative (BERC) 

Jessie Knapstein is a dual degree MS/MPP student in the Energy and Resources Group and the Goldman School of Public Policy. Jessie came to UC Berkeley from the US Department of Energy where she focused on proliferation and funding of energy efficient technology. During her graduate school career, she has researched with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), and most recently, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).


img_1400-croppedJing Xiong, Berkeley CUP Co-Manager (BECI – Program Manager)

Jing Xiong is a Program Manager at the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute and manages several of BECI’s key programs, such as the Cal Energy Corps internship and the annual Philomathia Forum. She also assists with strategic planning and development and provides special project support.



mulhauserSara Mulhauser, Berkeley CUP Co-Manager (BERC – CUP Chair)

Sara Mulhauser is a Master of Public Policy student at the Goldman School of Public Policy, focusing on energy policy and innovation. Prior to returning to Berkeley for graduate study, she developed distributed generation fuel cell installation projects for Bloom Energy.



Paul WrightPaul Wright (Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute (BECI) – Executive Director)

Paul is the Director of BECI, and was previously the Director of CITRIS. He is a professor in the Dept. of Mech. Eng. at UC Berkeley, and holds the A. Martin Berlin Chair. He is also a Co-Director of the Berkeley Manufacturing Institute (BMI) and the Berkeley Wireless Research Center (BWRC).



Tracy TurnerTracy Turner (Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute (BECI) – Director of Operations)

Tracy supports the Director and BECI by providing strategic coordination, administration and management of the processes that support the institute’s infrastructure. Tracy also provides operational and administrative assistance to the BECI Director. Prior to BECI, Tracy was the Director of Operations at CITRIS and had extensive experience in senior management roles with Mervyns LLC.


Alic ChenAlic Chen (Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) – Co-Founder, Foundry @ CITRIS)

Alic is co-Founder of the CITRIS Foundry and Program Manager of the CITRIS Social Apps Lab. Alic co-manages the operations the CITRIS Foundry by helping grow and develop the startup companies currently incubating at CITRIS. He also coordinates various projects within The Social Apps Lab, including the annual CITRIS Mobile App Challenge.


no-imageHank Love (American Jobs Project – Program Manager)

Henry Love is a nonprofit management professional, currently managing the American Jobs Project at the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute. Mr. Love has applied his education in entrepreneurship, finance and business administration to the nonprofit energy sector for nearly a decade: developing sustainable program models, building partnerships with like-minded organizations in the public and private sector; consulting nonprofit executives on strategy, organizational structure and program design; as well as writing grant proposals and managing projects. He has also researched paired leadership at the Haas School of Business with leadership expert Dan Mulhern, focusing on how the dynamics of interdependent leadership positions can create great success or catastrophic failure.


Therese PefferTherese Peffer (California Institute for Energy and Environment (CIEE) – Program Director, Enabling Technologies)

Therese manages and conducts research in smart building technologies, including wireless sensor networks, control algorithms, energy efficiency, Demand Response, and occupant-centric research projects with the objective of creating comfortable and energy efficient livable spaces. She serves as an Associate Director for i4Energy within the CITRIS Sustainable Infrastructures initiative. She is the 2015 Chair of the Behavior Energy and Climate Change (BECC) conference.


TiffTiff Dressen (Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research – Manager of Special Projects)

Tiff Dressen currently works in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at UC Berkeley where she helps jump start and shepherd new multi-disciplinary initiatives for campus. Some recent and ongoing efforts focus on precision medicine, the brain initiative, the energy and water nexus, advanced manufacturing, innovation and entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley, and strategic international partnerships for the Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay. Prior to joining the VCR’s office, she spent a good deal of time working at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, first in the Physical Biosciences Division and then with the Deputy Director for Science.


Brian SteelBrian Steel (Cleantech-to-Market (C2M) – Co-Director)

Brian Steel is Co-Director of the Cleantech to Market program (C2M) to which he brings 30 years of business innovation and leadership experience. He is also a governing partner of Clean Energy Advantage Partners and a Senior Advisor to Renewable Energy Trust. Prior to joining the UC Berkeley faculty, Brian was Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Development for PG&E Corporation, where he led the energy industry’s first tax-equity solar project financing by an investor-owned utility, investing $400 million in nearly $1 billion of photovoltaic assets from 2010-2011.


Smile - grayscaleRussell Carrington (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) – Technology Commercialization Associate (Energy / Physical Sciences))

Dr. Russell Carrington oversees technology commercialization for the Energy Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Earth & Environmental Sciences areas at Berkeley Lab, and leads entrepreneurship training for lab researchers. Prior to his role at Berkeley Lab, Russell co-founded two startups and consulted for a strategy firm. He holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley and BS in the same from Rice University.



Sean WiheraSean Wihera (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) – Program Manager)

Sean Wihera is a Program Manager with the Energy Technologies Area (ETA) of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL). Sean coordinates ETA’s proposal development process for the California Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) and Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) funding, and additionally supports a variety of ETA’s strategic initiatives.  Sean was previously the Founding Program Director of the Berkeley CUP and Co-Founder of the BECI Energy and Climate Challenge. Sean has supported over twenty cleantech startups and is an active National Science Foundation iCorps Mentor.