Board of Directors
David W. Cash
David Cash is a climate and clean energy consultant focusing on a just transition to a clean energy future and is a Distinguished Fellow at the Sustainable Solutions Lab at UMass Boston. Formerly, he served as Dean of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston. Prior to that he served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Commissioner in both the Department of Public Utilities and Department of Environmental Protection, and as Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.MoreIn these roles, he acted as a catalyst, helping to transform Massachusetts’ energy and environmental policy, business and regulatory landscape, by developing and implementing innovative clean energy, water and waste management programs, innovative renewable energy and grid modernization efforts, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Cash also was a research fellow and lecturer in environmental science and public policy at Harvard University. He earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University and a BS from Yale. He joined E4TheFuture’s board in 2017.
Farber is President and co-founder of Cedar Energy Investors, which finances solar power systems for commercial and nonprofit organizations.MoreFrom 2007 to 2010, at PHOTON Consulting, he advised global solar companies and investors on solar markets and strategy. Prior to this he was a co-founder of Evergreen Solar, makers of crystalline silicon solar power products, where he served as President and CEO for almost a decade. Farber has also served in leadership positions of several state and national solar trade associations, including Chairman of the Solar Alliance, President of SEBANE, and a board member of the Solar Energy Industries Association. Before entering the solar energy business in 1988, Farber was a management consultant in the electric utility sector for 12 years. He was a member of the Conservation Services Board since 2004, has been on the E4TheFuture Board since its 2015 inception, and is also on the Board of Shift Energy LLC and Community Energy Inc. He holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sloan School of Management at MIT.
Mary Beth Gentleman
As partner with Foley Hoag LLP in Boston, Gentleman provided strategic regulatory and market advice to energy technology companies, renewable energy project developers and efficiency companies.MoreShe served as co-chair of the firm’s Energy & Cleantech Practice and provided regulatory and environmental compliance advice to major generating companies in New England. Prior to joining Foley Hoag, she served as Assistant Secretary of Energy in Massachusetts for six years. Gentleman served on the Board of the Northeast Energy and Commerce Association and as General Counsel of the New England Energy Alliance. She holds a master’s degree in public finance from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass/Amherst and law degree from Suffolk University. Gentleman was a member of the Conservation Services Group board since 2006 and served as board chair. She also now serves on the Board of Directors of FirstLight Power Inc.
Julie Fox Gorte
Julie Fox Gorte is Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing, Impax Asset Management LLC and Pax World Funds. She oversees environmental, social and governance-related research on prospective and current investments as well as the firm’s shareholder engagement and public policy advocacy. Gorte is also a member of the Impax Gender Analytics team.MoreShe joined E4TheFuture’s board in 2017 and also serves as board chair of the Sustainable Investment Institute and on the boards of the Endangered Species Coalition and Clean Production Action. In addition, she serves on the Investment Committee of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative. Earlier, Gorte served as Vice President and Chief Social Investment Strategist at Calvert Group. Her experience also includes nearly 14 years as Senior Associate and Project Director at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, Vice President for Economic and Environmental Research at The Wilderness Society, Program Manager for Technology Programs in the Environmental Protection Agency’s policy office and Senior Associate at the Northeast-Midwest Institute. Gorte earned her Bachelor of Science from Northern Arizona University and a Master of Science and Ph.D from Michigan State in resource economics.
David L. O’Connor
Board Chair of E4TheFuture, David O’Connor is Senior Vice President for Energy & Clean Technology at ML Strategies where he helps companies to shape public policies and stay current in a rapidly evolving energy marketplace.MoreML Strategies is the government relations/business advisory affiliate of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. Previously, O’Connor served as the Massachusetts Commissioner of Energy Resources 1995-2007 where he developed and managed state energy policies and programs. Under his leadership, Massachusetts began an historic transformation of the electricity marketplace, to provide consumers with electricity supplier choice and to expand use of clean energy sources. He implemented inaugural standards for New England renewable energy use and certificate trading, oversaw electric and gas utilities’ operation of $150 million annually in energy efficiency programs, and was a member of the Massachusetts team that negotiated the first-ever multistate agreement--the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)--to limit carbon emissions from power plants. He also served on the state Energy Facilities Siting Board 1995-2007. For 10+ years, he led Massachusetts’s participation in deregulation of a $15 billion regional electricity market. Prior to his appointment as energy commissioner, O’Connor held leadership positions in the dispute resolution field, and taught at Tufts University. He currently serves on energy policy committees and on the board of Summer Search, Boston. He joined E4TheFuture’s board in 2017 and was elected Chair in November of 2020. O’Connor holds degrees from Middlebury College and the Harvard Kennedy School (MPA).
Steele was a co-founder of Energy Federation Inc. (EFI), and served as its President and CEO from 1982 until his retirement in 2018. EFI distributed and manufactured energy efficient products, created and operated dozens of utility partner branded websites promoting sales of energy saving products to their customers, and managed hundreds of public and utility funded rebate programs that encouraged consumers and businesses to make investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. He is treasurer of E4TheFuture’s board.MoreUnder his leadership, EFI grew to a 140-person company with annual revenues of $80 million. Steele was among contributors to 1988-90 regulatory proceedings leading to the adoption of least-cost planning, or integrated resource management, for electric utilities in New England. This Collaborative Approach process, and resulting program design, became the model for many demand-side management (DSM) programs implemented across the U.S. Early in his career Steele served as executive director of the People’s Energy Resources Cooperative, a non-profit that merged with two other non-profits to create Conservation Services Group where he served on the board of directors. He also served as board member for the Community Energy Partnership, the New England Energy Efficiency Council, and Affordable Comfort. Steele is a graduate of Harvard University.
Stein was Senior Advisor at E Source, a research and advisory firm that advises utilities and large energy users on technologies and strategies for energy efficiency and demand response programs, solar, marketing and segmentation, and customer experience.MoreShe provided strategic account management for E Source’s utility clients and direction to E Source services in efficiency, technology and the smart grid. Since 1994, Stein has worked on demand side management, demand response programs and technologies and energy information services. Prior to joining E Source, she designed and evaluated DSM programs for the utilities formerly known as New England Electric and Boston Edison. She holds an M.S. in Building Energy Engineering from the University of Colorado, a B.A. in Art History and a B.S. in Engineering from Swarthmore College. Stein joined the Conservation Services Group Board in 2014.
Nidhi Thakar is Director of Resource and Regulatory Strategy and Engagement for Portland General Electric, Oregon’s largest utility, where she leads cross-functional efforts to advance the company’s priorities related to rapid decarbonization and electrification, resiliency and reliability, business model innovation, and customer products. Prior to her role at Portland General, Thakar served in the administration of Governor Brown as Chief of Strategy and External Affairs to President Michael Picker of the California Public Utilities Commission. She also previously served in the Obama administration as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office, where she was part of the executive team responsible for managing a $32 billion portfolio of loans and loan guarantees and for financing innovative, clean energy and advanced vehicle technologies. She serves on the Clean Energy for America Board of Directors and the Clean Energy for America Education Fund Board of Directors.MoreThakar also held other positions in the non-profit and government world, including: Deputy Director of the Public Lands Project at the Center for American Progress, where she led the team’s legal and policy analysis on energy and environmental issues affecting public lands; Legislative Aide to U.S. Representative Shelley Berkley of Nevada; and a law clerk for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental Enforcement Division. An attorney by training, she advised clients on energy and environmental matters as an associate at Perkins Coie LLP 2008-2014. In this role, she practiced before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and state public utility commissions, as well as advised clients on the permitting of onshore and offshore renewable energy projects and hydroelectric projects, western water issues, hydraulic fracturing, and wholesale electric and natural gas proceedings. Thakar holds a BA from the University of Maryland, College Park and received her JD from Lewis & Clark Law School, with a Certificate in Environmental Law, where she was a member of the Law Review.