C3E 2012: Moving Ideas from Laboratory to Marketplace

Panel Discussion

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The MIT Energy Initiative and the US Department of Energy hosted an invitation-only Women in Clean Energy Symposium on September 28, 2012. This symposium – for leaders who have helped advance the careers of women in clean energy, academics, other experts in clean energy, and students who are studying clean energy disciplines – will help lay the foundation for a broader, continuing effort to enable and support the careers of women in clean energy.

Here you can see Nancy Pfund of DBL Investors moderate a panel discussing innovation of new ideas into the energy market. Rachel Sheinbein, Partner, Energy and Materials at CMEA Capital; Kristina Johnson, CEO of Enduring Hydro; and Kathleen McGinty, Senior Vice President of Weston Solutions serve as panelists.

For more information about C3E and to view additional videos from this event, visit the C3E website.

About the Speakers


Nancy Pfund
Managing Partner
DBL Investors

Ms. Nancy E. Pfund is Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Investors, a venture capital firm located in San Francisco, whose goal is to combine top-tier financial returns with meaningful social, economic and environmental returns in the regions in which it invests.  Ms. Pfund currently sponsors or sits on the board of directors of several companies, including; BrightSource Energy, SolarCity, Solaria, Primus Power, Eco.logic Brands, EcoScraps, OPx Biotechnologies, Powergenix and, prior to their public offering, Tesla Motors and Pandora Media.  Originally a regional venture capital group within JPMorgan, DBL Investors spun out as an independent firm in January 2008. Ms. Pfund joined JPMorgan (then Hambrecht & Quist) in 1984 first as a securities analyst and then as a Venture Capital Partner and Managing Director. Ms. Pfund is also a member of the board of directors of the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF); Advisor to the CalCEF Angel Fund; member of the Advisory Board of the UC Davis Center for Energy Efficiency; member of the Advisory Council of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University; member of the Advisory Council of the Milken Institute’s Center for a Sustainable Energy Future; and is a founding officer and director of ABC2, a foundation aimed at accelerating a cure for brain cancer. Ms. Pfund is the author, along with Benjamin Healey of the widely cited report on the history of U.S. energy subsidies entitled, “What Would Jefferson Do? The Historical Role of Federal Subsidies in Shaping America’s Energy Subsidies” as well as numerous other articles on cleantech finance and policy. 


Rachel Sheinbein
Partner, Energy and Materials
CMEA Capital

Ms. Rachel Sheinbein is a Partner with the Energy and Materials team with CMEA Capital. She is on the boards of CMEA portfolio companies Arcadia Biosciences, Contour Energy Systems, Danotek Motion Technologies, Reel Solar (Observer) and Solaria Corporation. Previously, she was a consultant for start-ups in the areas of bio-plastics, solar and water treatment. Prior to consulting, she worked in several positions at Intel Corporation – as a Chemical Engineer for industrial liquid waste and wastewater systems; a Program Manager for Environmental Health & Safety, focusing on metrics and new technology; a Purchasing Analyst; and a Strategic Product Manager for Supply Chain IT. 

Ms. Sheinbein is the President of the board of Expanding Your Horizons Network, a non-profit that encourages girls in math, science, engineering and technology. In addition, she volunteers for Imagine H2O, which is turning water problems into entrepreneurial opportunities. Ms. Sheinbein holds a Chemical Engineering degree with a concentration in Environmental Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. She was also a sponsored fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she received an MBA and a Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering, with a focus on operations and supply chain.

Kristina M. Johnson
Chief Executive Officer
Enduring Hydro

Dr. Kristina M. Johnson is a Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Enduring Hydro, based in Washington, D.C. She is a fellow of the Optical Society of America, International Electronics and Electrical Engineering (IEEE), SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Previously, she served as Under Secretary of Energy at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Johnson was Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at The Johns Hopkins University, and Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University.

Dr. Johnson’s awards include the Society of Women Engineers Lifetime Achievement Award, the Dennis Gabor Prize for creativity and innovation in modern optics and the John Fritz Medal. She was also inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame. She serves on the board of directors of AES Corporation, Boston Scientific and Cisco Systems, and is a trustee of the African Wildlife Foundation and the Rocky Mountain Institute. 

Dr. Johnson received her B.S.E.E., M.S. and PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University. She also has honorary degrees from University of Alabama at Huntsville, Tufts University and Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

Kathleen McGinty
Senior Vice President
Weston Solutions, Inc.

The Honorable Kathleen A. McGinty is Senior Vice President at Weston Solutions, Inc. where she leads the energy, water, and sustainable property redevelopment businesses, and Operating Partner at Element Partners LLC, a clean tech private equity fund. She is also a Director at NRG Energy, Inc., a leading wholesale power company and Iberdrola USA, a gas and electric utility in the northeast. In 2008, she stepped down as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and as Chair of the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority. During her tenure, she helped lead the state’s successful effort to attract market-leading renewable energy companies to headquarter and manufacture in Pennsylvania, bringing more than $1 billion in new investments and creating approximately 3,000 new jobs.

Previous to her service in Pennsylvania, Ms. McGinty was Bill Clinton’s Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Legislative Assistant and Environmental Advisor to then-Senator Al Gore. She also was a Senior Visiting Fellow for a year in New Delhi, India at TERI, the Tata Energy Research Institute. Ms. McGinty holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Saint Joseph’s University and a Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law.