Garry A. Brown was confirmed as a Commissioner of the New York State Public Service Commission on December 13, 2007 and was named Chairman on January 2, 2008. His term runs through February 1, 2015.
Mr. Brown has more than 30 years of experience in the public, private and not-for-profit energy and electricity sectors, including previously holding a position as Senior Policy Analyst for the former New York State Energy Office, which had been charged with developing a sustainable and sound energy policy and promoting energy efficiency, while protecting the environment and fostering economic development.
As PSC chairman, Mr. Brown sits on the State Energy Planning Board. He is also chairman of the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment. He sits on the board of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York State Environmental Board, and the board of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Inc. He is a member of the New York State Broadband Development and Deployment Council.
He is a member of the Advisory Council to the Board of Directors of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The Edison Foundation Board of Directors created the Institute for Energy Efficiency (IEE), an advisory committee, in which Mr. Brown is also a member.
Mr. Brown received his B.A. from State University College at Plattsburgh and his Masters of Public Administration from the Rockefeller School of Public Affairs at the State University of New York at Albany.
Mr. Brown was born and raised in Williamsville, outside of Buffalo. He and his wife, Linda, reside in Averill Park, and are the proud parents of a son and daughter.
Rhea Jezer founded the Symposium on Energy in 2005 and has been the chair
these past eight years.
For many years, Rhea has been an environmental educator as well as active in environmental policy in New York State and nationally. She is a consultant to eco-businesses, candidates, environmental groups, as well as an advisor to elected officials for both major parties. She was an environmental advisor for Senator Hillary Clinton for nine years, worked closely with Governor George Pataki, and served on the transition teams for President Bill Clinton, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Rhea is a board member of the League of Conservation Voters and Iroquois Group of Sierra Club. She was chair of the Atlantic Chapter Sierra Club for several years. Rhea served as Chair of the Dewitt Democratic Party and was a candidate for Congress two times. She is a presenter for the Al Gore's Climate Project on Global Warming, was Senior Lecturer at Cazenovia College and presently holds the position of Associate Professor (Adjunct) at SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). She was awarded the 2012 Post Standard Achievement Award "for her contributions to making Central New York a better place".
Dr. Jezer holds a Ph.D from Syracuse University, MA from Columbia University, and a BA from Brooklyn College. She was awarded a Congressional Fellowship on Women & Public Policy where she penned major legislation for the encouragement of women and under-represented minorities to enter the fields of science and math. Rhea Jezer is as well a noted musician and performed extensively as a harpsichord soloist for many years, including at the Skaneateles Music Festival.
Katherine Kennedy is the Clean Energy Counsel at the Natural Resources Defense Council, with special expertise in energy efficiency, renewable energy, global warming solutions and air and water pollution.
From 2007 to 2010, Kit served as Special Deputy Attorney General for Environmental Protection in the Office of the New York State Attorney General, where she was responsible for the management, supervision, and direction of the New York State Attorney General’s Office Environmental Protection Bureau.
Kit is the Timothy B. Atkeson Environmental Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, where she directs the Yale Environmental Protection Clinic. She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University School of Law. Kit serves on the board of the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and is a member of the executive committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section.
She is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College.
Sergej Mahnovski is the Director of Energy Policy in the New York City Office of the Mayor. Sergej is responsible for managing citywide energy policy and serves as the principal energy advisor to the Deputy Mayor of Operations and Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. Sergej also chairs the New York City Energy Policy Task Force, serves on the Board of Directors of the New York State Smart Grid Consortium, and is Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.
Previously, he was a Director in the Global Power Group at IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA), and a Doctoral Fellow at RAND Corporation.
Sergej earned his PhD in Policy Analysis from the RAND Graduate School, MS in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley, and BS in Chemical Engineering and BA in History from Stanford University
Joanne M. Mahoney was elected in November 2007 and is the first woman to serve as County Executive for Onondaga County.
Joanie grew up in Syracuse and graduated from Corcoran High School, Syracuse University's School of management and SU;. College of Law. After spending time in private practice, Joanne Mahoney accepted a position with the Onondaga County District Attorney's office and spent five years as a criminal prosecutor. She then served a four year term as Councilor-at-Large in the City of Syracuse.
County Executive Mahoney is a well respected leader. Her willingness to work with anyone who can move Onondaga County forward has resulted in major accomplishments such as a new direction to clean up Onondaga Lake in a more environmentally friendly way. She was able to include green technology in a consent order and, working together with higher education, non-profits and private sector, is hoping the county will become a world class center for Green technology innovation.
Recently she launched the "Save the Rain" campaign and under her leadership the county is initiating the Green Improvement Fund to provide financial assistance for the installation of Green infrastructure projects on privately owned properties.
Joanie Mahoney and her husband Marc Overdyk have four sons and reside in the Town of Dewitt.
Francis J. Murray, Jr. was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York State
Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) on January 26, 2009.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Murray served as Senior Advisor at the international environmental
consulting firm Ecology and Environment, Inc., where he provided strategic policy and market development guidance on environmental and energy issues to a number of private sector and not-for-profit clients. Mr. Murray also represented the Pace Energy and Climate Center and the Natural Resources Defense Council in the New York Public Service Commission proceeding to establish an energy efficiency portfolio standard program.
From 1996 to 1997, Mr. Murray was policy advisor to the United States Secretary of Energy, assisting in the development of the Clinton Administration’s national energy policy.
Mr. Murray served from 1992 to 1994 as the New York State Commissioner of Energy and Chairman of the NYSERDA Board of Directors, then a statutory function of the State Energy Commissioner. At that time, he also served as Chairman of the State Energy Planning Board, a multi-agency statutory board charged with the responsibility of developing a comprehensive, integrated energy plan for the State that integrated State energy, environmental and economic development policies.
In 1985, Mr. Murray was appointed Deputy Secretary to the Governor for Energy and the Environment, a position he held until 1992. He served from 1983 to 1985 as Assistant Secretary for Energy and the Environment in the administration of New York State Governor Mario M. Cuomo. He represented New York in numerous national and regional energy and environmental activities, including the Coalition of Northeastern Governors, the National Governors’ Association, and the Council of Great Lakes Governors. Mr. Murray began his work on New York State energy issues as legislative counsel and then as an energy and environmental policy advisor to Governor Hugh Carey from 1977 to 1982. He began his career in public service as a legislative assistant to Congressman James V. Stanton (D-Ohio).
Mr. Murray received his Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service cum laude from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.
Greg Pahl is the author of numerous books on energy and also writes for Mother Earth News and various other publications on biodiesel, wind power, wood heat, solar energy, heat pumps, electric cars, and a wide range of other topics related to living in a post-carbon world.
His books include: Power From The People: How to Organize, Finance, and Launch Local Energy Projects (2012, Chelsea Green), The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook: Community Solutions to a Global Crisis (2007, Chelsea Green), Biodiesel, Second Edition: Growing a New Energy Economy (2005, Chelsea Green), Natural Home Heating: The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options (2003, Chelsea Green), The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Saving the Environment (2001, Macmillan/Alpha Books), and The Unofficial Guide to Beating Debt (2000, IDG Books).
Pahl has been involved in environmental issues for more than twenty-five years. In the 1980s he lived off the grid in a home in Vermont with a wind turbine atop an 80-foot tower that provided for his electrical needs. They also have installed a solar domestic hot water system on their garage roof and they are also subscribers to a local Community Solar Electric project.
He is a founding member of the Vermont Biofuels Association as well as the Acorn Renewable Energy Co-op. Pahl attended the University of Vermont and was a military intelligence officer in the US Army during the Vietnam War.
Greg is now on a very successful book tour with his very popular latest book, Power From the People. He lives in Weybridge, Vermont.
On April 9, 2012, Jonathan Powers was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Administration's Federal Environmental Executive. In this capacity, Jon is responsible for promoting environmental and energy sustainability across federal government operations. Housed within the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive was created by Executive Order in 1993. The Office oversees implementation of President Obama's Executive Order on Federal Sustainability (EO 13514) and the GreenGov initiative, working collaboratively with the Office of Management and Budget and each of the Federal agencies.
Prior to joining CEQ, Jon served as the Special Advisor on Energy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Installations, Energy & Environment. He also served as the Chief Operating Officer at the Truman National Security Project, where he focused on energy security issues. In 2009, Jon testified to the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the national security implications of climate change with retired Senator John Warner and Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn. Following this testimony, Jon founded the nationally recognized campaign Operation Free for veterans to advocate for a national energy policy.
Prior to joining the Truman Project, Jon served for four years as an Officer in the U.S. Army, including a 15 month tour in Iraq as part of Operation Iraq Freedom I. In 2005, Jon founded War Kids Relief after returning to Iraq as a civilian to develop programs to engage Iraq's youth and minimize recruitment by radicalized elements. The youth and counterterrorism research and program development efforts led to War Kids Relief becoming a leading advocacy organization working to create a bridge between American and Iraqi youth to build a foundation for peace. In 2008, Jon was a Democratic candidate for New York's 26th Congressional District.
Jon received a Bachelor of Arts in Education at John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH and is scheduled to receive a Masters in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.
Luke Tonachel is NRDC's senior vehicles analyst in New York City. Since joining in 2004, his focus at NRDC has been on reducing the environmental impacts of the world's transportation demands by adopting policies that develop and commercialize cleaner, more efficient vehicles and non-petroleum fuels. His area of expertise is transportation vehicle and fuels, environmental policy, vehicle standards, vehicles technology, oil dependence, fuel efficiency, alternative fuels, clean fuels standards, global warming, greenhouse gas standards, greening cars and trucks, electric vehicles, green enterprise.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Rochester and gained hands-on experience with energy systems and propulsion plants as an engineering officer on a U.S. Navy cruiser. After the Navy, Luke worked for a software company and then returned to school, receiving his Masters in Public Policy from University of California, Berkeley in 2004.
The Annual Symposium on Energy in the 21st century features top speakers from all over the country and abroad to present and discuss, in an academic setting, the future and possibilities of energy sustainability, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and partnerships. Over three hundred and fifty people attend from our local area as well as all parts of New York State and surrounding states. The attendees include faculty and students from two dozen colleges, mayors, town supervisors, congressmen, representatives from government agencies, energy professionals and entrepreneurs, farmers, and interested citizens. The Symposium also brings together leaders from the largest to the smallest of municipalities. This will be the eighth year of this non-partisan multi-disciplinary conversation and learning experience. The testaments of attendees explain the scope of influence and importance of this Symposium.