Climate Corps Alumni Awards

Alumni Awards

The 2021 William K. Bowes, Jr. Award for Leadership

The William K. Bowes, Jr. Award for Leadership recognizes Climate Corps alumni who are leaders in their field and working to drive positive environmental change. This award is presented to alumni who have demonstrated exceptional leadership through actions such as developing scalable solutions, sharing best practices, collaborating across and within industries, and engaging in environmental advocacy.

This award is dedicated to William K. “Bill” Bowes, Jr., an accomplished business leader and long-time supporter of Climate Corps. A venture capitalist in the Bay Area for nearly 50 years, Bill devoted much of his time to education and medical research.

Lia Cairone

(LinkedIn, CC Public Summary 2015, CC Public Summary 2016)

  • Fellow at MWRA, 2015 and NYC MOS, 2016
  • Now Deputy Regional Director, North America, C40 Cities

Lia Cairone is dedicating her career to driving ambitious climate action in her role as Deputy Regional Director, North America for C40 Cities. In her role, Lia is charged with motivating and supporting cities in the US and Canada to raise their climate ambition, center equity and inclusion in all decisions, and fight for a green and just recovery for all. 

Prior to joining C40 Cities, Lia led the development of New York City’s climate action plan to align with the 1.5 degree ambition of the Paris Agreement, including coordinating commitments across dozens of City agencies, and internally advocating for and ultimately achieving a commitment to citywide net zero emissions for NYC by 2050 at the latest. Lia was also instrumental in developing and overseeing passage of NYC’s Climate Mobilization Act, including Local Law 97, a groundbreaking policy that requires 50,000 large buildings to slash their emissions beginning in 2024. The law is expected to eliminate 6 million tons of annual greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent of taking 1.3 million cars off the road, create over 25,000 local jobs, and prevent up to 130 premature deaths annually by contributing to cleaner, better air for New Yorkers, all by 2030.

Lia has remained a dedicated member of the Climate Corps alumni community serving as a mentor and host to fellows in her role at the New York City Mayor’s Office and is a trained Climate Corps climate advocate.

The 2021 Environmental Justice Award 

The Climate Corps Environmental Justice Award recognizes an alum who has demonstrated exceptional impact through their work on equitable and inclusive environmental solutions and their advocacy for environmental and climate justice. 

Ani Krishnan (he/him)

(LinkedIn, CC public summary)

  • Fellow at City of Dallas, 2012
  • Now Climate Data & Policy Manager, City of Seattle (Office of Sustainability & Environment)

Ani Krishnan is dedicating his career to driving climate justice through his work as a Climate Data & Policy Manager for the City of Seattle. Ani’s role is rooted in the belief that any emissions reduction efforts undertaken by the City must prioritize positive outcomes for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities for a just transition. He works on a diverse and interdisciplinary team that is tasked with implementing a Green New Deal for Seattle through strong trust-based partnerships with community partners to ensure its success. Ani is supporting this work through the development of climate equity indicators to measure climate progress through an equity lens, a first of its kind initiative. Ani is additionally leading the process to identify specific emissions reduction program and policy recommendations to help the City center racial equity while meeting their climate goals. 

Ani has remained a dedicated member of the Climate Corps alumni community serving as a mentor, strategic partner in Climate Corps’ environmental justice strategy, and host to the City of Seattle’s first Environmental Justice fellow.

Read about past award winners

The 2020 William K. Bowes, Jr. Award for Leadership Winner

Radhika Lalit

(LinkedIn, CC public summary)

Radhika Lalit is driving positive environmental change as a director at Rocky Mountain Institute’s Center for Climate-Aligned Finance—a global center of expertise on climate alignment dedicated to leveraging finance to catalyze decarbonization in the real economy. Radhika also manages a global coalition of over 30 leading organizations to spur innovation in the air conditioning industry through the Global Cooling Prize.

Prior to RMI, Radhika worked as a sustainability strategy consultant to over thirty Fortune 500 corporations in India and has successfully engaged businesses to catapult solutions for sustainable development. In 2015, Radhika was a fellow at Blue Shield of California where she made recommendations on sustainability targets as well as on solar power purchase agreements which were implemented in 2018.

Radhika has been a humble and ever-present force in the energy and sustainability community by supporting its members and helping to foster the next generation of climate and sustainability leaders. In addition to her work at RMI, Radhika is a dedicated alum who routinely mentors, shares her wisdom, and even hired one of our displaced fellows from the 2020 cohort.

The 2020 Environmental Justice Award Winner

Phoebe Romero

(LinkedIn, CC public summary)

Phoebe Romero has devoted her career to addressing air quality and climate actions that reduce environmental impact and improve quality of life outcomes for disproportionately impacted communities in the City of Austin, Texas.

As a leader on Austin’s 2020 Climate Equity Plan, Phoebe supports a community led process to achieve their overall goal to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 52% by 2030. Each goal in supporting the Climate Equity Plan aims to lower emissions while addressing racial equity. In her role as Environmental Program Coordinator, she connects, educates and supports stakeholders to craft ambitious and achievable goals that serve their shared community.

Phoebe was well qualified for this position thanks to her 2015 Climate Corps fellowship at Huston-Tillotson University. In this role, she coordinated energy and water audits, contributed to the university’s climate neutrality strategic plan, worked on environmental justice advocacy, and fostered corporate and community partnerships. 

Outside of work, Phoebe is an active advocate for improving the accessibility of solar energy for low-income residents as a board member of Net Impact Austin and formerly, Solar Austin. She also hosts a podcast which focuses on interviewing diverse voices in the sustainability world. Phoebe is an active alum who has served as a Climate Corps alumni mentor, local event host and advocacy workshop participant.

The 2019 William K. Bowes, Jr. Award for Leadership Winner

Ed Carley

(LinkedIn, CC public summary)

Ed Carley has devoted his career to driving positive environmental change by contributing to high-impact energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, and by working on energy policy. His experience ranges from a Washington, DC think tank, to a municipal electric utility, and now by working with state energy offices across the country with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO).

Ed Carley was a Climate Corps fellow in 2015 at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission where he worked as part of a team of EDF Climate Corps fellows who researched and analyzed an energy efficiency rebate and incentive program for the utility’s commercial and industrial clients. Informed by this research, Carley developed a financial model demonstrating the triple bottom line impact of energy efficiency programs for the SFPUC.

Ed Carley has also taken it upon himself to address a need that is very much in the spirit of Climate Corps: helping people find their way into the field of sustainability and make strides once they’re there. He founded “Ed’s Clean Energy & Sustainability Jobs List” in 2017, which is a hand-curated and incredibly comprehensive weekly jobs newsletter. Originally created for seven friends, the list has grown to reach well over 2,000 subscribers. Ed has been a humble and ever-present force in the energy and sustainability community as well as within the Climate Corps network by supporting its members and helping to foster the next generation of climate and sustainability leaders.

The 2018 William K. Bowes, Jr. Award for Leadership Winners

Katie Walsh

(LinkedIn, CC public summary)

Katie Walsh has devoted her career to helping North American cities lead on climate change policy. In her current role as Senior Manager of North American Cities and States at CDP, Katie works with cities to expand their progress and ability to benchmark activities on reducing GHG emissions and adaptations actions. She has grown the program 6 fold from 27 cities participating in 2014 to more than 160 cities in 2018 who are creating and updating GHG inventory plans, adaptation strategies and improving their disclosure to CDP each year.

Katie was well qualified for this position of leadership thanks to her 2013 EDF Climate Corps fellowship at the City of Philadelphia where Katie’s task was to identify a strategy to prepare the City’s adaptation plan for climate change.

Katie continues to build her skills and scale her impact. Since participating in the EDF Climate Corps advocacy training workshop, Katie launched Sustain the Vote, a non-profit which engages NYC City council members in climate change education and just last month ran and won a seat in the Kings County Democratic County Committee to advance climate change action within Brooklyn.

Trish Kenlon

(LinkedIn, CC public summary)

Trish Kenlon has devoted her career to driving positive environmental change as a dedicated ambassador of the sustainability field, mentor, and EDF Climate Corps network champion. As a 2009 EDF Climate Corps fellow at TXU Energy, Trish conducted their first GHG emissions inventory and identified energy savings opportunities that could reduce their carbon footprint by 30%. Trish spent her career leading energy efficiency initiatives with both small business and at the corporate scale. While Trish has accomplished a lot personally, she hopes that the biggest impact her career will make is on the careers of others. Earlier this year she founded Sustainable Career Pathways, a website that includes the first truly comprehensive collection of career resources for sustainability practitioners at all levels as well as career counseling.

This shift in approach from technical to people was no surprise to the EDF Climate Corps team as Trish boasts a long legacy of time and energy spent supporting the EDF Climate Corps network and fostering the next generation of leaders. A sampling of her service to the network includes: sharing her experiences on panels at the EDF Climate Corps training and donor events, she is a dedicated alumni mentor, has recruited fellows and hosts for the program, and recently was a participant in the EDF Climate Corps advocacy workshop which inspired her to successfully advocate for support against an oil pipeline in her hometown.

The 2017 William K. Bowes, Jr. Award for Leadership Winner

Nicholas Zuba

(LinkedIn, CC public summary)

Nicholas Zuba has spent the last ten years driving policies and programs that combat climate change. In his current role managing the Connecticut Green Bank’s (CGB) Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, he helps commercial and industrial property owners with paying for the upfront cost of energy saving improvements. Over the last four and a half years, the program has helped nearly 170 building owners get financing to make key improvements to reduce their energy costs. During his 2014 EDF Climate Corps fellowship at CA Technologies, Inc., he developed seven project recommendations that could save the company 3.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity, nearly 6,100 therms of natural gas, and almost 2,500 metric tons of carbon emissions. For this work, he was awarded EDF’s first annual Best Business Case award, given to the fellow who presents the strongest financial analysis for a project or recommendations with a positive net present value and high likelihood of implementation.

Nicholas continues to share his skills and experience with the EDF Climate Corps program. He has served as an outside reviewer, mentored fellows in 2015, and in 2016, hosted fellows at the Connecticut Green Bank. His goal for the next five to ten years is to continue managing initiatives that help to remove energy efficiency market barriers for consumers, and has considering running for local or state office in order to promote pragmatic and sensible energy efficiency and environmental policy.

The 2016 William K. Bowes, Jr. Award for Leadership Winners

Elizabeth Turnbull Henry

(LinkedIn, CC public summary)

Elizabeth Turnbull Henry is creating lasting environmental change through her leadership as the President of the Environmental League of Massachusetts. Before joining ELM, she served as the Director of Energy, Environment & ISO at adidas and proved herself as an environmental innovator whose work has served as an example for other corporations. Elizabeth was a 2010 fellow at adidas Group where she was hired on full-time after completing her MBA/MEM from Yale.

Early in her post-graduate professional career, Elizabeth led the strategy development and launch for one of the first internal sustainability venture capital funds of its kind at a large corporation. Her work built on her experience in EDF Climate Corps and the opportunity to drive GHG emissions reductions while generating positive financial returns when viewed through a portfolio approach with blended environmental and financial objectives. Elizabeth’s work has been featured on the adidas Group blog and in GreenBiz, and her greenENERGY Fund’s results speak highly for themselves.

Building on the success and momentum of her greenENERGY fund at adidas Group, Elizabeth has graciously shared her insights with others in the corporate sustainability community seeking to embed environmental considerations into financial decision making at their companies. She has spoken at numerous conferences, sharing as much passion and enthusiasm for this work as she shares strategic insights.

Jenny McColloch

(LinkedIn, CC public summary)

Jenny McColloch has proven herself as a leader in corporate sustainability working to embed sustainability strategy into one of the world’s largest restaurant companies. From her 2011 fellowship at Nestle Waters North America to her current role as Director, Global Sustainability at McDonald’s, Jenny has worked toward leading collaborative change and is passionate about continuing to mainstream sustainable behaviors, investments and decision-making in business and communities worldwide. .

Jenny’s accomplishments at McDonald’s include helping to make McDonald’s USA the first national restaurant chain to share the Marine Stewardship Council ecolabel at all locations for Filet-O-Fish, helping to launch the first-ever globally-aligned, public sustainability framework and goals for the brand in 2014, and helping to coordinate McDonald’s engagement in the White House American Business Act on Climate Pledge in the lead-up to COP 21.

Jenny is also dedicated to educating and inspiring others to care about the environment both inside and outside of work. She works with emerging leaders across industries serving as a resource, coach and mentor for young professionals trying to transition into the sustainability field. She is a big believer in building strong networks and helping others to unlock their own interests in social or environmental change – whether personally or professionally. She hosted EDF Climate Corps Fellow Ameer Azim at McDonald’s in 2014.

Jaxon Love

(LinkedIn, CC Public Summary 2011, CC Public Summary 2012)

Jaxon Love has demonstrated incredible leadership in and dedication to the EDF Climate Corps network, participating first as a fellow and going on to host eight fellowships at Shorenstein Properties, as well as mentoring many young professionals. In large part due to Jaxon’s mentorship, his fellows have gone on to energy and sustainability careers at companies like PG&E, Sun Edison, Lockheed Martin, and Booz Allen and work in fields including energy engineering, LEED consulting, and sustainability market research.

Since joining Shorenstein Properties as a 2011 Climate Corps Fellow, and then as the Sustainability Manager, Jaxon has helped the office portfolio of 25 million square feet reduce energy use by 19.5% and carbon emissions by 19%, equivalent to an annual carbon dioxide emissions reduction of 26,000 metric tons. Jaxon also administers a LEED Operation and Maintenance program covering the entire portfolio, addressing water efficiency, green cleaning, waste management, integrated pest management, and indoor environmental quality.

Jaxon Love has been dedicated to environmental change since his earliest days, conducting a carbon footprint of his high school for his senior science project and co-authoring a book on inter-generational environmental justice. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jordan, Jaxon organized environmental clean-up projects and has an MBA in Sustainable Business Practices from the University of Oregon. Jaxon strives to grow sustainable practices into the core of the real estate business model.