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Climate Council

Cabinet Members

Julie Moore is the Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), the state agency with primary responsibility for protecting and sustaining Vermont’s environment, natural resources, wildlife and forests, and for maintaining Vermont’s beloved state parks. Moore was named to that position by Governor Phil Scott in January 2017. As ANR Secretary, Moore shapes Vermont’s environmental agenda, focusing on water quality, the forest economy, and the importance of conservation. She currently serves on the boards of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Vermont Council on Rural Development, as well as ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center.

Before her appointment, Moore worked as the Water Resources Group Leader at Stone Environmental, an environmental consulting firm headquartered in Montpelier, Vermont. She led a variety of watershed planning and assessment projects and has a deep understanding of water quality concerns associated with runoff from developed land and agricultural areas, as well as stream channel processes and flooding. Moore has diverse experience engaging the public in watershed management programs and activities.

Prior to joining Stone in 2011, Moore spent seven years at ANR where she led the state’s efforts to reduce phosphorus pollution in Lake Champlain. In that role, she coordinated a multi-million-dollar budget and grant allocations and served as the primary Agency liaison to related programs at the agencies of Agriculture, Food & Markets and Transportation.

During her years outside of State service, Moore volunteered her expertise for several organizations dedicated to improving Vermont’s water resources, including: Friends of Northern Lake Champlain Advisory Council (Chair); Friends of the Winooski River and Watersheds United (Board of Directors); Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District (Associate Supervisor); Rumney Memorial School Board (Chair). She also served two three-year terms on the Citizens Advisory Committee on the Future of Lake Champlain, including two years as Chair.

Moore earned a B.S. in civil engineering, cum laude, from the University at Buffalo and an M.S. in environmental science and policy from the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. She is a registered professional engineer in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Moore currently resides in Middlesex, Vermont with her husband, Aaron, and their two children.

Susanne R. Young was appointed Secretary of the Agency of Administration by Governor Philip B. Scott in January 2017. The Secretary of Administration has primary responsibility for the state budget, state buildings and other infrastructure, human resources, the collection of taxes and other revenue, and the department of libraries. The Secretary also serves to coordinate operations and initiatives that require interagency expertise, resources and partnerships. The Secretary serves as Chair of the Clean Water Board that recommends annually a budget that allocates clean water and capital funds for an array of programs and initiatives to achieve the State’s phosphorous reduction goals.

Secretary Young served as Deputy Attorney General in the Vermont Attorney General’s Office prior to her appointment. In 2003, after serving as Deputy State Treasurer, Young was appointed by Governor James H. Douglas to serve as Legal Counsel to the Governor, an appointment she held for eight years. After graduation from Vermont Law School in 1981, Secretary Young served in various positions as an Assistant Attorney General, including as litigation and general counsel for several departments within the Vermont Agency of Human Services, as well as Director of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Special Litigator with a focus on environmental enforcement, and Chief of the Criminal Justice Division. She graduated from Northfield High School in 1974 and from the University of Vermont in 1978. She earned her J.D. degree from Vermont Law School cum laude in 1981.

Anson Tebbetts was appointed Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture, Food, and Markets by Governor Phil Scott in January of 2017.

Erica Bornemann is the Director of Vermont Emergency Management. She has worked for VEM since 2007. Erica previously served as Chief of Staff, and as Planning Chief for the Division, during which time she oversaw the Radiological Emergency Response Program as well as the State Emergency Operations Plan. Erica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Western New England College and a Master of Public Administration from Norwich University. She lives in Morrisville, Vermont with her husband and two sons.

Joe Flynn was named Secretary of Transportation in December 2016, prior to that he served as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety where he was also Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. His career in state government began in 2009 at the Agency of Transportation as Rail Program Director. In 2011 he left that position and moved, along with many others from headquarters in Montpelier, to live and work in southeastern Vermont in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. That was followed by time in the Irene Recovery Office at the Agency of Administration, before going to Public Safety in 2012.

Prior to State service, Joe was employed for thirty-years in the private sector spanning building, construction supplies and services, transportation, and over twenty-years in manufacturing-distribution- sales.

Flynn has extensive experience in public safety and emergency services. He has served as Fire Chief of South Hero Volunteer Fire Department, Deputy Sheriff with the Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department, Vermont State Firefighters’ Association representative to the Vermont Fire Service Training Council, among several other key emergency services roles. He is a former member of the South Hero Select Board and former trustee of Lyndon Institute. Flynn graduated from Saint Michael’s College and lives in South Hero, Vermont.

June E. Tierney was sworn in as the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service by Governor Phil Scott on January 5, 2017. Prior to her appointment, Commissioner Tierney served as general counsel to the Vermont Public Utility Commission (PUC) (2012-2016). Before then, she was a PUC hearing officer (2008-2012), as well as a staff attorney at the Vermont Department of Public Service (2001-2008). A 1986 graduate of Boston University and a 1993 graduate of Vermont Law School, Commissioner Tierney began her legal career with a clerkship at the Vermont Supreme Court, followed by three years as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York City, where she specialized in securities fraud litigation, white collar crime defense and corporate internal compliance investigations. Before her admission to the bar, Commissioner Tierney enjoyed the privilege of serving on active duty (1986-1990) as a commissioned officer in the United States Army.

Lindsay Kurrle was appointed Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development by Governor Phil Scott, effective on September 2, 2019. ACCD encompasses the Departments of Economic Development, Housing and Community Development, and Tourism and Marketing. These departments include many programs that serve the Vermont public by enhancing the Vermont business climate, marketing Vermont to tourists and others, and strengthening Vermont communities in a wide variety of ways.

From January 2017 to September 2019, Lindsay served as Commissioner for the Vermont Department of Labor where she led over 300 employees, and administered Vermont’s workforce development, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, employment services programs, and Vermont’s occupational safety and health program.

Prior to becoming the state’s Labor Commissioner, Lindsay was a business owner for 15 years, and an Auditor for the international accounting firm KPMG. Lindsay brings a balance of knowledge and understanding of both the labor and business community to her role.

Kurrle is an outspoken and strong advocate for matching job seekers with skills, training, and career opportunities while ensuring that Vermont’s employers have access to a skilled and competent workforce that matches their needs now and in the future.

Secretary Kurrle lives in Middlesex, Vermont with her husband and three children.

Sean Brown received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Vermont in 1990. Since that time, he has primarily worked for the State of Vermont in various positions. He has worked in the Office of Child Support, Department of Mental Health, and the Vermont Judiciary. From 2012 to 2014 he was an Operations Director for the Economic Services Division (ESD) in the Department for Children and Families and was appointed Deputy Commissioner of ESD in 2014. As Deputy Commissioner Sean was responsible for administering Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the state’s General Assistance program. In June 2020, Sean was appointed the Commissioner of the Department for Children and Families overseeing all six divisions within the Department.

Sean is excited to bring his expertise in low-income heating assistance, furnace repair and replacement and weatherization to the Counsel as these efforts play a big role in climate change. He believes people of all income levels should have access to strategies that reduce reliance on fossil fuels and increase efficiency.

 

Members Appointed by the Senate Committee on Committees

Jared Duval serves as Executive Director of Energy Action Network (EAN), a nonprofit organization that supports a network of over 200 members and public partners across Vermont. The shared mission of EAN members is to achieve Vermont’s 90% renewable by 2050 total energy commitment and to significantly reduce Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions in ways that create a more just, thriving, and sustainable future for Vermonters.

EAN, the nonprofit organization, serves its network and the State of Vermont by acting as a neutral, trusted convener of diverse stakeholders, including hosting an Annual Network Summit. EAN also collects and analyzes data for its members and the State of Vermont to enable evidence-based and data- informed policy making and program design, most prominently with its Annual Progress Report for Vermont on Energy, Emissions, the Economy, and Equity.

Jared has led EAN since 2017. Previously, from 2014 to 2017, he served as Economic Development Director at the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, where he was responsible for providing business support to working lands and green economy businesses and helped to guide millions of dollars of state and federal investments in sustainable economic development via the Northern Border Regional Commission, the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative, and the Clean Energy Development Fund. Part of the ninth generation of his family to call Vermont home, Jared grew up in the Upper Connecticut River Valley and now lives with his family in Montpelier.

Jared also currently serves as Co-Chair of the Clean Energy Development Fund and is a member of the Board of the Public Assets Institute. He holds degrees from Princeton University (Master in Public Affairs – Domestic Policy, 2014), University of Cambridge (MPhil, Modern Society and Global Transformations, 2012), and Wheaton College, Massachusetts (Bachelor of Arts, Summa Cum Laude – Economics and Political Science, 2005).

Lauren’s work at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) focuses primarily on elevating nature’s role in both adapting to and mitigating climate change. Prior to her policy work at TNC, Lauren spent six years with the State of Vermont managing the State’s primary climate adaptation program, focused on increasing the resilience of our communities and natural systems in the face of a changing climate. After completing her master’s degree, where she studied microbiological means to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, she came to Vermont to assist the Town of Waterbury with their post-Irene flood recovery efforts. Lauren is passionate about protecting the natural world and building a more sustainable future for all Vermonters.

Abbie Corse is an organic dairy farmer and land steward in Whitingham, Vermont (unceded Abenaki territory). She and her parents manage The Corse Farm Dairy which was established in 1868 as a grazing dairy and has existed as one since. The farm ships milk to Organic Valley, utilizes solar power, and is repeatedly recognized for its high-quality milk production. It was the first Master Grazier site in Vermont for the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program. Corse graduated from Saint Michael’s College with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Global Studies. Upon graduation she worked at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, the Telluride Film Festival, and MASS MoCA before determining that her soul still belonged to the land resulting in her return to her family’s farm. Corse was recognized in 2019 as a Vermont Business Magazine 40 under 40 Rising Star and as the Emerging Leader for Vermont’s Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2020. She currently serves on the board of NOFA-VT, VHCB’s Farm & Forest Advisory Board, VAAFM’s Dairy Advisory Council, as an advisor to the Vermont Dairy & Water Coalition, and as a member of the District 2 Environmental Commission.

Chad Farrell is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Encore Renewable Energy, a leader in community scale renewable energy project development services. He has over 25 years of professional experience in the fields of brownfields redevelopment and renewable energy project finance, development and construction. At Encore, Mr. Farrell has led innovative and collaborative efforts to design, permit, finance and construct over 75 different commercial scale solar PV projects throughout the State of Vermont and beyond, representing more than $100M in total investment value. Many of these projects involve reclaiming undervalued real estate for clean energy generation and storage, helping to revitalize communities and create a cleaner, brighter future for all.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University and earned a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Vermont. Chad serves on the Board of Directors of the Vermont Natural Resources Council and is also a member of the Board of Directors for Renewable Energy Vermont.

Iris Hsiang is a student at Essex High School and an outspoken activist. Iris was born on a teaching farm in Plymouth Vermont and moved with her family to Essex, where she lives and goes to school today. She is a member on the EWSD school board, a Youth Lobby Facilitator, the legislative lead for the Students Demand Action Vermont Field Office, the community service committee head for EHS student gov, a student leader for the EHS Red Cross club, a and a co-lead for the EHS Social Justice Union. She will graduate from EHS in 2022 with honors, GLP, STEM academy, and Spanish Honor Society endorsements. She is the Junior Organizer for VPIRG and was previously the Junior Youth and Democracy Organizer for VPIREF. Iris was a Vermont Legislative Page, interned with representative Marybeth Redmond, and Senator (now Senate Pro Term) Becca Balint, and has been pushing legislators to make change in the statehouse ever since. Iris was a part of organizing the Youth Climate congress, and several Marches for the climate, she helped push for the global warming solutions act and is excited to help enact it. Iris works hard for the things she cares about and knows that the climate crisis is the biggest threat to her generation and is disproportionately affecting marginalized communities.

Kelly Klein is the founder and CEO of Groennfell Meadery and Havoc Mead, a certified B Corp located in St. Albans, Vermont. Kelly has worked since the company's founding to use the business as a force for good and to create a healthy, supportive environment for their growing team of employees.

Sue Minter is the Executive Director of Capstone Community Action, a regional non-profit dedicated to building ladders out of poverty and advancing social, economic and environmental justice. Minter was a public servant for 20 years, serving as the Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) in 2015, and as Deputy Secretary from 2011-2014. While VTrans Secretary, Sue co-chaired a sub-committee on President Barack Obama's White House Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience - a presidential initiative to build national and local strategies for climate resilience. Following Tropical Storm Irene’s historic flooding in 2011, Sue was appointed as Vermont’s Irene Recovery Officer, responsible for implementation of state recovery and resilience programs. She served as a Vermont State Representative (2004-2010) and was the Democratic nominee for Vermont Governor in 2016. A graduate of Harvard University (BA) and M.I.T. (MA in City Planning), Sue and her husband, David Goodman, live in Waterbury Center. They have two adult children. She enjoys running, backcountry skiing, hiking, gardening and walking her dog, Sandy.

 

Members Appointed by the House of Representatives

Chris Campany is the Executive Director of the Windham Regional Commission (WRC) based in Brattleboro, Vermont. The Windham Region consists of 27 towns within a 920 square mile area of Southeastern Vermont. The purpose of the commission is to assist towns to provide effective local governance and to work collaboratively with them to address regional issues. Prior to his tenure at the WRC, Chris was an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Graduate Program Coordinator at Mississippi State University; Deputy Director of Planning and Zoning for Calvert County, Maryland; Deputy Commissioner of Planning for Orange County, New York; Federal Policy Coordinator for the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture in its work on the 2002 Farm Bill; founder and Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Economic and Agricultural Development Alliance in Louisiana; and a Program Analyst and Presidential Management Intern with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC. Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University, and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University. He lives in Townshend, Vermont.

Liz Miller is VP of Sustainable Supply & Resilient Systems at Green Mountain Power and lives in Burlington. Previously, she worked as a lawyer and advisor specializing in executive and organizational management and corporate governance. Liz served as Chief of Staff to former Governor Shumlin and as Commissioner of the Vermont Public Service Department, where she led the State’s energy and telecommunications policy. Earlier in her career, she founded and ran a small law firm. Liz has served on many nonprofit boards and advisory groups including ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Boy & Girls Club of Burlington, Vermont Law School, and Conservation Law Foundation. She is a member of the Vermont Professional Responsibility Board and chairs the Vermont Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Evidence. Spending time on Vermont’s mountain trails and Lake Champlain is her passion.

Bram Kleppner is CEO of Danforth Pewter, with manufacturing in Middlebury and retail stores in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Virginia. Danforth has committed to getting to zero fossil fuel use, and to that end has built a solar farm, installed heat pumps, and put in an electric car charging station at the flagship store in Middlebury. 

In addition to the Vermont Climate Council, Bram served for five years as Co-Chair of Vermont’s Medicaid Exchange Advisory Board, served as a Commissioner on the Vermont Tax Structure Commission, and served on the Governor’s Business Advisory Council on Health Care Financing.

Previously, Bram spent 10 years at Ben & Jerry’s, where he co-led their first campaign against global warming and led the creation of their first non-GMO ice cream.

He also spent seven years as chair of the Board of the Population Media Center, which advances the rights of women and girls in the developing world and protects the planet by stabilizing global population at a sustainable level. PMC’s programs have been seen by over 500 million people.

Burlington Electric believes Bram’s family’s project was the first 100% conversion of a historic home in Burlington to zero emissions.

Bram earned an MBA from the (now) Grossman School of Business at the University of Vermont, and a BA from Middlebury College.

A native Vermonter, Brian grew up in the northeast kingdom and currently resides in Essex with his wife Nancy and their two dogs. He has served on a variety of nonprofit boards and committees. An avid outdoorsman, Brian also enjoys making maple syrup, gardening and landscaping. Brian joined the Energy Co-op as General Manager in November of 2017. He has over 30 years’ experience managing Vermont utility and efficiency services. Prior to joining the Co-op he was the Energy Services Manager at Vermont Gas, responsible for customer growth, marketing and energy efficiency programs.

Catherine Dimitruk has been the Executive Director of the Northwest Regional Planning Commission in St. Albans, Vermont for over twenty years. She coordinates regional approaches to land use, emergency preparedness, environmental conservation, transportation, economic development and energy planning. She supports communities and regional organizations with strategic planning, grant writing, fiscal management, project planning and implementation. She has served on numerous boards and commissions in professional and volunteer capacities, including Green Mountain Transit, National Association of Development Organizations, Franklin-Grand Isle Hunger Council, Northern Vermont Economic Development District and the Vermont Council on Rural Development. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont and the Snelling Center Vermont Leadership Institute.

Dr. Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux is a Professor of Climatology in the Department of Geography at the University of Vermont. She uses a variety of mixed methods from remotely sensed data to statistics and historical content analysis, to explore the influence of atmospheric processes on fluvial processes and vegetated landscapes. Her work spans a number of climate hazards and severe weather, with a special focus on flooding and droughts. As the State Climatologist for Vermont, she engages directly with community groups, K-12 schools, State legislators, Federal and State agencies, and national climate organizations. She is the President of the American Association of State Climatologists and was inducted as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society in January 2020.

She is the lead editor of ‘Historical climate variability and impacts in North America’, the first monograph to deal with the use of documentary and other ancillary records for analyzing climate variability and change.

Nationally, she is the lead author for the Northeast Chapter of the Fourth National Climate Assessment of the US Global Change Research Program. She has served on the NOAA Science Advisory Board Climate Working Group helping to guide climate research across the US. Statewide, she is the Co-Chair of the State’s Drought Task Force and worked closely with the Vermont Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security on the climatology related sections of the FEMA-mandated Vermont State Hazard Mitigation Plan. In 2014, she was a Scholar-in-Residence for the Sustainability Graduate Institute at Goddard College, and their Commencement Speaker in Spring 2015. Also, in 2015, Dr. Dupigny-Giroux was elected a Fellow of the Vermont Academy of Science and Engineering in recognition of her academic and outreach contributions to the state.

Additional Resources:

Johanna Miller is the Energy & Climate Program Director at the Vermont Natural Resources Council. Johanna also serves as the coordinator of the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network, the statewide network of over 120 all-volunteer town energy committees and the partners who support them. In these roles, Johanna works from the grassroots to the Legislature to help advance clean energy and climate action programs and policies. Johanna was appointed to serve as a member of Governor Phil Scott’s Climate Action Commission and also serves on the Clean Energy Development Fund board, the Vermont Energy Education Program board, and the Vermont System Planning Committee. Prior to joining VNRC in 2005, Johanna spent five years working as a researcher, writer and policy expert for a statewide environmental policy and advocacy organization in Michigan, where she helped to coordinate a statewide transportation and land use coalition. Johanna is a graduate of the University of Vermont and lives in Montpelier; a home base from which she and her family love to ski, hike, camp, bike, garden and travel.

Richard Cowart is a Principal at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), a Vermont-based, global non- profit that advises governments on energy regulation, electricity markets, and climate policy (1999- present). Over the past decade he built and directed RAP’s European program in Brussels, Berlin, and Warsaw. He has advised governments across the US and Europe, in China, Brazil, and several other nations.

Before joining RAP, Mr. Cowart served as Chair of the Vermont Public Service Board (now PUC) for 12 years. He was elected president of the New England Conference of Public Utility Commissioners, and Chair of the US regulators’ national Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment.

In addition to his RAP position, Richard served for six years as Chair of the US DOE’s Electricity Advisory Committee, on the International Energy Agency’s Demand-Side Management program. and the Board of Directors of the Electric Power Research Institute. He now serves on the Environmental Advisory Committee of the New York ISO and chairs the Board of VEIC, which operates the “energy efficiency utilities” in Vermont, Washington DC, and several cities in Ohio.

Richard also has experience in natural resources and land use management. He served as Executive Officer and general counsel of the Vermont Environmental Board for two years, and taught courses in environmental law, land use law and natural resource policy at the University of California and Vermont Law School for more than a decade. He and his wife manage a commercial Christmas tree farm and sugar maple/land conservation projects in Calais and Marshfield, Vermont.

 

Note: The asterisk next to certain names indicates they are a member of the Steering Committee.

 

Subcommittee co-chairs

TJ is the Director of the Efficiency and Energy Resources Division of the Public Service Department. Also serving as the State Energy Program Director, TJ oversees development and regulation of transformational efficiency and electrification policies and programs, including the forecasting economic and emissions impacts. Originally an energy policy analyst, TJ spent several years at Vermont Public Power Supply Authority managing power supply portfolios for municipal utilities in New England. TJ has a Management degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Masters in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School.