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Matt Rogers


Matt Rogers is founder and VP of Engineering at Nest Labs, creator of the Nest Learning Thermostat. By applying modern design and technology, Nest has made the thermostat sexy and revitalized a stagnant – yet very important – industry. Matt is responsible for all product development at Nest, ranging from mechanical design to software to web services, and everything in between. Most recently, Matt led the creation of the second-generation Nest Learning Thermostat, which was released in early October – less than a year after the launch of the first-generation Nest thermostat. Matt also serves on Nest’s board of directors.

Prior to Nest, Matt was responsible for iPod software development at Apple, from concept to production. He was one of the first engineers on the original iPhone, and involved in the development of 10 generations of iPod, 5 generations of iPhone, and the first iPad. He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Carnegie Mellon University.


Kate Gordon


Kate Gordon led the Energy & Climate team at Next Generation, developing policies and communications strategies to combat climate change and move the U.S. to a clean energy economy. She also served as a Senior Advisor to the Risky Business Project, an initiative to quantify and publicize the economic risks of climate change that is co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg, Hank Paulson, and Tom Steyer. Kate was the Executive Director of the project for its first two years.

Prior to joining Next Generation, Kate was Vice President for Energy and Environment at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington D.C., where she still serves as a senior fellow. Prior to joining CAP, Kate was the program director and then national co-director of the Apollo Alliance (now part of the Blue Green Alliance). Earlier in her career, she was a senior associate at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy and an employment and consumer rights litigator at the public interest law firm Public Justice.

She earned a J.D. and master's degree in city planning from the University of California-Berkeley. She received her undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.


Danny Cullenward


Danny Cullenward is an energy economist and lawyer working on the design and implementation of scientifically grounded climate policy. He is a Research Associate with Near Zero and the Carnegie Institution for Science as well as a Lecturer at the Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. Danny also serves on the Center for Carbon Removal Board of Directors and the Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative (BERC) advisory board. 

Previously, he taught climate law and policy as the inaugural Philomathia Research Fellow at UC Berkeley and represented environmental scientists in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court.

Danny holds a JD from Stanford Law School and a PhD in Environment and Resources (E-IPER) from Stanford University, where he earned his MS in Management Science & Engineering and a BS with Honors in Earth Systems. His work has been featured in ScienceNatureEnergy EconomicsClimatic ChangeBulletin of the Atomic ScientistsThe Electricity JournalThe Energy Law JournalThe Los Angeles TimesThe Sacramento BeeScientific AmericanForbesFortuneClimate Central and ClimateWire.


Ali A. Zaidi


For eight years Ali Zaidi served in key roles within the Obama Administration. In 2014, President Obama appointed him the Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy, and Science at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where he led a team of experts overseeing a wide array of policy, budget, and management issues. As OMB's chief policy official, he led implementation of the administration's economic and environmental policy across infrastructure, technology, science, and conservation. Before that, he served as the Deputy Director of Energy Policy for the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Zaidi recently joined Morrison & Foerster LLP, a leading global law firm, where he advises clients on corporate governance, regulation, litigation, and project development matters. His practice is focused on clients with interests in the climate, clean energy, advanced transportation, and water. He is a Precourt Energy Scholar and Adjunct Professor at Stanford and a non-resident Fellow at Columbia, where he engages in research, writing, and teaching at the interdisciplinary intersection of policy and technology innovation as it relates to energy, water, and climate change.

Zaidi holds an A.B. and J.D. from Harvard University and Georgetown University, where he was editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.