As an experienced advocate and fearless leader, Jeff heads overall organizational management, direction, and decision-making on Blue Planet’s work to champion scalable policies and programs that transform Hawaii’s energy systems to clean, renewable energy solutions. Jeff’s work with Blue Planet included a successful campaign to make Hawaii the first state in the nation with a 100% renewable energy mandate. Additional accomplishments in policy advocacy include working to pass legislation that requires that all new homes use solar water heaters, sets a binding cap on Hawaii’s greenhouse gas emissions, establishes a carbon tax on fossil fuel imports, requires returnable deposits on all beverage containers, establishes curbside recycling on Oahu, and increases the funding of natural resources through tourism taxes.
Jeff received a Master’s of Science degree in engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying decision theory. He blends a deep understanding of engineering and politics with good humor to help drive systemic change. Jeff is an irreverent optimist and has accepted the challenge of solving our planet’s greatest threat: climate change.
Jeff’s interests include disruptive technology, policy, and impact of social norms on behavior. He has been a professional musician for over two decades, regularly performing at the Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu.
Jeff previously served as the executive director of Hawaii’s largest environmental advocacy organization, the Sierra Club, for a decade.
Jeff is a member of the Governor-appointed Green Infrastructure Authority, which oversees $150 million in bond funding for clean energy solutions. He also served as vice chair of both the Honolulu Planning Commission and the Honolulu Charter Commission, and worked as the district manager for Al Gore’s Climate Project.
Jeff was selected as one of “40 Under 40” by Pacific Business News, chosen as one of “10 for Today” by Hawaii Business magazine, ranked by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin among “10 Who Made a Difference,” and is a member of the sixth cohort of the Omidyar Fellows. He has been quoted thousands of times in Hawaii, national, and international news outlets, including The New York Times, “60 Minutes,” Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Hemispheres, CNN, CBS Nightly News, MSNBC, The Guardian, National Public Radio, Washington Post, The Times of India, Los Angeles Times, Xinhua News Agency, ARD1 Germany, Associated Press, Reuters, and others.
Jeff was awarded the EPA Environmental Hero Award, received the University of Hawaii “Planner Who Has Made a Difference” award, and was the inaugural recipient of both the Pacific Biodiesel’s “Environmental Champion Award” and the Hawaii League of Women Voter’s “Community Action Award.”
Jeff has failed to win The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest 117 times.
“Solving the climate crisis is the challenge of our generation. But it’s also an amazing opportunity to create a more resilient, secure, just, and sustainable future. I’m excited to be able to contribute to these solutions, and I feel fortunate to work with a fun and talented team dedicated to making a difference.”