In WCS Blog


Join us for a panel discussion with state and federal experts: 

  • California legislation affecting renewable energy 
  • Key players in California energy politics
  • Successes that have inspired women to get involved in politics
  • Why you ignore policy at your peril!

Date: February 24
6pm – Networking
6:30 – 7:30 – Panel
7:30 – 8:00 – Networking
Venue: NRDC, 111 Sutter St, Floor 20, San Francisco 
Panelists:  Annie Notthoff, Manal Yamout, and Mary Hughes

Mary Hughes, a longtime political strategist, is president of Hughes & Co., a strategic communications and political consulting firm in Palo Alto. She is founder of close the gap CA, a campaign to recruit progressive women to run for open seats in 2014 and 2016 in the California state legislature. Mary has advised candidates for President, Congress, state and legislative office contributing to a number of groundbreaking “firsts” — first woman in US history to lead her Party in the Congress; first woman Superintendent of Schools in California; and first open lesbian judge elected in the nation.
Annie Notthoff is Director, California Advocacy, San Francisco and Sacramento, Government Affairs Program at NRDC. She represents NRDC on issues of statewide concern including environmental and public health protection, innovation in smart growth, transportation, clean energy and more and works with NRDC’s legal and scientific experts to provide strategic counsel and craft winning campaigns.   In 1999, she sponsored a law that set up the first network of marine reserves in the country and served as the model for presidents Clinton and Bush to expand federal reserves. She also cosponsored laws that regulate greenhouse gas pollution from vehicles, set an economy-wide cap on greenhouse gas pollution, and links climate, land use, and transportation.
Manal Yamout is Vice President of Policy at Advanced Microgrid Solutions. Manal leads government and regulatory affairs, focused on developing policies in new and established markets. She most recently served as Director of Government Affairs for NextEra Energy / Florida Power & Light—the country’s largest clean energy company. Prior to this, she served as renewable energy advisor to both California Governors Brown and Schwarzenegger. Manal jointly coordinated California’s effort to bring the state closer to its renewable energy goals and worked to streamline permitting for tens of billions of in-state investment.  In addition, she helped lay the foundation for Governor Brown’s energy program to develop 12,000 megawatts of distributed power in California. 
Moderator: Julia Souder Prochnik is a consultant for Natural Resources Defense Council focused on the Western Interconnection and efforts regarding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order 1000 on regional and inter-regional transmission planning.  She is also heavily involved in Western Electricity Coordinating Committee (past board director) and Peak Reliability (member advisory committee representative and data sharing task force member). She graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations and has a Master’s in Public Administration from University of Southern California. Julia loves to travel, and incorporates various cultural traits inspired her from her world travels into her daily life, and has lived abroad in Spain, India and Costa Rica.
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