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Board of Directors

Student Energy’s Board of Directors ensures proper governance, financial management, and accountability for the organization. In addition to having a strong understanding of Student Energy’s youth network and young people’s current roles in the energy sector, our board members bring a diverse set of relevant skills and expertise that guide the strategic direction of Student Energy’s work. Board members’ professional experience includes work in international sustainable development, energy entrepreneurship, finance and accounting, and organizational leadership.

Board of Directors

Santiago Espinosa de los Monteros

Board Chair

Santiago is a co-founder and CEO of Toroto, one of México’s fastest-growing environmental startups. He has a background in renewable energy engineering and was the chairman of the 2017 Student Energy Summit.

Santiago leads a highly technical team capable of developing emissions inventories, designing mitigation strategies for small and large companies, and executing field operations with objectives such as carbon or water capture.

Since 2014, he has been actively engaging with Student Energy through different roles at our international programs, and he is extremely involved in the Latin American climate change ecosystem.

Mrinalini Shinde

Vice-Chair

Mrinalini is an environmental lawyer and researcher based in Cologne, Germany. She currently serves as an Integrity Manager at International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) involving closer monitoring the integrity of sustainability certification and business compliance through integrity assessments. Previously, she managed the International Master of Environmental Sciences programme and was affiliated with the INGENIoS (Indo-German Network Interaction of Scientists) projects at the Environmental Law Center of the University of Cologne. Her research background is in international climate change law; corporate criminal liability for environmental crime; and international environmental law.

In the past, she has also served as a Fellow at the Legal Affairs division of the UNFCCC secretariat in intergovernmental matters, treaty implementation and capacity-building. She has also previously litigated cases in environmental and criminal law; and advised the climate media non-profit, ‘Climate Tracker Inc.’ as Policy Associate.

She is a candidate for the Doctor of Laws at the Faculty of Law, University of Cologne, & Doctor of Comparative Law at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. She holds an LL.M. in Legal Theory from the Goethe University, Frankfurt, an M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Cologne and a B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) from National Law School of India University, Bangalore.

Janice Tran

Director, Co-Founder

Janice is a leader and champion for the clean energy industry across North America, having worked in developing and investing in innovative clean energy projects. She is CEO and Co-Founder of Kanin Energy, a company developing projects that convert industrial waste heat into clean baseload power. Beyond business, Janice lends her expertise to support others. She serves in many trade association groups and Student Energy, where she was an original Co-Founder and a Co-Chair for the 2009 International Student Energy Summit.

Prior to Kanin, Janice was an early employee and Director at Generate Capital, a project finance investment firm that focuses on investing in renewable energy projects. There she built North America’s largest portfolio on anaerobic digestions assets. Her role spanned across deal execution, origination, market development and asset management. Prior to Generate Capital, Janice worked at NRG, one of America’s largest power producers. Janice was integral in the implementation of their renewable microgrids business line.

Janice is a licensed Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) in Canada. She also has a Masters of Science in Sustainability Management from Columbia University in New York, where she received an Earth Institute Fellowship. Janice also has a Masters in Accounting from the University of Saskatchewan, and double majored with a BA in Philosophy and BComm in Accounting from the University of Calgary

Jochen Cremer

Director

Jochen Cremer is Co-Director of the TU Delft AI Energy Lab and Assistant Professor at Technical University Delft. He leads scientific research of an ambitious, diverse scientific team carrying out cutting-edge international projects. These projects investigate the key technology of artificial intelligence for highly renewable energy system management from a technical, societal and economic viewpoint. Before he was Research Associate at Imperial College London and studied at RWTH Aachen University, CMU, and MIT US after having worked in the chemical and energy industry. Jochen chaired the 2019 International Student Energy Summit and joins the Student Energy board of directors. To the board, he adds an academic perspective sharing the vision of enabling our next generation of energy leaders for accelerating the energy transition.

Kristen King

Director

Kristen King is a strategic communications professional with a decade of experience working with nonprofits, foundations and corporations on issue advocacy. She specializes in climate change communications and advocacy and is the Deputy Director of Campaigns and Communications at the We Mean Business Coalition.

Kristen leverages the voice of business to influence international and national climate policy, and to help accelerate the pace toward a net-zero future. She works with some of the world’s largest companies that are reducing emissions in line with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement. Kristen was a lead strategist for the Coalition’s most successful advocacy campaign – an open letter to President Biden signed by 408 companies calling for the U.S. to halve its emissions by 2030. Kristen provides communications support across numerous climate change initiatives such as America Is All In, the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign, the Climate Pledge and the SME Climate Hub.

Prior to joining the We Mean Business Coalition, Kristen was an Account Director at Fenton, a U.S.-based social change communications agency. She led and supported campaigns that integrated messaging, advertising, media relations, events and digital content – with a focus on climate change, sustainable finance, clean energy, environmental justice and conservation. Some of Kristen’s clients included the National Park Foundation, the Wallace Global Fund, Divest Invest Philanthropy, the U.S. Green Building Council and 350.org.

Kristen has a Bachelor of Science in public relations from the University of Florida. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband William Smith, and enjoys cooking, traveling, nature and the performing and fine arts.

Eduarda Zoghbi

Director

Eduarda Zoghbi is a political scientist with an MPA in Energy Policy from Columbia University, working as a Development Officer at RMI to promote new bilateral and multilateral partnerships in the energy sector. Eduarda has over eight years of experience managing climate and energy projects at international organizations, including the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds, the UN ECLAC, and SEforALL. She is also an Advisor to UNDP’s energy governance working group and Director of the Women in Energy Brazil program, a Columbia University initiative. Eduarda is a member of the Atlantic Council’s Women Leaders in Energy Fellowship and was awarded with the Global Wind Energy Council’s REvolutionaries award, AMP Youth Visionary award, and the North American Association for Environmental Education’s 30 Under 30.

Colin Robb

Director

Colin Robb has over 15 years of experience in the energy industry and has held senior level roles in regulatory affairs, market analytics and corporate strategy. Colin is currently the Director of Regulatory Affairs with Creative Energy. Prior to that, he was Director of Corporate Strategy with Capital Power Corporation. Throughout his career, he has worked in the public and private sector in organizations involved in the power industry, oil and gas, and district energy.

Colin holds a Master of Laws in Energy and Infrastructure Law from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Alberta.

Tanmay Takle

Director

Tanmay is a sustainable development professional with experience in public policy, advocacy and strategic partnerships. He currently works for the Climate Champions Team for COP28, where he leads on engagements with cities, states, businesses and investors in India to step up climate ambition and action. Previously, he worked in Mumbai as Policy Advisor to the Minister for Environment at the Government of Maharashtra where he spearheaded multiple efforts ranging from getting all cities in the state committed to a net-zero future, to the design and implementation of the state’s decarbonisation roadmap. Tanmay is also a lead author on the Mumbai Climate Action Plan – South & West Asia’s first comprehensive city-level plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Tanmay’s association with Student Energy began in 2020, first as a Student Energy Leaders Fellow and then in 2021 as a Youth Advisor to WSP USA. He strongly believes that the climate crisis can be solved through radical collaboration between diverse actors, especially with youth leading the charge. Tanmay is pursuing an MS in Sustainability Management at Columbia University.

Jeanette Mwendwa Gitobu

Director

With a decade of experience, Jeanette Mwendwa Gitobu is a seasoned executive currently working as a Director at the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the international industry body for wind power founded to ensure that the environmental and economic benefits of wind can serve as a solution to the challenges of energy and climate. With a background in finance, supply chain, energy policy, and gender equality advocacy, Jeanette has a proven track record of leading national, international, and global multi-stakeholder initiatives to address sustainable development challenges. Collaborating closely with leading political and economic entities such as the UN & UNFCCC, WEF, IMF, World Bank and others, Jeanette is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and just professional landscape within the industry, while ensuring the creation of the necessary market, policy, and regulatory frameworks for wind energy to thrive. Outside of her formal employment, Jeanette is also the Founder and President of Prestonwook. Prestonwook is a wholly black female-owned holding company that includes: Prestonwook Capital Advisors, Prestonwook Studios, and Prestonwook Academy. Each of the companies under the Prestonwook umbrella are focused on different aspects of promoting diversity and sustainability around the world.

Palash Sanyal

Director

Palash Sanyal joins the Student Energy Board with a focus on sustainability, climate change, and public engagement. A Certified Board Director, he serves on multiple boards, including Sandbox Mutual Insurance, Trans Canada Trail, WaterAid Canada, IAP2 Canada, and Royal College International. He teaches at the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan, where he bridges practical solutions with academic research. Holding master’s degrees in engineering, development economics, and water security, Palash is well-equipped to tackle complex environmental issues. A lifelong learner, he is also pursuing a CPA designation to integrate financial expertise into his initiatives. His work emphasizes collaborative strategies to address environmental and energy sustainability challenges. Committed to public engagement as a catalyst for meaningful change, his ethos aligns closely with Student Energy’s mission.

Jared Anuik

Director

Jared has always had a passion for environmental sustainability. When he was in grade 7, his topic for his school’s public speaking competition was titled “What is the Future of our Environment.” Years later, he is happy to be sharing his skillsets to support Student Energy’s causes.

Jared has over a decade of experience in various accounting and finance roles within the private, not-for-profit, and public sector. Jared’s current experience as an internal auditor for an insurance and banking corporate group has honed his risk analysis skills and an understanding of the complexities associated with operating in a highly regulated environment. Over the past decade, Jared has also dedicated his time volunteering as treasurer for a local arts organization and a queer health organization.

Jared holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Masters of Professional Accounting from the University of Saskatchewan. In addition, he has been a Chartered Professional Accountant since 2013 and a Certified
Fraud Examiner since 2022.

When not working or volunteering, Jared spends his time biking, checking out live music, researching architecture and urban plans of cities, and collecting vinyl records.

Serena Mendizabal

Director

Serena Mendizabal (she/her) is a Cayuga Wolf Clan Panamanian woman from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Serena is a community-based researcher, grassroots organizer, and environmental advocate. Serena holds a Master’s of Geography & Environment with a focus on Indigenous environmental health governance and industrial health impacts. Serena first began her journey in clean energy when she was 18 working in community engagement and communications at the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation, holding the largest First Nations clean energy portfolio in so-called Canada. While working in community engagement, she found gaps in community consent with her community’s clean energy portfolio and went on to further explore what a true ‘just transition’ can look like in a community of over 28,000 members. From there on out, Serena has dedicated her studies and extracurriculars to Indigenous self-determination, climate change, environmental health impact, and just clean energy transitions. Serena’s connections to climate advocacy, research, education, and direct action are numerous.

Serena is the Just Transition Lead at Sacred Earth Solar, an Indigenous women-led organization empowering frontline Indigenous communities with climate solutions and healing justice. She is the Co-Chair of the SevenGen National Indigenous Youth Energy Council, a Subject Matter Expert on Connecting for Climate Change Action, a Youth Action & Environment Fellow with the Lawson Foundation, and also works with Protect the Tract, a Haudenosaunee-led group in her community, Six Nations, focused on enforcing the traditional governance (the Haudenosaunee Confederacy)’s moratorium on development along the Grand River (Haldimand Tract). Serena is passionate about self-determined community development, action, and futures, and believes in a future with Indigenous youth & elders leading; sovereign, healthy nations; and lands and waters back.

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