The Blue Planet team come from diverse backgrounds with expertise ranging from geology to chemical engineering and experience spanning green building to global finance.
Dr. Brent Constantz, Ph.D.
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Board Member
Brent Constantz is serial entrepreneur who founded and led as CEO: Norian Corporation, Corazon Technologies, Skeletal Kinetics, Calera Corporation, and DeepWater Desal. Dr. Constantz has over 100 US patents and another 100 pending. He is a Consulting Associate Professor at Stanford University, where he teaches biomineralization. Dr. Constantz discovered the basic process used by corals to form their skeletons in the 1980s, upon which he based modern biological bone cements which are found in orthopedic operating rooms worldwide. In 2007, he launched his efforts to address climate change by sequestering anthropogenic carbon dioxide in building materials. In 2012, he brought a new discovery of basic biomineralization to a scalable solution address climate change in an economically and technically sustainable manner. A Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Constantz has been awarded many grants from governments, including the US, and has testified before both the US Senate and the House of Representative about solutions to Climate Change.
President, Board Member
Ray Harris has over 30 years of experience in the energy and utilities industries, in both North America and in Asia. He most recently served three years as President of MasTec, a large construction company traded on the NYSE. Prior to MasTec, Mr. Harris was President and CEO of Mesa Power to help develop and finance wind and other renewable energy power projects. In his tenure with Mesa, he concentrated on power project development, acquisition and finance - including the creation of the American Wind Alliance, Mesa’s joint development effort with General Electric. Other notable positions held by Mr. Harris include: Vice President of Renewable Energy, Texas Utilities; Vice President of Marketing, The Shaw Group; and various positions during a 20- year tenure with Southern Company. Currently, Mr. Harris heads up Endevco Consulting, a Florida-based energy development company. Mr. Harris is an engineering graduate of Auburn University.
Chief Financial Officer
Kevin Dow has extensive experience in the construction materials industry including Pioneer International, Hanson PLC and Heidelberg Cement where he held the role as Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer for the West Region of North America. Mr. Dow holds a Masters of Science in Finance from San Diego State University and has participated in post-graduate programs at McGill University and Harvard Business School.
Laura brings over two decades of renewable energy and climatetech experience to her Government Affairs role at Blue Planet. Her experience ranges from management roles (SolarCity), demand response (Comverge), building technology (Siemens) and electric vehicle infrastructure industries. Prior to Blue Planet, Laura was Western Region Utilities Director for Greenlots. Additionally, Laura leads the Southern California chapter of Environmental Entrepreneurs, a national bipartisan group of business leaders who promote polices that are good for the economy and good for the planet. She has also focused on advancing sustainability within her community as a cofounder of the Sustainable Business Council LA (SBCLA) in 2008. Laura was appointed to the Santa Monica Sustainable City Task Force in 2003 to support the city’s Sustainable City Plan. She also acts as a mentor for Women In Green. Laura has a BA in International Relations from Brown University and an MBA in finance from The Wharton School, and is a LEED AP.
Vice President, Business Development & Licensing
Ken Hines has over 30 years experience in the semiconductor, software and intellectual property markets, driving deals based on intellectual property licensing models, including the assertion of patents. He has extensive global experience with multinationals, having done licensing deals with revenue values up to $250M. Most recently Ken was VP of Licensing at Rovi Corporation, a software company focused on content solutions for PayTV, where he was responsible for Rovi’s North America patent assertion and licensing program with revenue of ~$85M/year. Prior to that, Ken was Sr. Director at Rambus, a semiconductor IP company. Ken has had several executive business roles in start-ups, and has experience in raising investment capital and securing Alpha customer deals. Early in his career, he held various sales and sales management positions at VLSI and Advanced Micro Devices. Ken holds a BSEE from the University of the Pacific.
Vice President, Corporate Development
CEO, Blue Planet Technologies Canada Ltd.
Rodney Schmidt has more than 30 years of experience in the global energy and financial industries. He is Founder and CEO of Northrise Energy, a privately-held energy advisory firm. Previously Mr. Schmidt served as Managing Director, Standard Chartered Bank and Standard Chartered Securities N.A. Inc., in charge of wholesale banking. In 1989 Mr. Schmidt joined PFC Energy, a global energy strategic advisory firm. As a partner for 17 years, he helped build PFC into one of the energy industry’s leading advisory groups. Mr. Schmidt has published and presented on the global energy industry, and on energy taxation. Before PFC, he was with the Monetary and Financial Analysis division of the Bank of Canada in Ottawa, and has served as an advisor to several CO2 technology companies. Mr. Schmidt holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Johns Hopkins University, a graduate degree in Economics from Queen’s University at Kingston, and a Bachelor’s in Economics (with Honors) from the University of Alberta.
William Day consults in the areas of government affairs, community relations, business development, project development, project management, construction and operations. Prior to consulting, he served as Director of Business Development with Louisiana Economic Development.
Previously, William was the VP/GM of NAES Power Contractors. Prior to NPC, William served as VP Development Engineering & Construction for Calera Corporation, leading engineering of a 100 kW pilot plant demonstrating the Calera process in less than three months from concept to operation, and directed the scale-up of the process to a 10 MW demonstration unit. Prior to Calera, William spent twenty years in leadership roles at NRG Energy, Inc and Cajun Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. William held Director roles in Transmission, Operations, Construction, Business Development and M&A, in essence leading efforts in all facets of the business.
Kyle Self is focused on process modeling, scale-up, and safety. He has spent most of his 30+ year career in the development and scale-up of technologies that leverage new processes and materials. Previously he was the VP of Process Technology with Chemetry Corporation, where he managed a variety of activities including the design, construction and commissioning of first-of-a-kind pilot plants and demonstration plants, advanced technology development, and electrochemistry research.
Kyle began his career at Exxon Chemical Company working in process development and plant operations. He then joined Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation where he designed processes for world scale chemical plants. He has held numerous positions of responsibility with Symyx Technologies, Fluidigm Corporation, and Accelergy Corporation. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Rice University and a PhD from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jennifer McFarlane is a global finance executive and investment banker. Board Director of three organizations, including Chair, Audit and Compensation Committees. Prior Board experience with Australian NASDAQ-quoted company that regularly accessed global capital markets. CFO for 15+ years at several venture funded companies and at an affiliate of Flex (FLEX) with ~$700M revenues. Repeated success in developing and implementing strategic plans, systems for global growth, joint ventures and building finance capabilities and teams. Investment banker for 10 years including at Salomon Brothers; closed over 15+ M&A transactions and raised $700M+ in capital.
David C. Barney is president and chief executive officer of Knife River Corporation, a leading construction materials company with operations in 15 states. Prior to being named president of Knife River in 2012, Barney was president of its western area operations. He started his career in the construction and aggregates industry in 1986 and was president of Concrete, Inc., when it was acquired by Knife River in 1993. In addition to his leadership position at Knife River, Barney is a member of the Management Policy Committee at MDU Resources Group, Inc. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Stockton, California.
Greg Kats is President of Capital E. working with cities and institutions to implement clean energy strategies. Previously he served as Managing Director of Good Energies VC fund, US Department of Energy's Director of Financing for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, and Founding Chairman of IPMVP, the international energy & water efficiency design & verification standard. He helped design the World Bank’s green building financing program. Greg is a founder of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and the country’s first green bank. In 2011 he received the US Green Building Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He chairs the board guiding the greening of 430,000 federal buildings, serves on the Mayor’s Committee for the greening of the District of Columbia and served on National Academy of Sciences' board on US competitiveness. Greg chaired the CarbonStar standards development. He has an MBA from Stanford, a BA from UNC as a Morehead Scholar, and is author of Greening Our Built World.
President, Board Member
Ray Harris has over 30 years of experience in the energy and utilities industries, in both North America and in Asia. He most recently served three years as President of MasTec, a large construction company traded on the NYSE. Prior to MasTec, Mr. Harris was President and CEO of Mesa Power, a T. Boone Pickens company, to help develop and finance wind and other renewable energy power projects. In his tenure with Mesa, he primarily concentrated on power project development, acquisition and finance, including the creation of the American Wind Alliance, Mesa’s joint development effort with General Electric. Other notable positions held by Mr. Harris include: Vice President of Renewable Energy, Texas Utilities; Vice President of Marketing, The Shaw Group; and various positions during a 20- year tenure with Southern Company. Currently, Mr. Harris heads up Endevco Consulting, a Florida-based energy development company. Mr. Harris is an engineering graduate of Auburn University.
Dr. Brent Constantz, Ph.D.
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Board Member
Brent Constantz is serial entrepreneur who founded and led as CEO: Norian Corporation, Corazon Technologies, Skeletal Kinetics, Calera Corporation, and DeepWater Desal. Dr. Constantz has over 100 US patents, and another 100 pending. He is a Consulting Associate Professor at Stanford University, where he teaches biomineralization. Constantz discovered the basic process used by corals to form their skeletons in the 1980s, upon which he based modern biological bone cements, which are found in orthopedic operating rooms worldwide. In 2007, he launched his efforts to address climate change by sequestering anthropogenic carbon dioxide in building materials. In 2012, he brought a new discovery of basic biomineralization to a scalable solution address climate change in an economically and technically sustainable manner. A Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Constantz has been awarded many grants from governments, including the US, and has testified before both the US Senate and the House of Representative about solutions to Climate Change.
TECHNICAL ADVISORY BOARD
Gordon Brown, Ph.D.
Gordon E. Brown, Jr., Professor Emeritus, Geological Science, Stanford University. Past appointments include Professor of Earth Sciences, Stanford University, Professor of Photon Science, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University. A member of the Stanford faculty since 1973, he has served as Chair of the Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences, Co-Director of the Stanford-NSF Center for Materials Research, Chair of the Department of Photon Science, SLAC and Director of the Stanford-NSF Environmental Molecular Science Institute. He has mentored 35 Ph.D., 13 M.S. students, and 32 post-doctoral students at Stanford and Princeton. Brown is currently a member of the US-DOE-Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee. He received his Ph.D. in Mineralogy /MCrystallography from Virginia Tech in 1970 and was a post-doctoral fellow at SUNY Stony Brook in 1970-71, where he performed mineralogical studies of lunar samples from the Apollo 11, 12, 14, and 15 missions. Prior to moving to Stanford in 1973, he was on the faculty at Princeton University.
James O'Neil, Ph.D.
James R. O’Neil is Professor Emeritus of Geochemistry at the University of Michigan. He received his B.S. at Loyola University (Chicago), M.S. at Carnegie-Mellon University and PhD. at the University of Chicago. After a post-doctoral appointment at the California Institute of Technology, he joined the U.S, Geological Survey where he established a stable isotope laboratory and spent 20 years engaged in experimental and theoretical calibrations of isotopic thermometers, and elucidating fundamental relations of stable isotope variations in deep crustal rocks, surficial carbonates, ore deposits, moon rocks, and natural waters. In 1988 he joined the faculty of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan where he focussed on studies of paleoclimate and the development of the oxygen isotope geochemistry of phosphates. He is a Geochemistry Fellow and the recipient of a "Forschungspreis" from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He was awarded the Victor Moritz Goldschmidt Medal by the Geochemical Society of America in 2004.
Michael F. Doherty, Ph.D.
Michael F. Doherty is Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College, University of London in 1973, and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Trinity College, University of Cambridge in 1977. His research interests include conceptual process design, and all aspects of crystal engineering with emphasis on controlling and manipulating the formation and properties of crystals such as nucleation, growth, polymorph transitions, solvent effects, and the influence of impurities and additives. He is a member of the Technical Advisory Board for The Dow Chemical Company, and the Scientific Advisory Board for the Royal Dutch Shell Group.
Sarah Saltzer, Ph.D.
Dr. Sarah Saltzer is the Managing Director of the Stanford Center for Carbon Storage and the Stanford Carbon Removal Initiative. Sarah spent 25 years at Chevron where she held a series of scientific, managerial, and executive roles. She has a diversity of experience in positions of increasing responsibility, including geology research and teaching, petroleum engineering, leading exploration teams, competitor analysis and business planning, executive responsibilities for all business operations for Chevron’s multi-national environmental remediation company, and responsibility for SEC-mandated reserves reporting for a quarter of the globe. Dr. Saltzer holds a M.S. and B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.
Rakesh Agrawal, Ph.D.
Rakesh Agrawal, Ph.D., is the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University. He received his Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT and has received numerous awards and honors. Rakesh spent over 20 years in industry with Air Products and Chemicals, where he held various engineering and managerial positions, including as Air Products Fellow, the highest technical position at Air Products. He holds over 125 U.S. Patents which have been applied to over 100 operating plants with total capital investments in the billions of U.S. dollars. His group at Purdue is involved with developing efficient separation processes, including the development of methods to synthesize and identify energy efficient distillation configurations for multicomponent separation, with additional efforts devoted to the development of optimal methods for membrane separation processes. Rakesh also has a broad experience in hydrogen production and purification technologies.
Joseph B. Powell, Ph.D.
Joseph B. Powell, Ph.D., is the Principal of ChemePD, an advisory firm that works with the energy, chemicals and process development industries. Prior to that, Dr. Powell spent over 30 years of his career working with Shell. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and was Shell’s Chief Scientist - Chemical Engineering for several years. In 1988 he joined the Process Development Department at Shell, where he led R&D programs in new chemical processes, biofuels, and enhanced oil recovery. Dr. Powell has been co-inventor on more than 120 distinct patent applications with more than 50 granted, and has received several industry awards. Joe currently serves on the U.S. National Academy Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen Technical Advisory Committee, editorial committee of Annual Review of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and was elected to the Board of Directors of AIChE (2016).
Mark Zoback, Ph.D.
Mark Zoback, Ph.D., is the Benjamin M. Page Professor of Geophysics and the Director of the Stanford Natural Gas Initiative at Stanford University. Dr. Zoback co-directs SCITS Stanford Center for Induced and Triggered Seismicity (SCITS) and the Stanford Center for Carbon Storage (SCCS). He is the author/co-author of over 300 technical papers, holder of five patents and author of two books. In 2011 he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and in 2012 was elected to Honorary Membership of the Society of Exploration Geophysics. He was the 2013 recipient of the Louis Néel Medal of the European Geosciences Union and named an Einstein Chair Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2015 he received the Robert R. Berg Outstanding Research Award of the AAPG and in 2016 received the Outstanding Contribution to the Public Understanding of the Geosciences Award from the American Geological Institute.
BUILT ENVIRONMENT BOARD
Anica Landreneau leads HOK’s global sustainable design practice, serving on the firm’s board of directors and design board. She is serving multiple terms on the District of Columbia Green and Energy Codes TAG, Mayor’s Green Building Advisory Council and is appointed to the Building Energy Performance Standard Task Force. Ms. Landreneau serves on the national USGBC LEED Advisory Committee, IECC 2021 Development Committee, Consultative Council for the National Institute for Building Sciences, and Chairs the AIA Codes and Standards Committee in 2020. Ms. Landreneau was named to the AIA Blue Ribbon Panel on Codes, co-authoring Disruption, Evolution, and Change: AIA’s Vision for the future of Design and Construction, and co-authored with the US General Services Administration The New Sustainable Frontier: Principles of Sustainable Development. Ms. Landreneau recently testified before the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis about the important role buildings play in our safe, resilient future.
Greg is President of Capital E. working with cities and institutions to implement clean energy strategies. Previously he served as Managing Director of Good Energies VC fund, US Department of Energy's Director of Financing for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, and Founding Chairman of IPMVP, the international energy & water efficiency design & verification standard. He helped design the World Bank’s green building financing program. Greg is a founder of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and the country’s first green bank. In 2011 he received the US Green Building Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He chairs the board guiding the greening of 430,000 federal buildings, serves on the Mayor’s Committee for the greening of the District of Columbia and served on National Academy of Sciences' board on US competitiveness. Greg chaired the CarbonStar standards development. He has an MBA from Stanford, a BA from UNC as a Morehead Scholar, and is author of Greening Our Built World.
David Gottfried is known as the father of the global green building movement, founding the U.S. Green Building Council and World Green Building Councils, now in over 100 countries – starting a global industry with hundreds of thousands of green buildings. Over 200,000 professionals have passed its LEED Accredited exams. Gottfried is a recipient of the WorldGBC Global Green Building Entrepreneurship Award, which is awarded annually in Gottfried’s name. He Chairs the Congressionally appointed advisory board guiding the greening of 500,000 federal buildings. Gottfried authored three influential books: Explosion Green, Greening My Life and Greed to Green. He hosts the Explosion Green Live global virtual conference featuring interviews of 40 green luminaries. David is also a modern art painter, with shows throughout the S.F. Bay Area. Gottfried’s former residence was the highest rated LEED Platinum home in the world. Gottfried’s degree is in Engineering and Resource Management from Stanford University, where he is a regular lecturer.
National Coordinator of the first Earth Day, Hayes has been at the core of the modern environmental movement since its launch as a foundation president, attorney, lobbyist, Stanford professor, grassroots organizer, and the youngest director of a national laboratory in the nation’s history. Selected by Time magazine as one of its 100 “Heroes for the Planet,” Denis Hayes has been awarded the highest awards offered by the Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Council of America, American Solar Energy Society, and the Humane Society of the United States. As President of the Bullitt Foundation, he initiated and led a project to design and build the Bullitt Center –structure that many are calling “the greenest commercial building in the world.”
As Founder and Chair of Integral Group, Kevin leads a global team of driven and committed leaders transforming the industry through engineering excellence. Bringing over 30 years of experience to the engineering profession, Kevin has spent the past 15 years focusing on green design and advancing its cause. Kevin leads the Integral team to explicitly deliver on the current needs of the profession across the globe. He is Former Chair of the World Green Building Council (World GBC), Past Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council, Cascadia Chapter and a Cofounder of its Canadian counterpart, the Canada Green Building Council, and also serves as a faculty member to the USGBC and CaGBC. He is a Professional Engineer in 6 states in North America and also in the UK.
Mary Ann Lazarus
Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, served as HOK’s firm-wide sustainable design director for over a decade where she led the implementation of sustainable strategies in all of HOK’s work. HOK is one of the largest U.S. architectural practices working globally with a strong sustainability reputation. She is now on leave from HOK and consulting with the American Institute of Architects as the Resident Fellow on sustainability where she was the prime author of the AIA Sustainability Leadership Opportunity Scan. Mary Ann is also an advisor at the Resilient Design Institute and is an adjunct faculty member at Washington University in St. Louis. She was recognized with Evergreen’s Perspective Award in 2012 and served on the Vision 2020 Sustainability Council in 2014.
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS BOARD
Dan Tangherlini is the Managing Director of Emerson Collective, a social change organization. Previously, Dan was Chief Operating Officer of Artemis Real Estate Partners. Dan was appointed by President Barack Obama as Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA) where he was responsible for managing the Federal Government's 350 million sq. ft. real estate portfolio and the annual acquisition of $65B in products and services. His work focused on enhancing sustainability and efficiency. Dan joined GSA from the Treasury Department where he was appointed by the President as Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary of Management. Prior to Treasury, Dan served as the Deputy Mayor and City Administrator of Washington DC. He also has served as the Interim General Manager for the Washington Metro and Director of the District of Columbia Department of Transportation. His work extends to non-profits, including serving on the board of the DC-based Earth Conservation Corps, an environmental training and career development program focused on at-risk youth.
Durwood Zaelke is founder and President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD) in Washington, DC and Geneva, where he works to protect the climate through fast-action mitigation, including phasing out production of HFCs and other short-live climate pollutants. Mr. Zaelke is also co-founder the Program on Governance for Sustainable Development at UC Santa Barbara. He was co-founder and President of the Center for International Environmental Law in Washington, DC and Geneva, co-founder of the Foundation for International Environmental Law & Development in London, founder of the International & Comparative Environmental Law Program at the Washington College of Law, American University, and founder and director of the International Program at Earth Justice. Mr. Zaelke teaches Climate Justice at UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. He has taught at Yale Law School, Duke Law School, Johns Hopkins University, and American University’s Washington School of Law. He is a graduate of Duke Law School, where he was an Editor of the Duke Law Journal. Mr. Zaelke received an Ozone Protection Award, and a Climate Protection Award in 2008 for his effort to maximize the climate benefits of the Montreal Protocol.
Leonardo DiCaprio, actor, producer and activist, is well known for his dedication to our environment. In 1998, he launched the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) to provide support for conservation projects. In 1993 DiCaprio starred in This Boy’s Life. That same year, he earned his first Academy Award in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Now a five-time Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner, DiCaprio has produced and starred in many award-winning films – The Wolf of Wall Street, The Great Gatsby, Django Unchained, J. Edgar and Inception - to name a few. He recently starred in The Revenant for which he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor, and an Academy Award for Best Actor. In 2014, DiCaprio was designated as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a focus on climate change, received the Clinton Global Citizen Award, and addressed the UN Summit. In 2016, DiCaprio was awarded a Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum in Davos for his work to address climate change. Leonardo serves on the boards of World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Geographic’s Pristine Seas, the funders’ collaborative Oceans 5, and International Fund for Animal Welfare.