Meet Solstice Initiative

The secret to successful work isn’t just about innovation – it’s about finding the right people to innovate with purpose together.

Our Executive Director

Yesenia Rivera

Executive Director
she/her
residing in the territory of the Piscataway of the Nacotchtank

Yesenia is an expert in energy policy and justice as a scientist, community organizer, and law school graduate. Executive Director Yesenia Rivera’s first-hand knowledge of energy insecurity in Puerto Rico activated her as an advocate for the elimination of barriers to clean energy for all. After graduating from University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC Law), she prioritized income-eligible households through work as a Student Attorney in the Community Development Clinic. Yesenia Rivera leads with a passion for democratizing clean energy, and co-chaired the Energy Democracy Project. At the Latino Economic Development Center, she enhanced housing opportunities as a tenant advocate and housing counselor. In 2017, Yesenia joined Solar United Neighbors as DC Programs Director, and in 2019 she was promoted to Director of Energy Equity and Inclusion. As the Director of Energy Equity and Inclusion, she built a program to address barriers to solar adoption across the country. This program allowed over 120 low to moderate-income families to install 0.5 megawatts of solar capacity during her tenure. At Solstice Initiative, Yesenia centers climate-impacted communities through clean energy projects, policy, and education.

Our Staff

Ben Bailey

Director of Development
he/him
residing in the territory of the Nipmuc nation

Diana Eddowes

Program Director
she/her
residing in the terriroty of the Naumkeag people and the Mattakesset Tribe of the Pawtucket

Allie Ricks

Operations Associate
she/her
residing in the territory of the Lipan Apache Band and Ute Indian Tribe of the Cheyenne and Sioux

Jake Ford

Data Scientist
he/him
residing in the territory of the Occaneechi Band, the Cheraw, and the Lumbee Tribe of the Catawba and Shakori

Cassandre Arkema

Communications Manager
she/her
residing in the unceded territory of the Aucocisco Band of the Wabanaki

Zahra Thani

Research Project Manager
she/her
residing in the territory of the Munsee Lenape of the Canarsie

Eli Goldman

Program Manager
he/him
residing in the territoy of the Mattakesset Tribe of the Pawtucket

Eve Lukens-Day

Program Coordinator
she/her
residing in the territory of the Lenapehoking (Lenni-Lenape)

Cat Beckstrand

Development Associate
they/them
residing in the territory of the Ohlone Tribe of the Ramaytush and Muwekma

Abby Despres

Research Assistant
she/her
residing in the territoy of the Mattakesset Tribe of the Pawtucket

Our Fellows

Skye Caplan

Solar Equity Fellow
she/her
residing in the territoy of the Mattakesset Tribe of the Pawtucket

Our Board

Steph Spiers

Co-Founder & CEO
Solstice Power Technologies
she/her

Sandhya Murali

Co-Founder & COO
Solstice Power Technologies
she/her

Sabrina Dupré

Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
OneTen
she/her

Ellen Feeney

General Counsel
BlocPower
she/her

Sara Chandler

Managing Director of Equity & Access
Elemental Excelerator
she/her

Crystal Johnson

Founder, Senior Energy Consultant & Senior Environmental Planner
Integrative Sustainability & Environmental Solutions
she/her

Ben Healey

Chief Commercial Officer
PosiGen
he/him

Gwen Ruta

Executive Vice President
Environmental Defense Fund
she/her

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