Meet the 2023 Abstract Review Committee

 Meet the 2023 Abstract Review Committee

Our History

With a focus on diversity and thought leadership, our Abstract Review Committee evaluates the multitude of abstracts received in order to select the highest quality educational programming for each year’s Net Zero Conference. This year’s committee is composed of 10 nationally leading subject-matter experts in carbon, climate, equity, ESG, net zero, and resilience.

Committee Members

First, we have Edua Dickerson, Vice President of ESG and Finance Strategy at ServiceNow. In her role, she is responsible for developing, activating, and overseeing the integrated ESG strategy and initiatives. She also creates and manages key activities to enable the Finance organization to operate effectively at scale. Entrusted with operationalizing ESG across ServiceNow, Edua leads the team as they incorporate ESG strategy across the internal enterprise, including governing policies, processes, and controls. Edua’s team also serves as customer zero for all relevant ESG-related solutions while delivering thought leadership expertise and developing strategic partnerships with product development, go-to-market stakeholders, and partners.

Liz Schneider leads Google’s global effort to bring 24/7 carbon-free energy (CFE) to the electricity grids where our offices operate. In addition to pursuing 24/7 CFE contracts for Google’s offices, Liz focuses on solving the unique challenges office spaces face in achieving local, hourly-matched clean energy. From site-level energy optimization to next-generation utility tariffs, Liz aims to make 24/7 CFE a more achievable goal for real estate organizations of all sizes.

Eric Lee is a Vice President with Aligned Climate Capital, an asset manager that invests exclusively in the companies and real assets that are decarbonizing the global economy and its infrastructure. In this role, Eric leads Aligned’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) analysis of climate infrastructure and venture capital investment opportunities.

Ruby Rose Yepez is a seasoned building industry professional with 15+ years experience specializing in building science and sustainability. She is a Senior Advisor with Southern California Edison supporting developers and new construction customers. She is a Cal Poly Pomona Alumn with a Bachelor of Architecture. Her experience ranges from working at an architecture firm, general contractor, sustainability consultant and now as a utility employee supporting energy efficiency and decarbonization.

Vaishali Sampat is Director of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. She joined Kilroy Realty in 2013 in property management where she worked closely with the sustainability team to identify and implement efficiency projects and pursue building certifications for the West LA/Santa Monica portfolio. In 2018, she transitioned to sustainability full time and is responsible for ESG reporting and disclosures, carbon reduction strategies, data management and tracking, and supporting the Senior Vice President on broader sustainability efforts. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for USGBC-LA and Green Seal as well as the Fitwel Leadership Advisory Board. She is a Fitwel Ambassador, LEED AP O+M accredited and holds a dual degree in Accounting and Finance from Georgia State University.

As Vice President of Customer Service and LEED Support, Elizabeth Thompson collaborates to empower customers to utilize the expertise of USGBC to make informed and empowered choices that create a more sustainable and resilient world. Elizabeth joined the USGBC in 2011, bringing 15 years of expertise in the practice of sustainable architecture, with a focus on schools, civic buildings, advocacy, sites, and modern homes. Elizabeth holds a Bachelors’s degree from Virginia Tech, and a Masters’s degree from the University of Virginia, both in architecture. Her favorite volunteer positions have involved teaching, community-based design, and serving on non-profit boards.

Nilesh Bansal is the Director of Sustainability at cove.tool. His primary focus is on product development, supporting research efforts and guiding the AEC industry in defining their organizational strategy for adopting sustainability as a key parameter to help them move towards data driven empirical design decision making. Nilesh strives to democratize Building Sciences for the masses, having a true impact in our fight against climate change. He also has a Master of Science Degree in Building Performance and Diagnostics from Carnegie Mellon and has served as a Sustainability Specialist on several large commercial projects. 

Emily Hand is Director & Chief of Staff at Verdical Group, responsible for business development and project management on a variety of green building and sustainability projects. With broad building experience spanning commercial, residential, industrial, gaming, and hospitality projects, she helps clients achieve their building certification and efficiency goals. Emily is a frequent speaker on green building and net zero design and supports the firm’s mission to inspire a net zero future in our built environment.

Nick Jiles is a thought nomad whose travels brought him to RMI. Prior to RMI, Nick spent chapters serving labor, Senate leadership and the California Community College system, as well as consulting for affordable housing developers and nonprofits. Nick holds a Master’s in Environmental Policy from Denver University and a LEEP AP certification. He leads monthly coastal cleanups and resides in Humboldt County.

Last, but not least, we have Britta Sortland Ryan. As Ryan Companies’ Sustainability Project Manager, Britta supports both corporate sustainability as well as project success for Ryan’s National Industrial Sector. At the corporate level, she continues to integrate sustainability into existing processes and tools to support growth and drive business value. On the National Industrial team, Britta leads sustainability strategy and execution at the sector level and individual projects. She combines a collaborative consulting process, knowledge of sustainability best practices, and deep understanding of construction to provide innovative design solutions, tracking, and coordination services that help industrial clients develop and achieve their sustainability goals. With her practical experience, she takes a holistic approach towards projects, becoming an advocate for the owner, the community, and the environment.

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Our call for abstracts has closed for the 2023 Net Zero Conference. This year, we received a record number of speaker abstract submissions. Due to a large number of submissions and a limited number of speaker slots in our program, we are only able to accept approximately 15% of submissions. This is an extremely competitive acceptance rate, and means we’re unable to accept 85% of submitted abstracts. We encourage all speakers to submit again next year as we plan to continue scaling up the Net Zero Conference in the future. Thank you for your participation in building a #NetZeroFuture!

Click here to view this year’s speakers!