Following the launch of a New Era in Transatlantic Climate and Energy Politics at an international conference in Berlin in September 2008, the German Embassy in Washington is introducing the concept of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge in the United States.
With key players from politics, business, NGOs and think tanks, a "kick-off" event at the Ambassador’s Residence on December 16 will illustrate concrete examples of the kind of cooperation the bridge initiative should facilitate in the future.
Its aim is to pave the way towards further transatlantic cooperation in advancing climate and energy policy. The event will feature a panel discussion with Ambassador Klaus Scharioth focusing on the economic opportunities created by a progressive climate and energy policy- German Embassy in Washington D.C.
Michael J. Ahearn has served as the chief executive officer and chairman of First Solar since August 2000. Mr. Ahearn also served as president of First Solar from August 2000 to March 2007.
From 1996 until November 2006, he was a partner and president of the equity investment firm JWMA Partners, LLC, or JWMA (formerly True North Partners, L.L.C.). Prior to joining JWMA, Mr. Ahearn practiced law as a partner in the firm of Gallagher & Kennedy. He received both a B.A. in Finance and a J.D. from Arizona State University.
L. Preston Bryant Jr.
L. Preston Bryant, Jr., serves as Secretary of Natural Resources in the cabinet of Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine.
Prior to joining Governor Kaine's cabinet, Secretary Bryant served in the Virginia House of Delegates for 10 years, where he sponsored landmark legislation to help preserve more than one million acres of nontidal wetlands, streamline the state's stormwater management programs, and create a nutrient credit trading program to advance upgrades to more than a hundred wastewater treatment facilities that discharge into Virginia waters.
Secretary Bryant also was a partner in a Virginia-based engineering, surveying, and planning firm that specialized in the design of large-scale residential, commercial and industrial developments as well as transportation facilities.
Secretary Bryant was born in Lynchburg, Virginia. He received his B.A. in English from Randolph-Macon College, a master's degree in the humanities from the University of Richmond, and an M.A. in modern British literature from the University of London. He and his wife, Liz, live in Richmond.
Ms. McGinty has been a director of NRG Energy since October 2008. Most recently, Ms. McGinty served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), a position she held from 2003 until July 2008.
Before joining the DEP, Ms. McGinty spent six years in the Clinton White House, where she was chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and earlier served as a senior environmental advisor to Vice President Al Gore. She currently serves as Secretary of the Board of Trustees at Saint Joseph's University in Pennsylvania and is the former Chair of the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority.
McGinty is also a founding partner of Peregrine Technology Partners, LLC, a firm focused on commercialization of resource efficient technologies.
Ambassador Klaus Scharioth
Ambassador Klaus Scharioth is Germany's highest ranking representative to the American government.
Close contacts with members of the US Administration, with legislators as well as with American cultural and business worlds are crucial to the Ambassador's job of maintaining and furthering the relationship between Germany and the United States.
Eicke Weber received his B.S. in 1970, his M.S. in 1973 and his Ph.D. in 1976 at the University of Cologne in West-Germany. He and his team use techniques like electron microscopy and laser spectroscopy - enabled by UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory's state-of-the-art arsenal of nanotechnological tools - to better understand how the structure and chemistry of the quantum wells may affect the efficiency and brightness of the light generated by the LEDs.
Professor Eicke Weber and his students also research new materials to improve photovoltaics (PV), or solar cells. Current research areas are nature and electronic properties of defects in III/V thin films and interfaces; Low-temperature MBE growth of III/V thin films for micro- and ultrafast optoelectronics; MBE growth and properties of III-nitrides for high power transistors and blue and white light emission; Gettering of transition metals in Silicon for IC and photovoltaic applications Scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy of semiconductor thin films and interfaces.
He is author or co-author of more than 500 refereed publications in journals and conference proceedings; has presented 51 invited talks at international conferences; is editor or co-editor of six books as well as being co-editor of the series Materials Processing(Springer) 1998-2002 and of the series "Semiconductors and Semimetals" (Academic Press) 1991.
Prof. Eicke Weber has retired from U. C. Berkeley and now is the director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in Germany.