Jamie Yang, CEO
Jamie has developed a broad foundation of knowledge and experience in engineering, energy, and business. After completing his PhD with research in Quantum Computation, Jamie directed his energy towards less esoteric subjects with more immediate impact: he did prototyping work with a microbial fuel cell startup, developed a business plan for geothermal heating systems, and started to put together ideas for an energy company that serves customers in the developing world. With EGG-energy, he is excited to show that companies can profit by answering the needs of low-income customers with simple, scalable business models. More at Echoing Green and YouTube.
Solomon Faraji, COO Tanzania Ltd.
Educated as a mechanical engineer at the University of Wales, Solomon has developed solid management and customer services skills through his professional activities in the UK and in Tanzania. Most recently, he was responsible for ensuring that his teams provide high quality telecommunication towers services and maintenance to telecom operators in Tanzania. His dynamic leadership, cultural insights and people skills are energizing our local teams to reach the goal he has in mind for EGG: become EGG Africa, an organization that provides reliable, clean, safe and affordable electric services to low income customers all over Africa.
In the USA and Europe
Rhonda Jordan, Director of Human Resources
Originally from the Washington, DC metropolitan area, Rhonda studied electrical engineering and obtained her bachelors and masters degrees from Columbia University. Rhonda then decided to return to MIT’s Engineering Systems Division and is now a PhD candidate researching power system development in developing countries. In 2008, Rhonda worked for the United Nations Environment Programme on rural electrification in East Africa, developing business models for off-grid electrification. With regulatory knowledge and experience, technical ability and the strong desire to improve access to modern energy in a sustainable manner, Rhonda is one of the founding members of EGG-energy.
Pooya Nikooyeh, co-founder of solar programs
An engineer by background, Pooya holds an MBA from London Business School. His work experience includes project management for General Motors, strategy consulting with BCG, and program management in an enterprise development NGO in Ghana. Prior to joining EGG-energy, Pooya gained hands-on experience on solar systems in East Africa by working with SolarAid. As a cofounder of award-winning Sulico, he developed a community based solar charging station model that fed into EGG-energy’s solar franchising initiatives. While leading EGG-energy’s solar development efforts, Pooya contributes to partnership development and strategy building for service expansion into off-grid rural areas.
Jukka Valimaki, CFO
Jukka has several years of experience in project management and business development in consumer finance services. After finishing his MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management where he completed the finance track, Jukka joined Elsevier as a Management Associate in September. Jukka became passionate about international development when living in Southeast Asia and sees EGG-energy as a great example of finding market based solutions to challenges that have traditionally been left to governmental organizations. Jukka received his undergraduate degree in technology management and policy at the Helsinki School of Economics.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors consists of co-founders Blandine Antoine, Alla Jezmir, Rhonda Jordan, Jukka Valimaki and Jamie Yang.
Blandine Antoine, Director of strategy
Blandine has a taste for all things related to energy production and use. After receiving a diplôme d’ingénieur from Ecole Polytechnique in France and a masters in nuclear engineering from UC Berkeley, she designed safety systems for nuclear power plants, studied radioactive waste policies, founded a non-profit committed to education on energy issues, and worked with the French Development Agency on a field study of energy management policies in developing countries (including Senegal, South Africa, and Zambia). On leave from the French Department for Infrastructure and the Environment (MEEDM), she is currently a PhD candidate in MIT’s Engineering Systems Division.
Alla has a passion for cleantech, entrepreneurship and international development. She has built her skills in these areas at diverse organizations including Reingold Inc., Jefferies & Company’s Cleantech Group, Fabindia (one of India’s largest retailers), and TechnoServe. Previously Principal of the Green Portfolio at Calvert Foundation and in charge of EGG’s capital raising and partnership building efforts, Alla works for the Business Development Group at AES. Alla has served as Director of capital raising and corporate development for EGG until early 2012. She has an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.S. in international business and political science.
John Schroeder is an industry consultant and professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He has worked previously with the Grassroots Business Fund and ACCION International’s Frontier Investments Group. He advises EGG-energy on capital raising and strategy.
Jigar Shah is the CEO of the Carbon War Room and founder of SunEdison. He is an expert on energy project finance, changing energy policy, working with entrenched stakeholders, convincing different type of customers to embrace energy technology. Jigar advises EGG on partnership development, strategy, and technology.
John Simon is Founding Partner and Managing Director at Total Impact Advisors (TIA), a financial advisory firm with mission to advise both entrepreneurs and those seeking to maximize the social impact of their capital. Prior to founding TIA, John served for seven years in the US government, including as Ambassador to the African Union and Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). John advises EGG-energy on capital raising and corporate development.
Laure has over 10 years of international experience in multiple sourcing and procurement activities (Kazakhstan, oil&gas industries in Congo & Yemen, high-tech&electronics industry in Scotland, Ivory Coast, sustainable economic development project in Indonesia & Madagascar, …). She started her career as an agronomy engineer with a focus on social issues and economic development, publishing articles on rural informal credit systems. Laure actively assists EGG-energy with sourcing, Corporate Social Responsibility Solutions (CSRS) – such as environmentally sound recycling of our lead-acid batteries – and developing partnerships with major French multinationals.
Micah Bruxvoort (Tanzania Station Operations Manager, 2009-2011)
Micah has a background in international development and experience in Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services. His experience includes studying microloan recipients in Tanzania and improving community development programs in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Micah’s various experiences with training, marketing, and program management in a variety of cultural contexts (as well as his aptitude for learning new languages) made him a great fit for this role with EGG. Micah holds a Master of Divinity degree from Calvin Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Spanish with a minor in International Development from Calvin College.
Hugo Niccolaï (EGG-fellow, Winter-Spring 2012)
Rural electrification projects are not new to Hugo. After having obtained an engineering degree in energy technologies from the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse (INPT), he launched project EnR’Sud in 2010. From 2011 to the end of 2012, Hugo has been and will be working as a design and field engineer for 5 different social organizations specialized in Decentralized Rural Electrification (DRE) in South-East Asia, Africa and South America. Hugo was mostly based in Iringa where he helped develop and expand EGG’s franchise activities. He was also deeply involved in EGG’s technical products design and procurement, where the experience he gained in his previous DRE field appointments proved extremely valuable.
Anne Raymond (EGG-fellow, Fall 2011 to Spring 2012)
Anne joined EGG-energy as Manager of Operaions. In addition to building upon the works of previous EGG fellows, she expanded EGG’s solar franchise program. Before moving to Tanzania, Anne was an analytical chemist for the US Food and Drug Administration in Boston, MA. Her interest in development in Africa was inspired by two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Cameroon. Anne is originally from New Hampshire, and holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Dartmouth College.
Natalie Bonilla Maldonado (EGG-fellow, Spring-Summer 2011)
With a background in renewable energy project management and multilateral diplomacy, Natalie had developed micro-hydro energy solutions for rural communities at the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group in Guatemala, and assisted the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations in Austria prior to joining EGG. With EGG, she worked at developing new partnerships and had great success reaching out to micro-finance institutions. She received a BA in Political Science from The George Washington University and a MA in International Relations from The University of Kent in Brussels.
Yi Wang (EGG-fellow, Fall 2010–Summer 2011)
Yi joined EGG-energy to optimize and expand on-the-ground operations, develop our IT infrastructure and explore strategic partnerships. Prior to joining EGG, Yi was a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley (Global Capital Markets). She received dual B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Management from MIT / MIT Sloan.
Wyatt Gordon (EGG-fellow, Fall 2010–Winter 2011)
Wyatt comes to EGG from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and, prior to that, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. An experienced grassroots organizer interested in scalable methods of increasing local access to resources in developing areas, Wyatt became EGG’s Manager of Distribution and Expansion in Tanzania. He contributed to defining our local distribution strategy and expanded EGG’s distribution network to new sites within Tanzania. Wyatt graduated from Princeton University with an AB in History.
Laurent Guérin (EGG-fellow, Spring-Summer 2010)
Laurent has a broad background in engineering and energy policy. After graduating from Ecole Polytechnique, he obtained an MS in Technology Policy from MIT, where he was involved in research on nuclear energy policy. Interested in exploring all sides of the energy sector, he has participated in development projects and studies in French Polynesia and the Philippines. While working with EGG-energy, Laurent has jump-started our efforts to create information management systems and operational procedure, and helped prepare expansion plans. He continues to provide extremely valuable time and input to the development of our IT systems.
Pareen Bathia (EGG-fellow, Spring 2010)
Pareen graduated from Rice University with a BA in Economics and Policy Studies. She is currently working in Booz & Company’s energy practice. Pareen’s interest in business, energy and development led her to apply for a summer fellowship with EGG. While in Tanzania, she has worked on improving the company’s battery distribution model, formalizing ground operations and presenting EGG’s activities to a Western audience.
We have benefitted from the talents and generosity of several extremely qualified professionals. We are very grateful for their help in building EGG-energy and will strive to keep them proud of the project they contributed to.
Nicolas Rousset: IT, Spring 2011
A graduate from Ecole Polytechnique and Supaéro with a history or working with the French chapter of Engineering Without Borders, Nicolas comes to EGG with much professional experience in many aspects of programming. In close link with Laurent and Yi, he is working at increasing the capabilities of our current CRM and developing an IT software solution that can be deployed in the Tanzanian environment.
Coppélia Marincovic, LCA 2011
A graduate from Chimie Paristech and Harvard University, Coppélia was a senior analyst with a leading US life cycle assessment firm when she offered us her expertise to assess the extent of EGG-energy’s service’s impact on the environment. Her work showed that using our service offered a ten-fold improvement over the baseline (burning kerosene) in terms of major pollutants and greenhouse gases emissions. Those interested in environmental issues at large and life cycle assessments in particular will enjoy following her on twitter @EcoGenerator and on her blog.
Romain Lacombe: website, Summer and Fall 2010
A graduate from Ecole Polytechnique, MIT’s TPP program and Ecole des Ponts’s MPA, Romain is pursuing a career in the French public service, when he’s not rooting for Open Data or creating web-based start-ups. He skillfully coordinated the creation of this website and has provided much encouragement along the way.
Melissa Armstrong: website, Spring 2010
Melissa is a freelance graphic designer working in Washington, DC for clients including National Geographic and the Smithsonian. Please check out her other work and resume here!
Along with Blandine, Alla, Rhonda, Jukka and Jamie, Mark, Ben and Emmanuel contributed to creating the EGG concept.
Mark, an undergraduate in MIT’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department, is particularly interested in the intersection between technology and social entrepreneurship. In addition to several projects he contributed to in Tanzania with D-Lab, he has also worked on a project to collect medical data on cell phones to facilitate remote diagnostics, a baby scale that can transmit data over phone lines, and an SMS-based system to connect informal sector street vendors with their customers.
Ben is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Mali, 2003-2005) with experience in both project management and private equity in Africa. He currently works with the Samsung Group advising them on business opportunities in emerging markets. Ben has an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. He graduated from NYU in 2000 with a degree in Philosophy.
Emmanuel has gained transversal business experience by working at several consumer packaged goods companies and in management consulting. Having a passion for entrepreneurship, he founded an NGO operating in Burkina Faso, and participated in the launch of EGG-energy. He is now in the process of founding an internet social meeting startup in France. Emmanuel has an MBA from Harvard Business School, as well as an MA and M.Sc. from Edhec Business School.