Our team

Katherine Lucey, Chief Executive Officer
Katherine Lucey is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Solar Sister. After a 20 year career as an investment banker with expertise in the energy sector, Katherine retired from banking and turned her attention to finding a sustainable solution to the energy poverty that causes suffering to a quarter of the world’s population. Katherine determined that a practical, grass-roots, locally generated solution was needed. Katherine is an Ashoka Fellow and a Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Entrepreneur. She holds an M.B.A. from Georgia State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She is an alumna of the Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) the signature social enterprise program of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society of Santa Clara University.
Neha Misra, Chief Collaboration Officer
Neha Misra is the Co-Founder and Chief Collaboration Officer of Solar Sister. Neha is an Energy Economist passionate about women’s economic empowerment, energy access, climate justice and collaborative leadership. She serves as a Solar Suitcase Ambassador for We Care Solar, which is bringing solar power to maternal health clinics around the world. Neha has earlier worked with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in South Asia and North America. She holds a Master of Business Economics degree from the University of Delhi, India; a Bachelor of Science (honors) Physics degree from St. Stephens College, Delhi, India; and a certificate in design of solar energy systems from Solar Energy International, Colorado. USA. When not advancing women’s role in clean tech, Neha is a poet and a contemporary folk artist. Ask her what’s the connection between art and social enterprise; and you’d hear a prompt reply, “beauty!”.
Michelle Hughes, Chief Financial Officer
Michelle brings more than fifteen years in public accounting to Solar Sister from a wide portfolio of sectors and industries. Her previous experience includes working for a mid-size, regional public accounting firm and building deep expertise in non-profit work, tax, and advising small business clients in the setup and operation of QuickBooks. Her experience with large corporations and partnerships includes researching and solving complex tax issues and preparation of GAAP financial statements. Women’s business empowerment has always been core to Michelle’s work and service. She is the founder of W.E.B.O.N.D. (Women’s Empowerment and Business Owners Network Development) at Rhode Island’s East Bay Chamber of Commerce. She has consulted with the Center for Women and Enterprise in Providence, RI and served as treasurer for Rhode Island Interfaith Power and Light and the East Bay Coalition for the Homeless. Michelle majored in accounting and earned her bachelor’s degree from Assumption College, in Worcester, MA. She resides with her family in Bristol, RI. She enjoys gardening, decorating, art, walking, and trips to the beach.
Fatma Muzo, Tanzania Country Manager
Fatma Muzo is the Tanzania Country Manager. Her experience in business includes the development and management of microfinance schemes in rural areas. She has an MBA from the Corporate Management Institution Mzumbe University and an Advanced Diploma in Business Management from Institute of Accountancy, Arusha.
Olasimbo Sojinrin, Nigeria Country Manager
Olasimbo is a community organizer, citizen lobbyist, and advocate for climate change progress and women’s rights in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. She is a feminist passionate about youth empowerment and women-focused renewable energy access. Olasimbo began her work in climate change when she joined the British Council in 2004 and managed several partnership projects with secondary school students, including Connecting Classrooms and Green Clubs. She later worked as a Capacity Development Manager for a UNDP-assisted project called ‘Access to Renewable Energy’ where she pushed for climate change legislation with policy makers at Federal and State level and supported capacity building programs for renewable energy service providers and financial institutions. Currently Olasimbo manages Solar Sister’s programs in Nigeria. She holds a degree in Urban and Regional Planning and a Masters Degree in International Affairs from University of Lagos, Nigeria.
Rachel Nampinga Bakyayita, Uganda Country Manager
Rachel Nampinga is a passionate climate change activist who has rallied for young people and women’s rights for over 10 years. She has experience in project design, management, and international policy negotiations. She is a 2007 Youth Actionet Fellow and a recipient of the Joke Waller Initiative for her work on mobilizing communities and strengthening them to adapt to climate change. She began her work in climate change working with youth in communities across Africa. She has worked with Ecowatch, Eastern African Fine Coffees Association, and as a carbon finance specialist at the Uganda Carbon Bureau. Currently Rachel managers Solar Sister’s programs in Uganda. She holds a degree in Agriculture and is pursuing an MBA in economics at LSE.
David O’Connor, Director of Operations
David O’Connor is the Director of Operations for Solar Sister. He brings a background in education, international development and micro-finance management. David holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BA in Literature from the University of Arizona David discovered his passion for working with entrepreneurs while serving in the Peace Corps and working for a business incubator in Uralsk, Kazakhstan. Solar Sister has provided David with not only a much warmer environment to fulfill this passion in, but a hunger for expanding the clean-tech market in Africa and the most capable, hard-working and enterprising population segment to expand it with: women! When not at work, David is a marathon-running enthusiast, nature lover and audiophile that loves exploring his current US home-base of Washington, DC and the many diverse corners of Africa that Solar Sister takes him to.
Becca Schwartz, Director of Business Development
Becca Schwartz is the Director of Business Development for Solar Sister. Working in Nigeria, Becca is recruiting, training and supporting women entrepreneurs and establishing the distribution network to supply them. She brings a strong background in sales and business development, having worked as Sales Manager for a clean energy distribution company, opening their West African market. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal serving as a Small Business Development Agent. She brings a love of sports, especially swimming and running. She has an MBA from Drexel University and a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iowa.
Caroline Mailloux, Director of Engagement
Caroline is a system builder, design thinker, and social innovator passionate about the intersection of innovative business models and social value. Her specific passions lay at the intersections of international development, entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, civic engagement, design, and public health. Her work, studies, and travel have introduced her to the people, culture, and politics of more than 30 countries on 6 continents, but she is proud to call Rhode Island USA home. In addition to her work at Solar Sister in communications, community building, and fundraising, she serves on the boards of Accountability Lab and Pecha Kucha Providence, is a founding convener of TEDxProvidence, and mentors through a variety of youth programs. Caroline is a graduate of Brown University’s Development Studies program and has completed fellowships at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. When she’s not at her desk, you’ll find her on her road bike, hiking a mountain, or exploring hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
Carolyn Lucey, Communications Associate
Carolyn Lucey is the Communications Associate for Solar Sister. She is a recent graduate of Columbia University, where she majored in English Literature with a focus on non-fiction storytelling about human rights, young people, and the environment. Carolyn first became interested in the power of storytelling during an internship with the Santa Clara Center for Science, Technology, and Society’s Global Social Benefit Incubator program. There, she saw how compelling stories inspire people and bring them together to create change. She looks forward to combining her passion for telling stories through art, design, and the written word with the mission of Solar Sister to spread light, hope, and opportunity.
Board of Directors
Tom Fry
Tom Fry is a Managing Director at The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (DRK), and is responsible for identifying and supporting the Foundation’s Entrepreneurs and cultivating and engaging donors. Tom also helps co-manage the Foundation’s East Coast office in Boston. Prior to joining DRK, Tom was a Partner at New Profit, and served as the Director of Operations for Grassroot Soccer, leading the operational build-out for the organization in South Africa. Before entering the non-profit arena, Tom worked for White Mountains Capital, a merchant-banking entity; Mainspring, a boutique management consulting firm; and the Chubb Group, a specialty insurance company. Tom currently serves on the boards of Generation Citizen, Solar Sister, Compass Working Capital, Seed Global Health, Sanergy, Measures for Justice, WAVE, Strive Together and Muso. Tom received his Master of Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Economics from Boston College.
Allen Hammond
Al Hammond is a member of the Leadership Group at Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. Dr. Hammond is a serial entrepreneur (6 start-ups), an expert in market-based solutions to poverty, and a global leader in base of the pyramid (BOP) business strategies. Dr. Hammond is also the principal author of The Next 4 Billion, a landmark study of BOP markets and has published extensively in the scientific, policy research, and business literature, including articles in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Harvard Business Review, and Innovations. He has served as a consultant to the White House science office, to several U.S. federal agencies, to the United Nations, to a number of major corporations, and to several private foundations. He holds degrees from Stanford and Harvard Universities in engineering and applied mathematics.
Therese Jordan
Terri Jordan is the SVP Business Development at Crystal IS, a manufacturer focused on UV-emitting LED’s for disinfection of water, air, and surfaces. Terri joined Crystal IS in 2011. Her passion is bringing clean tech innovations to the global community. Terri has extensive experience as a business development executive in energy, environment, and materials. Before joining Crystal IS she led business development worldwide at Konarka Technologies, Inc., a solar panel manufacturer. Prior to this she spent 15 years in positions of increasing leadership responsibility at GE in technology, market development, and quality roles, all focused on materials-based businesses. She also was formerly Director of Global Marketing for Victrex plc, a high performance materials company. Terri serves as an advisor to several organizations and forums involving energy and environment. She holds a BS degree from Tufts University in Chemical Engineering and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science from University of Connecticut. She has earned four patents.
Michael Looney
Michael Looney is the former Director of Mentoring at the Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) Mentor Director at Santa Clara University where he met Katherine Lucey and became excited about the Solar Sister mission and purpose. He was also a mentor to other social entrepreneurs from Kenya, Guatemala, Haiti, India, South Africa and the Philippines. Professionally, Mike is a Principal Consultant for Korora Partners (www.kororapartners.com) wherein he provides executive/individual coaching, executive team development, and company-wide conscious business consulting. Formerly he was one of Apple Computer’s first education account executives and continued on in high tech sales, marketing, and general management for 25 years. He lives, bikes, and sails in the SF Bay area and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.
Katherine Lucey
Katherine Lucey is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Solar Sister. After a 20 year career as an investment banker with expertise in the energy sector, Katherine retired from banking and turned her attention to finding a sustainable solution to the energy poverty that causes suffering to a quarter of the world’s population. Katherine determined that a practical, grass-roots, locally generated solution was needed. Katherine is an Ashoka Fellow and a Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Entrepreneur. She currently serves on the board of Solar Light for Africa, a not-for-profit corporation that brings solar energy to rural communities in East Africa. She holds an M.B.A. from Georgia State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She is an alumna of the Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) the signature social enterprise program of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society of Santa Clara University.
Brenda C. Nagle
Coming soon.
Kim Saylors-Laster
Kim Saylors-Laster is the Vice President of Energy for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., responsible for the procurement of electricity and natural gas in the United States and electricity in the UK and an executive champion of renewable energy initiatives within Wal-Mart’s Global Sustainability Networks. Before joining the Energy team, Kim held leadership roles in the Real Estate and Global Compliance divisions at Wal-Mart. In addition to her Solar Sister service, Kim serves as a Board Member for Empower-A-Child, International, a US based non-profit organization serving orphaned children in Uganda and Kenya, and as an Ambassador for the US Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Education & Empowerment program, which aims to advance the leadership of women in clean energy. Kim is an Arkansas licensed attorney and an Arkansas licensed counselor.
Eng. Bahijjahtu Abubakar, Advisor, Nigeria
Eng. Bahijjahtu Abubakar is the National Coordinator of the Renewable Energy Programme of the Federal Ministry of Environment of Nigeria and is an avid advocate for the environment. She represents the Federal Ministry of Environment on several boards and her spirited concern for the earth has earned her national and international accolades. Due to her undying love for the rural woman, she launched a project to lift women out of energy poverty through the Rural Women Energy Security (RUWES) project. Mrs. Bahijjahtu Hadiza Abubakar was born in Kaduna, Kaduna State, Nigeria. She is a Mechanical Engineer and holds an MSc in Environmental Engineering from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Environmental Engineering there as well.
Chris Bowers, Advisor
Chris Bowers has 15 years’ experience of driving strategy execution from a people and organizational perspective. His specialties are business strategy and new market entry, mergers and acquisitions, multiple business models, turnaround and restructuring. He is the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Scent Sciences Corporation, Founder of Chris Bowers Capital and on the Advisory Board of Leavy Business School at Santa Clara University. Prior he provided leadership at Applied Materials and Hay Corporation. He has an MBA from Warwick Business School, and was awarded an British Empire Medal for services with UK Special Forces.
Dr. Sarah Degnan Kambou, Advisor
As the President of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), Dr. Sarah Degnan Kambou leads a global research institute that focuses on realizing women’s empowerment and gender equality to alleviate poverty worldwide. Her expertise centers on sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS and adolescent health and livelihoods. Dr. Degnan Kambou has served as a technical advisor to multilaterals, leading corporations and governments seeking to integrate gender into policies, programs and services that will advance the status of women and girls around the world.
Peter DiCampo, Creative Media and Storytelling Advisor
Peter DiCampo is a documentary photographer whose goal is to contribute his work to a dialog on international development. He launched his freelance career while also working as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Ghana from 2006-2008. His current long term project, Life Without Lights explores the varied social and economic implications of global energy poverty and raises questions on energy’s future. The work earned him the top prize in the British Journal of Photography’s 2010 International Photography Awards and additional awards in the 2011 PDN Photo Annual and the 2011 Anthropographia Awards for Human Rights.
John Forsgren, Advisor
John Forsgren has been a leader in finance and corporate management. He has 35 years in large corporations in the field of corporate finance, most notably as Vice President and Treasurer of Sperry Rand Corporation, Vice President and Treasurer of The Walt Disney Company, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Walt Disney Europe, Managing Director, Chase Manhattan Bank, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Northeast Utilities, and Vice Chairman of the Board and Chief Financial Officer, Northeast Utilities. Mr. Forsgren is currently serving on the following Boards of Directors- The Phoenix Companies, CuraGen Corporation, Trident Resources, Inc., and Duke Energy Corporation. Charitable activities have included the following: Georgetown University,The Nature Conservancy, and Solar Light for Africa. Mr. Forsgren has a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgetown University with a major in Economics, an MBA from Columbia University, and a Master’s Degree in International Finance and Management from University of Geneva, Switzerland.
Sarah Kasule, Advisor, Uganda
Sarah N.M. Kasule is Director for the Mother’s Union of Uganda. Prior to her current position, she was Family Life Programme Officer, Mother’s Union, The Province of Uganda. Sara is a teacher by profession with a diploma and a first class degree in education as well as a master’s degree in education administration and planning.
Proscovia Njuki, Advisor, Uganda
Proscovia Njuki was the first woman to earn an engineering degree in East Africa. She is the founder of the Association of Women Engineers, Technicians and Scientists in Uganda (WETSU). She remembers being teased about her choice to study engineering. “I was one woman in a class of 40 men at university.” When she reported to Nairobi University, most lecturers and students were excited to have her, except for one lecturer who was irritated by her inquisitiveness. When she asked questions, he would retort, “Women! Why are you in this class?” Now retired, Njuki feels that the greatest reward for having made this decision is it has opened doors for women into the engineering field. I am so proud when I see many girls at the technology faculty. And they are doing well,” she enthuses.
Greg Van Kirk, Advisor
Greg Van Kirk is an Ashoka Lemelson Fellow and the-co founder of The New Development Solutions Group. This includes Community Enterprise Solutions, Social Entrepreneur Corps and NDS Consulting. These are all ventures whose mission is to design and implement innovative responses to long-standing development challenges. He, co-founder George Glickley and their team are now focused on expanding the reach of their innovative “MicroConsignment Model” globally. Greg was recently chosen as a select member of both the “Ashoka Globalizer” and Ashoka/Siemens “Social Business Development Group”. He is also a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. Greg began working in rural small business development as a Guatemala Peace Corps volunteer in 2001. He has served as an economic development consultant for organizations such as USAID, Chemonics, Columbia University, VisionSpring, Soros Foundation, Church World Service, OneRoof, Fundacion Solar, Fundacion Paraguaya, IDB and Water4People. Greg worked in investment banking for five years before arriving in Guatemala. Greg also works part time as “Social Entrepreneur in Residence” at Columbia University. Greg recently published the article “The MicroConsignment Model: Bridging “The Last Mile” of Products and Services for the Rural Poor” in Innovations Journal. Greg is a graduate of Miami University.