SOLAR HEAD OF STATE TEAM

James Ellsmoor Director and Co-Founder James is passionate about climate change advocacy and international environmental policy. He speaks Spanish, French and Portuguese and is particularly interested in promoting renewable energy infrastructure systems in rural communities. He understands the need for climate leaders in the international community and works with Solar Head of State to directly aid governments in setting an example by pioneering solar energy projects. James has lived in Chile and Madagascar but grew up in Shropshire, England and is now based in Oakland, California.

James Ellsmoor

Director and Co-Founder

James is passionate about climate change advocacy and international environmental policy. He speaks Spanish, French and Portuguese and is particularly interested in promoting renewable energy infrastructure systems in rural communities. He understands the need for climate leaders in the international community and works with Solar Head of State to directly aid governments in setting an example by pioneering solar energy projects. James has lived in Chile and Madagascar but grew up in Shropshire, England and is now based in Oakland, California.

Brian Somers Co-Founder Brian founded Solar Head of State after managing a campaign to put solar energy back on the White House for the US based solar company Sungevity. During the campaign Brian was approached by the Maldivian government and given the opportunity to install solar on the Muliaage Presidential Palace in the Maldives. Since the completion of the project Brian has been working on off-grid remote microgrid projects such as powering a school in Zambia’s Western Province with a non-profit group called Empowered by Light. His passion is entrepreneurship and in addition to managing Solar Head of State, also leads Standard Microgrid, an international microgrid development company, and Volunteer Alliance, an international volunteering network and database.

Brian Somers

Co-Founder

Brian founded Solar Head of State after managing a campaign to put solar energy back on the White House for the US based solar company Sungevity. During the campaign Brian was approached by the Maldivian government and given the opportunity to install solar on the Muliaage Presidential Palace in the Maldives. Since the completion of the project Brian has been working on off-grid remote microgrid projects such as powering a school in Zambia’s Western Province with a non-profit group called Empowered by Light. His passion is entrepreneurship and in addition to managing Solar Head of State, also leads Standard Microgrid, an international microgrid development company, and Volunteer Alliance, an international volunteering network and database.

Olivia Santiago Communications Coordinator Olivia has spent the past 4 years working on international climate change policy at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Transitioning from work with Small Island Developing States, Olivia is now located in the Bay Area, California working at a renewable energy company. 

Olivia Santiago

Communications Coordinator

Olivia has spent the past 4 years working on international climate change policy at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Transitioning from work with Small Island Developing States, Olivia is now located in the Bay Area, California working at a renewable energy company. 

Candace Young Business Development Candace is committed to increasing the impact and visibility of solar power around the globe. She holds a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Florida State University, and is currently completing her MBA at Tepper School of Business.

Candace Young

Business Development

Candace is committed to increasing the impact and visibility of solar power around the globe. She holds a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Florida State University, and is currently completing her MBA at Tepper School of Business.

Matt Harkness Business Development Fellow Matt is a Michigan native, pursuing a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, MI. His studies are focused in power electronics, which he has applied to his experience int he automotive industry. He is enthusiastic about the technology behind renewable energies, solar in particular, and their accelerated proliferation. Matt strives to empower Solar Head of State in its development and expanding role influencing the global shift towards acceptance of green energy. 

Matt Harkness

Business Development Fellow

Matt is a Michigan native, pursuing a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, MI. His studies are focused in power electronics, which he has applied to his experience int he automotive industry. He is enthusiastic about the technology behind renewable energies, solar in particular, and their accelerated proliferation. Matt strives to empower Solar Head of State in its development and expanding role influencing the global shift towards acceptance of green energy. 

Kielan Rathjen Communications Fellow Kielan is originally from Los Angeles and a recent graduate from UC Berkeley. He is very passionate about renewable energy, waste reduction and international politics. Kielan also successfully lead a solar advocacy campaign to increase solar production on and around the Berkeley campus.  

Kielan Rathjen

Communications Fellow

Kielan is originally from Los Angeles and a recent graduate from UC Berkeley. He is very passionate about renewable energy, waste reduction and international politics. Kielan also successfully lead a solar advocacy campaign to increase solar production on and around the Berkeley campus.