Howie Rodenstein, Chairman, Global Advisory Board
Howie advises the company on financial and strategic matters. He is based in Boston where he served as CFO of Adheris Inc., a pharmaceutical information services company, which he grew from a start-up to its sale for $100 million to inVentiv Health. Howie founded and still chairs an annual charity bike ride that has attracted over a thousand riders and raised over $3 million for environmental NGOs. He is a long-time board member of Global Sun Partners, which oversees a $1 billion pipeline of solar projects. He earned an MBA (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School and a BA in economics from Brandeis University.
Weldon Turner, COO, Chief Compliance Officer, Managing Director Gigawatt Zambia
Weldon heads Gigawatt’s operational management and is in charge of the implementation of policy and strategy and finance. Weldon spent many years on Wall Street where he was the director of international equity sales/trading at Credit Suisse and a VP of equity sales/trading at Salomon Brothers. He entered the renewable industry as senior product manager at RCS Solar. Weldon has been on the Board of Advisors of Thorium Power Company and Portofino Equity Advisors. He holds a BA in political science and history, a law degree, and a Masters of Law (LLM) from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and is a candidate for a PhD in environmental law from Sunderland University.
Josef Abramowitz, President & CEO and co-founder ImpactLDC (NGO)
Josef Abramowitz, nominated by 12 African countries for the Nobel Peace Prize for his pioneering solar work on the continent, is a founder of Gigawatt Global and is the visionary force of the company, specializing in market creation and strategy; he is responsible for financing the operation as well as investor and international relations, and is the main political liaison for all development.
Having created and led solar teams responsible for nearly $1 billion in green energy pipelines, Josef was named by CNN as one of plant’s the top six “Green Pioneers,” and by PV Tech as “one of the most inspiring solar CEOs” worldwide. He served as a delegate to the Paris, Glasgow, Sharm el-Sheik and Dubai UN Climate Conferences, is a co-founder of the White House Power Africa initiative and his life's work was featured on an episode of CNN’s The Next List with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Josef holds a BA in public policy from Boston University and an MA in journalism from Columbia University, is a Wexner Fellow, and is the recipient of numerous business and environmental awards
Aryeh Green, Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder ImpactLDC (NGO)
Aryeh is responsible for strategic business planning, institutional investment and corporate communications. He has over three decades of experience working as an executive and business consultant for a number of private and publicly-traded companies, including AudioCodes, ECI Telecom, Pfizer, Aladdin and MotoGuzzi, as well as for various non-profits and NGOs, and served as a senior advisor to minister Natan Sharansky in Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office. Aryeh holds a BA from UC Berkeley, an MSc in business management from Boston University and Ben Gurion University, and an MA in international relations from Hebrew University. He is also a leader of Gigawatt’s effort to create a sister NGO–LDCimpact.
Dr. Hanna H. Klein, VP Research & Project Management
Hanna is responsible for managing project developers and coordinating project support, as well as pre-development support from grants and other funding, and is the fifth member of the Investment Committee. She is an expert on E&S IFC performance standards, acts as the company E&S manager for projects under construction, and leads all market research. Hanna previously served as an engineer and project manager for projects in the power industry for Vattenfall in Sweden and ABB in Switzerland. She has designed concentrated solar systems with Aora Solar and has developed her own patents in solar technologies. She built her business experience working as a business consultant for Arthur Andersen in the Netherlands, and is an expert for the European Commission for funding of energy and environmental science projects. Hanna holds an MSc in Energy Systems from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and a PhD in solar energy from the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Patrick Nzitunga, Senior Project Developer, Burundi, Comoros & Francophone countries; Supervisor, The Abundance Initiative
Patrick has built his experience with all aspects of solar PV project development with his intense involvement in the Burundi project in the role of local team and is now leading his own projects. He began his career working in East Africa leading projects for various international companies and NGOs, including Egis international, Doctors without Borders Netherlands, Action Contre la Faim France and Tevel B'tzedek. With a deep knowledge of the language, culture and business practices of region, Patrick holds a Bachelors of Business Law from Lake Tanganyika University in Burundi and is a candidate for an MBA at Kellogs School of Management.
Michael Fichtenberg, Executive VP Finance & Business Development; Managing Partner, Sayge Partners Private Equity
Michael is responsible for both corporate and project finance needs and leads the business development team, especially in the development of a related private equity fund–Sayge Partners. He is also in charge of the development of Gigawatt’s solar PV project in Burundi as managing director, Gigawatt Global Burundi. Starting his career as an entrepreneur in construction materials in NY, Michael worked in private wealth management focused on clean technology start-ups, and in the acquisition/sale of operating solar fields. He later joined Arava Power Company as the Deputy CFO and assisted in raising the debt and equity for over 100 MW of solar PV. Michael holds a BA in finance and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.
Chana Gluck, Senior General Counsel
Chana is our internal legal counsel, with deep expertise in all contract and legal documents relating to renewable energy deals in emerging markets. Chana previously served at Slaughter and May as a financing lawyer, where she advised on several cutting-edge global energy deals, including $300 million project financing facilities for the Meghnaghat 450MW power station, the first large-scale independent power project in Bangladesh. Chana has a degree in law from King's College in London.
Akiva Turner, Senior Financial Analyst
Akiva supports the financial modeling and deal structuring on almost all Gigawatt projects, focusing on Burundi and Nigeria. Over his years at the company he has become an expert in project financial structures and the myriad activities required to finalize agreements and bring projects to Financial Close. Prior to joining the renewable energy industry, Akiva worked as a financial analyst at a boutique consulting firm in Los Angeles which provides financial and strategic advisory services to large independent film and TV companies in Hollywood. Akiva has a BA in business administration and finance from IDC Herzliya.
Joel Abrams, Country Director NSCP Nigeria
Joel leads our work in Nigeria as head of our Special Purpose Vehicle there, Nigeria Solar Capital Partners (NSCP). He is a specialist in development finance, based in Paris. He is a founding partner of Ibex Capital Partners and has had significant experience working and living in West and Central Africa. Through Ibex, Joel worked on originating and financing projects in renewable energy, environmental remediation, housing, agriculture and extractives. Joel holds a BA from University College London and a BSc from the London School of Economics.
Senait Dimitri, Country Director, Ethiopia, Namibia and Eswatini
Senait is a seasoned entrepreneur and business woman with an international hotel located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Senait has developed and constructed residential real estate projects and development residential communities in Ethiopia. Senait also has over 10 years of experience as a business consultant procuring deals and connecting foreign national ambassadors, government officials, presidents, policy makers, and multinational organizations to create strategic partnerships in the renewable energy sector
Ethan Gertzman, Director, The Abundance Initiative & Assistant Director of Business Development
The Abundance Initiative is Gigawatt's new program, combining utility-scale solar with the productive use of power with onsite, community-based, solar powered, agricultural processing centers. Ethan's current professional focus with Gigawatt Global is to create a development model of the agricultural-energy nexus with the community at its epicenter.
Ethan has extensive experience in community organizing, program development, and international politics. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Political Science, Psychology, and Nonprofit Management. He worked for countless grassroots political campaigns, specializing in grassroots environmental activism and organizing, before serving as a staffer in the United States Senate. Ethan went on to receive his master's degree in African Sustainable Communities from Ben Gurion University, writing his thesis on the energy-agricultural nexus, using the development of the Abundance Initiative as his case study.
Emmanuel Chilufya, Zambia Country Representative
Emmanuel is the owner of Jothanuel Zambia, an energy and civil constructions company. He has a wealth of knowledge in the energy sector in Zambia, serving currently on the boards of the Zambia and Lusaka Chambers of Commerce & Industry, and as a member of the national chamber’s Energy and Infrastructure committee. Previously, he worked at Dunavant Zambia, World Hope Int’l Zambia, Starvrou Transport, and National Milling Corp. He holds a diploma in Business Administration, a Certificate in Entrepreneurship, CPD Certificates in energy, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration (BBA) at Cavendish University.
Yaniv Ben David – Co-director, South Sudan and partner
Yaniv began his business career in the field of imports in Israel and then continued his business career in initiating projects in Africa. Yaniv is a partner in the solar power plant project in South Sudan and functions as part of the development team on the ground in South Sudan, with 7 years of experience working with the South Sudanese government. Pilot, Graduated in Aviation Management from Haifa University.
Ronit Ben David, Co-director, South Sudan and partner
Ronit started her business path in the field of import and retail and then continued her business path in Africa while focusing on initiating projects in South Sudan and active in the humanitarian field in Africa. Ronit is a partner in the solar power plant project in South Sudan, focusing on negotiations, contacts, and agreements with government officials in South Sudan for the past 9 years. Ronit graduated from the School of Tourism and History of Haifa University.
Monica Bate, South Sudan Representative
Monica Bate Samuel is a South Sudanese, work as a local staff Gigawatt Global South Sudan Office, has MSc Environment, worked previously in the humanitarian field, in World Vision Organization as a Field Coordinator, Natural Resource Management, Darfur, Sudan. National Director Africa Israel Initiative and External Director Israel Allies Caucus, (IAF) South Sudan.
Victor Missoy, Kenya Country Representative
Victor is the country project coordinator for the solar PV projects in Kenya. He handles government liaison and all processes regarding the projects. His focus is on site management, coordinating surveying and geotechnical parties, assisting subcontractors as a bridge between the company and them. He is well-versed in the politics of the land and helps navigate through to achieve results in the shortest period, and has extensive government networks which aid in ensuring the projects receive maximum attention and success.
Dr. Bina Brody, Research & Development Associate, ImpactLDC
Bina Brody is an anthropologist and ethnomusicologist, with a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. In her research, she asks how African musicians have reshaped their traditional practices in response to changing national values and growing capitalist agendas. She has traveled widely across the African continent, and lived in Senegal and Burkina Faso, where she gained an understanding of local needs and impact strategies. She has recently joined the team, and seeks to contribute from her familiarity with West Africa and expand funding opportunities to scale the organization's projects, with a special focus on accessing project preparation funding.
Bishop Vicente Msosa, Mozambique Representative
Vicente Msosa, born on 18th February, in 1983, in a small Village called Chiuanga in Lago District in the State Province of Niassa, Mozambique. Vincent was born in a family of 7 children, then 4 died leaving just 3 of the family, with Vincent being the last living son. Vincent is Christian, married to Anastancia Msosa in 2008, has 4 children, three being girls and one a boy and last born. Vincent served in the Anglican church since 2013 as a Priest. In 2017 he was elected Bishop in the Anglican church, in the Diocese of Niassa. In 2021, the Diocese of Niassa multiplied into two more Dioceses of Zambezia and Tete, Vincent chose to move to the Diocese of Zambezia to establish it. He also serves as the Vice chairperson of the Anglican council of Mozambique.
Patrick Murungi, Uganda Representative
Murungi Patrick is a lawyer. He holds a Bachelor of Law from Uganda Christian University. Dedicated lawyer, with experience in achieving tangible results and cross-team collaboration.
Proactive and excited to partner with like-minded individuals to achieve goals.
Paul Musinguzi, Kyenjojo Representative
Paul Musinguzi is a public policy Analysis professional at a Masters level. He has a diverse experience in leading community based sustainable projects, having worked with Bringing Hope to the Family- a Civil Society Organization for the last fourteen years.
With Gigawatt Global, he's in charge of community mobilization, and a local Research expert towards designing a sustainable, informative, and collaborative GIGAWATT model in Kyenjojo district, western Uganda for the Abundance Initiative.
Mandy Efrati, Controller
Mandy Efrati is a CPA and is responsible for financial reporting, forecasting and compliance. She began her career at Ernst & Young in New York City in 2008. After four years of working in the real estate department, her focus shifted towards working with start-ups and high tech companies. Mandy then started working for KPMG where she continued to service start-ups, including Gigawatt Global. She officially joined the Gigawatt Global team in May of 2015. Mandy holds a Bachelors in Economics from the University of Maryland, and a Masters in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame.
Shoshi Harari, Office Manager
Shoshi ensures Gigawatt’s office and accounting is in order and processes all our financial transactions. She has over 20 years of experience working in business and nonprofit organizations as a bookkeeper.
She holds a BA in Business Management from Touro College in Jerusalem.
Dr. Gershon Baskin, consultant, Abraham Accords, N7 countries and Palestinian Affairs
Gershon is leading our project development in a number of Middle East countries, leveraging his connections and communication skills honed over years in the public sector. Gershon has led a number of NGOs focused on co-existence throughout his career. He has been awarded the Turkish Foreign Policy Institute Peace Prize as well as the Search for Common Ground Journalist Award for Middle East Journalism. Gershon holds a PhD in international affairs from University of Greenwich.
Eran Blumberg, Senior East Africa Project Consultant
Eran develops projects in East Africa. Eran developed his renewable energy skills while working on the engineering team at Arava Power and gradually moved into the project development side of the business. Eran holds an engineering degree in architecture from ORT Science and Technology College.
Advisors and Partners:
Michael Lustig, Investor and Senior Advisor
Michael Lustig retired after a 25-year career on Wall Street, and now devotes the majority of his time and energies toward non-profit & impact-related enterprises. He is the author of the Guide to Jewish Impact Investing. Prior to retiring, Michael spent most of his career at the asset management firm BlackRock, where he was Managing Director overseeing Structured Mortgage & Derivative Products trading and acted as advisor/portfolio manager for the Federal Reserve’s Global Financial Crisis-related managed assets.
He is immediate-past President of the Baron de Hirsch Fund, and is a Board Member/Trustee of: the Jewish Funders Network, The Taub Center for Social Economic Policy, UJA- Federation of NY, Jewish Community Relations Council of NY, Columbia/Barnard Hillel, Hillel at Binghamton, the Hillel International Office of Innovation, AJC-NY, American Friends of OGEN, and Congregation Shearith Israel. Michael is a graduate of Columbia College, Columbia University, and is Adjunct Professor of Finance at NYU | Stern School of Business and a Lecturer at the College for Management Academic Studies in Rishon LeZion, teaching fulltime elective courses for MBAs in Fixed Income, Capital Markets, and Impact Finance. He has curated a number of exhibits at The Society of Illustrators and is a Licensed NYC Sightseeing Guide. Michael lives in Manhattan with his wife Rachel, and their three wonderful children.
Dr. Harriet Muyinza, Senior Advisor, Agro-Processing & Economic Development
Dr. Harriet Muyinza Kayongo is a Principal Research Officer (Postharvest –scientist) under the Food Science and Agribusiness Program at the National Agricultural Research Laboratories one of the Public Research Institutes at the National Agricultural Research Organization in Uganda. She serves as a senior advisor on agro-processing for Gigawatt Global’s Abundance Initiative; leading the research team on postharvest handling research and advising on design, and implementation of processing to be part of our pilot solar-powered, community based, agro-processing center for the productive use of energy. Dr. Muyinza has promoted use of improved postharvest technologies and conducted research on sustainable agri-food systems' fostering adoption of environmental friendly postharvest innovations since 2012.
As a researcher at NARO, she has managed projects and served as national focal point collaborating with different research and development international organizations (including the CGIAR, NGOs, the UN Rome-Based Agencies FAO, IFAD, WFP) on activities funded by agencies including USAID, EU,SDC among others. She has vast experience and engagement with multi-disciplinary teams and stakeholders based in Uganda and across the world through international platforms. She has led, designed and been part of implementing teams for multi-displinary projects funded by different agencies. She holds a Ph.D. in Agriculture, Master of Science in Postharvest - Entomology and Bachelor of Science degree from Makerere University. She has experience in sharing knowledge through international platforms with diverse stakeholders and from multi-disciplinary teams.
Dr Nan Greer, Investor, & Community Impact Specialist
Dr. Nan Greer is an Impact Investor for her family office and an applied environmental anthropologist specializing in indigenous land defense and human rights. For over 12 years, Dr. Greer was a university professor, and she has conducted fieldwork as an anthropologist for over 28 years. Working with the World Bank, Dr. Greer served as an anthropologist for the first international indigenous land rights case Awas Tingni v. Nicaragua where the first of 9 Mayangna tribes received title to ancestral lands and leading to the protection of a 8,000 km2 critical biological corridor of rainforest - the UNESCO BOSAWAS Biosphere Reserve.
She has worked with Pacific Islanders, Latin American indigenous, Native Americans, and African and Levantine tribal groups. Dr. Greer contributes both her business and anthropological knowledge related to impact assessment, and an emphasis on green electric sovereignty - renewable energy for equal rights, self-determination, and the empowerment of marginalized populations.
The Honorable Dr. Faith Kunihira, Senior Advisor, Impact on Children
Dr. Faith Kunihira Philo is the Founder and Executive Director of Bringing Hope Family and serves as the Woman Representative of Kyenjojo District. Bringing Hope is at the center of civil society in Kyenjojo District, providing a home to hundreds of orphans in Western Uganda. Kunihira provides school fees, scholastic materials, healthcare, livelihood skills, and psycho-social support to 3,000 children. She also started a health clinic, Hope Again, to provide treatment and counseling for families throughout her community. Bringing Hope to the Family was established in 2000, and continues to serve as a nonprofit organization providing basic needs, education, and clean water to orphans and displaced families in the Kaihura Village of Kyenjojo District, Uganda. Honorable Faith is now advising Gigawatt Global toward the establishment of the first Abundance Center to be piloted in her district, an industrial center of agricultural excellence that utilizes the productive-use-of energy to target economic empowerment for local small-holder farmers.
Ilan Goldstein, Co-Founder and Co-Director, Gigawatt Wind & Senior Business Advisor
Ilan Goldstein has been a director of Merchavia Holdings and Investments Ltd. (formerly Nepco Star Ltd.) since October 26, 2014 and is one of the pioneers of wind energy in Israel.
Mr. Goldstein is a member of the board of directors of L. Goldstein Investments Ltd. and Golani Enterprises Inc. He has a Juris Doctor degree, Fordham University School of Law and Bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva University.
Ed Hofland, Founding Chairman
A co-founder of Gigawatt Global and successful business leader in Israel, Ed currently serves as Chairman of AlgaTech, a rapidly expanding international biotechnological company based on Kibbutz Ketura. He is also the Chairman of Ardag, a $25 million a year aquaculture company in Eilat. Previously Ed served as general manager of Ardom, a unified group of enterprises owned jointly by ten communities in the Arava area, specializing in packaging and marketing agricultural produce worldwide. Ed provides corporate management, business development, and experience in the development of solar PV projects.
David Miron Wapner, Senior Advisor, Interfaith Partnerships
David Miron Wapner serves as Board Chair of the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (www.interfaithsustain.com). ICSD reveals the connection between religion and ecology and mobilizes faith communities to act.
ICSD works on a global basis, with current engagement in Africa, the Middle East, North America, and Europe and is a founding partner of the Faith Pavilion at COP28, with 50 faith communities around the world. He is at attorney by profession and is a climate technology investor. The Interfaith Center is a partner with Gigawatt Global in Mozambique.
(David Miron Wapner (right))
David Rosenblatt, Co-Founder
David is an executive with an established track record of developing and managing businesses across a range of industries, including information technology and financial services. Most recently, he filled the position of Managing Director at BlackRock where he was responsible for strategy, operations, and finance. Prior to turning to business full-time, David was an attorney leading domestic and international transactions, including project finance transactions involving power generation facilities, for the law firms of Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Chadbourne & Parke. David holds an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School, a JD from Northwestern University Law School, and an accounting degree from the honors program at Pennsylvania State University.
Yudit Sidikmen, Investor & Women’s Empowerment Specialist
Yudit Zicklin-Sidikman is an Israel-based philanthropist, educator in the field of special education, and motivational speaker who has inspired thousands both in Israel and abroad to recognize and tap into their personal strength. Also a martial artist, Yudit has dedicated her life to the prevention of violence and the empowerment of girls, women, and other populations vulnerable to abuse, including the elderly and those with special needs. After earning her MBA, Yudit founded El HaLev (To the Heart), a Jerusalem-based NGO created and run by women professionals and volunteers, which works to end violence against individuals and effect social change by providing personal safety and empowerment programs for women, children, seniors and people with special needs.
Steven Beck, Investor & Senior Advisor, Entrepreneurship
A former Peace Corp volunteer in Togo, Steven holds a Masters in International Relations from Columbia University and serves as CEO and President of the New Africa Fund, which promotes economic and social development, girls’ education and special entrepreneurial programs. Steven served with the World Health Organization in Mauritania, Senegal and Mozambique and is currently active in 14 African countries.
Scott Prewett, Investor & Senior Advisor, Community Financial Empowerment
Scott Prewett is an entrepreneur, impact investor, and strategic advisor with deep roots in Africa. His foundation, ThinSpace Africa helps advise and support several civil society organizations and NGOs throughout East Africa, including Bringing Hope to the Family and Noah's Arc in Kyenjojo District Uganda, along with Rebuilders Ministry in Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo. Scott has spent most of his life - and all of his career - in California. He took an English Lit degree from UCLA and went to Fuller Seminary so, of course, spent his career in technology. He has cofounded and sold several tech startups but retired happily back in 2016. He is married and has three children and just became a new grandfather. His first solo trip to Uganda and the Congo was in 2015 where he first met the African partners that TSA works with today. He has been back to Africa many times and joined the TSA board in 2019.
James Sternlicht, Senior Advisor, Strategy, Impact & Solutions
Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed, Senior Advisor, Regional & Off-Grid Solutions
Dr. Abu Hamed holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s of Science in Chemical Engineering from Gazi University (Turkey), and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Ankara University (Turkey), and has completed two terms of postdoctoral research at the Environmental Science and Energy Research Department of the Weizmann Institute (Israel), and the University of Minnesota’s Mechanical Engineering Department Solar Energy Lab.
Yoav Maoz, Investor/Board Observer
An early pioneer in renewable energy, Yoav Maoz is the CEO of Renewable Energy Solutions (RES), now Marom, an entrepreneurial group operating in the field of green and renewable energy for the past decade, installing solar installations and creating projects that offer its business, industrial and agricultural clients added financial and environmental value. Marom is developing solar fields in the Bedouin sector.
Alex Goldberg, Investor/Board Observer
Alex has a background in marketing, project development and corporate image branding. Goldberg is leading Gigawatt's involvement with a consortium to supply energy, water and agricultural technologies to developing countries. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art from the University of Texas at Austin and attended Stanford Business School.
Chaim Motzen, Managing Director, Rwanda & Co-Founder