Howie Rodenstein, Chairman of Advisory Board
Howie Rodenstein, based in Boston, served for the past 15 years as CFO of Adheris Inc. a pharmaceutical information services company that he grew from a start-up to its sale for $100 million to inVentiv Health. He earned an MBA with Distinction (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Brandeis University. Howie founded and still chairs an annual charity bike ride that has attracted over a thousand riders and raised over $2.5 million for environmental NGO’s over the past nine years.
Weldon Turner, Director, COO, and Chief Compliance Officer
Weldon Turner was formerly the Director of International Equity Sales/Trading at Credit Suisse in New York, and has been a senior product manager at RCS Solar, a leading supplier of solar power plants in Europe and Africa. From 1994 to 1999, and from 1985 to 1992 he was a V.P. of Equity Sales/Trading at Salomon Brothers in New York. Turner has been on the Board of Advisors of Thorium Power Company and Portofino Equity Advisors. He has extensive experience in growing new companies; he managed GoldNames from 1999-2000, a domain name internet company, from inception to an organization with over 50 employees. He holds a BA in History and Political Science from Union College, NY, received his JD law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and his LLM from Thomas Jefferson Law School.
Josef Abramowitz, President
Josef Abramowitz, an Impact Investor and green energy activist, is recognized as one of the pioneers of the solar industries in Africa and other frontier markets. Named by CNN as one of the top six global “Green Pioneers,” and by PV Tech as “one of the most inspiring solar CEOs” worldwide, Abramowitz has developed over $1 billion in solar pipelines and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Abramowitz serves as CEO of Gigawatt Global, an impact investment platform that provides healthy returns to investors while advancing the environmental and humanitarian goals of providing affordable green power to underserved populations. Gigawatt Global is a founding partner of the White House Power Africa initiative and was the first company to interconnect a commercial scale solar field under President Obama’s program. Abramowitz recently served in Paris as a delegate to the Climate Conference negotiations, is co-founder with Ilan Goldstein of Gigawatt Global Wind, and his life's work was featured on an episode of CNN’s The Next List with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Aryeh Green, Chief Strategy Officer
Aryeh is responsible for strategic planning, institutional investment and corporate communications. He has over three decades of experience working as a business consultant and executive for many publicly-traded companies, including AudioCodes, ECI Telecom, Pfizer, Aladdin and MotoGuzzi, as well as various non-profits and NGOs. He holds masters degrees in business and international relations, and is an expert in Middle Eastern affairs and media issues. Aryeh is a well-known international speaker and has been a leading advocate and activist for freedom and democracy for two decades.
Dr. Hanna H. Klein, VP Research and Project Management
Dr. Klein in an energy expert. She has developed gas turbines with ABB in Switzerland and worked with Nuclear Safety for Vattenfall power company in Sweden and designing concentrated solar systems with Aora Solar. She has developed her own patents in concentrated solar technologies (as EZKlein) and has been active as an evaluator for the European Commission for grants regarding energy and environmental Science. She built up her business experience working as a business consultant for Arthur Andersen out of Amsterdam. She holds a MSc in Energy Systems from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and a PhD in solar energy from the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Chana Abrams, General Counsel
Chana acts as General Counsel for Gigawatt Global. Chana is a project finance lawyer specializing in the renewable energy sector in Africa, with experience in Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Benin, Burundi, Togo, Ghana, Egypt, Jordan, South Sudan and Nigeria. Previously employed at Slaughter and May, London and Herzog Fox, Tel Aviv. Visiting lawyer at leading Nigerian law firm Aluwko & Oyedobe, Lagos. Chana has published in the Renewable Energy Law & Policy journal and received her degree from King's College London.
Michael Fichtenberg, ExecutiveVP Finance and Business Development
Michael handles finance for both corporate and project finance needs. Michael has been on the front lines of financing a wide range of solar initiatives since 2011, most notably raising the debt and equity for 100 MW of solar PV in the Middle East. He started his professional career as an entrepreneur in the construction materials business in NYC, where he founded and operated his company in custom materials servicing high-rise buildings in Manhattan. Deciding to move into the clean technology sector, Michael worked at an insurance company at their renewable energy desk where he dealt with private wealth management, clean technology start-ups, and acquisition/sale of operating solar fields. Michael holds degrees in Finance and Information Technology, and an Executive MBA at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.
Mandy Efrati, Controller
Mandy Efrati, CPA, 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.
Joel Abrams, Project Developer, Nigeria
Joel serves as the Managing Director of Nigeria Solar Capital Partners, a special purpose vehicle for our projects in Nigeria. During his time in Nigeria, Joel has worked closely with all of the country’s key constituents, including the NBET, NERC, TCN, and Ministry of Environment. Joel has established links to development banks and financing institutions and specializes in development finance. Joel is a founding partner of Ibex Capital Partners and has had significant experience working and living in West and Central Africa. Prior to founding Ibex Capital Partners, Joel headed the fixed income research team for Sub Saharan Africa at Bloomberg and went on to work at Western Asset Management, as a portfolio analyst on the global fixed income desk that managed $60 billion in sovereign debt. Joel holds a BA (with honors) in History from University College London.
Dr. Gershon Baskin, VP Special Projects
Gershon is the founder of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) - a joint Israeli-Palestinian public policy think and “do”-tank. He has been awarded the Histadrut Prize for Peace in 1996, the Turkish Foreign Policy Institute Peace Prize in 2004, the Tribute of Honor and Courage from the World Movement for Democracy in 2004 and the Search for Common Ground Journalist Award for Middle East Journalism in 2005 and 2007 as well as the Ordine Della Stella Della Solidarieta Italiana. He holds a Ph.D. in International Affairs from University of Greenwich.
Eran Blumberg, Project Developer East Africa
Eran has gained vast experience in engineering management and the coordination of project development. His focus is site identification, geographical constraints, radiation parameters, energy production assessment, design and layout yield optimization and controlling of engineering data flow. Eran oversees land surveying & geotechnical parties preparing the engineering detail for the construction of medium and large scale PV projects and manages EPC & subcontractors during project construction and operational stages. He honed his skills through five years on the engineering team at leading solar companies and holds a practical engineering degree in architecture and various certifications in Green Studies.
Chaim Motzen, Co-Founder
Chaim Motzen, Co-Founder of Gigawatt Global, led the successful development of the first utility-scale solar field in East Africa in record time, an 8.5 MW plant in Rwanda which reached full production in September 2014 and increased Rwanda's generation capacity by approximately 6%. Chaim is a former consultant at McKinsey and Company, where he was awarded “The Marvin,” McKinsey’s highest award for non-partners, recognizing exceptional work in knowledge building. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School and an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School. Chaim is on the Board of Directors of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, a world leader in facilitating bone marrow transplants for children and adults suffering from life-threatening diseases.
Patrick Nzitunga, Project Developer, Burundi & Liberia
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.
Mohammed Froukh, Project development C&I, PA
Mohammad is CEO & founder of FRE, and develops C&I and community-based projects within the Palestinian Authority area, and is a member of several environmental NGOs in the PA. He earned his B.A. Degree in Earth & Environmental Science from Al-Quds University (Jerusalem), where he also earned a Masters in Environmental Studies, and completed his environmental studies at the Arava Institute. Mohammed has been working in the environmental field since 2010. He served for four years as a Palestinian Young Water Ambassador around the Mediterranean as part of the 6th World Water Forum which gathered more than 35,000 participants.
Sherif Fathi Ali, Project Development, Egypt
Sherif Fathi Ali (Elhelwa) is the vice president and co-managing partner at Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP). He is a petroleum engineer, an independent consultant on hybrid solutions for petroleum and renewable energy combinations, a political and economics analyst and media consultant. Sherif holds a BSc from West Virginia University and an MSc in environmental engineering from the American University in Cairo.
Ronit and Yaniv Ben David, Project Developers, South Sudan
Ronit and Yaniv are siblings who have been active in business and humanitarian work for the past decade, based in Jerusalem. Responsible for Gigawatt’s pioneering project in South Sudan, both are graduates of the University of Haifa, and Yaniv is a pilot.
Victor Missoy, Project Consultant, Kenya
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.
Emmanuel Chilufya, Project Consultant, Zambia
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.
Dr. Alemayehu G/Egziabher Abera, Project Consultant, Ethiopia
Col. (ret.) Alemayehu G/Egziabher Abera, Ph.D., has more than 30 years’ experience in the Ethiopian Defense Forces, including in a UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur. He led the establishment of STEM centres and Science laboratories under GFCT projects in East Africa (Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan). Dr. Alemayehu has a Bachelor’s degree in avionics systems from Frunze School of Aviation, a Masters’ degree in Aircraft Control Systems from Kiev Military Higher Aviation Engineering Institute, and a Ph.D. in systems and control engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB), Mumbai, India.
Akiva Turner, Financial Analyst
Akiva supports the financial modeling on almost all Gigawatt projects, focusing on Burundi and Nigeria. 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.
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.
Tosin Gbadegesin, Milken Institute Blum Fellow
Tosin Gbadegesin is a sustainable development practitioner with a special focus energy and climate change. He is a co-founder of CleanEdge, a nonprofit promoting energy, economic and environmental sustainability in Nigeria, where he managed several development projects such as Save the Environment, Energy for Minorities, Sustainable Agriculture, etc. He has been a facilitator/presenter at several international conferences including Symposium for Climate Change and Adaptation in Africa and many others. Tosin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from Obafemi Awolowo University and a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development Practice from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Tosin is a Blum Global Fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, and works with Gigawatt Global on renewable energy projects across Africa.