November 9, 2010 – Jerusalem – AJC is hosting in Israel this week leading American energy specialists to discuss with their Israeli counterparts best practices in the fields of renewable energy and reducing dependence on fossil fuels. Organized by Project Interchange, an educational institute of AJC, the weeklong visit showcases Israeli advances in alternative energy technologies. The program also will establish strategic partnerships, foster professional cooperation, and encourage information-sharing between the American and Israeli energy specialists.
The delegation features some of the U.S. energy sector’s most prominent figures, including 2007 Nobel Peace Prize co-recipient Professor Marilyn Brown (noted for her work on the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change); Michael Eckhart, President of the American Council on Renewable Energy; Jeff Anderson, Executive Director of the Clean Economy Network; Gregory Staple, CEO, American Clean Skies Foundation; and other top energy experts from government, the business world and the non-profit sector.
The group is meeting with leaders of Israeli companies on the cutting-edge of alternative and clean energy solutions, including solar, electric car, and renewable energy technologies. They also are visiting sites for ground-breaking Israeli technologies, including the water desalination plant at Palmachim; the Arava Renewable Technology Energy Center, Israel’s newly established powerhouse for funding and testing innovative renewal energy; and BrightSource Energy, recently lauded by U.S. President Barack Obama for its leadership in the solar power industry.
Rounding out the high-level meetings, the delegation will be briefed by the head of the Prime Minister’s Economic Council, the executive director of the BIRD (Israel–U.S. Binational & Industrial Research and Development) Foundation, and senior officials in the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructures.
In all Project Interchange programs participants benefit from expert briefings on a range of complex political, societal, and strategic issues facing Israel, including the peace process, Palestinian politics and society, Israel’s global and regional relationships, as well as the country’s humanitarian efforts around the world.
“While the drive to develop alternative energy solutions gains momentum in the United States, Israel, which has to import all its oil from abroad, has for many years worked on alternative and efficient energy solutions which both benefit the environment and serve to reduce its reliance on overseas oil,” said Sam Witkin, executive director of Project Interchange.
The delegation includes:
Jeff Anderson, Executive Director, Clean Economy Network
Michael Anthony, Managing Member, On Point Enterprises, LLC
Marilyn Brown, Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
Upendra Chivukula, Deputy Speaker, New Jersey General Assembly
Michael Eckhart, President, American Council on Renewable Energy
Ann McCabe, President, Ann McCabe & Associates, Inc.
Gregory Staple, CEO, American Clean Skies Foundation
Richard, Stuebi, Fellow for Energy & Environmental Advancement Cleveland Foundation, Francis Skrobiszewski, Independent Consultant
Malcolm Woolf, Director, Maryland Energy Association
Will Wynn, Former Mayor, Austin, TX & Former Chairman, Austin Energy
Richard Foltin, Director of National and Legislative Affairs, AJC (staff)
AJC’s Project Interchange conducts educational seminars in Israel for current and emerging United States and international leaders. Founded in 1982, PI has brought over 5,000 influential figures to Israel from more than 60 countries, offering them broad exposure complex regional issues. PI is headquartered in Washington DC, with an office in Jerusalem. www.projectinterchange.org.