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Dawn Lippert    

CEO, Elemental Excelerator, Emerson Collective

Dawn Lippert is CEO of Elemental Excelerator (EEx), a non-profit startup organization formed in collaboration with Emerson Collective, the investment and philanthropic platform led by Laurene Powell Jobs. EEx has become one of the most active funders of startups solving urgent climate and environmental challenges. Each year EEx funds 15-20 companies up to $1 million each to improve systems that impact the planet and people’s lives: energy, water, agriculture, transportation, and beyond. Dawn initially started funding startups in Hawaii in 2009 and has now funded over 100 companies. EEx portfolio companies have gone on to raise follow-on funding of over $720 million. EEx is funded by a coalition of utility partners, corporate partners, philanthropic organizations, and the U.S. Navy.

In addition to leading Elemental Excelerator, Dawn is Director of Innovation and Community at Emerson Collective. Through her role at Emerson Collective, Dawn shares a place-based innovation model pioneered by Elemental Excelerator with communities around the world.

At the nexus of innovation and public policy, Dawn served as Chair of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative Advisory Board, a group of decision makers who ensure progress toward Hawaii’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045. Dawn is a recipient of the 2015 C3E Award from the Clean Energy Ministerial and is a 2015 Omidyar Fellow. She founded WiRE (Women in Renewable Energy, a non-profit based in Hawaii), serves on the board of Incubatenergy Network (a national network of clean energy organizations organized by the U.S. Department of Energy), and serves as an Advisor for University of Hawaii Ventures LLC.

Prior to Elemental Excelerator, Dawn was a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton’s alternative energy practice in Washington DC. She has worked on energy and environmental projects in communities around the world, including in Africa, India, and Latin America. Dawn graduated cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in environmental studies. She received her Master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Management. A favorite quote comes from her love for sailing: “A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

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