Meet the first two members of the Minnesota Advisory Board
We are excited to announce that the Minnesota program is launching our Advisory Board! The Advisory Board provides strategic guidance to our work. Members do not have fiduciary oversight but provide strategic direction and advice as we grow our program throughout our state. Please join me in welcoming them to our board!
Anna began working at Bemidji State University as the Assistant Sustainability Director in 2014. She has now transitioned into full time teaching and works as a faculty member in BSU’s Center for Sustainability Studies. Her courses in Environmental Studies have a focus on policy and planning. She has her PhD in Sustainable Energy Planning from Aalborg University in Denmark where she studied wind energy development and integration. Previously, Anna spent three years as the Northwest Regional Coordinator for the Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams. During that time, she focused much of her efforts on increasing access to clean energy to low-income individuals, families and communities.
Anna was a great leader for our Bemidji Solar Co-op, serving as an outreach partner, participant, and on the installer selection committee. We look forward to having her northern Minnesota and sustainability experience on our board.
Raised in Bemidji, Anna has a strong sense of place and responsibility to family, community and the environment. She is so grateful to be advancing clean energy and resilience work in her home in the Northwoods, and to be raising two beautiful, spirited daughters with her husband Joe surrounded by family.
Rao has nearly two decades of experience in manufacturing, consulting, and electricity market management environments. He founded Rakon Energy LLC, a firm that provides consulting services to electric grid operators. the Midcontinent Independent Service Operator (MISO). MISO manages the electric grid from Canada down to Louisiana (including Minnesota). At MISO, Rao worked around resource adequacy, economic planning, business management and policy functions.
Rao has Bachelor Degrees in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from Bangalore University, a graduate degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Texas at Arlington, and an MBA from Carlson School of Management. We look forward to having his storage and wholesale market experience on our board.
Rao volunteers as an engineering mentor with middle school students participating in the Future City competition.
We will be adding more members to the board in the upcoming year. Please let us know if you would like to join or have someone to suggest.