Offshore Wind Regulator Abby Hopper New SEIA President and Chief Executive Officer

On Tuesday, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announced that Abigail “Abby” Ross Hopper has been named its new president and chief executive officer and will start Jan. 17.

Replacing long-time CEO Rhone Resch, Hopper brings to the top post at SEIA leadership experience overseeing federal and state agencies, most recently as the Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) within the Department of Interior where she oversaw the leasing and permitting of offshore wind, oil and gas projects.

Prior to that, she led the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), served as energy advisor to former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, and was deputy general counsel to the Maryland Public Service Commission. Her expertise in energy markets and state-level electricity policy, as well as her experience managing environmental issues, will be critical to ensuring the advancement of solar energy across the United States.

“Abby possesses the leadership skills, experience and infectious enthusiasm needed to help drive solar’s rapid but sustainable growth trajectory,” said SEIA Board Chairman Nat Kreamer in a press release. “Her unique experience and bridge-building talents are an asset for the entire industry and will aid in strong solar success for years to come.”

“I am thrilled to lead the Solar Energy Industries Association,” Hopper said in press release. “I have spent my career working with all sides of the political and ideological spectrum to arrive at pragmatic approaches to energy policy. I look forward to utilizing that experience to serve our SEIA members.”

Tom Kimbis, who served as interim president of the association for the last eight months, has been promoted to executive vice president and general counsel. In this capacity, Kimbis will continue as a strong voice in the solar industry by leading policy and strategic initiatives.

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Jennifer Runyon
Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com Today, in addition to managing content on Renewable Energy World and POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference and expo for the transmission and distribution industry. In her role, she works in close cooperation with a large team of committed industry executives to shape the educational content for the event. She also helps assemble the renewable energy content for POWERGEN and helped launch the first Grid-Scale Storage Summit, a co-located event at HYDROVISION International. She has traveled to Germany to see onshore and offshore wind installations; Iceland to see geothermal energy in action; and France to see cutting-edge smart grids. In the U.S. she has visited and reported about bioenergy power plants in Florida, both large-scale and small-scale hydropower; and multiple wind farms, solar PV, and CSP installations. Formerly, she was the managing editor of Innovate Forum, an online publication that focused on innovation in manufacturing. Prior to that she was the managing editor at Desktop Engineering magazine. In 2008, she won an "Eddy Award" for her editing work on an article about solar trees in Vienna. In 2010, RenewableEnergyWorld.com was awarded an American Business Media Neal Award for its eNewsletters, which were created under her direction. She holds a Master's Degree in English Education from Boston University and a BA in English from the University of Virginia.

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