Islands Energy Program Recognized with Global Team Leadership Award

Last month, the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) Islands Energy Program received the Global Team Leadership Award from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). This honor is awarded to a geographically diverse team recognized for making outstanding technical contributions and demonstrating innovative thinking to overcome global challenges in the field of engineering and/or technical management. It is presented annually to a team that has women in technical leadership roles and that meets or exceeds project objectives. Past recipients include the John Deere Tractor Embedded Architecture, System Engineering, and Quality Team, the Intel Global Water Conservation Team, and the Rockwell Automation Insider Risk Team.

We are honored to be recognized for our work in partnership with key Caribbean island stakeholders and for our commitment to embracing diversity. Over the past 5 years, we have worked with island energy leaders to accelerate Caribbean island transitions from centralized, fossil-fueled electricity systems to a system that incorporates clean and distributed energy options. Although each island’s priorities are unique, the overall goals are to

  • Reduce electricity costs for residents and businesses
  • Maintain high reliability of everyday electricity service
  • Improve resilience to extreme weather events
  • Have islands become more sustainable while fostering economic development
  • Utilize more local renewable energy resources and less imported fuel
The author with the 2017 participants of the Women in Renewable Energy Mentor Network, at the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum.

RMI’s support has directly led to an accelerated energy transition in the Caribbean region through

  • Integrated, fact-based, and actionable energy transition plans developed inclusively with utilities, governments, and regulators
  • Completion of a cohort of “first of their kind” large-scale renewable energy projects leveraging $200 million in clean energy investment
  • A community of practice for island energy practitioners to connect and share information as they advance their clean energy transitions

RMI’s Islands Energy Program values the diversity within our team and in the islands where we work. When diverse voices are part of the conversation and decision-making, bolder energy solutions are uncovered. For example, we are proud to be a founding partner of the Women in Renewable Energy Network led by the Clinton Climate Initiative. This network was launched to empower the next generation of women leaders in island nations and to increase the number of Caribbean women in leadership positions in the energy sector. Its professional development network comprises a mentoring program and a digital platform.

Although gender diversity is important, both RMI and SWE recognize that diversity comes in many forms. The RMI Islands Energy Program has an ongoing commitment to seek out a diversity of perspectives within our team and among those with whom we work, collaboratively designing and implementing the best possible solutions.

The recognition of SWE, in awarding us the Global Team Leadership Award, is a significant honor for RMI. We look forward to continuing our work across the Caribbean and globally to advance country-led clean energy transitions, embracing diversity and inclusion of all stakeholders to ensure that solutions to global challenges are locally owned.