Jacob works in the RMI Buildings Practice with a focus on transforming the residential energy upgrade market through the Residential Energy+ program. He also works in the Carbon-Free Cities and States program, including support for the City Renewables Accelerator. Jacob led the creation of The Carbon-Free City Handbook and The Carbon-Free Regions Handbook. He has worked in sustainable community development for 20 years with a focus on sustainability innovation, equity, program design, community-based solutions, and collaboration building.
Jacob was previously the Executive Director of EcoWorks, a nonprofit in Detroit that creates opportunities to learn and practice the sustainable use of energy and other natural resources through education, consulting, social business, job training and advocacy. While energy was our main focus, we also worked on water conservation, deconstruction of homes, an amazing youth program and a broad set of sustainable efforts. While EcoWorks provides thought leadership, it has a hard focus on implementing projects on the ground at the home, business, city and state level. Jacob’s work at EcoWorks included many innovations from low-income behavioral changes to launching Eco-D, a national model for ecodistrict development.
Jacob was also the Co-Founder and President of the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office, an innovative collaboration of 26 local governments tackling energy improvements in their communities. Jacob was also a co-founder and regional manager of the BetterBuildings for Michigan program, one of the largest and most successful of the DOE’s BetterBuildings programs.
Jacob was also a pioneer in the ecovillage movement, actually enjoys public speaking, was an adjunct professor teaching sustainable design at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture, and does work in facilitation and conflict resolution.
University of Michigan, Environmental Mediation Seminar
Dispute Resolution Center, State of Michigan Mediation Training
B.A., Kalamazoo College, Sociology and Anthropology, with unofficial concentrations in Mathematics, Art and Women’s Studies