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Kelly Vaughn

Director of Donor Communications
  • Development

Kelly is a Program Marketing Director with RMI’s communications team, where she manages communications strategy and campaign implementation for the buildings and development teams.


Kelly was RMI’s senior PR coordinator from 2008–2012 departing to serve as the director of communications for the Town of Snowmass Village. There, she was responsible for overseeing and executing all facets of marketing and communications for the government organization, supporting nine departments, and driving a deeper level of community engagement. She also served as liaison to the town’s environmental advisory board and helped champion significant investments in building efficiency and resource conservation while updating the town’s sustainability plan. Her background includes collegiate soccer recruiting and coaching, and communications consulting for nonprofits. Kelly has extensive experience in marketing and communications strategy, public relations, writing, and internal communications.


MA, Communications, University of Dubuque

BA, Studio Art, Colorado College


Basalt, CO



Why I Love Working At RMI

“I am proud that the work I do, and the people I work with everyday, are doing something positive for our future. As a mother, I can’t imagine a world where my daughter can’t enjoy the outdoors, or have access to clean air. I am challenged, invigorated, and inspired by RMI’s mission and vision.”

Authored Works
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In Case You Missed It

As late summer heat waves in Texas and other states put enormous strain on the grid, there has been a spike in coverage on the smart grid and demand response as key enablers of a more clean, reliable and flexible electric system. Take a look at this week's news roundup to read about different strategies to keep the lights on while transitioning to renewable sources.

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Change the Empire State Building…Change the World

We’ve all heard a common myth about the Empire State Building: if someone drops a penny from the roof, and it hits someone on the ground below just right, it will split them in half. When an audience member at the recent Aspen Business Luncheon asked ESB owner Tony Malkin to validate, he responded, “I’m in the real estate business, and we don’t have that kind of money to throw around.”

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Taking Fuel Economy Further

Last week, President Obama announced a plan to boost the fuel economy of vehicles sold in the U.S. from 27.5 to 54.5 mpg beginning in 2017—effectively doubling fuel economy standards by 2025. This important step—agreed upon by the auto industry after some wrangling—to reducing America’s reliance on foreign oil requires annual fuel-economy increases of 5 percent for cars.

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Reigniting the Private Sector: Greentech Poised for Explosive Innovation

Last week, technology ruled at FORTUNE Brainstorm Tech in Aspen, Colo., where participants were abuzz about the latest gadgets, companies, tools and programs to shape the competitive business landscape. Serving as a “marketplace of ideas,” the conference assembled innovators of the Fortune 500 and the next generation of leaders to shape the future of business.

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Nuclear: Why even think about it?

Last week, RMI Chairman and founder Amory Lovins discussed where nuclear energy fits in a low-carbon electric system as part of Rocky Mountain Institute’s “Day in the Life Event.” A lively conversation ensued between Lovins, RMI Electricity Principal Lena Hansen and invited guests, centering on what role the technology could play in the Reinventing Fire framework.

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A Day in the Life of RMI

A sunny, clear sky, unobstructed views of Mount Sopris, and the sprawling 900-plus acre Windstar Land Conservancy (home of RMI’s Snowmass office) welcomed fifteen friends, supporters and collaborators to a two-day event, “A Day in the Life of RMI.” The event offered participants clear insight into issues RMI is tackling, and an opportunity to work in a spirit of authentic co-creation.

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The “Push and Pull” of Energy Modeling Demand

“How many LEED points can I get? Do I quality for a specific incentive?” To energy modelers, questions like these sound like a broken record. Yet properly used, energy modeling can provide information that optimizes a building’s energy consumption, reduces life cycle costs and even reduces first cost.

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A Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Problem-Solving

For almost thirty years, RMI has targeted business leaders to influence the way they manage energy and resources, which also helps them gain competitive advantage. What about the business leaders of tomorrow? RMI has partnered with Catawba College’s Center for the Environment in North Carolina on “Redesigning Our Future: A National Environmental Summit for High School Students,” July 20-24.

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Helping to Shape the Next Generation of Environmental Leaders

While you may be more used to hearing about RMI’s work with an automaker or building owner, a recent RMI partnership has a very different flavor. This summer, RMI is collaborating with Catawba College’s Center for the Environment on an upcoming program, “Redesigning Our Future: A National Environmental Summit for High School Students” July 20-24, 2011. We interviewed RMI Senior Consultant specializing in sustainable communities and campuses Michael Kinsley on what RMI brings to the education table.

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Addressing U.S. Energy Security at Naval War College (Video)

Recent news coverage has focused on how the massive energy demands on our military and defense infrastructure threaten our national security and drain the U.S. defense budget. In fact, The U.S Department of Defense is the single largest consumer of energy on the planet, using roughly 70 percent of our federal government’s energy, costing over $13 billion.