Our Leadership

Solar organizations and leaders from around the world have come together to further the mission of the Global Solar Council.

 

 

 
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Secretary General


John Smirnow - Secretary General

John Smirnow is Secretary General of the Global Solar Council. From 2011 to 2015, John served as Vice President for Trade & Competitiveness at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).  During his tenure at SEIA, John led the organization’s efforts to resolve the U.S.-China solar trade conflict and codes and standards and sustainability initiatives. John also served as Chairman of the U.S. Department of Commerce Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee and Member of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan, Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School and LL.M. from the Georgetown University Law Center.


Board of Directors


Bruce Douglas - Chairman

SolarPower Europe

Bruce Douglas has been working in renewable energy for 20 years and is currently the Chief Operating Officer of SolarPower Europe, a member-led association based in Brussels representing organizations active along the whole solar value chain. Previously, he was Chief Operating Officer at the European
Wind Energy Association (EWEA) for 10 years, founding Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Managing Director of FLiDAR, an offshore wind startup company, which he led to profitability and exit over four years. He has a Master of Renewable Energy Systems Technology and is
fluent in English and French.


Gong Shan Zhu - Co-Chairman

Asian Photovoltaic Industry Association (APVIA)

Gong Shan Zhu is Chairman of the Asian Photovoltaic Industry Association. He is also Chairman of Golden Concord Holdings Limited (GCL) and Founder and Honorary Chairman of GCL Sun Charity Foundation. Chairman Zhu’s leadership includes serving as a Member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.


Jifan Gao - Co-Chairman

China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA)

Jifan Gao is Chairman of the China Photovoltaic Industry Association. He is also the Chief ExecutiveOfficer of Trina Solar, which he founded in December 1997. Mr. Gao serves as Vice President of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME) and is a founding member of the Private Sector Advisory Board for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Mr. Gao received his Master of Physical Chemistry from Jilin University in 1988 and his Bachelor of Chemistry from Nanjing University in 1985.


Gianni Chianetta - Co-Chairman

ITALIA SOLARE

Gianni Chianetta is Head of International Affairs at ITALIA SOLARE. He is also Chairman of The Green Consulting Group and of the Greening the Islands Conferences. Gianni has been a leading figure in the energy sector since 2002. He was External Affairs Director for BP Italia and then Managing Director for BP Solar Italia. Gianni served as President of Assosolare (Italian PV Industry Association) for three consecutive terms. He has negotiated the five Feed-in Tariffs arrangements with the Government which have caused the PV installed capacity to grow from 0,035 GW to more than 18 GW. In 2007, Gianni founded the Global Network of National PV Associations (NNPVA), which assisted in the development of the Global Solar Council. He has a degree in Mechanical & Management Engineering and master’s degree at: Middlesex University (London); Kellogg School of Management (Chicago); SDA Bocconi (Milan); Istituto de Empresa (Madrid).

 


Pranav Mehta - Co-Chairman

National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI)

A national scholar throughout his academic career, Pranav Mehta is India’s leading, nationally-recognized technocrat. He is Chairman of the National Solar Energy Federation of India and Solar Energy Association of Gujarat.  Pranav is also a Board Member and Advisor to several leading national and multinational corporations with solar operations in India and held leadership positions at Reliance Petroleum Limited, Essar Group and Tata Iron and Steel Company.


José Donoso - Co-Chairman

Unión Española Fotovoltaica (UNEF)

José Donoso is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Unión Española Fotovoltaica (UNEF). He has extensive experience in the field of renewable energy. From 1987 to 2001, he was Head of the Department of International Relations at the Institute for Diversification and Saving (IDAE). Mr. Donoso was also Director of Promotion and Director of Sector Development of Gamesa for more than ten years. Between 2008 and 2011, he was president of the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE). He is a Member of the Spanish Energy Club, the Association of European Energy Agencies (ENR) and the Mediterranean Association Energy Agency (MEDENER).


Bryan Ekus - Treasurer

SOLARUNITED

Bryan Ekus serves as the Executive Director of SOLARUNITED, formally IPVEA. He is also President of Colonial Purchasing Co-Op, LLC. Bryan serves on a number of International Management Boards. His experience includes early stage venture capital fundraising and developing and executing government relation strategies, focused on solar PV technology, energy storage and smart grid energy management. Bryan has more than 25-years of experience in the media manufacturing, data storage and video entertainment sectors.


Eitan Parnass - Secretary

Green Energy Association of Israel

Eitan Parnass is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of the Green Energy Association of Israel (REAI), the main renewables lobbying group in Israel. Established in 2009, REAI promotes the implementation of renewable energy electricity production in Israel. Parnass has served as a Board Member to various non-governmental organizations and is currently serving as Board Member of the Israel Sustainable Energy Society. Eitan is also a public pro-sustainability activist involved in several initiatives to promote a sustainable economy in Israel.


Steve Blume - Member

Australian Solar Council

Steve Blume is the President of the Australian Solar Council. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of NoCarbon Pty Ltd., where he creates partnerships to plan, design and deliver large-scale commercial and community solar and renewable energy projects. Steve is a former political adviser and private sector senior executive, policy creator, change management consultant, business manager and public servant. Steve’s mantra for solar and other renewables is “deployment, deployment, R&D, deployment! We have the means to build a 100% renewables future, we simply need the will!”


Dr. Rodrigo Lopes Sauaia - Member

Brazilian Photovoltaic Solar Energy Association (ABSOLAR)

Dr. Rodrigo Lopes Sauaia is Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at the Brazilian Photovoltaic Solar Energy Association (ABSOLAR – Associação Brasileira de Energia Solar Fotovoltaica), the national association representing companies and professionals from the whole solar PV value chain with operations in Brazil.  Dr. Sauaia also served as Coordinator of the Task Force on Taxation of the Brazilian PV Sector Group, organized by the Brazilian Electrical and Electronics Industry Association (Abinee).


Arnaud Mine - Member

French Renewable Energy Association (SER)

Arnaud Mine is a Founding Member and Administrator of the Renewable Energies Syndicate (SER) and President of the solar branch (SOLER). He is also the Founder and President of Urbasolar, a French solar PV developer. From 1991 to 2006, he was the creator and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of APEX Engineering SA (Montpellier), then CEO of APEX-BP Solar SA after the entry of British Petroleum Group in the company. He was also Vice President of BP Solar France/Africa/South America. Arnaud holds a PhD in industrial engineering.


Jörg Mayer - Member

BSW-Solar

Jörg Mayer is the Managing Director of the German Solar Association, BSW-Solar, responsible for international affairs. Previously, Mayer served as Managing Director of Germany's Renewable Energies Agency, a semi-public organization jointly sponsored by the Federal Government, trade associations and leading corporations in the German renewable energy sector At GSC, he chairs the strategy committee. He is also a Member of the Board of Directors of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) and he chairs the advisory board of the German Renewable Export Initiative.


David Renné - Member

International Solar Energy Society (ISES)

Dr. David Renné is currently in his second term as the President of the International Solar Energy Society. He retired from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in 2012, after more than two decades of developing and managing programs on renewable energy resource assessment and analysis, as well as the integration of resource data into the Geographic Information System (GIS). He currently holds an Emeritus position at NREL. Dr. Renné also serves as the Operating Agent of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Solar Heating and Cooling Programme Task 46, titled “Solar Resource Assessment and Forecasting.” He is Associate Editor of the Solar Energy Journal.


Middle East Solar Association (MESIA)

 


Tom Kimbis - Member

Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

Tom Kimbis is the Interim President of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the national trade organization for America’s solar energy industry. In addition to serving as Interim President, Tom leads the development of strategy to promote solar energy across the U.S. and provides legal services to SEIA as General Counsel. Tom has been working in renewable energy since 2000, when he began supporting research, analysis, legislative, and planning efforts across all energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).


Marcelo Alvarez - Member

Cámara Argentina de Energia Renovable (CADER) 

Marcelo Álvarez is Head of Solar for the trade group Cámara Argentina de Energia Renovable (CADER). He has worked in the solar industry for 28 years. Mr. Álvarez is also a member of the Board of IRESUD, a public and private consortium to develop photovoltaic solar energy technologies which target urban areas of Argentina.


Dr. Peng Heng Chang - Member

Taiwan Photovoltaic Industry Association (Chinese Taipei)

Dr. Peng Heng Chang is Chairman of the Taiwan Photovoltaic Industry Association. He is also Chief Executive Officer at Motech Industries Inc. Dr. Chang previously served as a Vice President of Materials Management and Risk Management at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd. and both Vice President of Administration and Senior Director of Material Management at Worldwide Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Dr. Chang received his Ph.D. of Materials Engineering from Purdue University.