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Celebrating Women's History Month

Clean Power Alliance is proud to celebrate the contributions and leadership of women in energy and clean technology during Women’s History Month.

Diana Mahmud – CPA Board Chair and Mayor of the City of South Pasadena

Diana Mahmud has been an involved citizen of South Pasadena for many years and currently serves as Mayor of the City of South Pasadena. Mahmud serves as Chair of the Clean Power Alliance’s Board of Directors as well as the Executive Committee. Mahmud also serves as the City Council liaison to the City of South Pasadena’s Natural Resources and Environmental Commission, which focuses on energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, and what the city proudly calls Sustainable South Pasadena. Her deep foundation and knowledge in the fields of energy and sustainability always shine through when she is leading Clean Power Alliance’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee meetings.

Mahmud was first elected to the South Pasadena City Council in November 2013. Prior to her election, she served as Chair of the city’s Water Council. She is also the city’s representative to the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCG) and represents SGVCG on the six-county Southern California Association of Government’s Energy and Environment Committee. In addition, Mahmud is a member and immediate past Chair of the Council of Government’s Water Policy Committee as well as a member of its Transportation Committee.

She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles. Mahmud obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis.

Sheila Kuehl – CPA Board Vice Chair and Los Angeles County Supervisor

Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl was first elected to the County’s third district in November 2014. Kuehl was then reelected to a second term in November 2018. As a member of the Board of Supervisors and immediate past Chair, she has led the way and worked on many initiatives and motions to improve people’s lives and reform systems in the County.

Kuehl serves as Vice Chair of Clean Power Alliance’s Board of Directors and was instrumental in the launch of Clean Power Alliance. Her valuable leadership and thoughtful insights are often cited by fellow Board Members. In addition to Clean Power Alliance, Kuehl serves as Chair of the Board of Commissioners of First 5 LA, Chair of the Board of Directors of Metro, and is the Immediate Past Chair of the Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee.

Before her service on the Board of Supervisors, Kuehl served eight years in the California State Senate and six years in the California State Assembly. She was the first woman in California history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore of the Assembly.

She graduated from Harvard Law School in 1978. Kuehl is an inspiration to all women, not only here in southern California but indeed throughout the world.

Linda Parks – CPA Board Vice Chair and Ventura County Supervisor

Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks represents District two of Ventura County, which includes Clean Power Alliance member agencies Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks, and Westlake Village. Parks previously served as a Planning Commissioner, City Council member, and Mayor for the City of Thousand Oaks. She serves as Vice Chair of Clean Power Alliance’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

Parks is one of the organizing directors of the Ventura countywide SOAR campaign, which was successful in creating a law to protect open space and farmland in addition to establishing urban boundary limits around county cities. She continues to champion quality of life issues, setting policy on the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Air Pollution Control Board, Southern California Association of Governments, Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance, Ventura County Behavioral Health Advisory Board, California State University Channel Island Site Authority, Ventura Local Agency Formation Commission, Ventura County Transportation Commission, and the Ventura County Public Financing Authority.

She received her master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Washington and her undergraduate degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Her breadth of public service experience stretches well beyond the field of energy, making her a role model for women everywhere.

Christiana Figueres – Author and Co-Founder of Global Optimism

Christiana Figueres is an internationally recognized leader on global climate change. She was Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 2010-2016. Assuming responsibility for the international climate change negotiations after the failed Copenhagen conference of 2009, Figueres became determined to lead the process to a universally agreed regulatory framework. Building toward that goal, she directed the successful Conferences of the Parties in Cancun 2010, Durban 2011, Doha 2012, Warsaw 2013, and Lima 2014.

Figueres culminated her efforts in the historic Paris Agreement of 2015. Along with many other women involved in the negotiations, she was successful in shedding an important light on the gender dimension of climate change.

Figueres has continued to accelerate the global response to climate change. She is the co-founder of Global Optimism, an organization that exists to increase transformative actions in the world. She is also the co-author of “The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis.” This recently published book provides an in-depth look at what the world needs to do in the next ten years to combat climate change.

Rhiana Gunn-Wright – Director, Climate Policy at the Roosevelt Institute

Rhiana Gunn-Wright is the Director of Climate Policy at the Roosevelt Institute. Before joining Roosevelt, she was Policy Director for New Consensus, charged with developing and promoting the Green New Deal, among other projects. Gunn-Wright has also worked as the policy analyst for the Detroit Heath Department, was a Miriam K. Chamberlain Fellow of Women and Public Policy at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and served on the policy team for former First Lady Michelle Obama.

To Gunn-Wright, climate policy has always been connected to social justice. While working at Detroit’s Department of Health in the mid-2010’s, she began to realize how the environment shapes a wide range of social-justice issues. The government urgently needed to address climate change, but “you weren’t going to solve the problem with just solar panels. People were being poisoned,” she said.

Gunn-Wright graduated from Yale University in 2011, before becoming a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford in 2013. She has written for ‘The Guardian’ and was included in Time magazine’s list of the top women fighting to end climate change. She was also a signatory on the ‘Women Lead Climate’ campaign.

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim – Environmental Activist and Founder, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT)

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim is an environmental activist working on behalf of her people, the Mbororo in Chad. In 1999, she founded the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT), a community-based organization focused on promoting the rights of girls and women and inspiring leadership and advocacy in environmental protection.

Leading up to the historic 2015 climate change meetings in Paris, Oumarou Ibrahim was a key leader among indigenous groups that successfully lobbied to have their rights recognized. She was selected to speak at the signing ceremony of the accords. In her statement, she noted, “Climate change is adding poverty every day, forcing many to leave home for a better future.”

In 2019, Oumarou Ibrahim was appointed as an advocate of ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG) by the United Nations. She has spent many years working to bridge the gap “between the international decisions on climate change, with the reality on the ground,” she said. “I want to tell people what it is like in my country. Each year, I see resources shrinking and my people struggling for survival.”