CELI Fellowship Testimonials

Why CELI? Hear what makes CELI so great, directly from our Fellows:

2017 Testimonials

“CELI was the clean energy crash course I wish I had five years ago. The breadth of topics covered, combined with the depth of expert and fellow knowledge, made for a comprehensive and practical learning experience. My newfound perspective on the clean energy sector and network of talented clean energy champions give me the confidence and resources to become a leader in the space.” –Mary Shoemaker, DC Spring 2017

“The CELI fellowship helped me better understand the fundamentals of the overall electricity system, project finance, and what transitioning to a clean energy economy technically means. But more importantly, it exposed me to a community and network dedicated to being the next generation of clean energy thought leaders and policy makers. Exposure to this network has already been transformational to my current job as the Program Manager for the Solar Energy Industries Association, and I am confident that the CELI community will continue to be a resource throughout my career.” –Scott Elias, DC Spring 2017  

“CELI is a family of smart and driven energy professionals leading the transformation of our energy system. Throughout my years of involvement in various professional groups, I have never felt more challenged and motivated to take action. I am graduating the program equipped with the toolkit and network that will help me achieve my personal and professional goals.” – Goksenin Ozturkeri, SF Spring 2017

“CELI is by far the best thing I’ve done for my career. The relationships, knowledge and experiences I’ve had in the past 14 weeks will last a lifetime. I look forward to watching the CELI community grow, and can’t wait to see what all of these incredible people will achieve!” –Molly Hubbard, SF Spring 2017

“The highly-selective 14 week program of energy technical training endowed me with a fundamental understanding of key energy market and policy principles. CELI enabled me to offer my clients the latest, innovative solutions to energy needs in the defense community. Added bonus: CELI is a very efficient and well-run organization, with clear communications about sessions, writing and business pitch assignments. A+!” – Julia De La Cruz, DC Spring 2017  

“It is a rare feat for a leadership program to connect true industry leaders as the educators, with a class sufficiently curious, dedicated, and savvy. This formula makes for a program full of energy and growth for everyone in the room. I am truly fortunate to have participated in CELI and have zero doubt these fellows will help shape the future of clean energy.” –Will Quinn, SF Spring 2017

“CELI does an excellent job fostering a community among those beginning their careers in the clean energy industry. It is important for the industry to build this network of young professionals as clean energy moves into the mainstream. CELI enriched my knowledge of clean energy and allowed me to make meaningful connections with my peers in the field. My experience in CELI will continue to benefit me throughout my career.” – Rob Stupar, DC Spring 2017

“CELI fellowship has provided me with the opportunity to expand my knowledge on multiple aspects of the clean energy industry and engage in meaningful conversations with peers and experts of diverse backgrounds/training. The fellowship experience over the last 14 weeks has truly been rewarding and it has positively impacted my career by giving me the resources to confidently take the next step. I am grateful to become part of this intelligent, informative and innovative driven community of clean energy leaders.” –Wendy Hado, DC Spring 2017

“As someone with a strong interest in clean energy and the environment but a limited background, both the CELI sessions and peer to peer cohort building gave me a unique opportunity to learn and grow as a professional. I feel privileged to have been a part of such a supportive and intellectually curious group of young leaders, and know that our relationships will continue to grow even after the fellowship has concluded.” – Sean O’Neil, DC Spring 2017

“CELI has been a fantastic resource for meeting like-minded clean energy advocates. Not only will you build your professional network, but you’ll make great friends along the way.” –Thomas Boylan, DC Spring 2017

“CELI introduced to me lots of new leaders in the clean energy sector, and demonstrated how valuable a wide variety of backgrounds in this sector. It inspired future career goals for me, and validated my previous efforts to learn and engage in this sector. The CELI group is filled with amazing people, so most of all meeting these people has left me feeling hopeful for the future of clean energy technology.” –Katherine Scott, DC Spring 2017

“CELI is more than a series of lectures – it is a community. I feel fortunate to be a part of a community where each of us want to make a lasting difference in the energy space. CELI is at the forefront of uniting emerging clean energy leaders to build the industry and broaden its scope.” –David Murray, DC Spring 2017

“CELI has been invaluable in helping me gain a better perspective on where I hope my career will lead me and what I am most interested in. It has connected me with such a diverse set of interesting, intelligent, and passionate people working toward decarbonization and climate goals, and the closeness of the personal and professional relationships Fellows form has completely exceeded my expectations! I would recommend CELI to any young professional who wants to pursue a career in the clean energy sector.” – Meghan Harwood, SF Spring 2017

“Pivoting your career into clean energy can be a tough transition. When I look back on my time job searching in the Bay Area, I see CELI as an essential element to my success in finding a new role. It is a unique organization that inspires extensive personal and professional growth in a relatively short period of time and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the program.” – John Aquino, SF Spring 2017

“It’s a real testament to the leadership team that not only did they develop such a high-caliber program (and from scratch in San Francisco), but they also created a broader network of people who are excited about empowering new leaders in the clean energy industry. Every expert brought in to lead a class or workshop was so willing to lend time and advice to fellows, and that wouldn’t have happened without such a passionate leadership team. The quality of the people I’ve met through the fellowship, whether it’s the leadership team, the fellows, the speakers, or the workshop facilitators–is extraordinary. I am so grateful to be a part of this community!” –Dominique Keefe, SF Spring 2017

“CELI is a brilliant opportunity for individuals to widen their expertise across every area of clean energy, engage with relevant, but unfamiliar challenges, and build meaningful professional and personal relationships with their peers. I am grateful to CELI for honing my confidence in my abilities to learn, ask questions and innovate solutions to the challenges of optimizing our energy markets for a changing climate.” –Megan Farrell, SF Spring 2017

2014-2016 Fellowship Testimonials

“CELI is a new kind of professional development organization. By merging social engagement with actionable training, plus a healthy dose of both peer and professional networking, my career has taken on a new sense of purpose and I’ve been encouraged and emboldened to seek leadership opportunities within the clean energy industry. In a city like Washington D.C., renewables is easily mistaken for Yet Another Business Sector. I think CELI is helping to ensure our leaders recognize clean energy’s potential to change the world while building a network that can actually do just that.” – Kevin Haley, Fall 2014

“CELI is a powerful force for connectivity for young people within the clean energy sector. In addition to the professional connections and insights gained from a fellowship with CELI, I have made some of my closest friends through the program. It is unparalleled at bringing together like-­‐minded people to form meaningful bonds, with the common touch point being our passion for a sustainable future.” – Jessie Robbins, Fall 2014

“I started my CELI fellowship as I was getting started in the clean energy sector, hungry to dig deep and immerse myself in the industry. Through the program I met incredibly talented, ambitious young professionals, many of whom are now close friends, and industry experts, through which I found a new, challenging job and a sector that I thrive in.” – Will Fischer

“Thanks to a connection made through CELI, we were able to plan and execute a citywide energy assessment competition for local businesses between four university groups in just a few months time. We engaged the community, provided an educational experience, and connected with each other and the nation’s capital through energy. Without CELI, none of this would have been possible.” – Justin Schafer, Spring 2014

“CELI is bridging the clean energy expertise and relationship chasm. This Fellowship provides access to fundamental industry knowledge, young professionals and industry leaders, which is necessary for driven individuals to jump-­‐start the clean energy sector. The Fellowship Training Program not only provided learning expertise during the 14-­‐week program, but also allows us to keep learning and bounce ideas off each other in the form of an online forum. It’s essential for development of new opportunities and growth of personal knowledge!”  – Tegan Campia, Fall 2014

“CELI is an incredible program; not only is the content and caliber of the lectures excellent, you’re exposed to leading thinkers in the field, and have the opportunity to make strong connections with an exceptional group of young professionals.” – Gwen Brown, Spring 2014

“CELI was a fantastic way to meet other highly motivated young professionals and experts working in the clean energy space in the DC area! Coming from a business and engineering background, it allowed me to gain more knowledge in the policy arena, and make great friends across the industry!” – Apoorv Bhargava, Fall 2014

“CELI was able to help me not only network with both young professionals like myself but with experts in the field all while helping me expand my knowledge in the clean energy sector. During my time with CELI, many job opportunities opened up to me and during interviews I could speak more confidently about a range of topics regarding the clean energy sector. This organization has a great reach within the District of Columbia and Maryland, with an ever growing reach outside of these areas due to the amount of alumni that stay actively engaged.” – Danielle Leisten, Spring 2015

“CELI has created a community of diverse, motivated and passionate people who push each other to learn more and take action towards a clean energy future. CELI has provided a large and active network for me to seek and add to an ongoing conversation on a wide range of clean energy topics.” – Monica Andrews, Spring 2015

“CELI is more than a once a week seminar about clean energy. CELI is a community of passionate, smart, and hardworking women and men who want to change the world, and who want to become friends while doing it.” – Mike Rogers, Spring 2015

“CELI brings together young clean energy professionals from all different backgrounds and specializations to form this unique group of motivated leaders who learn from each other. The speakers and topic areas covered during the fellowship were very useful to my career development and my social and professional networks have grown a great deal as a result of being a CELI fellow.” – Zoe Berkery, Fall 2014

“The CELI experience has not only helped me broaden my understanding of the clean energy space, more importantly it has allowed me to see bright future of our industry.  This program has introduced me to a diverse group of individuals who are committed to tackling the largest challenges of our generation.” – Gerard Neely, Spring 2015

“No longer can organizations like CELI be viewed as afterthoughts for the burgeoning community of young energy professionals; a successful clean energy future is predicated on this community’s ability to connect over a common knowledge base and shared commitment to a cause. CELI’s educational, professional, and social opportunities have allowed me to identify more strongly with the relevant issues and the exceptional individuals that are part of the solutions.” – Talia Fox, Spring 2015

“CELI was the most current, comprehensive energy education that I found around the DMV. It connected the dots between what I followed in the news and all the history, relationships, and policy that actually caused the stories to happen. The fellows were all so engaged themselves that it made for a friendly, active learning environment! The fact that it was free meant that I could participate as I started my new career.” – Ruth Scoles, Fall 2013

“CELI had provided me with a gateway to gain knowledge on the topics I want to spend my career working on. The programming was the original gateway, and now CELI continues to be a knowledge portal -­‐ with tons of opportunity to keep learning and to get involved with clean energy professionals and events! I think CELI is doing what it set out to do, which is making it impactful and important -­‐-­‐ building a culture of collaboration, cooperation, and friendship, between young professionals who are passionate about working toward a clean energy future.” – Leah Fisher, Spring 2014

“CELI is the single best networking affiliation for a young professional pursuing Clean Energy in the DC area. The 14 week class is incredible with diverse speakers and lively discussions, but the ongoing conversations and access to knowledge within the ever-­‐expanding alumni and expert network is an incredible asset.” – Barrett LaChance, Fall 2014

“Through exposure to experts in the clean energy field and by creating a close community of young professionals, CELI has empowered me to reach past industry silos, engage on a more substantive level, and learn from both peers and friends. Both my fellowship and my continued engagement with CELI have been invaluable to my professional development and personal aspirations, and I couldn’t recommend this program highly enough.” – Becca Ward, Fall 2014

“CELI expanded my knowledge base in the clean energy field, as well as introducing me to some great people who are excited about clean energy and making the world a better place. CELI is a great organization that brings together people from different disciplines in clean energy (policy, finance, engineering) and gives them a better understanding of the industry as a whole, by educating them in all facets of the field. It gives young professionals in the clean energy the opportunity to learn from and network with high level senior professionals in the industry, as well as from each other.” – Mike Labanowski, Spring 2014

“I think CELI does a few things quite well that make it a pretty special fellowship: it offers high-­‐level learning and exposure to different aspects of the clean energy industry; it invests a lot into its fellow classes to help ensure bonding and sharing of experiences; and active membership allows the experience to be useful way after finishing the fellowship. Especially for many getting a start in DC, having access to not just a strong but supportive network lightens the load a bit during some challenging years beginning one’s career.” – Corey Cantor, Spring 2015

“The real value is in the network or peers. We’re political scientists, engineers, economists, entrepreneurs, and financiers – all of whom plan to play key roles in the energy. We’re good communicators, pragmatists, and we’re mostly altruistic. We’re bringing together the talent needed to make the clean energy transition happen smoothly and sooner rather than later. The heavily regulated and politically divisive energy arena is only navigable if we’re willing to provide each other guidance, and CELI is a great vehicle for collaboration among otherwise disparate disciplines. If a fellow has a question about any facet of the energy world, odds are there’s a world- class expert in the network, or closely connected to the network.” – Patrick McKinney, Spring 2015


“CELI and the fellowship are imperative in ensuring that as emerging clean energy leaders we are prepared to tackle the complexities of the clean energy transformation facing our nation and world and be successful in the advancement of a clean energy economy. We are one of the first generations that could spend our entire careers committed to the advancement of clean energy, which means having the foundational knowledge (technical, policy, finance, etc.) and a professional community to look to for expertise and ideas is necessary in ensuring we make thoughtful, informed and innovative decisions throughout our careers. CELI, an organization led by young energy professionals, is uniquely prepared to understand the needs of emerging clean energy leaders and provide the necessary educational and networking opportunities.” – Courtney Galatioto, Fall 2014

“CELI has increased the confidence I have in my clean energy knowledge and improved my ability to develop ideas and policy positions on energy topics I had never approached during my 2-­‐year Master’s in Public Policy program at the University of Maryland.  CELI has a committed and passionate leadership team who are devoted to growing and constantly improving the organization, always seeking the input of all of its stakeholders, from current fellows, to alumni and advisors. I feel incredibly fortunate to be included in the CELI ranks, and I intend to increase my involvement as an alumni in the near term, and I plan to continue my involvement as long as CELI exists as a beneficial organization for promising clean energy leaders.” – Amanda McCrum, Spring 2015