Green Technology and
Economic Revitalization in Michigan

March 25, 2011

Green Technology and Economic Revitalization in Michigan

Speaker Biographies

Evan Caminker

Branch Rickey Collegiate Professor of Law
University of Michigan Law School

Evan H. Caminker, who was named dean of the Law School in 2003, writes, teaches, and litigates about various issues of American constitutional law. His scholarship and professional activities focus on matters concerning individual rights, federalism, and the nature of judicial decision making. Dean Caminker came to Michigan from the UCLA Law School, where he was a faculty member from 1991 to 1999. Caminker received his B.A. in political economy and environmental studies, summa cum laude, from the University of California at Los Angeles, and his J.D. from the Yale Law School. He clerked for Justice William Brennan at the Supreme Court and for Judge William Norris of the Ninth Circuit. Dean Caminker also practiced law with the Center for Law in the Public Interest in Los Angeles and with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, D.C.

As an undergraduate student, Dean Caminker earned the Outstanding Senior Award, the Phi Beta Kappa Top Junior at UCLA Award, and two national championship school debate awards. In law school, he was a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal and a Coker Fellow, and he was awarded the Benjamin Scharps Prize for Excellence in Legal Writing. A gifted classroom teacher, Dean Caminker has received the ACLU Distinguished Professors Award for Civil Liberties Education. He has taught in the fields of constitutional law, civil procedure, and federal courts, and he has lectured widely before various professional, scholarly, and student audiences. He has published articles in the Michigan Law Review, Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review, Stanford Law Review, and the Supreme Court Review. His most recent work includes an inquiry into the nature of voting on multi-member courts. From May 2000 through January 2001, Dean Caminker served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice.

Chuck Conlen

Director, Renewable Energy
Detroit Edison

Chuck Conlen is director of Renewable Energy for Detroit Edison, an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan. Detroit Edison is one of three major business units of DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Conlen is responsible for planning and executing all renewable energy development activities for Detroit Edison, including business planning and financial modeling; regulatory filings and other communications; portfolio strategies; supplier contracting; and project development for utility-owned renewable generating resources.

Conlen joined DTE Energy in 2005 in its Strategy and Mergers & Acquisitions group where he led numerous strategic initiatives across all of DTE's business lines. Prior to joining DTE, Conlen was a vice president of investment banking where he structured and oversaw over $25 billion in debt and equity capital markets transactions and led over $15 billion in mergers and acquisitions in the power/energy, diversified industrials and multinational financial services industry sectors. Conlen earned a bachelor of science degree in Marine Power Engineering from Kings Point, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and a master of business administration degree from the University of Michigan. Conlen is a national speaker for the Nuclear Energy Institute's Clean Energy for America program.

Tim Faley

Managing Director
Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies
University of Michigan Ross School of Business

Dr. Timothy L. Faley is the Managing Director of the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. He is responsible directing the creation and implementation of the Institute’s practice-oriented student programs, managing the Institute’s staff and budget, and developing and teaching innovative graduate-level entrepreneurship courses, including cross-disciplinary courses with the College of Engineering. From 2003 through 2006, Dr. Faley was the faculty advisor and managing director for the $5 million Wolverine Venture Fund—an early-stage student-managed venture capital fund.

Dr. Faley was the founding director of the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering Office of Technology Transfer and Commercialization. In this position, Dr. Faley was responsible for coordinating technology transfer activities within the College, which ranged from technology assessment and patenting through licensing and new business formation. He came to the University of Michigan from The Dow Chemical Company where he worked in research, new business development, venture capital, and technology licensing.

Dr. Faley had also previously been a chemical engineering faculty member at North Carolina A&T State University. Dr. Faley has earned B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering in addition to his MBA. He has been associated with over twenty new ventures throughout his career.

Sara Rollet Gosman

Water Resources Attorney, National Wildlife Federation
Adjunct Professor, University of Michigan Law School

Sara Gosman is an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Law School, where she teaches classes on environmental justice, toxic substances, and recent Supreme Court decisions on environmental issues. Professor Gosman is also a legal advisor to the National Wildlife Federation on water resource issues, particularly implementation of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.

As a member of the State of Michigan's Environmental Justice Working Group from 2008 to 2010, she helped to develop an environmental justice plan for the State. The plan was finalized in December of 2010. Professor Gosman earned an A.B. with high honors in 1996 from Princeton University and a J.D., cum laude, in 2001 from Harvard Law School. She also received a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.

Howard Learner

President and Executive Director
Environmental Law and Policy Center

Howard A. Learner is an experienced attorney who serves as the Executive Director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center – the Midwest's leading public interest environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization. Mr. Learner is responsible for the overall strategic leadership, policy direction and financial platform for ELPC’s successful work promoting clean energy development solutions to climate change problems, improving environmental quality, and preserving natural resources and heritage. ELPC core premise is that environmental progress and economic development can be achieved together, and ELPC’s multidisciplinary professional staff puts that policy principle into practice. Mr. Learner previously served as General Counsel for Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, specializing in complex environmental, energy, economic development and civil rights litigation and policy advocacy.

Much of Mr. Learner’s work has concentrated on developing and advocating new directions on environmental policy issues, including: developing clean renewable energy and energy efficiency resources to avoid global warming and other pollution from conventional power plants; designing “smart growth” transportation and land use strategies and leading national and regional efforts to develop a high-speed rail network that can produce complementary environmental quality, economic development and employment benefits; and protecting the Midwest’s wild and natural forests, waterways and biodiversity. Mr. Learner received his law degree from Harvard Law School (1980), and a B.A. (Honors) from the University of Michigan (1976). He is an (Adjunct) Professor at Northwestern University Law School and at the University of Michigan Law School, teaching advanced seminars on energy law and climate change policy, and on environmental law and sustainable development. He is married to Lauren Rosenthal, an attorney, and with their three children, they live in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago.

Tom Lyon

Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise
University of Michigan Ross School of Business

Thomas P. Lyon is the Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. He holds the Dow Chair of Sustainable Science, Technology and Commerce, with appointments in both the Ross School of Business and the School of Natural Resources and Environment. Professor Lyon is a leader in using economic analysis to understand corporate environmental strategy and how it is shaped by emerging government regulations, non-governmental organizations, and consumer demands. His book Corporate Environmentalism and Public Policy, published by Cambridge University Press, is the first rigorous economic analysis of this increasingly important topic. Professor Lyon earned his bachelor’s degree at Princeton University and his doctorate at Stanford University. His current research focuses on corporate environmental information disclosure, greenwash, the causes and consequences of renewable energy policy, and voluntary programs for environmental improvement.

Professor Lyon has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and at the University of Bonn, and a Fulbright Scholar at the Scuola Sant’Anna in Pisa, Italy. He spent the academic year 2002/2003 as a Gilbert White Fellow at Resources for the Future in Washington, DC, and 2003/2004 as a visiting economist in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Professor Lyon serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Economics and Management Strategy and the Journal of Regulatory Economics. His teaching experience includes energy economics and policy, environmental governance, non-market strategy, regulation, managerial economics, business and government, game theory, business strategy, and the management of innovation.

Gil Pezza

Director, Water Technology Initiative
Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Gil Pezza is recognized both locally and internationally as a valued member of Michigan’s economic development team. As Director of the MEDC’s Water Technologies Initiative, Gil is responsible for positioning Michigan to become a center of excellence for the development, advancement and commercialization of needs-driven water technologies and management systems. Prior to becoming involved in economic development, Gil was an attorney in private practice with the Business Law and International, Immigration and Customs practice groups of Butzel Long in Detroit.

Gil’s qualifications and experience are strongly multi-functional and multi-cultural. His most recent position within the MEDC was Manager of the New Markets Research Unit, which was responsible for the planning and design of the cluster-based economic development approach adopted in 2007 by the MEDC. In this position, he was also instrumental in the planning, design and implementation of the MEDC’s alternative energy clusters focused on Cellulosic Ethanol, Wind Energy and Solar Energy. Prior, Gil held positions of increasing responsibility at the MEDC, including: Vice President of the International Development Unit where he was primarily responsible for attracting foreign direct investment and promoting the export of Michigan products; Director of Program Review for the Legal Affairs Unit where he worked closely with MEDC’s General Counsel on a variety of complex programmatic, legal, and legislative issues; and Director of Special Projects, working on key initiatives, including, for example, developing the SmartZone program, as well as working and on surplus property, real estate, and OEM-related projects. He also served as Director of International Business Development, and Director of Europe/Middle East Africa Operations with the Michigan Jobs Commission. Gil holds a Juris Doctor Degree magna cum laude from the Detroit College of Law, and graduate and undergraduate degrees from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Skip Pruss

Principal, 5 Lakes Energy
Efficiency and Renewables Advisory Committee, U.S. Department of Energy

Stanley "Skip" Pruss, a graduate of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School, is a principal in 5 Lakes Energy LLC, a clean energy technology consultancy focusing on enabling and accelerating Michigan’s clean energy economy. Until August, 2010, Mr. Pruss was the Director of the Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth and Michigan’s Chief Energy Officer, where he was responsible for designing and implementing Michigan’s clean energy economy diversification efforts.

Mr. Pruss also served as Governor Jennifer Granholm’s Special Advisor for Renewable Energy and the Environment and Chair of the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Council. Prior to that, he was the Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Until 2003, Mr. Pruss served as the Assistant Attorney General in Charge of Michigan's Consumer Protection Division where he was also Chair of the Department of Attorney General’s Public Protection Practice Group.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Pruss practiced environmental protection and natural resource law and participated in the development, review and analysis of environmental legislation. Mr. Pruss litigated and brought to successful conclusion one of the largest natural resource damage cases in the country and established the nation’s first comprehensive brownfield reclamation program. He was also the legal advisor to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Mr. Pruss has received numerous public service awards and citations including being named Leader of the Year in 2010 by the Great Lakes Renewable Energy association, Guardian of the Great Lakes in 2009 by Clean Water Action, Conservationist of the Year by Michigan United Conservation Clubs and selection by the American Bar Association as a recipient of the Mary C. Lawton Award for Outstanding Government Service.

Max Shtein

Associate Professor
University of Michigan Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Prof. Max Shtein received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2004, and his B.S. from University of California Berkeley in 1998. He is currently Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Applied Physics, Macromolecular Science and Engineering, and Art and Design at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research group at the University of Michigan focuses on the physics and technology of organic optoelectronic materials and devices. Shtein is the co-founder of a recent start-up in the area of efficient, high quality solid state lighting. Max Shtein's awards include: the 2001 Materials Research Society graduate student Gold Medal Award, the 2004 Newport Award for Excellence and Leadership in Photonics and Optoelectronics, the 2007 Holt Award for Excellence in Teaching, the 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and the 2009 MSE Department Achievement Award.

Knut Simonsen

DTE Energy Ventures

Knut A. Simonsen, 47, is vice president of strategy and corporate development at DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. In this position, Simonsen leads strategy, M&A and new business growth for DTE Energy, which includes DTE Energy Ventures – a clean technology investment group. Key areas of responsibility includes; leading corporate M&A transactions, supporting utility investments, and growing our non-utility business, particularly our gas midstream and renewable segments. Simonsen joined DTE Energy from McKinsey & Company’s Dallas, Texas office. At McKinsey, he was a management consultant specializing in the energy industry serving leading firms among gas and electric utilities and major oil companies. Areas of primary focus were merger and acquisitions, growth and restructuring strategies, wholesale trading and performance management.

Prior to McKinsey, Simonsen worked in Texaco’s Alternative Energy division based in New York. As a Project Manager at Texaco, Simonsen led power development teams in North America, Europe and Latin America. Alternative energy efforts focused on clean coal and waste gasification. Renewable energy efforts included wood, plastics, tires and sewage sludge. Previously, Simonsen was an Assistant Treasurer in the Project Finance group of Den Norske Bank in New York, with responsibility for project financings in wind, wood, and gas fired power projects. Simonsen earned a bachelor of science degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University, and a master of business administration degree from Columbia University in New York with a concentration in finance.

David Uhlmann

University of Michigan Environmental Law and Policy Program

David M. Uhlmann is the Jeffrey F. Liss Professor from Practice and the Director of the Environmental Law and Policy Program at the University of Michigan Law School. His research and advocacy interests include criminal and civil enforcement of environmental laws, worker endangerment, and efforts to address global climate change. Since joining the Michigan faculty in 2007, Professor Uhlmann has published articles in the Stanford Environmental Law Journal, the Utah Law Review, the Environmental Law Forum, The New York Times, and the American Constitution Society's Issue Briefs series. He is also the author of a forthcoming article in the Michigan Law Review regarding the Gulf oil spill. Professor Uhlmann has testified before Congress, appeared on national news programs, including CNN, Frontline, and NPR, and lectured widely about environmental crime and sustainability issues.

Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Uhlmann served for 17 years at the U.S. Department of Justice, the last seven as Chief of the Environmental Crimes Section, where he was the top environmental crimes prosecutor in the country. He led an office of approximately 40 prosecutors responsible for the prosecution of environmental and wildlife crimes nationwide. Professor Uhlmann coordinated national legislative, policy, and training initiatives regarding criminal enforcement and chaired the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Policy Committee. He also served as vice chair of the annual ABA Environmental Law Conference and on the planning committee for the ALI-ABA Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Laws Seminar. His work as lead prosecutor in United States v. Elias was chronicled in the book The Cyanide Canary. Professor Uhlmann received a J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. in history with high honors from Swarthmore College. Following law school, Professor Uhlmann clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Marvin H. Shoob in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mark Wagner

Vice President of Government Relations
Johnson Controls, Inc.

Mark Wagner is Vice President of Government Relations for Johnson Controls, Inc., a Fortune 100 company and a global leader in energy efficiency for buildings, building automation systems, advanced automotive batteries, and automotive interiors. Mark’s areas of expertise include energy policy, federal sites that showcase energy efficiency, renewable energy, and electronic security systems, as well as advanced battery technology for hybrid electric vehicles.

During his 15 years with Johnson Controls, Mark has been instrumental in developing programs with the federal government, including Energy Savings Performance Contracting and other public-private partnerships. Before he joined Johnson Controls, Mark served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, working on defense policy matters involving base closings, industrial issues, competitive sourcing, and privatization. Prior to his work at DOD, Mark was the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Procurement Institute, overseeing a statewide federal procurement assistance program for more than 1,500 Wisconsin companies. He also has served as a Congressional staff member for Representative Les Aspin, U.S. Senator Birch Bayh, and Representative John Brademas. Mark received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Indiana University in 1975 and his law degree from the Indiana University School of Law at Bloomington in 1983.

Kate Zyla

Director of Research and Policy Analysis
Georgetown Climate Center

Kathryn Zyla is the Director of Research and Policy Analysis for the Georgetown Climate Center, where she oversees work on state and federal climate, energy, and transportation policy. Kathryn previously served as a Senior Associate in the Climate and Energy Program at the World Resources Institute, where her work focused on greenhouse gas emissions markets, energy security, and state-federal roles in climate policy.

Prior to that, she was Senior Research Fellow for Domestic Policy at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Ms. Zyla holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from Yale University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Swarthmore College.

Symposium Information

Green Technology and Economic Revitalization
in Michigan

Friday, March 25, 2011

8:30AM to 5:00PM

Symposium Program

Symposium Schedule

  • 9:00 AM - Opening Remarks
  • 9:15 AM - Panel I
  • 11:00 AM - Panel II
  • 12:30 PM - Lunch
  • 1:00 PM - Featured Address
  • 1:45 PM - Panel III
  • 3:15 PM - Closing Remarks
  • 3:30 PM - Reception

See the Agenda for more details.

To find out more about the symposium, please contact

Symposia Archive