Meet the Policy Lab Fellows working to accelerate innovative climate solutions

September 7, 2021

· 5 min read
Ian Chipman Director of Content & Media

Changemakers Louise Bedsworth, Heather McTeer Toney, Josh Stanbro, and Randall Winston join Elemental Policy Lab to help close the gap between technology and policy.

As we work to accelerate innovative climate and social equity policies and solutions, we are pleased to announce the inaugural group of Fellows for the Elemental Policy Lab. The Policy Lab is focused on driving change at local, state, and federal levels by translating what entrepreneurs are learning on the ground into actionable policy solutions that inspire climate action, create jobs, and advance equity.

Heather, Josh, Louise, and Randall are some of our country’s most talented climate leaders, who know how to take a policy idea from concept to reality,” says our Policy Lab Director Aimee Barnes. “I am thrilled that the Lab will support these seasoned changemakers as they pursue bold, innovative policy solutions to the climate crisis.”

To help drive change at major inflection points, the Lab brings together a nimble collective of policy entrepreneurs working at the seam of technology, innovation, and policy. Fellows are leaders in their field — designers and implementers who articulate a clear policy-related challenge and vision for solving it — who have the access and experience required to navigate local, state, and/or federal processes to advance reality-based, equity-centered solutions.

 

Meet the Elemental Policy Lab Fellows

Louise Bedsworth is Director of the Land Use Program at the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment (CLEE) where she also serves as a Senior Advisor to the California China Climate Institute. Louise’s fellowship will focus on scaling best practices in integrated, equity-based approaches to climate action.

Before joining CLEE, Louise spent nearly a decade working for the State of California, most recently as the Executive Director of the Strategic Growth Council (SGC), which brings together multiple agencies and departments to support sustainable communities emphasizing strong economies, social equity, and environmental stewardship. At SGC, Louise oversaw the investment of nearly $1 billion to support affordable housing, technical assistance, and capacity building across California. Under her leadership, the Council adopted its first Racial Equity Action Plan and California Strategic Growth Council’s racial Equity Resolution. Prior to joining SGC, Louise was the Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research where she helped launch the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program and led the team that won the State’s $70 million grant awarded under the National Disaster Resilience Competition.


 

Heather McTeer Toney serves as the Climate Justice Liaison at the Environmental Defense Fund and Senior Advisor to Moms Clean Air Force. Heather’s fellowship will focus on removing the roadblocks to environmental equity for Black communities.

At age 27, Heather became the first African-American and first female to serve as Mayor of Greenville, MS, and she served under the Obama Administration as the Regional Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator for Region 4, representing eight southeastern states – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee – as well as six federally recognized tribes, making Region 4 the largest of EPA’s ten regions. Heather’s fellowship will focus on removing the roadblocks to environmental equity for Black communities.


 

Josh Stanbro is Senior Policy Director for the City Council of Honolulu, Office of the Chair. Josh’s fellowship will focus on bridging the gap between risk-averse public agencies and risk-taking entrepreneurs.

He has a background in sustainability and cross-sector partnerships, and previously served as the county’s first Chief Resilience Officer and Executive Director for the City and County of Honolulu’s Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency from 2017-2021. Elemental and portfolio company CarbonCure worked closely with Josh and team to pass a resolution through the Honolulu City & County Council preferring carbon infused concrete in all future public procurements — a first in the nation, which went on to be adopted by the Conference of Mayors covering over 1400 other jurisdictions.


 

Randall Winston was executive director of the California Strategic Growth Council and a former international climate policy advisor to Governor Jerry Brown. Randall’s fellowship will focus on fostering more equitable urban growth that provides greater access to opportunity, making our communities more inclusive and resilient to climate change.

He has worked for architecture and urban development firms in Beijing, New York, and Los Angeles. Randall serves on the boards of Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, California League of Conservation Voters, and the Center for Law, Energy, & Environment at UC Berkeley. Randall has a J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law, a Master of Architecture from University of Virginia, and a B.A. from Harvard University.

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Elemental’s mission is to redesign the systems at the root of climate change to uplift people and planet, together. The Policy Lab’s role is to accelerate equity-centered climate action at a pace to meet and exceed the goals of the Paris Agreement over the next 10 years by translating what entrepreneurs are learning on the ground into actionable policy solutions.