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    Curated access to climate technology for corporations, investors and industry partners

Our Team

Mary Louise Gifford

Director of Innovation

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Mary Gifford

Mary Louise is the Director of Innovation, where she works closely with the Elemental Excelerator’s energy portfolio companies and partners. Leveraging her extensive climate solutions experience, she guides portfolio companies to secure high-value partnerships and resources, ensuring they have the support needed to overcome critical challenges. Beyond guidance, Mary Louise actively cultivates partnerships for portfolio growth, co-designs projects with entrepreneurs, and leads diligence and recruitment efforts. She is passionate about driving climate tech innovation and empowering a diverse range of entrepreneurs to re-imagine a cleaner energy future.

Prior to Elemental Excelerator

Mary’s 20-year career has propelled her from climbing rainforest trees to brokering deals with world leaders. Before joining Elemental Excelerator, Mary worked closely with the Innovative Genomics Institute, a pioneering genomics research lab led by Nobel laureate Jennifer Doudna, where she managed the commercial strategy for a climate investment fund. At FBSciences, an agritech company, she spearheaded the climate strategy that helped contribute to its 2023 acquisition. As CSO of a Silicon Valley tech company, Tribal Planet, she developed mobile science education platforms for groups such as the Girl Scouts and EY. Prior to her private sector work, she was a renewable energy and climate expert at the World Bank, Heinz Centre, and UN where she helped lead the chairman’s technical support team in the Nobel-Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Mary is a perpetual founder and starter of new things including UC Berkeley Rural Energy Group, World Bank Youth Lab, Seattle Climate Hack-a-thon and Syracuse Engineers Without Borders. She studied engineering at SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry and renewable energy at UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group.

Outside of the office

Mary loves paddleboarding, yoga, perpetually listening to podcasts, all forms of dancing, and (ungracefully) rollerblading with her kiddo.