• The US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has chosen Abigail Ross Hopper as the organization’s new President and CEO
  • Tom Kimbis, serving as interim president after former SEIA head Rhone Resch left, has been promoted to executive vice president and general counsel

Come January 17, 2017 and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) will have a new President and CEO. Confirming media reports that have been doing the rounds since December 2016, the US solar lobby association has brought on board Abigail Ross Hopper, replacing Rhone Resch who left the organization in May 2016 and joined Sunworks as an independent director (see Rhone Resch Joins Sunworks).

Hopper was until recently the director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which belongs to the US Department of Interior. Previously, she served as as the head of the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) and energy advisor to former Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley, while also working as deputy general counsel to the Maryland Public Service Commission.

Resch has been credited being a strong voice for the industry that was instrumental to the extension of federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) scheme. Hopper takes over at a time when the federal administration under the new President-Elect Donald Trump has clearly shown its preference for conventional sources of power.

SEIA explained in an official statement, “Her expertise in energy markets and state-level electricity policy as well as her experience managing environmental issues will be critical to ensuring the advancement of solar energy across the United States.”

On the occasion, Hopper said, “I have spent my career working with all sides of the political and ideological spectrum to arrive at pragmatic approaches to energy policy. I look forward to utilizing that experience to serve our SEIA members.”

Post the resignation of Resch, Tom Kimbis had been serving as the interim president of the association. Now, he has been elevated to become executive vice president and general counsel.