Board of Directors
Ajay Bawa has been working at the intersection of industry and the environment for a little over a decade. He is currently a co-founder at Thiozen Inc., a venture spun out of MIT with a new process to generate low carbon hydrogen. Previously, he served as the Vice President of LA Gauge Company, an aerospace and defense manufacturing plant specializing in beryllium machining. He also co-founded Seed Consulting Group in 2014. Ajay holds an MBA from MIT Sloan, MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, and a BS in Industrial Engineering from UC Berkeley. He is an avid backpacker and loves spending time exploring the natural world.
Angela Ma is a Vice President at Oaktree Capital in the Performing Credit, US Senior Loans Strategy. She manages a portfolio of investments covering Retail, Building Products and Media verticals. Before joining Oaktree, she was an Investment Banking Analyst at Credit Suisse Los Angeles in their Financial Sponsors Group. She received a B.S degree in Business Administrations from the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and exploring the beautiful outdoors, traveling and spending time with her family and new Golden Retriever puppy.
Christian Johnson is an entrepreneur, manager, and consultant devoted towards advancing global health and sustainability through serial entrepreneurship and strategic innovation. Prior to UCLA Biodesign, Christian served as a global strategist and marketer in structural heart and critical care innovation at Edwards Lifesciences, where he worked in the critical care, surgical valve, healthcare solutions, and transcatheter aortic, mitral and tricuspid valve businesses across the U.S., China, Japan, and Europe. Before Edwards, Christian co-founded a healthcare clinic startup, and provided strategic guidance to startups and small businesses in emergency medicine, neuro, billing and coding, digital health, and sustainability. Beyond healthcare, Christian is a co-founder, board member, and former executive director of Seed Consulting Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on advancing sustainability. He has delivered a TEDx talk and is a member of Forbes Councils. Christian has served on advisory boards for Habitat for Humanity, UC Irvine Center for Global Leadership, and the LEAP Foundation. Christian earned an MBA at UC Irvine, an MS in global medicine at USC Keck School of Medicine, and a BS in environmental science and sustainability at UCLA.
Hilary Firestone is the Deputy Director of the American Cities Climate Challenge (ACCC), a national initiative to empower and support U.S. cities to meet their carbon reduction goals. Hilary has over a decade of experience working on local energy efficiency policy. She served on the Los Angeles Mayor’s sustainability team where she helped develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce energy and water consumption in the city’s existing buildings. Prior to relocating to Los Angeles, Hilary was a Policy Advisor in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. There she worked on energy and green building initiatives, instrumental in developing and implementing the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, and served as the New York representative to the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. She graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering, and completed her Master of Public Administration at Columbia University.
Leslie is a California attorney and partner of Intelink Law Group, PC. For over 25 years, Leslie has counseled clients on international and domestic corporate and intellectual property law. In addition to her advice on corporate structuring and contractual arrangements, she works with companies on strategies for climate change adaptation, decarbonization of their business operations and assists firms which are engaged in businesses such as sustainable energy, waste to energy conversion and renewables. Her knowledge includes ESG implementation, sustainable finance policy and technology licensing. Leslie has long experience in cross-border transactions, with clients from Europe. She is fluent in legal German, French and Spanish. She has spoken at, organized and moderated numerous seminars on clean tech policy and investment, renewable energy, and carbon credits. She serves as director to the U.S. affiliate of a German based nonprofit, Senat der Wirtschaft, and as Advisory Board member to United Way Germany.
Dr. Neil Fromer is the Executive Director of the Resnick Institute, Caltech’s endowed program for energy and sustainability. Previously, Fromer studied the interactions of light and matter, and spent more than a decade of working on solar energy technologies. His current research focuses on energy storage, clean fuel generation and use, smarter energy distribution systems, and energy efficiency. Fromer received his PhD in semiconductor physics from UC Berkeley, and his BS in Engineering/Physics from Brown University.
Robert Fortunato is President of ForStrategy Consulting and Owner/Builder of the multiple award-winning Green Idea House, one of the first affordable, net zero energy, zero carbon case study houses made with standard construction materials and off the shelf technologies. Robert’s credentials include a degree from the Wharton School of Business and a diverse business background in corporations and entrepreneurial ventures. He has been honored to be adjunct faculty at an international innovation/social entrepreneurship school based in Denmark and also coached startups and developed the built environment strategy at the LA Cleantech Incubator. Robert is currently assisting affordable housing developers in significantly reducing capital and operating expenses while scaling solutions that are better for our health, economy and the environment. Additionally, Robert co-developed and teaches a "Clean Energy Homes - Key Systems and Energy Modeling" class for Southern California Edison and is in development of a multifamily version of that class.