Lily Donge is the Communities & Corporates Advisor at Groundswell, a nonprofit that builds community power through community solar projects that share power, savings, and economic opportunity. She believes that to advance and scale renewable energy, the market must ground in the communities where the clean energy transformation is taking place. Through her project on Communities + Corporates, she is unlocking innovative solutions for frontline communities by leveraging the rapid corporate support of climate change and renewable energy.
Lily has a global background. She is originally from Vietnam, grew up in the Philippines, and is a French and recent U.S. citizen. She founded Mai Ly, a sustainability consulting service, and PIKO (Planning Innovative Kommunities and Opportunities), a non-profit to serve native Hawai’ians. She serves as Senior Fellow to the Renewables Energy Buyers’ Alliance (REBA).
With over 20 years of experience in sustainability and cleantech investments, she came from Rocky Mountain Institute where she led the Business Renewables Center (BRC) which spun off to REBA. By building a collaborative network of corporations, renewable developers, and service providers, she managed to support businesses to add 15 GW of wind and solar to the grid within 5 years. Previously, Lily served as Ernst & Young’s Global Cleantech KnowledgeLeader and Manager of Environment and Climate Change at Calvert Investments. She oversaw energy and climate change due diligence and led the indigenous peoples’ rights and sacred sites criteria. She developed the sustainable investment processes for the Calvert Sustainability Index, Global Alternative Energy Fund, the Global Water Fund, and the first fund strategy on green bonds. She has also worked in the Institutions and Governance Program at the World Resources Institute, in private investment at Donaldson, Lufkin, & Jenrette, and in equity research at WI Carr in Southeast Asia.
Lily has been called on several times as an independent expert to Congress and to review sustainability practices by companies. She has served in over a dozen boards, advisory councils, steering committees, and independent panels on topics related to sustainable finance and energy.
Lily has an MBA from the Yale School of Management and an MA in International Development Economics from Yale University and a BA in Economics and International Relations from Claremont McKenna College.