The DGA Difference
Our approach is built on a foundation of in-depth analysis and sharp strategic planning, based on our team’s decades of experience.
To do this, we frequently build partnerships with business, governments, and non-profit organizations, as it is the most effective way to make change.
Meet our team members
David Gardiner has more than 35 years of experience analyzing and shaping successful domestic and global clean energy and sustainability strategies in both the public and private sectors. As principal of DGA, he provides high-level strategic guidance to the corporate executives and non-profit leaders with whom the firm works. Among his principal areas of expertise are renewable energy, energy efficiency, thermal energy, clean air policy, sustainable transportation, and forest and land issues. David uses this knowledge, coupled with his strong ability to make sense of complicated issues, to help clients develop informed, thoughtful strategies to maximize bottom line impact.
Prior to founding DGA, David served as the Executive Director of the White House Climate Change Task Force during the Clinton Administration, where he participated in development of domestic policy and in international climate negotiations. As EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Policy, David led EPA’s climate change efforts, as well as programs to reinvent EPA’s approaches to key sectors such as transportation, agriculture, metal finishing, and real estate development. Prior to joining the Clinton administration, David was Legislative Director for the Sierra Club in Washington, D.C. David has a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Harvard College.
Blaine Collison has an extensive background in helping companies and institutions evaluate, implement, and communicate renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate change initiatives. After several decades working in partnership with the business community, governments, and other institutions which are seeking a low-carbon future, Blaine joined DGA as senior vice president in 2018 to assist our clients in advancing clean energy.
Before joining DGA, Blaine was the Managing Director of Marketing & Partnerships at Altenex, an Edison Energy company, where he led the development of Altenex’s corporate sustainability services, communications, and strategic partnerships. Prior to joining Altenex in April 2014, Blaine served 17 years at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, with multiple roles in the ENERGY STAR program and a decade leading the Green Power Partnership. Blaine has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
James Hewett has more than six years of experience providing companies and organizations strategic guidance on renewable energy policy, finance, and power market issues. As vice president for renewable energy, he leads DGA’s work to open electricity markets to make it easier for companies and other institutions to buy renewable energy. James is also engaged with several other DGA projects, including our work to scale up the deployment of renewable thermal technologies through the Renewable Thermal Collaborative, and helps clients such as Americans for a Clean Energy Grid expand long-distance transmission to move electricity from the wind and solar-rich center of the country to load centers in the East and West.
Before joining DGA, James worked at the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) for 5 years where he has worked extensively with the business community on accelerating renewable energy deployment. At ACORE, James advocated for renewable energy policy, launched their Corporate Procurement Working Group, managed ACORE’s work around organized markets and the Clean Power Plan, and authored or co-authored numerous industry reports. In his spare time, he has also been an active leader in the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI), helping lead their Fellowship Training Program. He has a B.S. from Texas A&M University and a Master of Science and a graduate certificate of business from American University.
Lynn A. Kirshbaum has a background in energy and environmental policy and years of experience working with state lawmakers, government agencies, and industry professionals. As a senior associate with DGA, Lynn manages various renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and produces research materials and reports. She serves as the Deputy Director of the Combined Heat and Power Alliance, leading the Alliance’s policy work at the state level and engaging with regional and state partners.
Before joining DGA, Lynn worked in the Legislative Commissioners’ Office at the Connecticut General Assembly for four legislative sessions where she staffed the Energy and Technology and Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committees. Lynn drafted legislation concerning the state’s procurement of electricity from offshore wind, the system of compensation for distributed renewable energy generation used in the state, renewable portfolio standards and energy efficiency standards for products. She also previously worked with the California Air Resources Board and the California Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and was a law clerk at the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Lynn has a B.S. in International Politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a J.D. from the University of California, Davis.
Betsy Gardiner, DGA’s chief operating officer since 2008, manages the firm’s day-to-day operations including Human Resources, Finances, IT/Systems, and Project Management. Prior to joining DGA, Betsy founded and managed a patient advocacy consulting firm, helping people with significant health issues navigate the health care system. Her diverse professional background includes work as a Registered Nurse specializing in Hospice Care, a faculty member at the George Washington University Medical School, and NPR Reference Librarian.
Betsy has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Boston University and a Master of Science in Library Science from The Catholic University of America.
William Sherman has a background in environmental policy and research, with an emphasis on climate and sustainability issues. As a client and research manager with DGA, William concentrates primarily on corporate sustainability, and conducts research and data analysis for various client projects. He contributed to multiple published works, including a report on the growing demand for renewable energy among major global manufacturers and a report highlighting the need for transmission upgrades to meet corporate America’s growing demand for clean energy.
Before DGA, William taught students of all ages about marine biology and ocean conservation in the Florida Keys. He earned a B.A. in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia, focusing on ecology and hydrology. Throughout his undergraduate years, he would spend his summers leading month-long canoe expeditions in the wilderness of Northern Ontario, and those experiences are why he decided to pursue a career in environmental policy.
Nicolette Santos has a background in energy and environmental policy, with an emphasis on climate policy and communication. She has experience working in the environmental nonprofit sphere as well as political consulting. As communications associate, Nicolette is responsible for leading the firm’s strategic communications efforts for our projects, which includes work related to industrial energy efficiency, renewable thermal energy, renewable electricity policy at a state level, and the electric transmission grid.
Before joining DGA, Nicolette worked alongside former Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, at Energy Futures Initiative, where she was a critical member of the communications effort for the organization’s carbon dioxide removal project. In addition, Nicolette has worked with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, where she conducted policy research and advocated for climate adaptation on federal and state levels. Nicolette graduated Magna Cum Laude from The George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Environmental Studies. During her time as an undergrad, Nicolette served as a writing consultant with the University’s Writing Center and a research assistant with the Department of Biology’s oyster restoration project in the Chesapeake Bay. Nicolette has also volunteered twice with Habit for Humanity in The Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana. There, she built homes for those affected by Hurricane Katrina, one of the first major climate disasters in the United States.
Claire Dougherty utilizes her policy, environmental, and scientific research backgrounds to further DGA’s wide breadth of climate change and clean energy initiatives. As research analyst, she supports the Renewable Thermal Collaborative and other DGA projects on renewable electricity, energy efficiency, transportation electrification and climate change. She provides groundwork for these projects through research, analysis, writing, and project organization.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Claire studied at Dartmouth College, earning a B.A. in The Physical and Human Dimensions of Global Change in the Department of Geography and minored in Arabic. She developed her research and environmental communication skills as a research assistant for Dartmouth’s Geography Department studying the impact of dam removal on watersheds in New England, as an environmental educator for the Allegheny Land Trust, and through previous time spent as an intern at DGA. She was also Captain of Dartmouth’s NCAA Division I Indoor and Outdoor Track Team.