Currently Powering 1,918,636 Homes

With a range of backgrounds and a dedication to their work, our staff are a key component of the organization's effectiveness. We hope these short bios give you a little insight into the depth of talent at Renewable Northwest Project.
Rachel Shimshak's picture
J. Rachel Shimshak, Executive Director

Rachel Shimshak has served as Executive Director of Renewable Northwest – a leading non-profit advocacy group - since its inception in 1994. Under her leadership, the organization has supported the implementation of more than 7,600 MW of wind, geothermal and solar resources in the Northwest. The region has become a national clean energy leader, attracting robust renewable industries and manufacturing clusters. With Rachel at the helm, Renewable Northwest has grown to include over 60 member organizations – including businesses, non-profits and academic institutions – working toward the shared mission of a clean energy future and a healthy economy, workforce and environment.Rachel has a rich history of leadership in the energy field. She has been chosen by Governors to serve on numerous high-level committees, including the Comprehensive Review of the Northwest Energy System in 1996, Western Governors’ Association, and the Oregon Ten-Year Energy Action Plan Taskforce. Before launching Renewable Northwest, Rachel served as Policy Director for the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources, where she worked on an array of energy issues, from natural gas and oil to conservation, renewables and emergency planning. Prior to that, she was Legislative Director for a Massachusetts consumer group and an advocate in Colorado and Washington, D.C.Rachel has served on the boards of several non-profit, clean energy and educational organizations and has been recognized by an array of groups for her contributions to clean energy. She is currently Secretary of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. She received the Green Power Leadership Award/Green Power Pioneer Award from the Environmental Protection Agency, United States Department of Energy and the Center for Resource Solutions. She was recognized as Woman of the Year by Women of Wind Energy and as a 2011 Influencer of Wind Power by Windpower Engineering. Rachel is dedicated to community involvement and served as President at Havurah Shalom Synagogue. She is a graduate of the University of Oregon and is a native Oregonian.

Hillary Barbour's picture
Hillary Barbour, Policy Director

Hillary Barbour became the Policy Director at Renewable Northwest in 2014, having served on the staff of US Congressman Earl Blumenauer for 15 years. As the Deputy District Director, she managed the Congressman's local and regional energy, environment, and agricultural policy agenda. She holds a BA from Reed College and has lived in Oregon since 1989. She is also an avid gardener, backpacker, and cook. 

Dina Dubson's picture
Dina Dubson Kelley, Chief Counsel

Dina is Chief Counsel for Renewable Northwest, where she focuses on state and federal regulatory and rulemaking issues, as well as providing advice on legislative policy development. She joined Renewable Northwest in May 2012, after practicing law at Stoel Rives LLP. At Stoel, Dina’s legal practice focused on advising utilities and independent power producers on energy issues, with an emphasis on issues related to the development and integration of wind and solar energy projects. A Florida native, Dina came to Oregon in 2005 to attend the University of Oregon School of Law, where she received her JD. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Studies from Tufts University. Dina serves on the Green-e Governance Board and the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland's Community Relations Council.

Jeff Fox's picture
Jeff L. Fox, Montana Policy Manager

Jeff is a native Montanan, wilderness lover, elk hunter, and backcountry skier deeply committed to clean energy solutions for Montana and the nation. He joined Renewable Northwest in February of 2011 to further the organization’s on-the-ground presence in Montana. Jeff's background includes working as a wilderness ranger in Colorado and Wyoming, before moving to Washington, DC, to join The Wilderness Society. Missing the mountains, he returned home to assist in the Montana Legacy Project, a $520 million dollar conservation purchase of 320,000 acres of private timber lands threatened by development and fragmentation. Most recently, Jeff was an independent contractor working to organize business support for clean energy. He currently volunteers on the policy committee of the Montana Renewable Energy Association.

Cliff Gilmore's picture
Cliff W. Gilmore, Director of Communication

A Washington State native, Cliff W. Gilmore joined Renewable Northwest in June of 2015 when returning to his roots in the Northwest after 20 years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served as Special Assistant for Public Communication to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as public affairs instructor and curriculum developer at the Defense Information School. He has managed a wide spectrum of public affairs and media relations issues in places throughout the world including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Okinawa, Japan. Cliff holds a BS in Psychology from Washington State University, an MS in Organization and Management with a Leadership Specialization from Capella University, and was a 2011 Fellow with MIT’s Seminar XXI on Foreign Politics, International Relations, and the National Interest. 

Kelly Hall's picture
Kelly Hall, Washington Policy Coordinator

Kelly Hall joined Renewable Northwest in October 2014, shortly after completing her Masters Degree in Public Administration and Climate Science at the University of Washington. Having seen inequity firsthand while working as a Probation Officer in Indianapolis, Indiana and a Volunteer Coordinator in Buenos Aires, Argentina, her passion for fighting climate change and promoting clean energy is rooted in the realization that our dependency on fossil fuels is exacerbating global inequality. While completing her Masters Degree, Kelly completed a number of projects related to climate change and energy, holding positions as a Research Assistant for the Climate Impacts Group, a Materials Management Intern for the United States EPA, a Student Energy Consultant for the Smart Grid Demonstration Project, and a Power Past Coal Campaign Intern for Climate Solutions. As an Indiana native, after three years in Seattle she remains in awe of the endless natural beauty the State of Washington has to offer.

Pam Mahon's picture
Pam Mahon, Office Manager

Pam was born and raised in New England and made her way out to the great NW via Boulder, Colorado and a Master’s degree in Voice Performance. No stranger to the renewable energy world, she has worked as an administrative specialist and development coordinator for RES America Developments and Element Power, US. When she’s not organizing offices and scheduling meetings, you can find her on stage performing with the Oregon Symphony, as well as with other Portland area theatres. A few of her favorite roles thus far have been: Mazeppa in Gypsy with Portland Center Stage, Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of OZ with Pixie Dust Productions, and Papagena in The Magic Flute with the Portland Opera.

Michael O'Brien's picture
Michael O'Brien, Energy Policy Analyst

Michael serves as an Energy Policy Analyst, bringing a depth of legislative and technical experience to Renewable Northwest's policy team. Before coming to Renewable Northwest in mid-2012, Michael served in the House of Commons advising Members of Parliament on energy and climate policy in the UK. He has published numerous reports on a variety of energy issues ranging from renewable energy systems to low carbon economies. At Renewable Northwest, he will analyze renewable energy and siting policy as well as support Renewable Northwest's solar policy development in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to his work with Renewable Northwest, Michael is currently serving as an Expert Reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of an Assessment Report focusing on Energy Systems. O'Brien holds a PhD and a Masters of Science from the University of Birmingham as well as a Masters of Philosophy from the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge.

Silvia Tanner's picture
Silvia Tanner, Staff Counsel

Silvia joined Renewable Northwest in November 2015. She holds a B.A. in economics from Portland State University and a J.D. from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College. She brings to the organization her background in utility regulation and data analysis, as well as her experience researching national and international energy issues. Silvia calls the Pacific Northwest home and dedicates a lot of her time to this community. As a student, she assisted low-income clients in areas like landlord tenant and business law. She is now a volunteer attorney with the Small Business Legal Clinic’s Pro-bono Program, and serves on the Oregon Women Lawyers’ Working Parents Committee and on the board of the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association. Silvia is also a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and running.

David Wolf's picture
David Wolf, Administrative Director

David joined Renewable Northwest in June 2002. David is an Oregon native and has a BA from Reed College. Prior to working for Renewable Northwest, David has been a natural foods merchandiser for Nature's Fresh Northwest, operated his own web design company, and managed a large-format digital print shop. In addition to his duties at Renewable Northwest, David serves on the boards of EarthShare Oregon and The Wallace Medical Concern.

Cameron Yourkowski's picture
Cameron Yourkowski, Senior Policy Manager

Cameron’s work focuses on increasing access to transmission for renewable energy resources and increasing the efficiency and capability of the transmission system to integrate variable energy resources. He is active in the policy and rate setting forums at BPA, FERC, NPCC, WGA, WECC and the state legislative and regulatory bodies. Prior to coming to Renewable Northwest in 2007, he worked for the Alaska State Legislature on energy and fisheries issues. Cameron holds a M.S. and B.A. in economics from Portland State University and the University of Montana, respectively.

Renewable Northwest Staff Photo
December 2014
(left to right) Pam Mahon, Michael O'Brien, Jeff Fox, Kelly Hall, Cameron Yourkowski, Dina Dubson, David Wolf, Rachel Shimshak, Cliff Gilmore, and Hillary Barbour.
Video - Energy Imbalance Market

It is time for the Northwest to modernize its electricity system and create an Energy Imbalance Market.

watch the video >

Renewable Northwest Memories

Some Renewable Northwest staff and board members recently took a trip down the Salmon River in Idaho. See some photos of the trip and other great moments in our histroy.