Staff and Post-Graduate Fellows




Secretary & VP of Administration

Susan has been helping companies define business models and growth strategies, build brands, evaluate systems and technologies, and grow capabilities for over 20 years. With experience in multiple industries and with a diverse mix of companies — from startups to global corporations — Susan has been able to integrate these kinds of efforts in ways that create competitive advantage and measurable value.

Susan has a Bachelors in Music Education from North Central College in Illinois and a Masters in Opera Performance from the University of Cincinnati where she was also enrolled in a DMA doctoral program, computer sciences studies, and later an MBA program before being recruited to move to California in 2000. (She regrets not having been able to finish the MBA, but not having moved to California.)

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Symposium Coordinator and Event Organizer

Ms. Torre-Bueno is a former business owner who co-founded and ran two companies – a publishing company and a biotech firm – both of which she successfully sold. This allowed Susi to retire early and spend the next 30 years working for several non-profits. In that time she has been responsible for organizing more than 120 fund-raising educational events.

For the Pacific Horticulture Society, Ms. Torre-Bueno designed and organized a series of highly successful three-day events, including speakers and bus tours, each attended by several hundred people.  As a volunteer for The Garden Conservancy, Ms. Torre-Bueno designed and organized over a dozen day-long garden tours, each attended by hundreds of people. As the past president of the San Diego Horticultural Society, she created and organized dozens of events, worked with hundreds of volunteers, initiated the creation of their website and many public events, presided over 100 monthly meetings attended by over 200 people, and served as their newsletter editor for 22 years.

Ms. Torre-Bueno earned a BA at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. 

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David earned a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley. While at Berkeley, he developed his passion for renewable energy through designing wind turbines & maintaining solar systems with blueEnergy, research in demand response, and participation on the solar vehicle team. David and his co-founders were awarded $24K in seed funding from the Berkeley Big Ideas Competition and National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance for their innovative flywheel energy storage design and business plan.

David has eight years of work experience in engineering, project management, and business development in commercial aerospace where he has focused on reducing carbon emissions and electrifying aviation. David is currently working with the Center for Community Energy to analyze how electric vehicles can be utilized to offset the intermittency associated with renewable energy through vehicle-to-grid technology.

David joined SDED as an analyst to apply his business development and technical experience to accelerating the transition to a clean energy future in his hometown of San Diego.

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Post-Graduate Fellows


Stephanie has a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from UC San Diego, a M.S. in Geographic Information Science & Technology from USC, and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. She was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan before coming to the U.S. for college.

Previously, Stephanie was a Project Engineer at PlaceWorks, an environmental consulting firm, where she modeled air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions and traffic impacts of development projects and prepared environmental reports in compliance with California Environmental Quality Act. Stephanie also worked as a Business Development & Strategy Associate at MATA Inventive, an AI smart manufacturing solution startup, where she led digital marketing campaigns and market research initiatives to pursue high value leads. Stephanie is currently a research volunteer at CA Alliance for Community Energy, working to support local renewable energy developments and clean energy job creations through Community Choice energy programs. 

Stephanie joined SDED to support the education, discussion, and collaboration within the industry, which are crucial for transitioning to a clean energy economy. 

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Andrea Salas recently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Renewable Energy Engineering at CETYS University in Tijuana. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Management from.City University of Seattle. 

Andrea participated in the ENLACE bi-national summer research in engineering program at UC San Diego, and she spent another summer studying Renewable Energy Sources at Universidad de Alcalá in Spain. Andrea has acquired work experience as an intern at GSE, an energy management company, where she analyzed and monitored electrical equipment (lighting, HVACs, freezers, etc.) and was in direct contact with clients in order to save on business energy costs while satisfying needs. Later she became an intern at the Environment, Health, and Safety department of Poly, a manufacturer of communication devices. Here she developed solar roof-top generation reports, as well as water and gas consumption reports.

Andrea is currently helping the San Diego Energy District by coordinating sponsor development and general organizational calendar. 

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Aurora has a B. E. in Renewable Energy from CETYS University and a B. A. in Management from City University of Seattle through a Double Degree program. She was born and raised in Tijuana, B.C., Mexico and then became a U.S. citizen. 

Previously, Andrea was an engineer intern in TTN Energy and Telecommunications, a renewable energy project pre-development consultancy where she designed and simulated solar systems for residential projects and solar farms. She has also sized and designed Battery Energy Storage Systems for clients with high energy demand. 

During her college years Andrea attended the university of Alcalá de Henares for a summer course about renewable energy sources where she learned about trending technologies in the energy sector. Aurora was also part of an engineering student body as an Academic Link, and later co-founded and lead a sustainability student group called TerraVita to aid promote the CETYS Zero Waste program among students.   

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Shadi is a graduate of the Bachelor of Arts in International Economics from the American University of Paris and the Sorbonne. He is finishing his 8th month as an intern in research in economic affairs at the United Nations – Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia headquarters, in Beirut, Lebanon. In August 2020, he will be starting his MSc in Finance at the American University of Beirut (Chartered Financial Analyst level 3 equivalent).

Shadi is skilled in working with data. He has created indexes on income and governance, and assisted with a published working paper on post-COVID poverty in the Arab region. Fluent in English, French, Arabic, Shadi has also studied Spanish and Italian for several years.  He is helping SDED with research on energy-efficient practices in Europe and reporting on the energy markets in the MENA region.

Shadi joined SDED because he is devoted to helping develop innovative ideas and providing thorough analyses to SDED’s board. He believes that sustainable development in all sectors depends on a fast energy-transition.

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Alejandro Lampell is a recent graduate from Harvard College, where he earned a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Statistics. Originally from Mexico, he spent the early parts of his life moving around Latin America before finishing high school in El Salvador. 

Previously, Alejandro interned at consulting firms Bain & Company and Strategy&, where he performed industry research, data analysis, and statistical modeling to provide growth solutions to global clients. He has also interned at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Mexico City and the Institute of the Americas in San Diego, helping organize community forums on the topics of environmental reforestation, US-Latin American trade relations, and national healthcare policy.

Alejandro is currently helping with audience outreach and logistics for the 2020 webinar series and is excited to join SDED in the fight to transition to a clean energy economy.

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