BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Susie Y. Wong
President & CEO
Susie Y. Wong founded Asians in Energy in 2013 and serves as president and CEO of the organization, which focuses on leading Asian Pacific Americans on energy and telecommunications issues and trends to inspire understanding, advance knowledge, and strengthen Asian communities. The organization seeks to proactively engage Asian Pacific Americans in areas where Asians have historically been viewed in the context of environmental justice.
As the principal of Susie Y. Wong Public Affairs based in Sacramento, CA, Wong provides strategic consulting in energy and law enforcement, with a particular expertise in multicultural ally recruitment and coalition building. She has an extensive background in environment, energy, economic development, financial services, transportation, emergency management, as well as state government and multicultural relations.
Previously, Wong served more than 7 years in Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Administration as an appointee at California EPA, Department of Toxic Substances Control and Department of Corporations. She was a member of the governor’s GoBiz office to integrate Cal EPA’s AB 32 climate change initiatives into small business initiatives statewide.
Wong led the award winning statewide Flex Your Power energy efficiency and conservation campaign to business and industry during the 2001 energy crisis. She served on the governor’s committees for small businesses, commercial buildings and appliances.
She also has an extensive background in political affairs, including a key role on successful statewide ballot initiatives in the areas of healthcare, tort reform and insurance coverage. She advises and consults at the national and state level on political campaigns.
Wong lectures and speaks on the need for Asian Pacific American activism in the area of energy and telecommunications and the necessity of relevance in government policy. She is a former print, TV and radio reporter.
Her commitment to community service includes serving on the Executive Committee of the Chinese Railroad Workers Memorial Project; Co-founder and Chairman of Sacramento Regional Coalition for Tolerance; Advisory Board and past President of Asian Pacific State Employees Association Foundation; Advisory Board of OCA Sacramento; Advisory Board of the Slavic American Chamber of Commerce; Steering Committee, Jewish Community Relations Council Sister City Task Force; member of FBI InfraGard and FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association; member of the Asian Pacific Islander Capitol Association (APICA); past member of the board of the Non-Profit Resource Center; past member of the board and Treasurer of the Asian American Journalists Association; and, past member of the board of Junior League of Sacramento.
José L. Perez
José L. Perez is chairman and CEO of Hispanics In Energy, a national organization which facilitates Hispanic inclusion in America’s energy industry. He also serves as chairman and CEO of the California Utilities Diversity Council (CUDC), which he founded in 2003 with Michael Peevey, president of the California Public Utilities Commission. While leading the CUDC, the organization helped the CPUC set new benchmarks in utility supplier diversity procurement by California-regulated companies. In 2008, he co-founded the National Utilities Diversity Council and served for three years as president.
In 2009, Perez was part of the key team that co-founded the California Asian Chamber of Commerce, serving as a member of the board for five years, where he provided his expertise on supplier diversity procurement.
Perez is also founder and publisher of the Latino Journal, a non-partisan publication which provides an independent analysis of public policy and government from a Latino perspective.
Perez lectures nationally on Hispanic workforce development, in addition to advocating for greater participation by Hispanics in supplier diversity procurement, public policy and other energy issues. He has a bachelor’s degree in government from California State University, Sacramento and a certificate on corporate governance from the Graduate School of Business at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.
James J.S. Liao
As vice president and general manager of Crossings TV for stations in New York City and Chicago, James S.J. Liao oversees the cable stations programming in such foreign languages as Chinese, South Asian, Filipino, and Russian. Founded in 2005, Crossings TV’s group of stations nationwide fulfills the entertainment and information needs of Asian American communities.
In addition, Liao is an adjunct professor lecturing on a course in International Business and Management at Skidmore College. He also is president of Salem Consultants Inc., a management consulting firm performing outsourced CFO, COO, Controller and general financial and litigation advisory services.
He currently is director of underwriting and portfolio administration for Energize NY, a community-based energy efficiency program operating within the Energy Improvement Corp. (EIC), a New York State local development corporation. The program leverages PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing to help commercial and non-profit property owners with energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements for commercial, multi-family, light industrial and nonprofit-owned buildings.
Previously, Liao has served as an executive at The Municipal Art Society of New York, The Jockey Club and Christiansen Capitol Advisors LLC. He also served as a director of fiduciary and financial auditing at Siemens Corp., manager of financial and litigation services at Touche Ross & Co., and vice president of Asia-Pacific and Europe for Manufacturers Hanover Leasing Corp.
Liao earned his M.B.A. in finance from New York University and his bachelor’s degree in finance (Magna Cum Laude) from Fordham University.
MEMBERS AT LARGE
Ali A. Chowdhury, Ph.D.
Dr. Ali Chowdhury holds a doctorate in electrical engineering and has more than two decades of experience in the electric utility industry, electric equipment manufacturing industry, consulting, teaching, research and development in power system reliability and security assessments, planning and analysis. He currently is vice president of transmission and generation interconnection planning at 8minutenergy Renewables in Folsom, CA, where he manages a portfolio of 2,000+ MW of solar PV projects.
Prior to joining 8minutenergy Renewables, Chowdhury was the director of Regional Transmission South at the California Independent System Operator, also known as California ISO, in Folsom, CA, where he had oversight of system reliability, economic and renewable energy transmission planning for California ISO grid infrastructure development, and transmission system operations engineering.
Earlier in his career, Chowdhury served in senior management positions in General Electric Company, Atlantic Nuclear Services, Alberta Power Limited, and MidAmerican Energy Company.
Dr. Chowdhury has approved more than $15 billion worth of extra high and high voltage transmission lines and substations for interconnecting renewable and conventional generators as well as for interconnection of large industrial and commercial loads. In addition, he has approved about $5 billion worth of transmission elements for maintaining system reliability and security in meeting increasing load growth.
Chowdhury co-authored “Power Distribution System Reliability: Practical Methods and Applications,” published in 2009 by John Wiley & Sons. In addition, he has authored or co-authored more than 150 technical papers published in peer reviewed national and international journals. He lectures nationally and internationally on theory and applications of power system reliability and value-based planning.
He has received numerous awards from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for his outstanding leadership and contributions to the institute and engineering profession and received outstanding technical prize paper awards from several technical organizations.
Chowdhury has master’s degrees in electrical engineering from both Belarus Polytechnic Institute in Belarus and University of Saskatchewan, Canada. He also has a doctorate in electrical engineering from University of Saskatchewan, Canada and a master’s in business administration from St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa.
Robert A. Laurie, J.D.
Robert A. Laurie has extensive experience in all aspects of law and policy relating to energy, land use, environmental regulation and energy conservation and development applied at the local, state and federal levels of government.
Laurie served as a California Energy Commissioner for the State of California from 1997-2002 and was responsible for the licensing of new generation, energy research and development, renewable energy policy and energy efficiency programs. He has more recently led energy and environment advisory groups for U.S. Presidential and Senatorial candidates. On behalf of the U.S. State Department, Mr. Laurie has consulted with energy and environmental leaders in Central and South America, Asia and Europe as well as the United Nations.
In his capacity as an energy, land use and environmental attorney, Laurie has participated in obtaining approval for literally hundreds of residential, commercial and industrial projects throughout Northern California. He has led development teams from property acquisition to full build-out. He has more than 30 years of experience working with state and national environmental regulations and has litigated such at the state level.
Laurie has served in government as both an elected official and legal counsel at the local, state and federal levels. He is a legal advisor to many local government agencies.
Laurie is a Professor of Law at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento and lectures on California land finance. He has previously served on the faculty of Folsom Lake College and William Jessup University as well, lecturing on American government and political theory.
A native of Russia, Sergey Terebkov is the founder and president of the Slavic American Chamber of Commerce, which provides services for and facilitates the growth and success of businesses that serve the Slavic American community throughout California. Under his leadership, the Slavic Chamber has grown into a significant force, drawing dignitaries and elected officials to meet with its members, in addition to annual visits to meet with legislators at the state Capitol.
Under Terebkov’s leadership, the Slavic Chamber has expanded its presence throughout the state. The chamber partners with Russian business organizations in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Terebkov has an extensive background in public relations, real estate and financial services, non-profits and local government. In addition to serving the City of Sacramento as the community liaison, he also owns and operates an insurance agency with a specialty in personal lines and small businesses.
His community service involves serving on the Gateway Community Charter Board, Sacramento County Sheriff Business Advisory Board, Advisory Panel for Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and Sacramento Regional Coalition for Tolerance.
Walter Wang, J.D., LL.M
Walter Wang is a tax adviser with Zaldivar, Sattar & Associates. He has extensive experience advising on solar and wind energy projects. He has worked closely with companies such as Collective Sun to develop an innovative use of crowd funding for renewable energy projects for non-profit based institutions.
Walter has previously taught courses in business taxation and energy tax policy at the University of California, San Diego Extension Program and the University of San Diego School of Law respectively.
Walter has presented at the California Center for Sustainable Energy, Global Conference on Environmental Taxation and South by Southwest Eco. Walter’s column, “Planet Tax” in Tax Notes International focuses on tax issues in the clean energy and climate change arena. Walter received his B.A. from Colby College and his J.D. and LL.M (Taxation) from the University of San Diego School of Law.