WHO WE ARE

Experienced.

Caliber’s extensive regulatory and policy expertise enables our team to bring strategy, focus and success to our clients.
caliber strat staff

WHO WE ARE

Experienced.

Caliber’s extensive regulatory and policy expertise enables our team to bring strategy, focus and success to our clients.
caliber firm photo
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California is a complicated place to do business. Caliber’s relationships, advice and guidance on our go-to-market strategy are invaluable to our success. 
— Faith Electric
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California is a complicated place to do business. Caliber’s relationships, advice and guidance on our go-to-market strategy are invaluable to our success. 
— Faith Electric
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With Caliber on our team, we not only gain deep insights into changing policy, but also are able to strategically shape the market to enable our growth as a company.
— Charm Industrial

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With Caliber on our team, we not only gain deep insights into changing policy, but also are able to strategically shape the market to enable our growth as a company.
— Charm Industrial

Manal Yamout McDermid Headshot

Manal Yamout McDermid

Founding Partner

Ms. McDermid served as energy advisor to two California Governors, led government affairs for the nation’s largest clean energy company, and co-founded a leading energy storage company. She founded Caliber Strategies in 2013.

Ms. McDermid has led policy and regulatory design for nearly two decades. Prior to founding Caliber Strategies, she served as Co-Founder & Senior VP of Policy & Market Design for Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS), a distributed energy storage company that built the world’s largest Virtual Power Plant and a cutting-edge AI-powered energy asset software platform. Here, Ms. McDermid focused on policies related to distributed energy resources, both on the state and national level. She also helped the company raise Series A and B corporate rounds and a $200 MM project finance round – the largest dedicated energy storage finance vehicle in history at the time.

Prior to AMS, Ms. McDermid served as Director of Governmental Affairs for NextEra Energy / Florida Power & Light (FPL), the nation’s leader in wind and solar generation and an electric utility serving 4.6 million customers. She oversaw political, legislative and regulatory engagement with key members of the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch on issues relating to renewable energy, land use and tax reform. Prior to this, Ms. McDermid served as Renewable Energy Advisor to California Governors Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger, leading the state’s efforts towards renewable energy deployment.

Ms. McDermid currently serves as the Chair of the Board for GridWorks and sits on the Board for the Energy Systems Management Program at the University of San Francisco. She formerly served as Board Chair of the California Energy Storage Association. Ms. McDermid holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the California State University and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

Manal Yamout McDermid Headshot

Manal Yamout McDermid

Founding Partner

Ms. McDermid served as energy advisor to two California Governors, led government affairs for the nation’s largest clean energy company, and co-founded a leading energy storage company. She founded Caliber Strategies in 2013.

Ms. McDermid has led policy and regulatory design for nearly two decades. Prior to founding Caliber Strategies, she served as Co-Founder & Senior VP of Policy & Market Design for Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS), a distributed energy storage company that built the world’s largest Virtual Power Plant and a cutting-edge AI-powered energy asset software platform. Here, Ms. McDermid focused on policies related to distributed energy resources, both on the state and national level. She also helped the company raise Series A and B corporate rounds and a $200 MM project finance round – the largest dedicated energy storage finance vehicle in history at the time.

Prior to AMS, Ms. McDermid served as Director of Governmental Affairs for NextEra Energy / Florida Power & Light (FPL), the nation’s leader in wind and solar generation and an electric utility serving 4.6 million customers. She oversaw political, legislative and regulatory engagement with key members of the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch on issues relating to renewable energy, land use and tax reform. Prior to this, Ms. McDermid served as Renewable Energy Advisor to California Governors Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger, leading the state’s efforts towards renewable energy deployment.

Ms. McDermid currently serves as the Chair of the Board for GridWorks and sits on the Board for the Energy Systems Management Program at the University of San Francisco. She formerly served as Board Chair of the California Energy Storage Association. Ms. McDermid holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the California State University and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

Michael Picker

Michael Picker

Partner

Mr. Picker has worked for the past three California Governors, advising on utilities, renewable energy and climate issues.

Prior to joining Caliber Strategies, Mr. Picker served as President of the CPUC. He was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown in January 2014 and was designated CPUC President later the same year. As President, Mr. Picker served as the State’s highest utility regulator, presiding over the State’s major decisions on electric power, telecommunications, natural gas, water companies, railroads, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies, such as Uber and Lyft. As a Commissioner, he pressed for
structural reforms, promoted safety program and wildfire response, and oversaw regulatory proceedings on distribution resource planning, distributed energy programs, time-based tariffs, and early stages of the PG&E bankruptcy.

Mr. Picker also worked as a Principal at Lincoln Crow Strategic Communications from 2000 to 2009, Deputy Treasurer in the Office of the California State Treasurer from 1998 to 1999, Chief of Staff to Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. from 1992 to 1999, and Deputy Assistant for toxic substance control in the Office of the Governor from 1981 to 1982. Picker also served as a member of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Board of Directors from 2012 to 2014.

Mr. Picker is a former lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning and an instructor at Occidental College’s Urban and Environmental Policies Institute. He graduated from Immaculate Heart College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and History and from the University of California, Davis with a Masters of Business Administration.

Michael Picker

Michael Picker

Partner

Mr. Picker has worked for the past three California Governors, advising on utilities, renewable energy and climate issues.

Prior to joining Caliber Strategies, Mr. Picker served as President of the CPUC. He was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown in January 2014 and was designated CPUC President later the same year. As President, Mr. Picker served as the State’s highest utility regulator, presiding over the State’s major decisions on electric power, telecommunications, natural gas, water companies, railroads, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies, such as Uber and Lyft. As a Commissioner, he pressed for
structural reforms, promoted safety program and wildfire response, and oversaw regulatory proceedings on distribution resource planning, distributed energy programs, time-based tariffs, and early stages of the PG&E bankruptcy.

Mr. Picker also worked as a Principal at Lincoln Crow Strategic Communications from 2000 to 2009, Deputy Treasurer in the Office of the California State Treasurer from 1998 to 1999, Chief of Staff to Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. from 1992 to 1999, and Deputy Assistant for toxic substance control in the Office of the Governor from 1981 to 1982. Picker also served as a member of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Board of Directors from 2012 to 2014.

Mr. Picker is a former lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning and an instructor at Occidental College’s Urban and Environmental Policies Institute. He graduated from Immaculate Heart College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and History and from the University of California, Davis with a Masters of Business Administration.

susan
Susan Kennedy

Partner

Ms. Kennedy is an accomplished policymaker and strategist and brings more than 30 years of relevant public and private experience with a distinguished career as founder and chief executive of a renewable energy company, top advisor to two California Governors, former Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commissioner, and advisor to high-profile governing boards in the corporate, regulatory, government, and non-profit sectors. She most recently served as a Senior Executive at Lyft, Inc. and is on the Board of Directors of Cadiz Inc., a California business dedicated to sustainable water and agricultural projects.

A cleantech visionary, she founded the California renewable energy startup Advanced Microgrid Solutions, serving as chief executive officer and board chair from 2013-2020 until it was acquired by Siemens and AES.

Ms. Kennedy was at the center of many of California’s groundbreaking environmental policies, including the carbon reduction mandate and cap-and-trade program under AB 32, the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard, auto emission standards and the Renewable Portfolio Standard.

She coordinated the State’s emergency demand response efforts during the energy crisis of 2000-2001, and as a member of the CPUC, she authored what was then the largest energy efficiency program in utility history. During her time at the California Bay-Delta Authority, the statewide body responsible for overseeing one of the largest water projects in the world — the $8 billion,10-year restoration of the San Francisco Bay Delta ecosystem — to increase storage, promote efficiency and protect California’s extensive levee system. In this role, Ms. Kennedy was responsible for agreements among environmentalists, agricultural interests, and urban water users for multi-billion-dollar co-investments in water storage facilities, water use efficiency, and restoration of impaired waterways and fisheries.

Ms. Kennedy holds a Bachelors of Arts in Management from Saint Mary’s College of California.

susan
Susan Kennedy

Partner

Ms. Kennedy is an accomplished policymaker and strategist and brings more than 30 years of relevant public and private experience with a distinguished career as founder and chief executive of a renewable energy company, top advisor to two California Governors, former Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commissioner, and advisor to high-profile governing boards in the corporate, regulatory, government, and non-profit sectors. She most recently served as a Senior Executive at Lyft, Inc. and is on the Board of Directors of Cadiz Inc., a California business dedicated to sustainable water and agricultural projects.

A cleantech visionary, she founded the California renewable energy startup Advanced Microgrid Solutions, serving as chief executive officer and board chair from 2013-2020 until it was acquired by Siemens and AES.

Ms. Kennedy was at the center of many of California’s groundbreaking environmental policies, including the carbon reduction mandate and cap-and-trade program under AB 32, the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard, auto emission standards and the Renewable Portfolio Standard.

She coordinated the State’s emergency demand response efforts during the energy crisis of 2000-2001, and as a member of the CPUC, she authored what was then the largest energy efficiency program in utility history. During her time at the California Bay-Delta Authority, the statewide body responsible for overseeing one of the largest water projects in the world — the $8 billion,10-year restoration of the San Francisco Bay Delta ecosystem — to increase storage, promote efficiency and protect California’s extensive levee system. In this role, Ms. Kennedy was responsible for agreements among environmentalists, agricultural interests, and urban water users for multi-billion-dollar co-investments in water storage facilities, water use efficiency, and restoration of impaired waterways and fisheries.

Ms. Kennedy holds a Bachelors of Arts in Management from Saint Mary’s College of California.

Virgil Rominah

Virgil Welch

Partner

Mr. Welch has worked at the forefront of California’s climate, air quality and clean energy programs for nearly two decades, serving under three California Governors and as Chief Advisor to the California Air Resources Board Chair.

He served as a California Gubernatorial appointee under the Schwarzenegger, Brown and Newsom Administrations as Special Counsel and Chief Advisor to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Chair Mary Nichols. He also briefly held this role for CARB Chair Liane Randolph. In his role at CARB, Mr. Welch helped lead the creation of multiple globally recognized programs to cut pollution and greenhouse gas emissions through the deployment of clean technologies, including multiple sets of standards for cleaner light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles; an economy-wide cap and-trade program; a Low Carbon Fuel Standard; and a comprehensive set of programs to slash short-lived climate pollutants, among other policies. Mr. Welch worked extensively with the thousands of professional scientists, engineers, lawyers and regulatory experts at CARB to devise and successfully implement policies and regulations grounded in data, science and economics. He also led CARB efforts to engage with a broad range of stakeholders, businesses and state, local, federal and international governments on a wide spectrum of issues.

Prior to his service at CARB, Mr. Welch helped lead the Environmental Defense Fund’s successful sponsorship of Assembly Bill 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. He also previously served as a Partner at AJW, Inc., where he worked with innovative companies to develop regulatory, policy and market solutions for clean energy, air and transportation technologies.

Mr. Welch holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Texas and a Master of Public Affairs and Juris Doctor from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the California State Bar.

Virgil Rominah

Virgil Welch

Partner

Mr. Welch has worked at the forefront of California’s climate, air quality and clean energy programs for nearly two decades, serving under three California Governors and as Chief Advisor to the California Air Resources Board Chair.

He served as a California Gubernatorial appointee under the Schwarzenegger, Brown and Newsom Administrations as Special Counsel and Chief Advisor to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Chair Mary Nichols. He also briefly held this role for CARB Chair Liane Randolph. In his role at CARB, Mr. Welch helped lead the creation of multiple globally recognized programs to cut pollution and greenhouse gas emissions through the deployment of clean technologies, including multiple sets of standards for cleaner light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles; an economy-wide cap-and-trade program; a Low Carbon Fuel Standard; and a comprehensive set of programs to slash short-lived climate pollutants, among other policies. Mr. Welch worked extensively with the thousands of professional scientists, engineers, lawyers and regulatory experts at CARB to devise and successfully implement policies and regulations grounded in data, science and economics. He also led CARB efforts to engage with a broad range of stakeholders, businesses and state, local, federal and international governments on a wide spectrum of issues.

Prior to his service at CARB, Mr. Welch helped lead the Environmental Defense Fund’s successful sponsorship of Assembly Bill 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. He also previously served as a Partner at AJW, Inc., where he worked with innovative companies to develop regulatory, policy and market solutions for clean energy, air and transportation technologies.

Mr. Welch holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Texas and a Master of Public Affairs and Juris Doctor from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the California State Bar.

Ed Randolph

Edward Randolph

Partner

Mr. Randolph has been a leader in developing and overseeing California’s energy policy for more than 25 years. Having served as Deputy Executive Director for Energy and Climate Policy at the California Public Utilities Commission and chief policy advisor to the California Assembly’s Utility and Commerce Committee, Mr. Randolph has been directly involved in shaping almost every energy policy initiative in California over the past two decades.

Mr. Randolph has been responsible for providing strategic guidance on public policies and issues that help make California a national and international leader in energy-related initiatives. This includes policies driving California’s aggressive renewable power investments, energy efficiency overhauls, and moving the state to integrated resource planning with a focus on GHG emissions. He also negotiated and drafted a major rewrite of California’s cable statutes to overhaul regulation of cable television and data services in California.

Mr. Randolph has also led efforts to rapidly deploy new clean energy resources to meet California clean energy goals and respond to planned and unplanned loss of critical infrastructure. The effort led California to an electricity portfolio that is more than 65% carbon free today and on track to be 85% carbon free by 2031.

Mr. Randolph earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego, and a Juris Doctorate from the McGeorge School of Law, where he graduated with Great Distinction.

Ed Randolph

Edward Randolph

Partner

Mr. Randolph has been a leader in developing and overseeing California’s energy policy for more than 25 years. Having served as Deputy Executive Director for Energy and Climate Policy at the California Public Utilities Commission and chief policy advisor to the California Assembly’s Utility and Commerce Committee, Mr. Randolph has been directly involved in shaping almost every energy policy initiative in California over the past two decades.

Mr. Randolph has been responsible for providing strategic guidance on public policies and issues that help make California a national and international leader in energy-related initiatives. This includes policies driving California’s aggressive renewable power investments, energy efficiency overhauls, and moving the state to integrated resource planning with a focus on GHG emissions. He also negotiated and drafted a major rewrite of California’s cable statutes to overhaul regulation of cable television and data services in California.

Mr. Randolph has also led efforts to rapidly deploy new clean energy resources to meet California clean energy goals and respond to planned and unplanned loss of critical infrastructure. The effort led California to an electricity portfolio that is more than 65% carbon free today and on track to be 85% carbon free by 2031.

Mr. Randolph earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego, and a Juris Doctorate from the McGeorge School of Law, where he graduated with Great Distinction.

Hope Fasching Headshot

Hope Fasching

Associate

Ms. Fasching is a green hydrogen policy expert and clean energy advocate, having spent several years working in clean energy consulting and policy development.

Prior to joining Caliber, Ms. Fasching served as a Consultant and Senior Policy Analyst at Strategen, a clean energy strategy consulting firm, and also helped lead the Green Hydrogen Coalition. In this role, she worked extensively with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Energy Commission (CEC), and California Air Resource Board (CARB) on various clean energy topics. She also tracked relevant clean energy legislation at the California State Legislature. Ms. Fasching also worked with the Governor’s Office of usiness and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and other key stakeholders on California’s clean hydrogen hub.

Ms. Fasching holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of California, San Diego, with a focus on energy policy and econometric analysis. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles in Political Science.

Hope Fasching Headshot

Hope Fasching

Associate

Ms. Fasching is a green hydrogen policy expert and clean energy advocate, having spent several years working in clean energy consulting and policy development. Prior to joining Caliber, Ms. Fasching served as a Consultant and Senior Policy Analyst at Strategen, a clean energy strategy consulting firm, and also helped lead the Green Hydrogen Coalition. In this role, she worked extensively with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Energy Commission (CEC), and California Air Resource Board (CARB) on various clean energy topics. She also tracked relevant clean energy legislation at the California State Legislature. Ms. Fasching also worked with the Governor’s Office of usiness and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and other key stakeholders on California’s clean hydrogen hub. Ms. Fasching holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of California, San Diego, with a focus on energy policy and econometric analysis. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles in Political Science.
Shayla Funk Headshot

Shayla Funk

Associate

Ms. Funk is an emerging leader in California’s energy and climate space having served in the prestigious California Executive Fellowship Program and as an analyst in the Executive Office of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Before joining Caliber, Ms. Funk served as a Regulatory Analyst in the Safety Policy Division at the CPUC. In this role, she led a rulemaking to further develop a risk-based decision-making framework for gas and electric utilities. She directed public meetings, wrote policy recommendations and guided decision-makers through recommendations for utility risk policies. Prior to her position in the Safety Policy Division, Ms. Funk served as an Executive Fellow and a Regulatory Analyst in the CPUC’s Executive Division.

Ms. Funk holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Redlands in Public Policy and Environmental Science and is a candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business.

Shayla Funk Headshot

Shayla Funk

Associate

Ms. Funk is an emerging leader in California’s energy and climate space having served in the prestigious California Executive Fellowship Program and as an analyst in the Executive Office of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Before joining Caliber, Ms. Funk served as a Regulatory Analyst in the Safety Policy Division at the CPUC. In this role, she led a rulemaking to further develop a risk-based decision-making framework for gas and electric utilities. She directed public meetings, wrote policy recommendations and guided decision-makers through recommendations for utility risk policies. Prior to her position in the Safety Policy Division, Ms. Funk served as an Executive Fellow and a Regulatory Analyst in the CPUC’s Executive Division.

Ms. Funk holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Redlands in Public Policy and Environmental Science and is a candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business.

grace pratt headshot
Grace Pratt

Associate

Ms. Pratt is a policy expert and clean energy advocate, having spent
three years as a Policy and Legislative Analyst at the California Energy
Storage Alliance (CESA).

Prior to joining Caliber, Ms. Pratt advocated on behalf of over 100 CESA
members to advance policy supporting energy storage at the California
Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Energy Commission
(CEC) and California State Legislature. There, she led work on behindthe-meter and distributed energy resources, distribution resource planning and energy storage safety and permitting. Ms. Pratt also led CESA’s
sponsorship of Assembly Bill 2625 (Ting, 2022), creating a Subdivision
Map Act exemption for standalone energy storage to facilitate the permitting process for these projects.

Ms. Pratt holds a Bachelor of Science in Conservation and Resource
Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature from
the University of California, Berkeley.

grace pratt headshot
Grace Pratt

Associate

Ms. Pratt is a policy expert and clean energy advocate, having spent
three years as a Policy and Legislative Analyst at the California Energy
Storage Alliance (CESA).

Prior to joining Caliber, Ms. Pratt advocated on behalf of over 100 CESA
members to advance policy supporting energy storage at the California
Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Energy Commission
(CEC) and California State Legislature. There, she led work on behindthe-meter and distributed energy resources, distribution resource planning and energy storage safety and permitting. Ms. Pratt also led CESA’s
sponsorship of Assembly Bill 2625 (Ting, 2022), creating a Subdivision
Map Act exemption for standalone energy storage to facilitate the permitting process for these projects.

Ms. Pratt holds a Bachelor of Science in Conservation and Resource
Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature from
the University of California, Berkeley.

Hope Fasching Headshot
Hope Fasching
Associate
Ms. Fasching is a green hydrogen policy expert and clean energy advocate, having spent several years working in clean energy consulting and policy development. Prior to joining Caliber, Ms. Fasching served as a Consultant and Senior Policy Analyst at Strategen, a clean energy strategy consulting firm, and also helped lead the Green Hydrogen Coalition. In this role, she worked extensively with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Energy Commission (CEC), and California Air Resource Board (CARB) on various clean energy topics. She also tracked relevant clean energy legislation at the California State Legislature. Ms. Fasching also worked with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and other key stakeholders on California’s clean hydrogen hub. Ms. Fasching holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of California, San Diego, with a focus on energy policy and econometric analysis. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles in Political Science.