An Evolving Team for Evolving Challenges

With the start of a new year, CLASP is continuing to grow and adapt our work addressing global energy poverty and the climate crisis. To achieve this, we recently enacted changes in key leadership roles to bring new perspectives and vision to our work in climate policy and clean energy access. Additionally, we welcomed four new team members in two of our global offices.


James Wakaba

Director, CLASP East Africa

James Wakaba joins CLASP as the new East Africa director. With nearly 20 years of experience in the East Africa energy sector, James has led regional efforts on appliance energy efficiency policy in addition to off-grid clean energy access. He has worked extensively on climate mitigation through diverse renewable energy programs in wind, hydro and solar power, and is an expert in partnership management across the private, NGO, and multilateral sectors. James also brings to CLASP his established relationships with stakeholders in the region, positioning him to lead our East Africa office into the next stage of growth and impact. He holds a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Nairobi, and is both a chartered engineer and a licensed energy auditor. In his free time, James is a dedicated Rotarian, enjoys traveling to remote wildlife parks, and is a member of two book clubs.


Steve Pantano

Chief Research Officer

Steve Pantano has taken on a new role as CLASP’s Chief of Research. During his nearly nine years at CLASP, Steve has led and overseen a wide range of partnerships and programs to support the introduction of efficient appliances both on and off the grid. Most recently he led our Market Development and Innovation team through a period of rapid growth and diversification, in which we launched new clean energy access programs in more than a dozen countries. In his new role, Steve will be responsible for building up CLASP’s research program, improving our modeling and evaluation capabilities, and designing and implementing a portfolio of new research projects that provoke the field toward greater appliance energy efficiency in on-, off-, and weak-grid contexts.



Sam Grant

Senior Technical Advisor

After three years as CLASP’s Africa regional lead, Sam will transition to serve as a Senior Technical Advisor for clean energy access programs. Sam joined CLASP in 2017 as the first East Africa team member. As regional lead, Sam grew CLASP’s presence in Nairobi to eleven full-time staff members and expanded CLASP’s program portfolio in both energy efficiency policy and clean energy access to include 37 countries across the continent. In his new role, Sam will work across the organization to support clean energy access and energy efficiency policy programs in East Africa, India, and around the world.



Michael Mwangi Maina

Research Associate, East Africa

Michael joins CLASP supporting research under the Clean Energy Access portfolio. Michael brings more than 4 years of experience in energy and environment research, providing advisory services in both the public and private sector. Prior to joining CLASP, Michael worked at EED Advisory Ltd where he provided insights into energy resource and demand assessments, use of spatial methodologies in energy planning and management, and renewable energy policy planning. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental planning and management from Kenyatta University. Michael enjoys hiking, volunteering in wildlife conservation initiatives, and watching nature and history documentaries.



Abigail Kuria

Coordinator, East Africa

Abigail joins CLASP as a coordinator supporting the Clean Energy Access portfolio. She holds a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science and is currently pursuing an MBA focusing on strategic management at the University of Nairobi. Prior to joining CLASP, she worked for SkyPower Global for more than three years where she assisted in the initial greenfield stages of utility-scale solar projects and in local corporate social responsibility initiatives providing solar home systems to rural households without access to electricity. In her free time, Abby enjoys traveling and taking part in adventurous activities.



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