WASHINGTON, DC—Third Way’s Board of Trustees announced that Rachel’s Network Member Kef Kasdin has joined the centrist think tank’s board, effective immediately.

“We are thrilled to have Kef on the board and to have the benefit of her expertise as we develop fresh ideas to America’s most pressing challenges, including our work on climate change and clean energy,” said Jon Cowan, Third Way’s president.

Kef is CEO of Proterro, Inc., the only biofeedstock company that makes sucrose instead of extracting it from crops or deconstructing cellulosic materials. Previously, Kef was a co‐founder of Battelle Ventures in 2003 and, as a partner, led the firm’s investments in clean tech. She was involved in creating several renewable energy startups, including Proterro, which she co‐founded in 2008. As a board trustee, she will advise Third Way’s Clean Energy Program in its efforts to alter the politics around climate change.

Kef’s appointment was facilitated by the Rachel’s Network’s Board Placement Program, which matches environmental and social justice nonprofits with their talented membership of women environmental funders. To date, more than 40 members have been placed on the boards of influential organizations. Board service is one of many ways that Rachel’s Network members are bringing positive change to their communities and the world. Kef has been a member of Rachel’s Network since 2012.

“Kef’s extensive experience in the renewable energy industry make her perfect fit with Third Way,” said Rachel’s Network President Thu Pham. “We’re certain she will add a vital perspective to the organization.”

Prior to Battelle Ventures, Kef had been involved in developing and executing strategy for high‐technology companies for over 15 years, including at 3Com Corp., where she was the general manager of a $1 billion business and the first Executive in Residence, Office of the Chairman.

“I believe climate change is the most critical environmental issue we face and am convinced that public policy and funding must play a key role in the solution,” said Kef. “I’m excited to help shape pragmatic, actionable policy recommendations through my experience in evaluating and funding technologies and my contacts in the industry.”

Third Way is working with elected officials, companies, environmental groups, and other nongovernmental organizations to build support for urgent climate action while also striving to build support for clean energy with the Powerbook, advancing policies that decarbonize fossil fuels, reimagining nuclear energy, and promoting advanced biofuels.



Third Way represents Americans in the “vital center”—those who believe in pragmatic solutions and principled compromise, but who too often are ignored in Washington. Their mission is to advance moderate policy and political ideas. Their agenda includes: a series of grand economic bargains, a new approach to the climate crisis, progress on social issues like immigration reform, marriage for gay couples, tighter gun safety laws, and a credible alternative to neoconservative security policy.

Rachel’s Network, a nonprofit organization named in Rachel Carson’s honor, promotes women as impassioned leaders and agents of change dedicated to the stewardship of the earth. The Network builds productive alliances among members – influential philanthropists who range over 60 years in age and span the U.S. – and offers services that empower them to lead.


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