About KiloWatts for Humanity
To improve people’s lives by providing access to electricity and fostering the development of sustainable businesses. Our volunteers offer mentorship and
resources to empower less economically developed communities for lasting change.
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We are an entirely volunteer-run organization which draws from our members’ varied backgrounds to address our common desire to end energy poverty. We partner with local and international nonprofit groups to provide renewable energy solutions in locations that have previously lacked access to development-enabling electricity.
Board of Directors:
Dr. Henry Louie is the President and Co-founder of KiloWatts for Humanity. He’s been involved in electricity access projects since 2008. He holds degrees in electrical engineering from Kettering University (B.S.E.E.), the University of Illinois (M.S.) and the University of Washington (PhD). Dr. Louie is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Seattle University. Dr. Louie was a Fulbright Scholar at Copperbelt University in Kitwe, Zambia, and is recognized as an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer for his expertise on energy poverty. He is an Associate Editor for the journal Energy for Sustainable Development.
Rafael Castro has been a volunteer with KWH since 2015 and currently serves as Vice President. Rafael is Chief Operating Officer at Newton Energy Group, having previously served as Senior Director with GE Grid Solutions. He holds a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Porto, in Portugal, and a PhD in Power Systems Engineering from the University of Manchester, in the UK.
Mike Buffo is the Secretary of the KWH Board of Directors. He is a senior forest economist at Mason, Bruce & Girard specializing in forest planning and policy analysis. Mike served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia.
Sierra Gawlowski serves as the Treasurer of KWH. She is a licensed civil engineer, who currently works for the City of Seattle. Prior to joining KWH's Board, she volunteered with Engineers Without Borders, serving as President of the Puget Sound Professional Chapter in 2019.
Courtney Blodgett is passionate about energy access and innovative business models to further the clean energy transition. She is currently the Director of Strategy at Edo, a startup optimizing energy use in commercial buildings, and founder of Yield Positive, a platform to help everyday investors become sustainable investors. She has lived in Rwanda and South Africa and has worked on energy access in various sub-Saharan African countries.
Peter Dauenhauer has volunteered at Kilowatts for Humanity since its inception on various teams including business development, surveys, monitoring and evaluation, and research and has completed multiple project field work. Peter is Principal Utility Economist at Snohomish PUD where he conducts analyses in rates, economics, energy risk management, and distributed energy resource planning. He has18 years of experience in the power industry both in utilities and renewables in developing countries. He holds a B.A. Economics from University of Washington, an MSc. Economics from the University of Amsterdam and a PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. He has been an IEEE Member since 2010 and AEA member since 2011.
Emeritus/Emerita Board of Directors:
Jenna Isakson is a Co-founder of KiloWatts for Humanity, and served as Treasurer from 2015 to 2022. She became involved in the development of the Muhuru Bay Community Microgrid Project in 2013 and has been energized to provide other communities with access to electricity ever since. She holds a B.S. in Organizational Communication from the University of Portland and a Masters in Public Administration from Seattle University.
Kayla Patten served on the KWH Board from 2017 to 2022, including as Vice President of KWH. In 2014, she traveled to Kenya for implementation of the Muhuru Bay project. Kayla is an environmental engineer with degrees from Washington State University (B.S.) and the University of California at Berkeley (M.S.).
Kimberly Shields is a Board Member Emerita and served on the KWH Board from 2017 to 2020, including as Secretary. She participated in web development, social media marketing, business plan development, and fundraising. She was also part of the implementation team for the solar energy kiosk in Filibaba, Zambia in 2015. Kimberly holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder, as well as a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Washington.
Steve Szablya was a Co-founder, past President of KWH, and Board Member Emeritus. He received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Washington State University, an MBA degree from Washington State University, and was a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Washington. Steve has installed several off-grid systems in Africa and Central America, finding appropriate energy solutions for impoverished communities off the power grid.
Our volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds, unified by the
common desire to end energy poverty around the world.