Meet the Team


CCI works directly with communities through a core team that has over 60 years of combined experience in environment, energy, and international work. Our global network provides expertise specific to the needs of communities as they define and work toward taking action on climate change. CCI connects peer communities addressing similar challenges to share experiences and strategies.

Aleisha Khan, Founder & Director

In creating CCI, Aleisha was inspired by the opportunity to reverse the typical development model. Local knowledge needs to drive action, and residents need a significant role in planning projects. If local organizations could mobilize around their needs and expertise, they could drive effective change, make efficient use of financial support, and produce solutions sustained by the community.

Aleisha began focusing on energy after starting a career in architecture and film design, followed by teaching outdoor environmental education in the San Juan Islands and Minnesota's Northwoods. Working for non-profits and consulting firms, Aleisha focused primarily on the programs and strategies that create market change for energy efficiency. As the Executive Director for a small international advocacy group, she honed her fundraising and collaboration skills by creating non-traditional partnerships. Aleisha went on to consult for ICF, leading international clean energy work as part of a cross-firm strategic initiative on climate, and serving as Chief of Party for a $18M U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) global cooperative agreement.

Aleisha has a M.E.M. in natural resource economics and policy from Duke and has work experience in over 15 emerging markets. She is a seasoned presenter and writer, as well as manager and technical implementer. Her work has included projects for USAID, APEC, World Bank, U.S. DOE, U.S.EPA, U.S. state governments and utilities, and partnerships with numerous stakeholders and organizations. For more information, see Aleisha's LinkedIn page.

Kelly Briscoe, Community & Gender Specialist

Kelly is driven by her belief that it is vital to involve communities in decisions that will impact their growth and development by providing forums for dialog and addressing cultural identity and gender discrepancy. Getting her start in the Peace Corps, Kelly first worked in Costa Rica as a regional representative where she organized a grassroots committee for local road construction, designed a kindergarten program, and facilitated youth and women’s groups. Later she worked with The International Network on Participatory Irrigation Management at The World Bank.  She returned to Latin America as a Gender Specialist with a Finnish development firm. There she managed a municipal project to strengthen reconciliation, democratization and decentralization processes in an ex-war zone during the Chamorro transition government in Nicaragua. One of her main responsibilities while in Nicaragua was to develop specific action plans for communities, training materials and a series of three community workshops that she carried out over 20 times in different communities.  Kelly has also worked with stateside community organizations, providing support with training and education, project coordination, research, and resource development. She is fluent in Spanish and has her BA in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a specialty in women’s studies.

Rafael Friedman, Energy Specialist

Dr. Rafael Friedmann has been working toward a more sustainable energy system for more than 40 years in academia, consulting and a major utility. Early work centered on solar thermal technologies and bio-gas anaerobic digesters. More recently, he focused on energy efficiency programs and policies. Experience covers a variety of Latin American countries, a limited engagement in China, and extensive work in California and the USA energy efficiency evaluation arena. He is particularly interested in optimizing the role of energy efficiency to enhance and enable more renewable sources of energy. His multi-cultural background and work experience enables him to find win-win-win solutions among the various stakeholder parties involved in energy policy design and implementation.

Rafael received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, Energy and Resources Group. He spent over 17 years at the Pacific Gas & Electric Company in California leading projects, research, and strategy. Rafael currently serves as an Executive Board Member for the Chile California Council.

Consulting Staff

CCI assembles unique teams for each community project from CCI’s core staff and its network of consultants and partner organizations. As Community Assessments reveal strategic opportunities, CCI engages support from relevent technical experts to explore a variety of solutions. CCI’s network includes a broad range of expertise across energy and climate, community development, and program evaluation and measurement. CCI will continue to build this network over time, and include professionals who have experience working across technologies and communities across the globe.

Community Links

A key element of CCI’s Community Assessment projects is peer-sharing and learning. CCI identifies appropriate peer communities within and across country borders who have similar challenges and experiences. Our staff facilitates communication between peers at the local level. Looking into the future, CCI envisions developing a significant network to support collaboration and peer-sharing as a stand-alone activity. This grassroots type of networking will engage university-level researchers, students, small business owners, and other community members in sharing ideas and pursuing effective strategies.

Fiscal Sponsor & Advisory Group

CCI is a project of the Trust for Conservation Innovation (TCI), a 501(c)(3) organization that provides fiscal sponsorship to a select portfolio of environmental non-profits. TCI provides administrative infrastructure, tax-exempt non-profit status, and a comprehensive suite of back-office support and consultation services. TCI is located in Oakland, CA. More information on TCI's portfolio is available at:

The CCI Advisory Group has four founding members:

Laura Van Wie McGrory serves as the Vice President of International Programs at the Alliance to Save Energy, as well as the Vice President for North America at the International Institute for Energy Conservation (IIEC).

Sergio Segura Calderon is the Energy and Environmental Policy Advisor for the Facultad Latinamericana de Ciencias Sociales/ FLASCO (Latin-American Facility of Social Science) and has worked for the Mexican Ministry of Energy and the National Commission for Energy Efficiency.

Sharon Hsu worked for 8 years at the USAID as an Energy Program Specialist and then Energy Officer for Asia. She went on to complete a fellowship at Yale University's Office of Sustainability.

Merrilee Harrigan spent 20 years leading the Alliance to Save Energy's K-12 and higher education programs, empowering students to change the culture of their academic environment to one that embraces energy efficiency.

Let's Work Together