Our Panelists, Discussing Climate Change and Environmental Equity
Sacoby Wilson, PhD
Dr. Sacoby Wilson is an associate professor with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Health. Dr. Wilson has 15 years of experience as an environmental health scientist and has partnered with community-based organizations across the country on environmental justice issues including environmental racism.
Dr. Wilson will receive the John V. Kabler Memorial Award, which is presented by Maryland LCV to recognize an outstanding environmental leader or organization. Previous winners include such Maryland environmental luminaries as Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (2008) and DNR Secretary John Griffin (2012).
Senator Cory McCray
Sen. McCray, a member of the Budget and Tax Committee, has represented Maryland’s 45th legislative district since 2018 and also serves as vice-chair of the Maryland Democratic Party. He will receive Maryland LCV’s Legislator of the Year award in recognition of his leadership as lead Senate sponsor of the Transit Safety and Investment Act (SB199/HB 114).
Senator McCray has a 97 percent lifetime environmental score from Maryland LCV through his seven years in office, including four as a member of the House Environment and Transportation Committee. During a session where advocates were limited by remote access, Senator McCray became the chief advocate in the Budget and Taxation Committee and, working with leadership, assured a unanimous vote out of the committee for the key environmental bill.
Jeffrey Eckel, Chairman and CEO of Hannon Armstrong
Jeff Eckel has served as chairman and CEO of Hannon Armstrong since 2013 (NYSE: HASI), a leading investor in climate solutions. Under his leadership, the firm has become globally recognized for its pioneering approach to sustainable investing, serving as a trusted capital provider to leading companies in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable infrastructure markets.
As CEO, he focuses on growing Hannon Armstrong’s climate-positive operating platform to drive programmatic client investments and deliver superior risk-adjusted returns. Mr. Eckel has more than 35 years of experience in financing, owning, and operating infrastructure and energy assets.
Mr. Eckel has held several industry positions, including chairman of the board of the Maryland Clean Energy Center, member of the board of the Alliance to Save Energy, member of the President’s Council of Ceres, and member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) Task Force on Federal Energy Management. Currently, he serves on the Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy of Maryland and DC. CR Magazine named Mr. Eckel Responsible CEO of the Year, and the Maryland Clean Energy Center recognized Mr. Eckel as the Clean Energy Champion of the Year.
David Hardy, CEO of Offshore North America, Ørsted
David Hardy joined Ørsted – the global leader in offshore wind – in March 2020 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Ørsted Offshore North America in October 2020. Initially joining the company as President and Chief Operating Officer, he is now the first American to head an Ørsted Offshore division. As CEO he is focused on successfully developing Ørsted’s portfolio of North American offshore wind projects in a way that will ensure the launch of a new American industry, including revitalizing port communities and creating highly-skilled jobs across the country.
Under Hardy’s leadership, Ørsted is not only building infrastructure that will produce clean electrons, but also leading the industry in building a U.S. manufacturing base and American workforce. Ørsted recently partnered with North America’s Building Trades Union to establish a national workforce development model. Following a similar collaborative approach, Ørsted has developed numerous local content and American jobs opportunities including, but not limited to: upgrades to the Port of Providence, RI and New London, CT, investments in a monopile manufacturing facility at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal in NJ, entering into a long-term charter agreement for the provision of the first-ever U.S. flagged Jones Act-qualified Service Operations Vessel with Edison Chouest Offshore in LA, and a commitment to charter the first U.S. flagged Jones Act-qualified offshore wind turbine installation vessel, the Charbydis, to be built in TX and home-ported in VA.
Prior to joining Ørsted, Hardy held senior executive roles for wind energy companies Senvion and Vestas, working both in the U.S. and abroad. He is a proud U.S. Navy veteran, having served for more than eight years in the U.S. Navy submarine community in different roles and capacities. In addition to spending time at several other high-tech industrial companies, he spent a large portion of his career at GE in progressive commercial leadership positions. Hardy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from NC State University, and an MBA in Finance and Management from the Stern School of Business at NYU.