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Greening America’s Data Centers

October 16, 2018, 6:30 pm7:45 pm EDT

The data centers that power our search engines, social media sites and so much more contribute about 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is about same amount as the airline industry. As our digital appetite grows, these emissions could increase substantially if concerted action is not taken. At this upcoming event, industry experts will explore challenges and opportunities to reducing data centers’ carbon footprint to put us on a path towards a more sustainable future. Among other questions, we will consider the appropriateness of regulatory solutions to improve sustainability.

1 credit of CLE in Areas of Professional Practice


For background reading on this topic, please see: Joseph R. Brisca, Data Transmission and Energy Efficient Internet Data Centers, 67 Am. U. L. Rev. 233 (2017).


Speakers include:

John Clinger, Technical Specialist, Energy Efficiency, ICF International

Kenny Habul, Chief Executive Officer, SunEnergy1

Sadiq Malik, Principal, Digital Bridge

Vanessa Miler-Fels, Renewable Energy Strategist, Microsoft

Elizabeth Stein (’03), Senior Manager of New York Clean Energy Law & Policy Program, Environmental Defense Fund (moderator)

Brian Thomas, Business Architect, Growth & Sustainability, Equinix (keynote speaker)

This event is hosted in collaboration with ING 



Speakers biographies:

John Clinger

John Clinger works with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the lead technical consultant in the development of eligibility criteria for several ENERGY STAR information technology and data center products. This work includes recent specification development in the computer server, data center storage, computer and networking product categories. John also represents EPA in the development of energy efficiency criteria in several IEEE, NSF, UL and ASHRAE industry standards. Moreover, he manages ICF’s ENERGY STAR product development team which develops eligibility criteria for over 70 product categories.

In addition, John recently concluded four years of management of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Better Buildings Data Center Challenge and Accelerator programs, partnering with private sector and federal government organizations to reduce infrastructure energy use in their data centers.

John holds an M.S. in electrical engineering and B.C.E. in computer engineering from the University of Delaware.

Kenny Habul

Kenny Habul, SunEnergy1’s CEO and President, is a native of Australia. Kenny has been involved in PV (PV) solar and solar thermal since 1996 and has since established himself as a leader in the field of sustainable construction technologies. Prior to forming SunEnergy1, Kenny was a partner in Habul Brothers Luxury Home Construction, one of the most prominent and innovative builders in Queensland, Australia. Kenny has vast experience in commercial and residential construction and formed a passion for sustainable construction practices and solar energy. Kenny holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Bond University in Australia.

Sadiq Malik

Sadiq Malik is a Principal at Digital Bridge Holdings, LLC.  Mr. Malik is a seasoned investment professional with in-depth investing experience in private, distressed and public equities across a variety of industries.

Prior to joining Digital Bridge in 2017, Mr. Malik was a co-founding partner of Oskie Capital, a public and private equity firm, which invested in companies undergoing positive business transformations and corporate change.  During his time there, Mr. Malik led Oskie’s investments in the communications infrastructure space including datacenters and satellite operators and was also involved in Oskie’s cable investments.

Before Oskie Capital, Mr. Malik worked on President Obama’s Auto Task Force at the U.S. Department of the Treasury during the financial crisis in 2009.  In this role, he helped take General Motors through its bankruptcy reorganization, which remains the largest industrial bankruptcy in U.S. history.  After its completion, Mr. Malik helped the head of the Auto Task Force, Steven Rattner, chronicle the experience in a book titled “Overhaul: An Insider’s Account of the Obama Administration’s Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry”.

Prior to working for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Mr. Malik was an investment professional at Och-Ziff Capital (2007-2008), The Blackstone Group (2003-2005) and Morgan Stanley (2000-2003).

Mr. Malik earned an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School in 2007 and a BA, summa cum laude, in Economics from Dartmouth College in 2000.

Vanessa Miler

Vanessa is a Renewable Energy Strategist at Microsoft’s Cloud Infrastructure and Operations, she works on energy strategy, renewable energy procurement and investment. 10+ years of experience in unlocking capital for renewable energy and environment projects in EMEA and emerging markets. Experience across the public and private sectors.  Former senior adviser on climate finance and negotiations at the French Ministry of Finance. French and Indian national, graduate of Sciences-Po Paris and the ENA – Ecole Nationale d’Administration.

Elizabeth Stein

Elizabeth Brooke Stein is an attorney in EDF’s Clean Energy Program, focusing on the development of a low-carbon energy system.

Elizabeth engages in state and regional proceedings to advocate for the promulgation of technology and practices that improve the flexibility and performance of the electric system, and enable the full deployment of more low-carbon resources, including low-carbon demand response and intermittent renewable resources. Since 2012, Elizabeth and her colleagues in EDF’s New York office have been working to ensure that the post-Sandy transformation of New York’s electric system is built on a foundation of resiliency and sustainability, not just durability.

Brian Thomas

Brian has been an integral part of Equinix’s journey to be the leading global data center and interconnection service provider. Since joining the Company in 2005 he has witnessed the stock appreciate thirteen-fold from $30 to $430. While at Equinix Brian has had the unique privilege of reporting to the CFO, COO, CEO and Executive Chairman while playing pivotal roles in the areas of Finance, Strategy, Culture and Sustainability. Prior to Equinix, Brian was an investment banker with Citigroup in London, Singapore, New York and San Francisco. During his nine years at Citigroup he advised clients in the Technology, Health Care and Consumer Products sectors on a range of M&A and Capital Markets transactions. In between his management and advisory experiences, Brian spent a couple of years being a self-employed entrepreneur which involved experiments in Real Estate, Hand-loom Silk and Documentary Film.

Brian’s academic pursuits were in international development, with a focus on market and outward oriented development policies. He earned an M.Phil. in the Economics and Politics of Development from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. in Economics and Politics from Willamette University. His inclination to lifelong education has drawn him to learning opportunities in Finance, Management, Technology, Design, Sustainability and Well-being.

Brian is a product of the colonial influence in India. His was born into a Syrian Christian and Portuguese Catholic family from Kerala and raised in Mumbai where he was educated at a British Anglican institution, Cathedral and John Connon School. With a professional lens, Brian views himself as an accidental capitalist. What moves him is long-term value, social impact and truthful storytelling. In his personal life, he can be found raising a family, enjoying the outdoors and consuming media.


October 16, 2018
6:30 pm – 7:45 pm EDT
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NYU School of Law, D’Agostino Hall, Lipton Hall
108 West 3rd Street
New York, NY 10012 United States
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