Judges & Advisors


The Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE is privileged to work with the following Prize Administration Advisory Board in running a successful competition. Their input and advice is invaluable, and we truly appreciate the generous time and expertise they share with us.


Andy Karsner

Former Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Andy Karsner has recently completed a remarkable tenure as America’s ninth Assistant Secretary of Energy for Efficiency and Renewable Energy and has resumed his career as an energy infrastructure developer and financier. He has been named to the Board of Directors of Applied Materials (the world’s leading nanomanufacturer and supplier to the global solar industry), University of Chicago Board of Trustees overseeing Argonne National Laboratory, Distinguished Fellow of the Council on Competitiveness, and Advisory Boards to the Progressive Automotive XPRIZE and Freedom Prize. While serving as US Assistant Secretary of Energy, Karsner managed the approximately two billion dollar annual federal applied science, research, development, and deployment portfolio, promoting marketplace integration of renewable and environmentally sound energy technologies for transportation, generation, and efficiency. In addition to advancing renewable and efficiency technology, Karsner bore primary responsibility for regulation, education, conservation, and efficient use of our nation's energy resources, including federal energy management and procurement, vwhicle technologies, national building codes, appliance standards, and the ENERGY STAR® program, amongst others. The US Green Building Council, the US Energy Association Efficiency Forum, and the Alliance to Save Energy have honored Karsner for his extraordinary record of public leadership on efficiency. On March 30, 2009, Andy was honored by the Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden with the insignia of Commander of the Polar Star for his work in developing and strengthening the cooperation between Sweden and the US in the field of renewable energy.

Dan Sperling

Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy, and founding Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis

Daniel Sperling is Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy, and founding Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis. He also holds the transportation seat on the California Air Resources Board, where he plays a prominent role in designing and adopting climate policies for vehicles, fuels, and urban travel. In 2009, he was an invited keynote speaker and distinguished lecturer at 20 universities and events, and was featured on Jon Stewart Daily Show and NPR’s Science Friday and Fresh Air. He is author or editor of 200+ papers and reports and 11 books (including Two Billion Cars, Oxford University Press), has served on 12 National Academies committees, was selected as a National Associate of the National Academies, recently chaired the Future of Mobility committee of the (Davos) World Economic Forum, and has testified 7 times to the US Congress on alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technology.

Dana Lowell

Director, Advanced Business Development, Faurecia

Dana Lowell is a graduate of Western Michigan University, where he received a B.B.S. degree in Business Management. He subsequently earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Oakland University in 1986. Dana has served as Market Strategist at General Motors, Sales & Marketing Director of Stanley Tools, Marketing Director for Prince Automotive, as well as Director of Advanced Business Development for Johnson Controls before joining Faurecia in 2006. As Director of Advanced Business Development at Faurecia’s Westworks Innovation Center, Lowell is responsible for bringing new ideas to market and for identifying key partnership opportunities for innovation. Faurecia Westworks is a Cross functional product & business development team focusing on strategic innovation. Westworks employs a “lean” pre-development activity heavily focused on leveraging technology partnerships and existing development initiatives. Primary focus is to develop an advantaged portfolio of consumer driven product solutions for the automotive market sector. Dana has a strong interest in sustainability issues and was co-creator and contributor to the Sustainable Mobility Series at the Art Center College for Design in Pasadena, California. He is also currently a Committee Chair for the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum. Lowell and his family are residents of Holland, Michigan.

Geoff Wardle

Associate Chair and Director of Mobility Research, Art Center College of Design

With a Bachelor's degree in Vehicle and Mechanical Engineering and a Master's degree in Automotive Design from London's Royal College of Art, Geoff Wardle has spent over 25 years as a professional designer and a design educator. Geoff has held both corporate and consultancy positions with various major European and multi-national automotive companies in developed and developing economies across four continents. He has spent over twelve years involved in full-time design education at Art Center College of Design. He was chair of the Transportation Design at the former Art Center (Europe) campus in Switzerland. He has held various senior positions since at the Pasadena, California campus, where he is now Director of Advanced Mobility Research. With such a wide and varied background in automotive design, Wardle has a unique overview and deep understanding of the global transportation industry in addition to a thorough knowledge of the technologies and processes that are changing the industry, the product and the product development process. He believes that designers should play a major role in future by facilitating the interaction of many disciplines required to create smarter, integrated and compelling transportation systems and more fulfilling ways of living that are not so mobility dependent and definitely less energy dependent. Geoff is co-founder of an initiative called OnGoing Transportation.com, which aims to put this philosophy into practice.

Joel Makower

Chairman and Executive Editor, Greener World Media, Inc, GreenBiz.com, ClimateBiz.com & GreenerBuildings.com

For nearly 20 years, Joel Makower has been a well-respected voice on business, the environment, and the bottom line. As a writer and consultant on corporate sustainability practices, he has helped a wide range of companies align environmental goals with business strategy. Joel is founder of GreenBiz.com, ClimateBiz.com, GreenerBuildings.com, and other popular web sites on business and the environment. He also is co-founder of Clean Edge Inc., a research and consulting firm focusing on building markets for clean energy technologies, and a senior consultant at GreenOrder, which consults with leading companies on strategic sustainability issues. From 1991 to 2005 he was editor of "The Green Business Letter," a monthly newsletter on corporate environmental strategy. Makower has consulted to a wide range of companies on corporate sustainability topics, including Gap, GE, General Motors, Hewlett Packard, and Nike. The Associated Press has called him "The guru of green business practices." Makower is a Batten Fellow at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, where he is editing a book of case studies on sustainable business practices, to be published in 2007. Makower sits on numerous advisory and editorial boards, including the Climate Trust, the California Sustainable Business Council, the Green Guide Institute, and the Journal of Industrial Ecology. He also sits on the clean-tech advisory council of VantagePoint Venture Partners. A former nationally syndicated columnist, Makower is author or co-author of more than a dozen books, including Beyond the Bottom Line: Putting Social Responsibility to Work for Your Business and the World, about the profit and potential of socially responsible business practices; The E-Factor: The Bottom-Line Approach to Environmentally Responsible Business, on how companies are responding to environmental challenges in positive and profitable ways, and The Green Consumer, a best-selling guide to the environmental marketplace. Makower has been a featured commentator on environmental topics for "Marketplace," a nightly national business program on public radio, and appears frequently in both broadcast and print media.

John Boesel

President and CEO, CALSTART

John Boesel is the President and Chief Executive Officer of CALSTART. The public/private nature of CALSTART is reflected in John’s background. Upon graduating from the University of California, Davis, in 1982, John worked in the California legislature as a legislative aide to then Assemblyman (now Congressman) Sam Farr. In that position he managed energy and environmental legislation for nearly four years. Among others, John successfully managed a bill that made the oil companies strictly liable for all damages associated with oil spills. The measure was signed into law by then Republican Governor Deukmejian. John received his MBA from the Haas School at UC Berkeley in 1989. After graduating from business school he worked as a commercial banker in Wells Fargo’s Corporate Headquarters building in San Francisco. In 1993 John joined CALSTART as the Vice President of Technology Programs. In 2001 the Board of Directors promoted him to the position of President and CEO. In addition to his duties at CALSTART John sits on the boards and committees of a number of related organizations including roles as an Advisory Board Member for the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University, a member of the Board of Directors of the Clean Vehicle Foundation, and the Co-Chair of the Bay Area Climate Collaborative’s Electric Vehicle Working Group. In 2007-2008, John chaired the Vehicle Efficiency Subcommittee of the Western Governor’s Association Alternative Fuels Committee.

John Hinch

Former Director of the Office of Human Vehicle Performance Research, NHTSA

John recently retired from the United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. John has nearly 35 years of experience working to solve highway and vehicle safety issues to reduce the number of injuries and deaths on America’s highways. At NHTSA, John held various positions in the Offices of Research, Rulemaking, and Defects Investigation. The most recent positions were as Director of the Applied Vehicle Safety Research Office, where he over saw the Agency’s crashworthiness and biomechanics research programs; and Director of the Office of Human Vehicle Performance Research where John was responsible for NHTSA’s human factors research, including the National Advanced Driving Simulator, NHTSA’s participation in the Department of Transportation’s Intelligent Transportation System program, as well as research on many advanced vehicle technologies. Prior to these positions, John served as engineering policy advisor to the Senior Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety, providing program and technical advice on a full range of vehicle safety activities. John also served as the engineering policy advisor to the Associate Administrator for Research and Development. In these jobs, John has led several cross NHTSA teams. John was the Agency's focal point for event data recorders (EDR). His recent activities in the area include notices and final rules on EDRs, participation in National and International standards groups, and most recently, he has edited a new publication on EDRs published by SAE. Prior to his work in the Research Office, John worked in NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation as a special assistant to the Director and a defects engineer. Prior to joining NHTSA, John worked for ENSCO, a research firm in the Washington DC area. There he managed the company's vehicle and highway research programs and was responsible for operation of their full-scale vehicle test facility where roadside safety systems, such as guard rails, crash cushions, and other safety hardware were evaluated. While at ENSCO, John designed, built, and operated the Federal Outdoor Impact Laboratory for the Federal Highway Administration. In his first job after college in NHTSA, he conducted tire traction testing and research. John served in the USMC and graduated from the University of Michigan, College of Engineering. John and his wife Carolyn have two grown children.

John Waraniak

VP of Vehicle Technology, Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)

John Waraniak, vice president of vehicle technology leads SEMA’s advanced vehicle technology strategy, programs and initiatives. His role is to help members understand the challenges, develop solutions and capitalize on new business opportunities presented by today’s complex vehicle systems and technologies. Waraniak is a proven industry leader who has worked for automotive, motorsports, aerospace and consumer products companies for more than 25 years. With specific expertise in vehicle systems engineering and collaborative product development, Waraniak serves as the primary contact for SEMA members to reach automakers and original-equipment suppliers on vehicle architecture and systems integration issues and was instrumental in forming the alliance between SEMA and CEA that resulted in the Automotive Electronics Connectivity Committee. Prior to joining SEMA, Waraniak held executive positions with a range of global companies, including TATA Motors, Johnson Controls, General Motors, Hughes Aircraft, Northrop and No Fear. His visionary and entrepreneurial leadership skills played an integral role in helping these companies develop and implement innovative strategies for adapting best business and technology practices for lean product-process development, customer-centric growth and improved profitability.

Kathryn Clay

Director of Research, Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers

As the Director of Research for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Dr. Clay works to develop policy options and recommendations promoting advanced vehicle technologies and the vision of sustainable mobility. Previously, while on the professional staff of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee she helped craft the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005, with a focus on provisions related to vehicle and fuels, climate change, and clean energy technologies. She was also centrally involved in the development and passage of legislation (the America COMPETES Act of 2007) to promote federal investment in science and accelerate technological innovation. Dr. Clay has also served in positions with the staff of the Energy Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, at the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources, and as a research fellow in the Alternate Fuels Vehicle Division of Ford Motor Company. She is an adjunct professor of physics at Georgetown University, and co-founder of the University’s Program for Science in the Public Interest. Kathryn serves on the Board of Directors for Scientists and Engineers for America, an organization promoting science and technology policy through the electoral process; on the Board of Advisors for The Triple Helix, a not-for-profit dedicated to advancing original scientific research by undergraduates; and the Board of Advisors for the Progressive Automotive X-Prize. Kathryn received her Ph.D. in physics for the study of advanced battery chemistries, and her M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Roger Curtis

President, Michigan International Speedway

Roger Curtis, president of Michigan International Speedway, is a nearly 20-year veteran of motorsports administration. At the time of his appointment as the head of MIS in June 2006, Curtis had served as the vice president of Sales and Marketing at California Speedway, where he supervised the superspeedway’s advertising and promotions, sales and marketing, public relations and ticketing operations. Before his time at California, Curtis, 43, a native of Terre Haute, Ind., served as the senior director of Marketing and Sales at Richmond International Raceway. Prior to that, he was the director of Marketing and Sales at Watkins Glen International. Curtis’ extensive motorsports resume is not limited to track administration. Involved in motorsports since 1991, he has owned his own motorsports marketing and communications company and has worked with Bobby Allison Motorsports, Bill Davis Racing and NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Bobby Dotter. Curtis is a graduate of Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Ind. With his appointment at Michigan International Speedway, Curtis returned to his Midwestern roots. His wife, Marla, grew up attending races at MIS and hails from nearby Clarkston, Mich. The couple has one son and two daughters: Austin, Bailey and Cameron.  Curtis counts family time, the outdoors, music and cooking among his many interests.

Terry O'Day

Executive Director, Enviornment Now

Mr. O’Day is Executive Director of Environment Now, a foundation dedicated to preserving and restoring California’s environment. Founded by the family of Frank and Luanne Wells in 1989, Environment Now is known as a strategic, entrepreneurial, activist leader in California, having founded more than a dozen lasting, successful organizations like the Waterkeepers in California and Mexico, Sequoia ForestKeeper, and Energy Independence Now. Its previous two Executive Directors have accepted cabinet positions with the past two California governors. Mr. O’Day is also past president of EV Rental Cars, a company he co-founded in 1998. It is the only rental company in the United States that offers only environmental vehicles, such as hybrid, natural gas, and electric cars to the general public. The company has served fifteen airports in six states and more than 600,000 customers, with over 800 cars, broadening access to clean fuel vehicles and developing markets for new sustainable technologies. Terry and his partners have earned awards from the Coalition for Clean Air, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on Economic Priorities, and Calstart for their work. They have been featured in Newsweek, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, and Business Week. Prior to founding EV Rental Cars, Terry was a senior analyst in business development and strategic planning for Edison Enterprises, a subsidiary of Edison International. His work with the company’s four retail units led to multiple successful new lines of business, including an international acquisition. He is a founder and director of Aegina Glassworks, which has developed a microwave furnace for manufacturing commercial glass that reduces the energy intensity of glass manufacturing by half. His sustainable technology experience spans solar, wind, and conventional energy production, manufacturing, electric vehicles, natural gas vehicles, and logistics. Terry holds an MBA from The UCLA Anderson School of Management and completed the Coro Public Affairs Fellows Program in Los Angeles in 1996. The fellowship is widely considered among the top graduate fellowships in the country. He received a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Public Policy at Stanford University, with a thesis addressing public finance and demand management of electricity. At Stanford, he was active on the campus and in the community. He founded a lasting community organization that united students with local homeless persons to achieve an agenda set by the homeless members. Terry lives with his wife, Tiffany O’Day, and their two daughters in Santa Monica, where he served as Chair of the city’s planning commission, member of the Sustainable City Task Force and advisory board member of Solar Santa Monica prior to being appointed to the city council. As a councilmember he is dedicated to sustainability in the broadest sense – safety, housing affordability, education, economic justice, democratic participation, natural resources, and more. He has also been active with community organizations throughout California and Mexico, including Coro Southern California, the USC Center for Sustainable Cities, the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, Human Rights Watch California Committee, Environmental Entrepreneurs, the Weingart Center and as the Board Chair of the Coalition for Clean Air. The 40 year-old Coalition is the only statewide advocate for California’s air quality.

Wendell Brown

Serial Entrepreneur, EV pioneer, and evangelist of PIAXP

Wendell Brown is a computer scientist and entrepreneur best known for his innovations in telecommunications. He has founded several well-known companies, including Teleo, LiveOps, and eVoice. As co-founder and chairman of LiveOps Inc., Brown was the key inventor of the “work-at-home call center agent” industry. In 2001, Brown co-founded CallCast, which later became LiveOps, and served as its chairman and chief technology officer. The company is one of the largest outsourced work-at-home call center in the world with more than 20,000 work-at-home agents employed.Brown created a VoIP system enabling desktop and laptop PC users to send and receive phone calls over the Internet, called Teleo, a company that he co-founded and chaired. Teleo was acquired by Microsoft in 2005. Brown also created the eVoice voicemail platform, the first large-scale, Internet-enabled voicemail system. Brown pioneered techniques such as voicemail-to-email, visual voicemail, enhanced caller ID, innovations later deployed by Google Voice and Apple. eVoice supplied voicemail solutions to AT&T, MCI, AOL, as well as many regional companies. eVoice was acquired by AOL Time-Warner in 2001. The eVoice platform became part of the AOL voice services group. As a Silicon Valley angel investor he has helped get funding for several startup companies, including ADISN, WebDiet, and IronPort (acquired by Cisco Systems in 2008). An active inventor, Wendell Brown has more than 40 U.S. and international patent applications issued or pending in the fields of telecommunications, electric car technology, and online music distribution. Brown is also a licensed private pilot and is interested in the development of new airplane, rocket, and electric vehicle designs.  Brown’s philanthropic endeavors include the endowment of a named scholarship at Soka University of America (Aliso Viejo, California), support for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Aviation Safety Lab & Library, and private sponsorship of underprivileged students in South America.

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