Former CIO Lands Job at Davis Renewable Energy Company

Rob White lands new job as Chief Strategist for Sierra Energy
Rob White lands new job as Chief Strategist for Sierra Energy

A press release this week announces that Sierra Energy, a renewable energy company and proprietor of the innovative FastOx gasifier, has brought on former Davis CIO Rob White as its new Chief Strategist.

Mr. White brings a wealth of knowledge and more than 25 years of professional experience that includes executive leadership and management positions in public administration, the nonprofit sector and the private sector.

Most recently, Mr. White served as the Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) to the City of Davis. Before that, he served as the Director of Economic Development for the City of Livermore, while simultaneously holding the post of CEO of the i-GATE innovation Hub.

In his new position at Sierra Energy, Mr. White looks forward to nurturing relationships within municipal, state and federal governments – including U.S. national labs, and collaboration with academia.

“My previous work across both the public and private sectors leaves me uniquely qualified to initiate meaningful conversations about FastOx gasification,” says Rob White. “I understand how difficult it is for innovative technologies to fight inertia and the status quo in municipal environments. To that end, I can offer the perspective and tools to facilitate projects with FastOx gasification to eliminate landfills and the harmful greenhouse gases they emit.”

Mr. White will be assisting Sierra Energy on a variety of projects. Most notably, he will be leading the planning, designing, permitting and implementation for a Zero Waste Innovation Park (ZWIP), an integrated, utility-scale collaboration between waste recycling and conversion technologies with the goal of 100 percent diversion from landfills.

“We’ve admired Rob’s work and have wanted to collaborate on a project for a long time,” said Mike Hart, President of Sierra Energy. “We seized the opportunity to bring him into the company. His vast experience and network of contacts will be critical to the success of our Zero Waste Innovation Park, which promises to transform how local communities perceive and handle waste.”

In late May, the City of Davis had announced the appointment of Diane Parro as the City’s Chief Innovation Officer effective July 1, 2015. Ms. Parro, who had served as Deputy Supervisor to Don Saylor since 2010, replaced Rob White.

When Rob White came to the city of Davis, he had an extensive background in doing precisely this job. He worked as CEO of the i-GATE Innovation Hub Initiative and he was the Director of Economic Development for the City of Livermore since 2008.

At the time of his hiring by Davis, it was a major coup that was a message to the region that Davis was serious about economic development.

In a news release back when Mr. White was hired by the City of Davis, Livermore Mayor John Marchand commended Rob White “for advancing economic development in the city through building public-private partnerships.”

“Rob has been nationally recognized for his leadership in i-GATE and in the creation of the Tri-Valley’s innovation environments,” Mr. Marchand said. “I am grateful for the work that he has done promoting Livermore’s economic development and fostering our relationships with our national labs.”

For a full discussion of Rob White’s tenure at the city of Davis – see this article from May.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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17 Comments

  1. Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald

    Congratulations and much success with your new position Rob! 

    Mr. Hart clearly has vision and can spot talent when he sees it.

    We’ve admired Rob’s work and have wanted to collaborate on a project for a long time,” said Mike Hart, President of Sierra Energy. “We seized the opportunity to bring him into the company. His vast experience and network of contacts will be critical to the success of our Zero Waste Innovation Park, which promises to transform how local communities perceive and handle waste.

    All the best!

    1. Doby Fleeman

      Well said!

      And thanks to Mr. Hart for helping to keep your talent and energies within our sphere!

      Rob, thanks again for your contributions to our community and helping to move the dialogue forward.

      All the best.

  2. Anon

    Rob White has exceptional talent and will do well wherever he chooses to go.  Congratulations on his new job.  He will be greatly missed as former CIO of Davis.

  3. TrueBlueDevil

    Now if Sierra Energy can collect on it’s recent legal victories, it should have the funds to prove its FastOx technology on a large scale.

    Do we have any clue where this new Zero Waste Innovation Park will be located? West Sac, Woodland?

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