MEET THE BOARD
GCV Education Fund Board of Directors
Jason Rooks is a Georgia native with more than a decade of experience lobbying the Georgia General Assembly and consulting on political campaigns in Georgia. He served as Director of Government Affairs for GaSEIA from 2012-2018. Mr. Rooks also directed Taxpayers for Energy Efficiency, a successful statewide ballot initiative campaign in 2010. As a well-respected voice on renewable energy and energy efficiency, he has helped create numerous clean energy incentives through legislation and regulatory actions at the Georgia PSC. From 2002 to 2008, he served as Executive Director of Georgia Conservation Voters. Prior to that, founded a start-up company in Silicon Valley, and he started his professional career as a practicing attorney in Gainesville, Georgia. Mr. Rooks received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a law degree from the University of Georgia. Mr. Rooks and his wife, Amy, have two children and live in an Earthcraft house with a 4 kW solar system on the roof.
Ontario Smith is a political and external affairs specialist with more than than 15 years of experience navigating the challenging political and regulatory environments that face projects across the United States.
Ontario has worked for Fortune 200 companies in a variety of capacities within analytical, policy and political organizations. Ontario’s career began at Pacific Gas and Electric Company in San Francisco, where he led regulatory efforts related to ratemaking. Ontario transitioned into a role as principal local representative to the City and County of San Francisco where he led outreach and lobbying strategies with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and other City agencies. Ontario also worked at AT&T, in Atlanta, where he led external affairs in the Metro Atlanta region.
In his current capacity as Managing Principal and Co-Founder at S2 Partners, Ontario works with clients across the country to enhance their relationships with local and state government officials, local stakeholders and organized labor. The S2 Partners team works to facilitate an environment where collaborative zoning, land use and workforce strategies are implemented, ensuring that important projects are designed, approved and constructed in diverse communities.
Ontario is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
She has worked as an ornithologist in Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Italy, and San Clemente Island (San Diego). Before becoming Altamaha Riverkeeper, her last decade was spent on St. Catherines Island working primarily with shorebirds.
Jen says, “For many years, even working on the front-lines of conservation, I felt I wasn’t working at a big-picture level and I wanted to accomplish more. Now, protecting the largest watershed in Georgia, working in advocacy from Atlanta and Athens, through middle Georgia and to our unique Golden Isles, I go home satisfied and exhausted.”
Policy and Legislation changes often have the most reaching impact, and Jen believes it is an honor to serve on the GCVEF and support the Executive Director, Brionté, in her execution of our mission.
James is a renewable energy investor and advocate based in Atlanta. He has 7+ years of experience in the clean energy / clean tech investment space. Recently he worked as a policy analyst with CleanCapital, a leading investment platform for distributed solar and storage with more than 200 MW across the US.
James is particularly interested in expanding access to solar for schools and non-profits. In partnership with Southface Institute and Creative Solar USA, James helped finance and develop a 126 kW solar + storage project for a K-12 school in Atlanta, helping it become the first school in the state to go 100% solar.
James serves on the boards of Georgia Conservation Voters Education Fund, Georgia Solar Energy Association, and the Altamaha Riverkeeper. He has a BA and MA degree from Emory University and a MSc in Carbon Finance from University of Edinburgh. He and his wife live in Atlanta with their cat and dog.