Matthew D. Potts

Chief Science Officer, Carbon Direct

Matthew D. Potts is the Chief Science Officer for Carbon Direct, S.J. Professor in Forest Economics and Associate Director for Sustainable Development of the Blum Center. He has a broad, interdisciplinary background with formal training in mathematics, ecology, and economics, and more than two decades of experience in resources management issues in low- and middle-income countries. His interdisciplinary lab focuses on nature- and community-based climate solutions and the co-production by human and natural systems of ecosystem services. He recently served as a coordinating lead author on the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment.


Dave Chen

CEO, Equilibrium Capital

Founded in 2008, Equilibrium Capital has built a platform of real assets focused sustainability driven investment strategies for institutional investors. Equilibrium currently manages $2 billion in two portfolio strategies: Carbon Transition Infrastructure and Controlled Environment Foods.

Dave is Equilibrium’s CEO and serves on the boards of several of its fund portfolio companies. He started his career at Solectron, McKinsey, and as a general partner with OVP Venture Partners.  He served on the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank Board system until 2012, and was a board member of B Labs until 2018.  Dave has, for 14 years, been a professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg Business School equipping students for sustainable investing.


Jeff Briggs

Managing Director, New Forests

New Forests is a US$7 Billion global investment manager of nature-based real assets and natural capital strategies. As Managing Director, North America, Jeff is responsible for driving the strategy for New Forests’ North American business, raising and deploying capital, and delivering consistent and stable investment returns for clients, while contributing to communities, livelihoods, and the circular bioeconomy.

Jeff brings over 30 years’ experience in leading, managing, and growing businesses across the investment, renewable energy, and agriculture sectors. He has extensive experience in Gen-1 ethanol markets and production, spanning the intersection of agriculture and energy as well as the LCFS regime for biofuels as COO at Green Plains and as Division President at Valmont Industries. Earlier, Jeff was at Goldman Sachs, was founder and portfolio manager for an investment partnership, and successfully exited an LBO of an electronic services business. A nuclear trained submarine engineering officer, Jeff served in the US Navy on board the USS Whale.


Maria Woodman

Principal, RockCreek

Maria is a Principal at The RockCreek Group focused on venture and growth equity investments across many sectors including energy, transportation, agriculture, and the built environment. Most recently, Maria was a Senior Vice President at Energy Impact Partners, a climate focused venture fund, where she primarily focused on energy transition investments. Prior to EIP she was a Principal at ADL Ventures, a boutique consulting firm focused on developing new businesses on behalf of legacy-sector corporations. She led the power and gas utility practice.

Maria began her career at EnerNOC, a leading demand response provider, where she held a variety of roles in marketing, business development, and product management during her tenure. While at EnerNOC, she led the execution of strategic partnerships with SunPower and Tesla, as well as supported EnerNOC’s forays into multiple new domestic and international markets.

She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from New York University.