Dr. Rob White, Executive Director for Research Programs, Sierra Energy Research Park
Dr. Rob White is the Executive Director of the Sierra Energy Research Park (SERP) and the Area 52 Accelerator, as well as the Chief Strategist for Sierra Energy, a waste gasification and renewable energy company. Named a White House “Champion of Change for Local Innovation,” Dr. White has been recognized by regional, national, and international organizations for his work on economic development, regional innovation clusters, and partnership with federal agencies. As a State of California registered Professional Geologist, Dr. White has broad experience in waste management and disposition, environmental engineering, regulations and risk management. Dr. White’s primary role at Sierra Energy is the planning, design, and implementation of SERP and Area 52, co-located in Davis, CA, and the future build-out of the Zero Waste Innovation Park (ZWIP) located in Yolo County. Before joining Sierra Energy, Dr. White was the Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Davis, with a focus on entitlement and development of innovation districts, support for startups and entrepreneurs and liaison to academic institutions. During his previous tenure as Economic Development Director for the City of Livermore, he co-founded the i-GATE Innovation Hub, one of California’s designated 14 regional innovation clusters. Dr. White has 25 years of experience in local government, academic research, environmental engineering, regulatory compliance, reuse/redevelopment, land use regulation and planning, small business assistance, human health risk assessment, geologic/hydrologic investigations, hazardous materials cleanup/remediation and contaminant fate and transport. Dr. White has completed a Doctor of Policy, Planning, and Development (DPPD) and Master of Planning and Development from the University of Southern California (USC), significant coursework in a Doctor of Governance (DGov) from Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Chico State University.