Aimee Barnes

Founder & CEO, Hua Nani Partners

Aimee has over 15 years’ experience in climate, energy and sustainability, spanning the state, federal and international levels, and the public, private, and non-profit sectors. She currently runs Hua Nani Partners, a consulting practice that helps seed new ideas for next generation climate and energy solutions. She also serves as senior advisor to former Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. at the California-China Climate Institute, which was established to spur climate action and dialogue between California and China.

Aimee was recently appointed to the Boards of Gridworks and the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society at Dartmouth and became a non-resident fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. In addition, Aimee launched Powerwomen – a database of leading women in climate change and energy.

Previously, Aimee served as Senior Advisor to California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., where she helped launch the US Climate Alliance, led the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, and was responsible for Executive Order B-55-18, committing California to carbon neutrality by 2045.

Prior to that, Aimee served as Deputy Secretary for Border and Intergovernmental Relations at the California Environmental Protection Agency, where she led the state’s partnerships with other jurisdictions, including China, Mexico, Japan, and the Netherlands. In the lead up to COP21, she helped launch the Under2 Coalition, a group of 200+ subnational governments committed to climate action. Before that, Aimee was a partner at Allotrope Partners, where she worked on clean energy projects and innovative climate finance in emerging markets.

Earlier in her career, Aimee worked for the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), helping launch their Directorate for Energy and Climate Change in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prior to that, Aimee worked as an advisor to the UK Government in the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) Strategy Directorate, and as senior manager of US regulatory affairs for the global offset project developer EcoSecurities.

Aimee began her career at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in San Francisco. She has an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and a BA from Dartmouth College in Environmental Studies. She serves in advisory and board roles for Elemental Excelerator – a cleantech accelerator; and Independent Diplomat – an international nonprofit diplomatic advisory group. She is a Term Member with the Council on Foreign Relations, and was the 2018 recipient of the Government Leadership Award for DOE’s C3E Women’s Initiative.

Aimee’s political experience includes working on Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign, helping to draft her “Climate Plan for the People,” and on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, where she led the Bay Area Idealists4Hillary group.

In 2018, Aimee was diagnosed with breast cancer the day before the birth of her second child. After a year of successful treatment for the disease, she co-founded a non-profit called Operation Ohana, which supports young parents that are facing cancer while caring for small children. She also recorded a children’s album, Rainbow Connection, the proceeds from which go to supporting Operation Ohana’s work.

Aimee lives on the windward side of Oahu with her husband and two children.