Our Team

Celeste Connors

Executive Director

Celeste Connors has twenty years of experience working at the intersection of economic, environment, energy, and international development policy. Before joining Hawai‘i Green Growth, she was CEO and co-founder of cdots development LLC, which works to build resilient infrastructure and services in vulnerable communities. Celeste previously served as the Director for Environment and Climate Change at the National Security Council and National Economic Council in the White House where she helped shape the Administration’s climate and energy policies. Prior to joining the White House, Celeste served as a diplomat in Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Germany. She also held positions at the U.S. Mission to the UN, served as the Climate and Energy Advisor to the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and worked for City of New York.

Celeste is faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in the Energy, Resources and Environment Program. She holds an MSc in Development Studies from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a BA in International Relations from Tufts University. Celeste is a Term Member on the Council on Foreign Relations, member of Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) Steering Committee, and serves on the board of America’s Service Commission. Celeste grew up in Kailua, O‘ahu.

Breanna Rose

Director of Operations & Partnerships

Breanna Rose is Hawai‘i Green Growth’s Director of Operations and Partnerships, and has worked with HGG since 2012. She manages the public-private partnership’s network, operations, communications, and strategic priorities. She is President of the Board of Directors for Kanu Hawai‘i, a non-profit working to build more compassionate, resilient, and sustainable communities through island style action and personal commitments. She previously worked with the Green House Hawai‘i in sustainability education programs with school communities and as an instructor for the Urban Agriculture Program at the Institute for Human Services (IHS). She has worked with diverse organizations and initiatives including Paepae o He‘eia, Hawai‘i 2050, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, and community garden and urban agriculture projects. Breanna is a graduate of the University of San Francisco, and was born and raised on Maui.

Chelsea Harder

Sustainability Dashboard Coordinator

Chelsea Harder is Hawai‘i Green Growth’s Sustainability Dashboard Coordinator, and is leading the implementation of the Aloha+ Challenge Dashboard. Chelsea brings her background in engineering, community development, education and energy sector work to Hawai‘i Green Growth. Before joining the team, Chelsea served as the market transformation specialist at Hawai‘i Energy. There she managed projects and fellowship programs to enhance strategic partnerships and provide professional development and community education to shift the market to help achieve Hawai‘i’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2045. Previously, she was a STEM educator and program director at local public and private schools and worked as a geotechnical engineer in the midwest. Chelsea served in Kiribati as a Peace Corps volunteer where she implemented programs aimed at improving the health of the community and improving their resilience to climate change. Chelsea is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Natural Resources & Leadership for Sustainability at the University of Vermont, holds a degree in Civil Engineering from University of Minnesota and studied abroad in Advanced Environmental Measurements Techniques (AEMT) program at Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden. She is a Senior Fellow through the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) National cohort. Chelsea is from northern Minnesota and has lived in Hawai‘i for nearly a decade.

Julius Fischer

Project Coordinator, Ala Wai Watershed and Sustainability Business Forum

Julius Fischer is Hawaiʻi Green Growth’s Project Coordinator for the Ala Wai Watershed Collaboration and the Sustainable Business Forum. Before joining HGG, he worked for the Hawaiʻi State Senate Transportation and Energy Committee. Previously, he was a Fellow for the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), a voluntary partnership of islands across the globe that catalyzes action on resilient and sustainable island communities by mobilizing high-level political leadership. Born and raised in Germany, he has lived in New Zealand, Japan, and Micronesia. Julius holds a BA in International Relations and BS in Earth Systems from Stanford University, and a Master in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Interns and Fellows

Laura Kam

AmeriCorps VISTA Sustainability Intern

Laura Kam is Hawai‘i Green Growth’s AmeriCorps VISTA Sustainability Intern, a position hosted in partnership with Kupu Hawai‘i and the AmeriCorps Program. She supports HGG’s partnership operations, meetings and events, and outreach. Laura completed her undergraduate studies at Colorado State University with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Environmental Affairs, and studied Russian for a year before returning to Hawai‘i. Laura previously interned with Amnesty International USA, and has volunteered with the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, The Nature Conservancy at Kamakou and Mo‘omomi Preserves, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Midway Atoll. She currently volunteers in public outreach for the National Marine Fisheries Service Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program. Laura is from O‘ahu, and graduated from Kalani High School.

Genelle Watkins

Sustainability Dashboard Fellow

Genelle Watkins is the Sustainability Dashboard Fellow with Hawai’i Green Growth, supporting the online Aloha+ Challenge Dashboard. She currently attends the University of Hawai’i of Mānoa and is working towards obtaining her Master’s degree in Natural Resources & Environmental Management, focusing on Land and Water Resources. Her interests are rooted in conservation, restoration, and sustainability. At her undergraduate institution, the University of La Verne, her Bachelor’s degree was in Integrative Biology with a concentration on Environmental Science. Her past experiences within that institution included working with local elementary school students and faculty to analyze diesel toxicity within the community. At UH Mānoa, Genelle’s research looks at community-based mangrove management in Zanzibar, East Africa. She is working with local communities to develop a strategy to conserve and restore mangrove forests to help protect the island’s coastline. She currently chairs the Sustainability committee in UH’s Graduate Student Organization. Genelle has a passion for sustainability and hopes to better this planet through citizen science research that directly involves people and communities to make a positive global impact.

Kiara Kealoha

Fellow

Kiara Kealoha is a fellow with Hawai‘i Green Growth, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She previously served at as the Communications Coordinator for the partnership, as well as worked with KYA Sustainability and as an education project assistant for the Climate-KIC Switzerland. Kiara completed her undergraduate education at Harvard University, obtaining a degree in History and Science with a secondary field in Environmental Science and Public Policy. Kiara is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools, and was born and raised on the island of O‘ahu.