Who's Who at HPC: Kara Saul-Rinaldi
Kara Saul-Rinaldi is the Vice President of Government Affairs and Policy at HPC. She leads the organization’s public policy and government affairs initiatives and represents HPC’s mission to policymakers and stakeholders through her firm, the AnnDyl Policy Group. With over 20 years of experience in policy and communications strategy and legislative and regulatory experience, Kara has worked for members of Congress, testified before congressional committees and appeared in a variety of media outlets as a leading energy and climate policy expert. Kara has a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego. Kara continues to author articles on energy policy for trade publications and provide keynote and panel presentations on energy and climate policy.
1) What do you enjoy the most about your role at HPC?
I believe deeply in the right and responsibility of civic engagement. I have a passion for environmental protection and to see clean energy as the core route to environmentally sustainable economic growth. As HPC’s Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs, it is a thrill to work every day to try and advance legislation, regulation, and policy thought on residential energy efficiency as it is more than just my work. While market drivers will eventually spur the growth of the residential EE industry, it is clear that energy efficiency isn't currently valued correctly. Working to value energy efficiency via policymaker education, right-sized incentives, and regulation to spur market forces challenges and teaches me every day. And I am also joined by a talented team of great people in supporting our important work.
2) What is your proudest accomplishment at HPC?
I have been honored that HPC, and its predecessor, NHPC, has provided me a wonderful platform for my work. At HPC I serve in a leadership role in both policy research and in policy advocacy so it makes sense to provide recent accomplishments in both.
In policy research, I am proud of a little-known publication A Policymaker’s Guide to Incorporating Existing Homes into Carbon Reduction Strategies and Clean Power Plan Compliance. While it was released with a whisper last November after the election shelved the Clean Power Plan, the work is still meaningful to states looking to follow a robust carbon constrained policy that includes residential retrofits in its planning. But I am equally proud of the publication Weatherization and Home Performance: Recommendations for Mutual Success and Collaboration that HPC released with a roar at its 2017 National Conference in Nashville this past March. This publication sets goals for more effective collaboration between the home performance and weatherization industries.
On Advocacy, after tireless effort fighting beside other stakeholders this spring, I was proud to see the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) receive its federal funding in both the House and Senate bills for FY18 last month.
3) What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I have two children, Annabella (12) and Dylan (10) and I love spending time with them and my husband Rick in nature, away from technology as much as possible. We enjoy hiking, skiing, rock climbing, camping, surfing -- whatever will allow us to be together without the pull of emails and text messages.
4) Tell us a fun fact about yourself we may not know
When I was 10 years old I sent a letter to my newly elected Congresswoman Barbara Boxer telling her that I wanted to change policy too someday (she spoke about it in the local paper and I still have the clipping). Two weeks after graduating with my BA in Political Science from UC San Diego I was working in then-Senator Boxer’s press office. My next job was in her congressional successor’s office, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, working on her legislative staff for the 6th district of California where my elementary school still teaches 10 year olds to set ambitious goals.