Drive Electric Minnesota is facilitated by the Great Plains Institute (GPI), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with a mission to transform the energy system to benefit the economy and environment. GPI combines a unique consensus-building approach, expert knowledge, research and analysis, and local action to find and implement lasting solutions.

Several GPI staff are involved in Drive Electric Minnesota. Please review our bios below for more information on staff roles. You can direct media inquiries to Drew Henry, GPI Communications Director and all other inquiries to [email protected].

Brendan Jordan, Vice President

Facilitation, policy leadership, speaking engagements

Brendan joined the Great Plains Institute in 2004 and is the Vice President overseeing transportation and fuels programs. He has seventeen years of experience leading initiatives to promote deployment of low carbon transportation and fuel technology. He works across subject areas, including electrification, bioenergy, low carbon fuels, transportation, carbon management, carbon removal, and energy infrastructure. Brendan is an experienced facilitator, energy researcher, policy analyst, project manager, communicator, and advocate. He is lead facilitator for a variety of initiatives, including the Midwestern Clean Fuels Policy Initiative, the Midcontinent Transportation Electrification Collaborative, the Bioeconomy Coalition of Minnesota, and Drive Electric Minnesota. He assists policymakers at the state and local level with their low carbon fuel and electrification initiatives. He is part of a team collaborating with Argonne National Laboratories on life cycle accounting methodology for biofuels and supports initiatives to commercialize lower carbon intensity advanced and conventional biofuels. He collaborates with the carbon management team at GPI and leads initiatives with the biofuels industry and agriculture to lower emissions through carbon capture and agricultural soil carbon and fertilizer management.

Brendan has an M.S. in science, technology, and environmental policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, and an undergraduate degree in biology from Carleton College in Northfield, MN. Brendan lives in Minneapolis, MN with his wife and two daughters.

Diana McKeown, CERTs Statewide Co-Director, Metro CERT Director

Facilitation, events, communications, speaking engagements, local government liaison 

Diana McKeown joined the Great Plains Institute in July 2013 and is the Metro CERT (Clean Energy Resource Team) director. Diana has led the metro region of CERTs since October 2007, during which time she has coordinated and participated in a number of clean energy initiatives, including Apple Valley’s Better Energy Program; Neighborhood Energy Service; and an energy makeover of the Lao Family Community Center in partnership with Xcel Energy. Diana has also collaborated on the launch of a number of projects/programs including Minnesota GreenStep Cities, and most recently Cities Charging Ahead! a peer learning cohort of 28 cities statewide acting together to become electric vehicle ready.  Prior to joining the CERTs team, Diana worked for over 14 years at Clean Water Action and has extensive experience building strategic campaigns and coalitions. Diana has a state certificate in residential energy auditing from Dunwoody Institute, has been trained in community-based social marketing (CBSM), and is a graduate of the 2014 Energy Execs Leadership Institute at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Diana holds a BS in Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota.

Katelyn Bocklund, Senior Program Manager

Facilitation, events, communications, speaking engagements, project management 

Katelyn Bocklund joined the Great Plains Institute (GPI) in 2017 and serves as program manager for the Transportation and Fuels Program, working with many exciting initiatives including Drive Electric Minnesota and the Bioeconomy Coalition of Minnesota. Her past experience includes working as a coordinator and communications for Youth Energy Summit, marketing coordinator for the Ney Nature Center, and Minnesota GreenCorps member during the 2013-14 year for the Recycling Association of Minnesota. Katelyn has a master of science in environmental studies from Bemidji State University and a bachelor of science in political science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Outside of GPI, Katelyn enjoys crocheting, exploring small towns, and antiquing. She resides in Saint Louis Park with her husband and two cats.

Carolyn Berninger, Public Policy Manager

Policy leadership

Carolyn joined the Great Plains Institute in 2021. As a public policy manager for the Transportation and Fuels program, Carolyn works on public policy, engagement, and outreach efforts related to vehicle electrification and clean fuels policy.

Prior to joining GPI, Carolyn was a policy analyst at the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy where she advocated for state clean energy and climate policy. Her prior experience also includes working as an environmental educator on a sustainable community farm in Massachusetts.

Carolyn has a dual Master of Arts degree in International Relations and Environmental Policy from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from Stonehill College.

M. Moaz Uddin, Senior Electric Vehicle Policy Specialist

Research, EV advocacy, speaking engagements

Moaz joined the Great Plains Institute in 2021 and serves as the Electric Vehicle Policy Specialist for the Transportation & Fuels program. Prior to joining GPI, Moaz served as a Public Policy Fellow at the International Council on Clean Transportation where he worked on a myriad of projects ranging from electric vehicle emissions and cost of ownership modeling to developing transportation policy recommendations for the US presidential candidates. Prior to that, he served as a graduate consultant with Oxfam.

Moaz completed a master of global affairs with a specialization in sustainable development from the Keough School of Public Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, and a BS in economics from the National University of Sciences & Technology.

Rebecca Heisel, Senior Program Coordinator

EV-readiness, city resources, events

Rebecca Heisel joined the Great Plains Institute in 2021 as a program associate for the Communities Team. Her focus is on electric vehicle initiatives and programs that help cities understand what it means to be electric vehicle ready and to take action.

Prior to joining GPI as a staff member, Rebecca served as a GreenCorps member with GPI supporting cities’ vehicle electrification efforts. She also served as an environmental conservation volunteer for the Peace Corps in Panama where she conducted projects focused on environmental education and deforestation mitigation.

Rebecca earned a bachelor of science degree in Biology from Truman State University in Missouri.

Alejandro Nakpil, Electric Mobility Program Associate

Outreach, communications

Alejandro Nakpil joined the Great Plains Institute in 2023 as an electric mobility program associate. In this role, he supports initiatives that improve, expand, and educate on electrified transportation systems (e.g., electric bikes and scooters, electric transit buses, electric vehicles, etc.). He also provides support to GPI-led electric vehicle stakeholder groups, including Drive Electric Minnesota and the Midcontinent Transportation Electrification Collaborative.

Prior to joining GPI as a staff member, Alejandro served as a sustainability project coordinator on the Communities team through the Climate Impact Corps program. During his time there, he implemented several electric mobility projects, including the formulation and launch of the EV Smart Program, the creation of an electric vehicle ordinance database for municipalities, and the hosting of ride-and-drive events for a variety of organizations.

Alejandro holds a BA in sustainable systems management from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities as well as certifications in project management and behavior-centered design.