CEO Heather Zichal to leave ACP

ACP CEO Heather Zichal speaks during a presentation at CLEANPOWER 2022. (Courtesy: Wind Systems)

Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association (ACP), recently announced she is moving on from the helm of the organization after two years to take on a new role as the new Global Head of Sustainability at JPMorgan Chase.

Craig Cornelius, the CEO of Clearway Energy and Chair of ACP’s Board of Directors and Leo Moreno, the President of AES Clean Energy and incoming Chair of the Board, will engage more directly with the senior team until a successor is selected.

“In her two years at the helm of ACP, Heather has positioned us as the single voice of the clean energy industry,” Cornelius said. “Thanks to her leadership, the organization is the strongest it’s ever been. While we are sorry to lose her and wish her continued success, we are confident that the next CEO will build on the momentum she and her team have created.”

In a short time, ACP has been instrumental in securing a series of major advocacy victories on behalf of its members, including the bipartisan infrastructure law and the historic passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which has brought predictability and certainty to the clean-energy sector for the next 10 years. Under her leadership, membership has grown to more than 750 companies, and the organization has more than doubled revenue in just its first 18 months.

“Heather has built a large team of talented, experienced and purpose-driven professionals while completing a successful merger of two organizations,” Moreno said. “On behalf of the Board, Craig and I will work closely with the executive team as they lead the staff through the next few months until a permanent successor is named.”

As the search gets underway, the Board has appointed J.C. Sandberg, chief advocacy officer, as interim CEO. Sandberg will continue to lead the organization’s ambitious advocacy agenda building on the momentum of significant victories he and his team achieved with the passage of the IRA. In addition, Jason Clark, chief strategy officer, has been named interim president, responsible for the day-to-day execution of the association’s operations, while assuming management responsibility for the executive team. Rosanna Maietta, chief communications officer and senior counselor, will continue in this capacity supporting Sandberg, Cornelius, and Moreno, in addition to elevating the organization’s visibility in and outside Washington.

“Leaving ACP is the toughest professional decision I’ve ever had to make, especially after the historic progress we’ve made together,” Zichal said. “We’ve grown as a trade association, with nearly double the resources and an entire, diverse team of experts paving the way for a clean-energy future at the state, regional, and federal level. In my remaining time here, I am going to work tirelessly to set ACP up for a smooth transition and have tremendous faith in J.C., Jason, Rosanna, and the entire executive team who will be a steady hand on the wheel in the coming days and months ahead.”

The Board has appointed a nominating committee made up of select members and engaged Russell Reynolds to lead the process to select the next ACP CEO.

Zichal’s last day at ACP is October 20.