Kris Acuña

CERTs bids farewell to Metro CERT Kris Acuña

Kristoffer Acuña came to the Great Plains Institute (GPI) in February 2018 as a volunteer with an interest in electric vehicles (EVs).

GPI was about to launch Cities Charging Ahead (CCA), a project aimed at helping cities understand what it takes to be EV-ready, and then get there. Kris worked with the first cohort of 28 Minnesota cities, and quickly became an important part of the team.

Kris joined GPI as a part-time staff member, then eventually became full-time. He helped with the second cohort for CCA 2.0 in addition to working primarily with the Metro Clean Energy Resource Team. Kris guided the CERTs team through an Equity Lens Review of several key areas of work in 2020 that contributed to a shift in how CERTs approaches its work.

Kris recently led a successful CARD (Conservation Applied Research and Development) project that focused on Latinx-owned businesses’ use of electric utility programs by closely partnering with COPAL and Lake Street Council to conduct interviews of utilities, Latinx-owned businesses, and community support organizations.

In addition to his contributions to CERTs, Kris also staffed other GPI work including research as part of the REAMP City Action Team, a coalition of groups from five Midwestern states examining what cities are doing to address climate change. 

With a love for the natural world, Kris graduated from Yale University with a bachelor of science in astrophysics.

You can find Kris at Sierra Club working as a climate and energy organizer in Rochester, MN. Kris, and his smile, team spirit, quick wit, and movie trivia knowledge will be missed!


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