The Blue Planet Foundation today announced that Jeff Mikulina will step down from his role as executive director on Oct. 15, 13 years after taking the helm of the locally based nonprofit that advocates for 100% clean energy in Hawaii.
The Blue Planet board of directors selected Melissa Miyashiro, current managing director of strategy and policy and member of the leadership team, to serve as its new executive director.
During Mikulina’s tenure, the nonprofit has advocated for Hawaii’s transition toward clean energy.
Blue Planet led a three-year campaign for Hawaii to become the first state in the U.S. to establish a 100% renewable energy requirement, which became reality with Gov. David Ige’s signature for the bill in 2015. Since then, Blue Planet says 12 U.S. states and territories have followed suit.
“I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful for having had the opportunity to serve and work alongside incredibly motivated and gifted individuals on the most critical mission facing humanity,” said Mikulina in a news release. “I am proud of what we have accomplished as an organization and as a community. We’ve helped change the conversation about climate and passed game-changing legislation. Although we were labeled ‘magical thinkers’ by some, we took what was once impossible and hastened the day that it is inevitable.”
Miyashiro has worked with Blue Planet for over seven years and leads the organization’s policy efforts.
She also serves as the current president of Women in Renewable Energy and is a board member of Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii.
“We are very fortunate to have someone with Melissa’s experience and talent step into the critical executive director role,” Ernest Nishizaki, chairman of the Blue Planet’s board of Directors, said in the news release. “She has proven leadership that will serve our mission and organization well as we enter our next era of success and impact.”
Mikulina said he intends to remain active with Blue Planet as a board member.
Blue Planet has nine full-time staff, and is seeking a senior program director to oversee its climate impact programs for transportation and education.