At the annual Los Angeles Auto Show, expect to find Hannah Goldsmith JD/MELP '13 lingering at the display of vehicles with green features—fuel-cell, hybrid and most of all, electric, cars.
As project manager for the California Electric Transportation Coalition in Sacramento, part of Goldsmith's job is staying abreast of the sleek, the sassy and the cutting-edge in electric vehicle manufacturing.
The nonprofit association works to address climate change through the use of electric transportation: plug-in electric vehicles, transit buses, port and off-road vehicles/equipment, and rail.
"The most interesting and rewarding part of my job is collaborating with a variety of stakeholders who are all committed to accelerating market growth of plug-in electric vehicles. Every stakeholder offers different insights that help us gain a better picture of each issue that we are working on," Goldsmith says. "I also love learning about and seeing the vehicles."
With members that include the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Pacific Gas and Electric, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, San Diego Gas and Electric, and automakers, the coalition is a heavy hitter in the field.
In supporting the association's initiatives concerning zero-emission vehicles, sustainable freight and transit buses, Goldsmith is a liaison between coalition members and other electric-vehicle stakeholders, including nongovernmental environmental organizations.
One of Goldsmith's recent accomplishments was working with coalition members and other interested parties to draft comments on regulations proposed by the California Air Resources Board and the California Division of the State Architect concerning electric-vehicle charging stations.
In her previous position as an attorney with the California Energy Commission, Goldsmith worked on a case before the Supreme Court of California. The case, which never went to oral argument, involved state constitutional issues.
The grounding Goldsmith gained at Vermont Law School has been essential in her career.
It wasn't just the courses on urgent environmental and transportation issues that have been most useful to Goldsmith.
"The other, more traditional law courses I took at VLS have also helped me to succeed in my law and policy positions thus far by providing me with the legal foundation on which I can build my energy- and environment-focused career," she says.