An Interview with Clean Tech Start-up Advisor Susanna Kass

The Former COO of Trilliant Network and eBay International Talks Sustainability

2010 Volume 13 Issue 3

As co-founder of a start-up company that is developing green energy generation using wind and solar, board executive member to Demand Response Smart Grid Coalition in Washington D.C., and the Executive Advisor to Goldman Sachs Clean Tech Smart Grid Fund portfolio, Susanna Kass knows many shades of green technology. She discusses sustainability, Pepperdine’s new SEER program, and the simultaneous challenges and opportunities that exist in caring for the environment.


Can’t see the above video? Click this link to watch.

Susanna Kass holds an MBA and the Graziadio Distinguished Alumna award from Pepperdine University, a Graduate School of Business Degree for Executives from Stanford University, and two bachelor’s degrees in computer science and business administration marketing from San Diego State University. Before becoming CEO of EVOASIS, she was the Chief Operating Officer of Trilliant Network, a Smart Grid company with $100 million in revenue, COO for eBay International, and held senior corporate, product marketing, and worldwide business operations positions at Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard Company. Kass visited with Rhiannon Bailard, Director of Pepperdine’s Center for Sustainability, to answer these questions and more.

Questions for Susanna Kass:

1. How do you define sustainability and why is it important?

2. What is the Smart Grid and who are the key players in this industry?

3. How do you keep up with the technology in an industry that’s evolving at such a rapid pace?

4. Tell us about the SEER program at the Graziadio School of Business and Management.

5. How did you climb up the ladder from graduate student to COO of eBay and then Trilliant?

6. How far do you think we’ve come in regards to gender and racial equality at the executive level?

You can also view the article that Susanna mentions in the video, written by Dean Linda Livingstone, PhD, by clicking here.

The Social, Environmental and Ethical Responsible business practice (SEER) Certificate Program will allow MBA students at Graziadio School who are interested in eco-entrepreneurship to enhance their graduate business school experience and career opportunities. Learn more about SEER here.

About the Author(s)

Rhiannon Bailard, JD, serves as the director of the Center for Sustainability and the assistant vice president of Governmental & Regulatory Affairs at Pepperdine University. She is responsible for on-campus land use planning, environmental compliance, community affairs, governmental relations, and sustainability. Bailard graduated cum laude from Pepperdine School of Law and concurrently received a Certificate in Dispute Resolution from the renowned Strauss Institute.

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