Our Team


Anthony Nahas

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Anthony.Nahas@smartblocks.org | 415-275-4892

Anthony (Tony) Nahas is Executive Director of SmartBlock Communities, a San Francisco-based organization. After five years building and managing the UC Berkeley-based Oakland EcoBlock project, Tony and partners spun off SmartBlock Communities to accelerate the deployment of zero-carbon, solar-powered, water-resilient neighborhoods. Tony is a founder and former project manager of the Oakland EcoBlock at UC Berkeley, an urban sustainability experiment twice-funded by the California Energy Commission. The research project brings together residents of a local Oakland neighborhood block and an interdisciplinary team of urban designers, engineers, social scientists, and policy experts  at Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Stanford University, the City of Oakland, and leading Bay Area law firms, engineering companies, and urban planners.

Tony received his undergraduate education at Columbia University and Paris-IV Sorbonne in History. He pursued graduate work in Economic History at the Sorbonne, the American University of Cairo and Columbia. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and worked in television production before moving into corporate finance as a media sector specialist. He started his Investment Banking career in the City of London with JP Morgan before moving to Barclays, ING Barings and Bryan, Garnier & Co. in Paris. Thereafter, he established his own Investment Fund specializing in alternative assets. In 2013, he transitioned from finance to sustainability with a particular interest in the convergence of economics and the environment. Tony was a Research Affiliate at the Presidio Graduate School in 2014 and a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley, 2015-2019.

Kate Ringness

Managing Director & Co-Founder

Kate.Ringness@smartblocks.org | 415-307-3616

Kate Ringness draws from her experience in policy, law, and finance to address climate change and affordable housing by working with diverse teams to design multifaceted energy efficiency, renewable energy, storage, and water conservation solutions for urban communities. She currently serves as a Strategic Advisor to the Oakland EcoBlock project. 

She is a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, where she has led coursework on advanced energy and economic development and conducts research on community microgrids.

Kate previously served as Co-Founder and Managing Director of The American Jobs Project, developing impactful strategies to grow local economies and create jobs for the millions of Americans who struggle to meet basic needs. She has a track record of constructing practical pathways to capitalize on the advanced energy economy and has authored more than 10 state-specific comprehensive publications. 

Earlier in her career, Kate gained significant private sector experience, first as a small business owner and then as in-house counsel for Merrill Lynch in Europe, where she launched subsidiaries in three countries and advised the investment banking group. She is a Phi Beta Kappa honors graduate of Bucknell University, earned J.D. and LL.M. degrees from Duke Law School, and holds a Master of Public Policy from UC Berkeley.

©2020. SmartBlock Communities is a public benefit corporation and has applied to become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

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