Gia Schneider, CEO and co-founder of Natel Energy, has been officially appointed to the Board of Directors of the International Hydropower Association (IHA) for the remainder of the 2023-25 term. Schneider takes over the seat vacated by Herbie Johnson, who joined the United States Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office earlier this year. Schneider will represent North America on the Board alongside Lynn St-Laurent, Strategic Communications Advisor at Hydro Quebec.

The IHA Board consists of 18 global leaders in hydropower, tasked with guiding the association’s mission to promote sustainable hydropower globally. These experts, elected from six geographical regions, began their term at the 2023 World Hydropower Congress in Bali, Indonesia.

Eddie Rich, CEO of the IHA, warmly welcomed Schneider, stating, “We are delighted that the Board has invited Gia to join the Board as a representative of the US industry. She brings a wealth of skills and knowledge especially with investors and with environmental work.”

Schneider, who has over 20 years of experience in the energy sector, will bring her extensive expertise to the Board. As the co-founder and CEO of Natel Energy, she has led innovative initiatives in hydropower technology, particularly the development of high-performance FishSafe turbines that support biodiversity and grid decarbonization. Schneider holds degrees in Chemical Engineering and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and also serves on the boards of the Freshwater Trust and the World Wildlife Fund National Council.

Reflecting on her new role, Schneider said, “I am deeply honored to join the IHA Board. Having dedicated over two decades to combating climate change, I am committed to advancing hydropower as a reliable, renewable, and sustainable energy source. Hydropower is uniquely positioned as a critical resource for the energy transition given its reliability, flexibility, and dispatchability, and I look forward to collaborating with stakeholders to continually enhance the industry’s sustainability efforts.”

At Natel Energy, Schneider and her team are focused on developing innovative solutions to address climate change and biodiversity loss. Their FishSafe turbine designs ensure 98-100% safe passage for downstream migrating fish, combining efficient power production with improved environmental performance. Natel works with manufacturers worldwide to provide FishSafe turbine solutions that align with the IHA’s Bali Statement on Sustainable Growth.