What’s it like to work in the energy sector? What advice do female energy professionals have for students—both women and men?  How can male colleagues help create a supportive work environment? 

Our panel of energy professionals will tackle these and other questions at the third annual Women in Energy event at Duke. A panel discussion will be followed by lunch in small groups, giving students opportunities to have conversations with the energy professionals.


Carla Frisch has worked in senior positions at U.S. Department of Energy for several years, and currently serves as the Director of Climate and Environmental Analysis in the crosscutting Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis. She leads climate and energy policy activities. She and her team conduct a range of analysis across generation, transportation, and the built environment, translating technical outcomes into policy priorities. Previously, she was the Director of End-Use Analysis. Carla also served as the Director of Analysis in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, where she led a multi-million dollar program portfolio across a large collaborative team. Carla is an Excellence in Government Senior Fellow, a Certified Energy Measurement and Verification Professional, and a board member of the International Energy Program Evaluation Conference. She holds a Master of Environmental Management in economics and policy from Duke University.

Karen St. John is a consultant with a specialty in private sector environmental, social and political risk management. Karen has extensive experience working with the oil- and gas-related industries that have entailed designing and executing risk mitigation strategies worldwide. Her portfolio includes a mix of skills from strategic planning to impact assessment and management, programs development, and external and governmental affairs. She has established a number of partnerships with mullti-lateral development banks and organizations to leverage resources for environmental and social benefit. And she has negotiated with a number of U.S. and international governmental regulators toward successful policy outcomes.

St. John recently served as Environment Group Vice President for the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC) where she built up a team that managed regulatory and policy environmental issues world-wide for the worldwide seismic industry. Before her role at IAGC, St. John worked as the Senior Director Regulatory Affairs Manager at BP America in Washington, D.C., working across its various business units and corporate functions on numerous environmental regulatory and legislative policies. Prior to that, she worked with Jakarta-based BP Indonesia and Baku-based BP Azerbaijan putting together their environmental and social strategies and organizations to support their growing multi-billion dollar business portfolios, coordinating with the International Finance Corporation and Asia and European Development Banks on environmental and social due diligence and partnership-development. She has worked in a number of corporate capacities for Amoco and BP (including government and public affairs; environment, health and safety; and internal audit, located in London, Washington D.C. and Chicago.

St. John completed Georgetown University's two-year executive program in international business and holds an MBA from The Ohio State University, an MEM (master of environmental management and policy) from Duke University, and a bachelor's degree in natural resources from the University of Michigan. 

Carson Harkrader is the Director of Project Development at Carolina Solar Energy, a utility scale solar development company in Durham that was started by Carson's father and his business partner in 2004. Carson is responsible for the development of solar project development assets and financial partnerships for utility scale solar projects in North Carolina. 

In her current role she is responsible for site acquisition, permitting, regulatory filings, and for working with our state's regulated utilities to sign interconnection agreements. She has also contributed to numerous meetings and hearings at the NC legislature and NC Utilities Commission on clean energy policy and regulation, as well as participating in key stakeholder processes with NC's regulated utilities that resulted in changes to streamline our interconnection process. Finally, as part of Carolina Solar Energy's management team, she is responsible for recommending financial partners for our projects.

Prior to Carolina Solar Energy, Carson worked for 8 years as a Commercial Leader in the US and Asia for GE Power Generation, in the sales team for wind energy and gas turbine technology. Prior to GE she worked for two years for a renewable energy startup company in Sydney, Australia. Carson is from Durham and holds a BA in Political Science with honors from Brown University and a MBA from NYU.

Diana Rowe is in the Leadership Development Program (LDP) at BASF, the world’s largest and most diversified chemical company. Currently based in Charlotte for her second rotation, she works on financial planning & analysis for the company’s business regarding kaolin, a clay mineral used in the manufacturing of ceramic and paper products. Prior to this rotation, Diana was based in Detroit, where she was Program Manager leading multi-functional teams for the development of catalytic converters.

Diana is a 2016 graduate of Duke’s MEM/MBA program where she concentrated in Energy and Finance. At Duke, she was Co-President of the Duke MBA Energy Club and a Fellow of the Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics. She interned at TerraPower, LLC, a nuclear-technology company, where she supported the Senior Vice President with the formulation of a joint venture with a state-owned enterprise in East Asia. Her second summer, she joined The Dow Chemical Company as a part of the MBA Sustainability Leadership Program working on promoting wastewater reuse schemes for manufacturing.

Prior to graduate school, Diana served as an advisor at the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council and was Project Manager for a contract at the U.S. Department of State's Office of Iraq. Diana graduated from Emory University in 2008, where she studied comparative religion and Middle Eastern studies. Her junior year, she studied abroad in Morocco and India and remains an avid traveler. She is passionate about international commerce and the opportunity to use business as a means to drive sustainable solutions across the manufacturing supply chain.


11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.   Panel discussion moderated by Stacy Peterson (Social Sciences 139)
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.     Lunch breakout sessions with panelists (for students only) (Locations TBA) 


Duke students can register for free for the panel discussion and/or lunch breakout sessions. Faculty, staff, and local professionals can register for free for the panel discussion; lunch is restricted to students so that they can talk with panelists in smaller groups.

Event partners


Social Sciences 139
Date & Time
Friday, Feb 17, 2017 - 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Location: Dechert LLP, 100 Oliver Street, One International Place, Floor 40, Boston, Massachusetts 02110
Time: 7:30 am to 9:00 am
Location: Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
Time: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Time: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Senior Education Program Coordinator

    Stacy plans and manages energy education activities across the university.