Rolf is Executive Director of the Great Plains Institute. Before taking over as Executive Director in 2007, Rolf helped manage the Institute’s Powering the Plains program, whose diverse stakeholders developed a 50-year Energy Transition Roadmap for the region: www.poweringtheplains.org. This Roadmap, in turn, informed the development of an ambitious set of energy agreements signed by Midwestern Governors and the Premier of Manitoba in November 2007: www.midwesterngovernors.org.
Rolf has written or helped craft new laws on resource efficient land use, high performance buildings, hydrogen and fuel cell technologies and sustainable development broadly. Before coming to the Institute in 2003, Rolf served for a decade with the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) and Office of Strategic and Long-range Planning. For seven of those years he served as Assistant Director of then Governor Arne Carlson’s Sustainable Development Initiative, working to harmonize the state’s economic and environmental policies.
Rolf serves on the Advisory Board of the University of Minnesota’s NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise, the Board of Advisors for the North-Central CleanTech Open, the world’s largest clean tech business competition (and serves as a judge in that competition). He has authored and edited many publications on energy, transportation and sustainable development and speaks to a wide range of audiences. He is an alumnus of the Wilder Foundation’s James P. Shannon Leadership Institute and has served as president of the Izaak Walton League of America (Minnesota Division), and Union Park Community Council in the St. Paul neighborhood where he and his wife Kathy live with their two sons, Erik, 14, Eli, 11 and their dog Ginger.