Military Policeman Turned Renewable Energy Lawyer

Going Green sits down with Chris Brown, the EVP / GC of KNK Engineering, where he specializes in fueling, and renewable energy design and construction. We had the chance to discuss his military police experience and how he became a renewable energy lawyer.

What is your occupation? Where do you work? 

I am an Attorney and Executive based in Oakland, California.

Tell us a little bit about you and your background: 

I’m the Executive Vice-President and General Counsel of KNK Engineering Consulting Corporation, an engineering and construction (design-build) firm whose primary clients are states and the department of defense. In this role, I have led the company’s strategic legal initiatives and negotiations with the government from its infancy to it being awarded millions in design and construction contracts.

Before joining KNK, I was an attorney for Trenam Kemker, a full service law firm. My work at Trenam was principally commercial litigation and Intellectual Property. While at Trenam, I advised numerous businesses on matters related to trademark, copyright, and design patent, and represented the interests of venture capitalists, banks, and technologists in several courts in the state of Florida.

My experience with the US Army and a prominent California think tank has given me the skills to draft and represent policy proposals before regional, national, and international audiences. Examples include my research and presentations related to Electronic Discovery, Network Neutrality, and Outer Space Law.

What is a fun fact about you?

I research outer space law, and am in the process of writing a book on the topic.

What was your motivation to get into this industry?

Like most climate minded individuals, I care that we are on a dangerous trajectory that will severely disrupt the plant’s ecosystem. I am also deeply interested in hydrogen technology’s ability for space applications. Both as fuel, and as a supplier of oxygen. And Jobs!!

Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today? 

We are beginning to more accurately measure the environmental impact of carbon emissions, and a new generation of scientists, activists, business people, and politicians are rightly raising these concerns.

What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?

The government is slow to adapt sustainable options due to cost impact. I suspect that there will be a need to push through a bill that better addresses climate concerns.

What can the average person do to make a difference? 

Read, participate at a local political level, and contribute to credible non-profits in the climate industry.

What positive changes are you seeing?

Recent massive civil protests are getting close to the thresholds where we could expect a tipping of some socio-economic systems to promote climate friendly infrastructure, and energy production.

Going Green wants to thank Chris for sharing his experience as a renewable energy lawyer.

Going Green, hosted by Dylan Welch, interviews leading experts in cleantech, sustainability, media, finance, and real estate on the Going Green podcast. Tune in and subscribe to the podcast on Apple or Spotify to listen to interviews with leading cleantech and sustainable experts. If you are interested in being featured on Going Green, click HERE.

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