GBL is Founded
Co-founders Jim Rogers and Joe Hale establish the Global BrightLight Foundation as a 501c3 not for profit to bring safe, healthy, and cost-effective solar power to people living without access to electricity. Joe Hale assumes the role of Executive Director.
Partnership with GSEP
The Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) and GBL partner to distribute 50,000 solar systems to communities living without access to electricity around the world. In 2013, GBL expands into nine countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
Key Milestone Reached
GBL deploys its 60,000 solar system. These solar lanterns and solar home systems provide economic opportunities and improve the health, safety, education, and quality of life of an estimated 330,000 people.
In April 2015 a devastating earthquake hits Nepal, killing over 8,000 people and displacing hundreds of thousands. GBL is a first responder, donating hundreds of solar lanterns to families affected by the tragedy. The lanterns aid in rescue and recovery efforts and allow people to charge their cell phones so they can communicate with family members.
New Social Enterprise in Latin America
Under the leadership of new CEO Ben Bunker, GBL refocuses its efforts on Latin America and launches a social enterprise operation in partnership with Amigos de la Aldea. This new approach will help GBL provide universal access to electricity in the Americas by 2030. Together GBL and ADLA develop the Light a Village program, which provides solar energy to every family living in a rural village without electricity.
imageBen Bunker, CEO
Ben Bunker serves as the CEO of the Global BrightLight Foundation. He manages the organization’s daily operations and is passionate about achieving BrightLight’s vision of a world with universal access to clean, sustainable, and affordable energy. Ben has a long history with BrightLight, having volunteered as a member of BrightLight’s Advisory Team since the organization was founded in 2011.
Before joining BrightLight as CEO, Ben worked as a consultant with ICF International where he supported the United States Agency for International Development and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. He earned an M.S. in Sustainable Energy Systems from the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan and a B.A. in Political Science from Bates College. He also holds a professional certification from Solar Energy International with a specialization in Developing World Applications.
imageAmigos de la Aldea (ADLA) – “Friends of the Village”
In Latin America, Global BrightLight has formed an alliance with a grassroots non-profit organization called Amigos de la Aldea (translated from Spanish as “Friends of the Village”). Since it was founded in 2009, ADLA has developed and implemented the commercialization of several projects, including solar lanterns, clean cook stoves, water filters, and various micro-entrepreneurial initiatives. ADLA serves as our on the ground presence in Latin America and we are honored to consider them part of our team!
James E. Rogers
Co-Founder, Global BrightLight Foundation, Chairman, Retired President and CEO, Duke Energy
With 25 years experience in the utility industry, Jim Rogers recently served as chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy, the largest electric utility holding company in the U.S. Under his leadership, Duke Energy has been recognized as a leader in sustainability – balancing the “triple bottom line” of people, planet and profits. In 2010 and 2011, the company was named to the elite Dow Jones Sustainability World Index; it has been a part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for the past six years.
Jim has served in numerous roles in business, advocacy and environmental policy, including as deputy general counsel for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, vice chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, founding chairman of the Institute for Electric Efficiency, and board member of Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.