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Alexander A. Karsner

Alexander A. Karsner

Senior Strategist, X


Alexander A. Karsner is Senior Strategist at X, the innovation lab of Alphabet Inc. Mr. Karsner is also Executive Chairman of Elemental Labs, which pursues market transformation through nature-based solutions. Mr. Karsner most recently served as Managing Partner of Emerson Collective, an investment platform funding non-profit, philanthropic and for-profit portfolios advancing education, immigration, the environment and other social innovation initiatives, from January 2016 to July 2019.

Prior to this, Mr. Karsner has been Founder and CEO of Manifest Energy Inc., an energy technology development and investment firm, since July 2009, and has served as its Executive Chairman since January 2013. From March 2006 to August 2008, he served as Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy and exercised a diplomatic role as a principal in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. From August 2002 to March 2006, Mr. Karsner was Founder and Managing Director of Enercorp, a private company involved in international project development, management and financing of energy infrastructure. Mr. Karsner has also worked with Tondu Energy Systems of Texas, Wartsila Power Development of Finland and other multi-national energy firms and developers. He is a Precourt Energy Scholar at Stanford University’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and serves on Advisory Boards of MIT Medialab, and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Mr. Karsner served as a member of the board of directors of Codexis, Inc. from 2009 to 2014, as well as Argonne National Laboratory, and was previously an Associate of the Harvard Kennedy School.

He presently is on the board of Conservation International and director emeritus of the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation. He is a Life Member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission, Distinguished Fellow of the Council on Competitiveness and a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Mr. Karsner joined the Applied Materials board of directors in 2008.