Leadership Changes at ACEP - Kasper Named Interim Director

Leadership Changes at ACEP - Kasper Named Interim Director

After almost 14 years, the Alaska Center for Energy and Power will undergo a leadership change. Gwen Holdmann, the founding director of ACEP, will step down on May 9, 2022. ACEP Deputy Director Jeremy Kasper will serve as interim director.

During Holdmann’s tenure at ACEP it grew from a core team of three researchers to more than 50 staff, faculty and affiliated researchers, and annual research funding of more than $10 million.

Kasper is no stranger to ACEP; he has been a research faculty with ACEP since 2012 and has held the deputy director role since 2018. Since 2014, Kasper has led the Alaska Hydrokinetic Research Center including work at ACEP’s Tanana River Hydrokinetic Test Site. Under his leadership, hydrokinetic research expenditures at UAF have more than doubled and AHERC merged with the DOE designated Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center to create the Pacific Marine Energy Center, a consortium between UAF, Oregon State University and the University of Washington and a global leader in marine energy research. 

New Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Role 

Holdmann will be taking on a new role with the university as associate vice chancellor of research for innovation and industry partnerships. She will maintain a 49% position at ACEP in a principal investigator and project management role with the Alaska Regional Collaboration for Technology Innovation and Commercialization (ARCTIC) Program.

“ACEP is in the strongest position it has ever been in terms of sustainable, long-term funding and an amazing and dedicated team of staff, faculty and students,” Holdmann said. “I am very proud of the organization we have built over the past 14 years and look forward to continuing to be a part of ACEP for many years to come — just in a different capacity.”

Holdmann is passionate about the role UAF can play in supporting industry and innovation and Alaska, and she is excited to work with campus leadership to help move the University forward in these areas.

The new AVCR position will merge many of the existing initiatives Holdmann has been leading, such as road-mapping for Alaska nuclear and hydrogen hubs with leadership of the "innovation" side of UAF, including the Alaska Center for Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship, the UAF Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization, and the Alaska Blue Economy Center. 

Prior to joining the University of Alaska, Holdmann worked in the private sector as a design engineer and project manager, including the design and construction of the first and only geothermal power plant in Alaska at Chena Hot Springs. This project received several awards including a R&D 100 award from R&D Magazine, and Power Engineering Magazine’s Project of the Year in the renewable energy category. Holdmann has been inducted into the Alaska Innovator’s Hall of Fame and was selected as a member of Alaska’s Top Forty Under 40. In 2015-16, she served as a Fulbright Scholar as part of the Arctic Fulbright Initiative.


Jeremy Kasper is the interim director of ACEP. Photo by Jeff Fisher.