Climate & Energy Director

Samantha (Sammi) Kao (she/her) joined CVNM as the Climate & Energy Advocate in January of 2021, and was promoted to Director in August of 2023. Her role in the organization is to develop and implement policy in oil and gas regulation, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and just transition.

Sammi earned her Bachelor of Science degrees in Biochemistry and Biology from the University of New Mexico in 2015. In 2019, she graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Law with her Juris Doctorate with a certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Law. Prior to her time at CVNM, Sammi worked as the Voter Protection Director with the Democratic Party of New Mexico for the 2020 General Election. She also served in the University of New Mexico School of Law pro bono clinic working on environmental and natural resources law for low income, disadvantaged community members.

Sammi grew up in Los Alamos, NM. As a lifelong tree hugger, Sammi has always believed that climate change is the most dangerous threat to our livelihoods. She hopes to propel New Mexico’s renewable energy economy, as well as implement policy to achieve our state’s netzero emissions goals. In her free time, Sammi enjoys traveling, cooking and eating (but mostly eating), and spending time with her friends and fur-babies Bailey and Mochi.