Johanna Schmidtke

Managing Director

Johanna Schmidtke is a Managing Director with Ara, having joined the firm in 2018, and is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee. Johanna has two decades of experience in low carbon investment, project implementation and research.

Johanna began her career in physics researching solar and low power display materials. At Lux Research and PricewaterhouseCoopers, she consulted global energy and industrial clients on external investment and internal research platforms in the renewable power, electronics and materials sectors. She then moved to the Corporate Development and Strategy team at First Solar, then the largest U.S. solar developer and panel manufacturer. Most recently, Johanna was an Investment Director at Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, where she led investments in waste carbon-utilizing chemicals, industrial cybersecurity and industrial construction platforms.

Johanna earned a PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Arizona as a Goldwater Scholar. She is currently adjunct professor in the Global Energy Management program at the University of Colorado Denver Business School. Johanna is a proud mother of two and in her free time enjoys long bike rides with her family, classical music, and amateur photography.