Fresh Energy is excited to welcome a new face to the team! We’ve been busy driving bold policy solutions to achieve equitable carbon-neutral economies here in Minnesota and beyond. To do that, we rely on our talented staff—and we’re delighted for a new member to help us do just that. Please join us in welcoming Annie Moua.
Annie joined the Fresh Energy team in September as our new Senior Information Management Associate, where she oversees the IT, administration, and co-design of our day-to-day operations.
Annie comes to Fresh Energy after more than 10 years of working at the Science Museum of Minnesota and has a bachelor’s degree in screenwriting from Metropolitan State University. Annie held many different positions at the Science Museum and was most recently the media developer, which included working on the Brains On! podcast, an award-winning science podcast for curious kids and families. She also contributed to a documentary about food justice in Minnesota, where she got first-hand experience producing a film and submitting it to a film festival. “I fell in love with the art form of telling a story, and how powerful it is to use jarring images of actual realities in front of people,” says Annie. “Invoking an emotion is extremely powerful for me.”
When asked what drew her to work in the climate and clean energy space, Annie said she’s always been interested in climate policy after growing up in a first-generation Hmong family in the Twin Cities and working at the Kitty Anderson Youth Science Center, which employs BIPOC students from Saint Paul. “It was a gradual kind of journey for me,” Annie says. In her family “Survival wasn’t being energy efficient, it was about putting food on the table, clothes on your children, and going to work and coming back.” As she was exposed to the different people working in the climate and energy efficiency industry at the Kitty Anderson Youth Science Center, her perspective grew: “I believe that if you don’t see yourself reflected in these fields, you will not be able to imagine realities beyond what you’re experiencing at home.” As she began noticing more people in her community being affected by climate and clean energy policies on a day-to-day basis, she started to realize just how much policy affects people—and became more interested in getting involved.
Annie distinctly remembers the first time she recognized how policy affected her personal life. “During my time in school, you had to pay for lunch. If you didn’t have money, your food would be thrown away in front of you,” says Annie. “Food justice really ties to climate, and simply having a policy like ‘every child can eat’ makes a big difference for students. As a child I felt ashamed my food was thrown away. It was traumatic. When Minnesota passed [universal school lunches into law], I had an “aha!” moment. It’s so systemic. It makes you think more about policy when your daily life is affected by it.”
Outside of work, Annie loves to write, produce, and film documentaries. She’s currently documenting her grandma’s war stories from the Secret War, which took place during the Vietnam War when the CIA secretly trained Hmong soldiers to fight against the North Vietnamese. Annie’s grandmother was trained to use weapons during the conflict. “In our culture we predominantly hear male war stories, but I’ve been documenting my grandma’s story and planning to create a podcast revolving around it,” says Annie.
Annie also loves to travel internationally. She spent a week solo-traveling in South Korea before her sister flew in to join her, handling everything from customs to COVID policies by herself—which was well worth it to see and explore different cultures. Her other favorite trip was visiting Japan, where she traveled to Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo to study the architecture and experience different temples and shrines.
Annie is grateful and full of perspective after traveling, noting how it humbles you. “We all have very different lives. Some people have children, some don’t; some have college degrees, some don’t; the color of our skin is different, our finances are different,” says Annie. “But we’re all connected by the experience called life. It reminds us to be empathetic, to choose kindness, to practice listening, and to love loudly. [Traveling] helped build a foundation that’s making me feel whole while helping others with their journey.”