Bernerd Da Santos is the Executive Vice President and President of Global Renewables at AES, and President of AES Clean Energy. Bernerd served as Chief Operating Officer from 2015 to 2023, spearheading the remarkable transformation of AES’ operations. He is responsible for overseeing the Company's continued growth in renewables and green hydrogen, accelerating a just and responsible transition to carbon free energy. Bernerd is deeply involved in the creation of initiatives and energy solutions that positively impact AES people, partners, customers, the environment, and the communities we serve.
In his more than 20 years with AES, Bernerd has held a variety of leadership positions and remained passionate about promoting a culture of purpose, safety, collaboration, innovation, and delivering highest standards to customers and communities. Bernerd has led the end-to-end transformation of the supply chain organization, implemented programs to maintain a strong pipeline and scale the growth of the global renewables business while accelerating a companywide digitization of all information technology processes and applications, and leading co-innovation with strategic suppliers. One of Bernerd’s most notable achievements has been leading the energy transition through the proactive decarbonization of conventional generation and the decommissioning of coal plants for a greener, cleaner future. This included the successful launch of four AES Smart Centers; these state-of-the-art facilities have scaled the use of robotics and drones to employ data for predictive analytics in renewable and conventional generation, smart grid operations, and customer experience.
Through innovative solutions and minimal necessary infrastructure, Bernerd has maximized efficiency and helped distinguish AES as a leader in the industry. His global optimization and standardization efforts resulted in the leveraging of AES’ synergies and economies of scale, realizing $1 billion in value. Recognizing the critical importance of safety and environmental stewardship, Bernerd has recently led the adoption of new safety and environmental analysis systems and standards. These proactive measures have resulted in global lost time incident rates for AES people and operations and construction contractors that rank in the top 10%, based on US benchmarks.
Bernerd’s expertise extends through operations and beyond with a proven track record in international corporate finance and business transformation. Prior to serving as Executive Vice President and COO, he served as CFO for AES’ Global Finance Operations and CFO for the Utilities group and for the Latin America and Africa group. He has played pivotal roles in leading generation, transmission, and distribution companies across the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia and his invaluable insights have earned him board memberships AES Brasil Energia S.A., AES Mong Duong Power Co. Ltd., AES Andes, IPALCO, Son My LNG Terminal LLC, and AES Renewable Holdings, LLC., among others. Additionally, he serves on advisory boards, driving the future of energy worldwide.
Originally from Venezuela, Bernerd joined AES in 2000 through its acquisition of La Electricidad de Caracas. He is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Universidad José Maria Vargas with Bachelor degrees in Business Administration and Public Administration, Business Management and Finance, and an MBA.
Bernerd finds joy and fulfillment in his professional and personal life. He resides in Virginia with his wife Lina and two sons and enjoys cooking, playing golf, traveling, and making the impossible possible.