Speaker Bios

 

Joseph R. Balash

Joseph “Joe” Balash is serving as the Assistant Secretary of Land and Minerals Management. In this role, Balash oversees the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, and head “Interior’s management of all federal lands and waters, and their associated mineral and non-mineral resources, as well as the appropriate regulation of surface coal mining.” Joe Balash is the former Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and has worked for politicians for more than a decade. Since 1998, Balash has worked for the Alaska Legislature, advised Sarah Palin “on natural resource policy, permitting, and energy,” and most recently, served as Chief of Staff to Senator Dan Sullivan.

 

 

Peter Balash

Peter C. Balash, Ph.D., is senior economist at the United States Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has followed energy markets, energy security, and technology issues for NETL since 2002, focusing on the interaction of upstream fuel market developments with downstream, or end-use, sectors. Current duties include managing an interdisciplinary team of engineers, economists, and scientists that performs systems, regulatory, and economic studies to inform strategic planning. Contemporary efforts direct the economic analysis of CO2 storage, enhanced oil recovery, electricity grid reliability, and technology deployment. Previously Mr. Balash worked for the Internal Revenue Service in Houston, Texas, engaged in multinational corporate audits and transfer pricing issues. Mr. Balash earned his doctorate in economics in 1992 from the University of Texas at Austin. He received a bachelor’s in economics from Xavier University, Cincinnati, in 1987. He resides with his family in McMurray, Pennsylvania.

 

 

Christophe Bonnery

Christophe Bonnery is Vice President, Economics & Prospective, ENEDIS, the French power distribution company. He is President-elect 2018 of the International Association for Energy Economics, IAEE (www.iaee.org). He is also President of the French Association for Energy Economics since 2009.

He created in 2012 the French Cercle of Energy Economists, to promote energy economics to energy policy decision makers. He created the Marcel Boiteux Prize in 2011, which rewards the best French book on energy economics (http://www.faee.fr/fr/134-Rzd32f.html) every year.

Recently he was Vice President, Energy Policy for the AREVA Group. His role consisted in understanding current energy policies and promoting acceptable evolutions for all stakeholders: Governments, industries, consumers, researchers. In this position, he developed an influencing expert network in various countries.

He was previously Vice President, Economic & Prospective Studies, AREVA.
In this role, he headed a team of Senior Energy experts in charge of electricity markets, competitiveness assessments and all primary energies analyses.

He also serves as Project Manager for a program aiming to define potential synergies between nuclear and oil industries for heavy oil production.

He is member of the French Association of Petroleum Technicians/ Economic Section and of French Gas Association.
He was also member of the Executive Committee of the Center for Energy & Geopolitics Studies (Paris-Dauphine University).

Mr. Bonnery received his M.Sc in General Engineering from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers, Paris, France, and MBA in Petroleum Economics and Management from the Center for Economics and Management, IFP School, Paris, France.

His former affiliations include: Head of the Economics Department, NUSYS consulting company, Paris, France; Commercial Director, International Division, SGN, Paris, France; Project-consultant, Shell, Paris, France; Research Assistant, Economic and Industrial Research Division, University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

He participated and organized various conferences on important topics like solar PV versus CSP, energy and poverty, market designs, energy tariffs, national energy policies.

 

 

Kevin Book

Kevin Book heads the research team and covers oil, natural gas, refined products and coal policy. Mr. Book appears frequently within print and broadcast media, contributes to policy forums convened by government and private organizations and meets with top Washington decision-makers. Mr. Book has also testified before several House and Senate Committees. Mr. Book is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a member of the National Petroleum Council, a self-funded advisory body to the Secretary of Energy, and a nonresident Senior Associate with the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Prior to co-founding ClearView, Mr. Book worked as a senior energy analyst for a national investment bank. He holds an M.A. in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a B.A. in economics from Tufts University.

 

 

Jason Bordoff

Jason Bordoff joined the Columbia faculty after serving until January 2013 as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Energy and Climate Change on the Staff of the National Security Council, and, prior to that, holding senior policy positions on the White House's National Economic Council and Council on Environmental Quality. One of the world's top energy policy experts, he joined the Administration in April 2009. At Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, Bordoff is a professor of professional practice and serves as founding Director of SIPA's Center on Global Energy Policy. Prior to joining the White House, Bordoff was the Policy Director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Petroleum Council, a consultant to the National Intelligence Council, and serves on the boards of Winrock International, the New York Energy Forum and the Association of Marshall Scholars. Bordoff graduated with honors from Harvard Law School, holds an MLitt degree from Oxford University where he studied as a Marshall Scholar, and a BA magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University.

 

 

Margarita Brouwer-Boulankova

Margarita Brouwer-Boulankova is a VP of Energy and Metals commodities team of ABN AMRO New York since 2012. She joined ABN AMRO’s predecessor Fortis in 2008 in Agri commodities in the Netherlands. She focuses on providing various financing solutions to downstream players, global traders and domestic merchandising companies handling crude oil, refined products, natgas and power. Mrs. Brouwer-Boulankova has authored a number of research papers for the company on the US Power, Crude / Refined Products trading fundamentals, and Hedging. Prior to her banking career, Margarita was a trader in oilseeds at Nidera in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She holds Master of Science in Business Administration and Finance from Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands and has also taken postgraduate courses at NYU.

 

 

Jason Burwen

Jason Burwen is the Vice President of Policy for the Energy Storage Association, leading the industry’s federal, RTO, and state policy engagement. Previously, Jason was the Associate Director for Energy Innovation at the Bipartisan Policy Center, where he directed research and advocacy on U.S. energy R&D and tax policy. He also served as staff director of the American Energy Innovation Council, a group of CEOs led by Bill Gates to advocate for greater U.S. federal investments in clean energy technology development. Jason has also consulted to utilities on demand response program design and evaluation for FSC Group/Nexant and reviewed renewable energy procurement for the California Public Utilities Commission.

 

 

Sanya Carley

Professor Sanya Carley's research focuses on policy and other efforts aimed at advancing the innovation of low-carbon and efficient energy technologies in both the electricity and transportation sectors. Her recent projects focus on the U.S. energy transition, including a study of vulnerable populations to the transition and a study of public acceptance of energy infrastructure. In other work, she evaluates the effects, design, and unintended consequences of renewable portfolio standards, corporate average fuel economy standards, and net energy metering standards, among other policies. Ongoing research also focuses on energy-based economic development and sustainability in industry. She publishes her research in a range of journal outlets, including Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Science & Technology, Energy Economics, Energy Research and Social Science, and Risk Analysis, among others. A member of IU faculty since 2010, Carley teaches courses on energy economics, markets, and policy, as well as research design for the Certificate of Advanced Research & Inquiry undergraduate program. Her demonstrated commitment to teaching and service have been recognized with multiple awards, including the IU Trustees Teaching Award in 2012, the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in 2013, the Most Personable Faculty Member Student Choice Award in 2016, and the Campus Catalyst Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2017. Carley has served as a consultant for the Environmental Protection Agency, the World Bank Group, the Institute for International Business, Nicholas Institute for the Environment, and RTI International.

 

 

Travis Fisher

Travis Fisher joined the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as a Senior Advisor in April 2018.

Fisher has over 12 years of experience across a wide range of energy issues. Most recently, he served at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as a Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity. In that role, he was responsible for several research projects, including leading the Department's efforts on the August 2017 Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability.

Prior to his work at DOE, Fisher oversaw and expanded research on electricity issues at the Institute for Energy Research, a non-profit think tank headquartered in Washington, DC. His career began at FERC, where he spent seven years as an Economist in the Office of Energy Market Regulation.

He holds a B.S. and M.E. in Economics from North Carolina State University.

 

 

R. Dean Foreman

Dr. R. Dean Foreman is API’s chief economist, specializing in energy and global business. With a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Florida, he came to API from Saudi Aramco Strategy & Market Analysis in Dhahran, where he managed short-term market monitoring and the long-term oil demand outlook. Foreman has more than 20 years of industry experience in corporate strategic planning, forecasting, finance / risk management and regulatory policy at ExxonMobil, Talisman Energy, and Sasol North America.

 

 

Herman Franssen

Herman T. Franssen is executive director of the Energy Intelligence Group. He is also president of International Energy Associates Inc., an energy advisory group in Washington, D.C. He is a senior associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and an adjunct scholar with the Middle East Institute in Washington; an associate of GDP Associates in New York; a senior associate with Middle East Consultants (MEC) and a visiting fellow with the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES) in London; and a member of the Winsor Group. Dr. Franssen was senior economic adviser to the minister of petroleum and minerals of the Sultanate of Oman (1985–1996) and originated the formation of the Independent Petroleum Exporting Countries (IPEC), an informal grouping of 14 oil-exporting non-OPEC countries and provinces.

Dr. Franssen was the International Energy Agency’s chief economist from 1980 until 1985 and was responsible for the first major IEA World Energy Outlook in 1983. He served as director of the Office of International Market Analysis at the U.S. Department of Energy (1978–1980). He was a research associate on energy and science policy at the Congressional Research Service. As a specialist in energy and environmental policy, he acted as an energy adviser to both the Senate and House Energy Committees of the U.S. Congress. Dr. Franssen was born in The Netherlands, where he attended the University of Amsterdam. He received a B.A. from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and an M.A., M.A.L.D., and Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, Massachusetts. He authored several major congressional reports on ocean policy and energy and has lectured on energy and energy policy around the world for more than 30 years. Dr. Franssen is a board member of a U.S. refining company, a U.S. upstream company, and serves on the advisory boards of several energy publications and academic institutions.

 

 

Edie Fraser

Edie serves as Chairman and Founder of STEMconnector® and Million Women Mentors. STEMconnector® which has more than 170 corporate and organizational members and organized to support the STEM eco-system from education to work force with great careers. Million Women Mentors(MWM) was established to foster opportunities for girls and women and has gained 2.3 million pledges for mentor relations and 1.1 million completed pledges and moving on to 3 to five million. Thought Leadership turned into collective action has been her theme song.

Edie first entered the world of entrepreneurship as Founder and CEO of Public Affairs Group and Diversity Best Practices. She has worked with more than 250 Fortune companies advancing programs on women, diversity talent. Edie has written several books on Diversity and Women and worked on roles of ERGs. She has consulted more than 200 companies on Women and Diversity.

Her early career was answering President John Kennedy call as she spent five years on the Peace Corps staff and 5 for the national Poverty program, then government service before starting her own business.

Edie has also written and published multiple books and articles around diversity best practices. Edie is author of Do Your Giving While You’re Living; Risk to Riches: The Story of Women’s Entrepreneurship in America; and Advancing a Jobs Driven Economy. She has produced six major guides on Diversity and The Book “The Diversity Officer.”

Edie served for three years as Chairman of the World Affairs Council DC and on many non-profit boards. Over her extensive career, Edie received 55 awards for her work in leadership, innovation, diversity, women, entrepreneurship, and communications. She is in the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame and proudly received the Mosaic Award from Diversity Woman.

Edie is a proud Founding Member of C200. Edie has been married 39 years to Joe Oppenheimer Esq.

 

 

Kenneth Gillingham

Kenneth Gillingham is an Associate Professor of Economics at Yale University, with appointments in the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Department of Economics, and School of Management. In 2015-2016 he served as the Senior Economist for Energy and the Environment at the White House Council of Economic Advisers. He is an energy and environmental economist drawing from the fields of applied microeconomics, industrial organization, and energy modeling. His research examines the adoption of new energy technologies, energy efficiency, quantitative policy and program analysis, and climate change policy. He has published widely on consumer decisions in energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as on climate and energy policy. Outlets for his work have included Science, Nature, Marketing Science, Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and the Energy Journal. Funders for his work include the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and several foundations. Prior to joining Yale, was a Fulbright Fellow in New Zealand and a Fellow for Energy and the Environment at the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Before this, he worked at Resources for the Future and the integrated assessment modeling group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He received a Ph.D. in Management Science & Engineering and Economics, as well as M.S. degrees in Statistics and Management Science & Engineering, from Stanford University. His undergraduate degree was an A.B. in Economics and Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College.

 

 

Michael Godec

Michael L. Godec, a Vice President with Advanced Resources, has prepared numerous assessments of the potential sequestration capacity and economic potential associated with geologic storage in oil and gas fields, deep saline aquifers, and unmineable coal seams. He has examined CO2 storage and possible CO2-EOR opportunities for numerous proposed power plants and other industrial facilities, both in the U.S. and internationally. He has completed studies for APEC, IEA GHG, in assessing CO2-EOR oil recovery and CO2 storage capacity potential in the largest oil basins of the world. Prior to joining Advanced Resources, Mr. Godec directed the Oil and Gas Consulting Practice at ICF Consulting and its predecessor companies. For 2009-2010, Mr. Godec was a Society of Petroleum Engineers Distinguished Lecturer on the subject “Environmental Performance of the Exploration and Production Industry: Past, Present, and Future.” Mr. Godec has an M.S. in Technology and Human Affairs from Washington University in St. Louis, and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

 

 

Thad Hill

Thad Hill became Calpine’s President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of its Board of Directors in May 2014. Mr. Hill joined the company in September 2008 as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. He became Chief Operating Officer in October 2010 and was named President in December 2012.

Prior to Calpine, Mr. Hill was with NRG Energy from 2006 to 2008, serving as President of NRG Texas in 2007- 2008. Prior to NRG, Mr. Hill was Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Texas Genco LP from 2005 to 2006. From 1995 to 2005, he was with Boston Consulting Group Inc., where he rose to Partner and Managing Director and led the North American energy practice, serving companies in the power and gas sector with a focus on commercial and strategic issues.

Mr. Hill received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University magna cum laude and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Amos Tuck School of Dartmouth College, where he was elected an Edward Tuck Scholar.

 

 

Eric Hittinger

Dr. Hittinger is an Associate Professor in Public Policy and Affiliated Faculty at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at Rochester Institute of Technology, and regularly consults for energy storage manufacturers and developers. He holds a PhD is in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University and a MS in Macromolecular Science from Case Western Reserve University. Professor Hittinger has a background in electricity system policy, operation, and economics, with a focus on understanding the benefits and limitations of energy storage and renewable electricity sources. Before entering the energy field, he was a Project Management Engineer for the US Army, with extensive travel to support military operations abroad.

 

 

Sebastien Houde

Sébastien Houde is a Research Scientist at ETH Zurich and Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland. He received his PhD from Stanford University. He has interests in energy and environmental economics, and empirical industrial organization. His current research focuses on investigating different policy tools used to manage energy demand, address climate change, and better design energy systems.

 

 

Madeline Jowdy

Madeline Jowdy is responsible for Platts Analytics LNG client and public-facing content, including the PIRA Global LNG Monthly Report and the Platts Analytics LNG Monthly Snapshot video series. She leads regional market engagement activities for the Americas and is a frequent speaker on global gas issues at conferences around the world. Prior to this, Madeline headed PIRA's Global LNG Service where she developed PIRA’s global gas supply/demand balance and managed PIRA’s short and long term Asia price forecasting. Madeline has a strong background in Asia, Mideast and Latin America regional demand fundamentals. She joined PIRA, now part of S&P Global Platts, in 2004 after several years at Energy Intelligence Group, where she covered new developments in the LNG trade as well as the oil tanker market. Madeline has a B.A. in economics and international relations from American University and completed a master’s program in Middle East studies at Georgetown University, specializing in energy economics.

 

 

Natalie Kempkey

As an Economist with the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Ms. Kempkey’s area of expertise lies primarily in the international upstream oil and gas sectors. Ms. Kempkey conducts trend analysis, anticipates the impact these changes have on EIA data, and prepares short and mid-term supply forecasts with a focus on Canada, Mexico, the Americas, and non-OPEC Middle East.

Prior to the EIA, Ms. Kempkey worked as Policy Analyst at the U.S. Department of Energy evaluating policies and programs focusing on energy efficiency and end-use analysis in buildings, manufacturing and industrial facilities, appliance standards, and transportation. She has over 10 years of experience focusing on electricity, grid infrastructure and modernization, and energy efficiency.

Ms. Kempkey‘s experience also includes international trade expertise, having worked for the U.S. Commercial Service and the U.S. Department of Commerce. She specialized in export counseling and conducted investigations to enforce U.S. antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) trade laws.

Ms. Kempkey has authored multiple publications in trade journals ranging from international energy oil and gas analysis, energy productivity, the economics of international water disputes, to statistical analysis of annual trade flows.

Ms. Kempkey holds a Masters of Arts in International Economics, Energy and Environmental Policy from the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Economics at the University of California, at Davis.

 

 

Melanie Kenderdine

Melanie Kenderdine is a principal of Energy Futures Initiative and a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank. Ms. Kenderdine served at the Department of Energy from May 2013–January 2017, as the Energy Counselor to the Secretary and concurrently as the Director of DOE’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis. Her 100-person office was responsible for analysis and policy development in areas that included: energy innovation; climate change; energy security; energy systems and infrastructure; and North American energy integration. She wrote or edited two installments of the federal government’s Quadrennial Energy Review, and helped conceive of and develop the G-7 Energy Security Principles adopted by G-7 leaders in Brussels in 2014. In her capacity as energy counselor to the Secretary, Ms. Kenderdine provided key strategic advice on a broad range of issues across the Department of Energy including Mission Innovation, a 22-country+EU initiative that supports transformational clean energy RD&D; North American grid integration and security; and the modernization of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.



Prior to her service at DOE, Ms. Kenderdine helped to establish the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) and served as its Executive Director. During her six-year tenure at MITEI, she managed a large research and administrative staff, was a member of the research team for MIT’s Future of Natural Gas Study, was the rapporteur and editor for the MITEI Symposium Series, and edited the MIT Future of the Electric Grid study. Kenderdine also started the C3E Symposium series, a joint MIT-DOE program to support the careers of women in clean energy with cash prizes; she still serves as a DOE C3E Ambassador.



Before joining MITEI, Ms. Kenderdine served as the Vice President of Washington Operations for the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) from 2001 to 2007. While at GTI, Ms. Kenderdine established a separate not-for-profit company, the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA), taking it from an MOU between GTI and one university, to an industry/academic unconventional natural gas research consortium of 26 universities and 30 industry partners. Ms. Kenderdine served as the original CEO of RPSEA and was one of its founding board members. Concurrently, she was a key architect of a statutorily-established Royalty Trust Fund, the only federal trust fund dedicated to energy R&D.



From 1993 to 2001, Ms. Kenderdine was a political appointee in President Bill Clinton’s administration, where she served in several key posts at DOE, including Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary, Director of the Office of Policy, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs. During her tenure at DOE in the Clinton Administration, Ms. Kenderdine was a primary architect of the SPR oil exchange of 2000, the creation of the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, and the return of the Naval Oil Shale Reserve No. 2 to the Ute tribe in Utah, the largest land transfer back to Native Americans in the lower 48 in over 100 years. Prior to joining DOE, Ms. Kenderdine was Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for New Mexico Congressman Bill Richardson.



In 2014, Ms. Kenderdine was named by the National Journal as one of the top five women in Washington shaping energy policy and is the longest serving political appointee in the Department of Energy’s 40-year history. Ms. Kenderdine is on the Board of Our Energy Policy.Org, and is a frequent lecturer and speaker on energy policy across the country and around the world. She has published articles in the World Energy Forum magazine, Physics Today, and co-authored chapters in two editions of the book “Energy Security in the 21st Century: A New Foreign Policy Strategy.” Ms. Kenderdine has been married to Steven Cary for 28 years and has one son, Victor, a 2014 graduate of MIT and now a graduate student in Petroleum Engineering at New Mexico Tech. Melanie is the Board Chair of the Alliance of Hope, a nation-wide support network for survivors of suicide. She is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, and has homes in northern Virginia, New Mexico, and Hawaii. She is an avid global traveler and an amateur fly fisherperson.

 

 

Robert Kleinberg

Robert L. Kleinberg is Adjunct Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy of the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy. From 1980 to 2018 he was employed by Schlumberger, attaining the rank of Schlumberger Fellow, one of about a dozen who hold this rank in a workforce of 100,000. He has served on or advised numerous government and academic committees on energy policy, and is a coauthor with Harvard faculty of a textbook on energy technology, in preparation. His work at Schlumberger focused on geophysical measurements and the characterization and delineation of unconventional fossil fuel resources. His current interests include energy technology and economics. Dr. Kleinberg has authored more than 100 academic and professional papers, holds 38 U.S. patents, and is the inventor of several geophysical instruments that have been commercialized on a worldwide basis. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

 

 

David Knapp

David Knapp is Senior Editor, Global Oil Markets, for Energy Intelligence Group. He is editor of Oil Market Intelligence and co-editor of the Energy Intelligence Briefing Service. He also serves as Managing Director of the Energy Intelligence Research Division. Before joining Energy Intelligence in late 2000, Dr. Knapp was a senior official with the International Energy Agency and edited of the IEA’s Monthly Oil Market Report through much of the 1990s. He has analyzed energy markets for nearly 40 years in the international, government, business and financial sectors as Energy Economist and Energy Team Leader for the prestigious Wall Street banking and investment firm of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in the 1980s after starting his career at the Federal Energy Administration and Chase Manhattan Bank’s Energy Economics Division. Dr. Knapp holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara and is a member of numerous professional organizations in the energy area. Dr. Knapp is a Senior Fellow of the US Association for Energy Economics and a Board Member of the New York Energy Forum. He was awarded the IAEE 2007 Award for Excellence in Written Journalism.

 

 

Hon. Marc Korman

Marc Korman has served as a Maryland State Delegate from District 16 in Montgomery County since 2015. Marc serves on the Appropriations Committee and is the incoming chair of the Personnel Subcommittee. He has sponsored and co-sponsored successful legislation related to energy storage including a study of market incentives and a first-in-the-nation tax credit for energy storage devices.

 

 

Sarah Ladislaw

As director of the Energy and National Security Program, Sarah Ladislaw leads CSIS’s work in energy policy, market, and technology analysis. Ladislaw is an expert in U.S. energy policy, global oil and natural gas markets, and climate change. She has authored numerous publications on the geopolitics of energy, energy security and climate change, low-carbon pathways, and a wide variety of issues on U.S. energy policy, regulation, and market dynamics. Her regional energy work includes publications on Chinese, European, African, and Western Hemisphere energy issues. She has spearheaded new work at CSIS on climate change, the electricity sector, and energy technology development.

Ladislaw formerly worked in Office of the Americas in the Department of Energy’s Office of Policy and International Affairs, where she covered a range of economic, political, and energy issues in North America, the Andean region, and Brazil. While at the department, she also worked on comparative investment frameworks and trade issues, as well as biofuels development and use both in the Western Hemisphere and around the world. She also spent a short period of time working Statoil as their senior director for international affairs in the Washington office. Ladislaw is frequently invited to speak at public conferences, advise companies and policymakers, and testify before congress. She is a member of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Strategic Analysis Technical Review Panel, the Strategic Advisory Council for Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Initiative, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She has taught graduate courses on energy security as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University and is a frequent guest lecturer at other universities. She also comments frequently in print, radio and television media outlets. Ladislaw received her bachelor’s degree in international affairs/East Asian studies and Japanese from the George Washington University and her master’s degree in international affairs/international security from the George Washington University as part of the Presidential Administrative Fellows Program.

 

 

Sharyn Lie

Sharyn Lie is the Director of the Climate Economics and Modeling Center at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Her portfolio includes developing and analyzing innovative solutions for reducing emissions from the transportation sector with a focus on transportation fuels. In this role, Ms. Lie oversees cost and benefit analysis of program such as the Renewable Fuels Standards. Ms. Lie has 20 years of experience in the environmental industry, working for both the private and public sectors. Ms. Lie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geology and Economics from Rice University and a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University.

 

 

Andrew L. Ott

As president and chief executive officer, Mr. Ott oversees the largest power grid in North America and the largest electricity market in the world. Mr. Ott, a 20-year veteran with PJM, became the CEO in October of 2015. He also serves as a PJM Board member.

Mr. Ott was responsible for design and implementation of the PJM wholesale electricity markets. He has extensive experience in power system engineering, transmission planning, applied mathematics, electricity market design and implementation. Mr. Ott is internationally recognized as an expert in electricity market design.

Mr. Ott is an IEEE Fellow and serves as Chair of the CIGRE (International Council on Large Electric Systems) Study Committee C5 on Electricity Markets and Regulation. He is also a member of the Steering Board of GO 15, which is a voluntary initiative of the world’s 18 largest power grid operators. He also serves on the Board of the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies and previously served as a board member for the Association of Power Exchanges for eight years.

 

 

Karen Palmer

Karen Palmer is a Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future in Washington, DC, where she has also formerly served as Research Director and Associate Director of the Center for Climate and Energy Economics. .

Dr. Palmer specializes in the economics of environmental regulation and public utility regulation, particularly on issues at the intersection of air quality regulation and the electricity sector. Her work seeks to improve the design of incentive-based environmental and technology regulations that influence the electric utility sector. To this end, she identifies cost-effective approaches to allocating emissions allowances, explores policies targeting carbon emissions and other air pollutants, and analyzes efficient ways to promote use of renewable sources of electricity. She has also written several papers on the economics of energy efficiency and of different policy approaches to promote it. She is co-author of the book, Alternating Currents: Electricity Markets and Public Policy, published by RFF Press.

In the 1990s, Dr. Palmer spent six months as a visiting economist in the Office of Economic Policy at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission where she worked on wholesale market design in the nascent ISO markets. She serves on the Environmental Advisory Council to the New York ISO, the Advisory Council to the Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making at Carnegie Mellon University, and the Research Advisory Board to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. She is the recipient of the Public Utility Research Center’s 2015 Distinguished Service Award and was elected as a Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in 2018. Her most recent work focuses on energy efficiency in commercial and residential buildings, electricity market transitions and the design of greenhouse gas policy for the electricity sector. Her published papers have appeared in a number of academic journals including the RAND Journal of Economics, The Journal of Political Economy, The Energy Journal, and The Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

 

 

Jesus Reyes-Heroles

Jesús F. Reyes-Heroles, Ph.D., is the executive president of StructurA, a group of consulting firms including GEA, PROA, MBD and EnergeA. He was previously CEO of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) from 2006 to 2009. Prior to that, he was the co-founder and executive president of Grupo de Economistas y Asociados (GEA), a consulting firm dedicated to political and economic analysis, and was on the board of directors of Wal-Mart Mexico and Banamex Citigroup.

Reyes-Heroles was ambassador of Mexico to the United States from 1997 to 2000. From 1995 to 1997, he served as Mexico’s secretary of energy and chairman of the board of Pemex and Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE). In 1994 he was president of the national committee that prepared the agenda for democratizing the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI). He was previously chief of staff for Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs (1989-1990) and director-general of financial planning at the Secretariat of the Treasury (1983-1988).

He currently serves on the board of directors of Santander Mexico, OHL Mexico and Water Capital Mexico and on the advisory board of Energy Intelligence Group (EIG) and Mitsui Mexico. He also sits on the board of trustees of the Gonzalo Río Arronte Foundation. In 1976, Reyes-Heroles won the Banamex Economics National Prize in the research category. He publishes a biweekly article in Mexico’s daily newspaper El Universal and has contributed to numerous books and journals. He holds a B.A. from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Mexico and a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

 

Ron Ripple

Dr. Ronald D. Ripple is the Mervin Bovaird Professor of Energy Business and Finance in the School of Energy Economics, Policy, and Commerce in the Collins College of Business at The University of Tulsa. Ron took up his current position lecturing in the TU Master of Energy Business Program in 2013 after spending over fourteen years in Australia, with another year in Hong Kong. Dr. Ripple has studied oil and natural gas markets for over 37 years, getting his start in the Office of the Governor of Alaska, followed by a stint of consulting with Economic Insight, Inc. and research at the East-West Center. He wrote his PhD dissertation on Alaska North Slope natural gas, and authored a chapter on the Geopolitics of Australia Natural Gas Development for the joint Harvard-Rice Geopolitics of Natural Gas Study. Ron has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, trade press articles, and reports, typically focusing on oil and natural gas markets and the financial derivatives markets that support them. Ron was awarded the Mayo Research Excellence Award, from the Collins College of Business, 2015-2016. Ron is also the IAEE VP for Conferences.

 

 

Barney Rush

Barney Rush is a member of the Board of Directors of ISO - New England, the authority which oversees the wholesale supply of electric power for the New England states. He serves on the Markets and Compensation Committees. Mr. Rush also serves on the Board of Directors of Azure Power, a solar energy developer based in New Delhi, India, and listed on the NYSE, and he is Senior Representative for Fieldstone, an investment bank focused on financing power and infrastructure projects in Africa and other emerging markets. He is also Mayor of the Town of Chevy Chase, MD.

Mr. Rush was an Operating Partner for Denham Capital Management LP, and served on the boards of five of Denham’s portfolio companies, where he was involved with strategy, marketing, contract negotiations, financings and compensation. Prior to working at Denham, Mr. Rush was CEO of H2Gen Innovations, Inc., a venture capital backed company which manufactured skid-mounted hydrogen generators. Previously, he was Senior Vice President at Mirant Corp. As head of European operations, he served as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Bewag, the integrated electric utility serving Berlin, Germany. Earlier positions included Executive Vice President at Oxbow Power, where Mr. Rush helped develop geothermal and co-generation plants, and Senior Vice President at Lehman Brothers, where he worked to finance renewable energy plants. Mr. Rush began his career at the World Bank and has worked in the US Department of State.

Mr. Rush received a B.A. from Harvard College in 1974, and a Masters in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, in 1979.

 

 

Scott Sanderson

Scott is a principal in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Oil & Gas Strategy and Operations practice, with more than 25 years of experience helping oil and gas companies define and execute strategies and operational improvements across a variety of sectors. Notable experience includes mergers and acquisitions (M&A)—strategy, execution, and post-merger integration; portfolio optimization; designing new service offerings; organization design and renewal; brand value analysis; and shareholder value-based management. Scott has led hundreds of projects for large regional oil companies, global integrated major oil companies, national oil companies, and oilfield equipment and service companies.

He also has experience operating in the exploration and production space, having developed exploration properties, bought, developed and sold producing properties as an independent operator. He has consulting experience in the refining, distribution, commercial, and retail marketing space. Earlier in his career, he also spent several years as an investment banker, negotiating M&A transactions in the energy industry.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nuclear engineering from Northwestern University, a Master of Business Administration in finance and economics from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and a FINRA Series 79 Investment Banking license.

 

 

Benjamin Schlesinger

Dr. Schlesinger, founding president of BSA, LLC, is one of North America’s leading independent energy consultants, specializing in gas and electricity marketing, pricing, infrastructure, trading practices, strategic planning, and power plant development worldwide. He has nearly four decades of experience in managing and carrying out engineering/economic analyses of complex energy issues, with particular focus on North American energy commodity movements and pricing, policies and programs. He has advised over 600 clients in the U.S., Canada, and 25 other countries, including the top utility, energy trading and producing, manufacturing, regulatory, educational, private power, and financial services companies. A former vice-president of the American Gas Association, Dr. Schlesinger has testified before the U.S. Congress and in 16 states and provinces on the direction of the gas industry, gas contracting, purchase and sales prices, royalty valuations, market value, hedging and risk management, and related industry practices. Dr, Schlesinger is a senior fellow and past president (2011) of the US Association for Energy Economics, and served on the NYMEX Gas Advisory Committee helping to create and guide the highly successful natural gas futures contract. He currently teaches a graduate level course in energy economics at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.

 

 

Michael Sell

Michael Sell is a Senior Vice President, Head of Institutional Outreach and Business Development at GARP. Prior to transitioning to his current position, he was a member of GARP’s Certifications and Educational Programs team where he managed the Energy Risk Professional (ERP®) certification program.

Michael has industry experience across various roles in risk management, structured products, and investment management. Before joining GARP he was the Operating Officer at Anchor Capital Group, an investment advisor for an alternative investment fund. Prior to that he was a Vice President and Credit Officer in Citigroup’s Global Derivatives Group.

 

 

Adam E. Sieminski

Adam Sieminski joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in the Energy & National Security Program this past February. Before that, he served as the head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) for almost five years after a short assignment on the National Security Council at the White House. He was previously Deutsche Bank’s chief energy economist, and an integrated oil company analyst for NatWest Securities.

He is a senior fellow and former president of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics and its local Washington chapter. He holds the chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation and was President of the National Association of Petroleum Investment Analysts. Adam received both an undergraduate degree in civil engineering and a master's degree in public administration from Cornell University.

Although Adam is mostly known in the context of his energy-related activities, he has been very involved in community service. In 1980 he and his wife Laurie helped start a pre-school at the Quaker Meeting House in Washington. He is deeply involved in the restoration and outreach programs at Peirce Mill- the last remaining water-powered flour mill among the many that once flourished along the banks of Rock Creek in Washington.

 

 

Linda Gillespie Stuntz

Linda Stuntz is a founding partner of the law firm of Stuntz, Davis & Staffier, P.C. in Washington, D.C. Her law practice includes energy and environmental regulation, as well as matters relating to government support of technology development and transfer.

Ms. Stuntz served as Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Energy under President George H.W. Bush. In that position, and in other senior policy positions at the Department between 1989 and 1993, she played a principal role in the development and enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Ms. Stuntz also helped to develop the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, and was active in the implementation of these amendments, particularly the acid rain and alternative fuels programs. In addition, she worked extensively on issues related to potential global climate change and energy-related measures to minimize greenhouse gas emissions.

During both her government service and her private law practice, she has addressed questions arising under the Natural Gas Act, the Natural Gas Policy Act, the Federal Power Act, the Interstate Commerce Act, and the Energy Policy Act of 2005. She has been an arbitrator and an expert witness in complex cases involving the electric power, natural gas and coal industries.

Between 1981 and 1987, Ms. Stuntz was an Associate Minority Counsel and Minority Counsel to the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In addition to her legal practice, Ms. Stuntz serves on the boards of directors of Royal Dutch Shell plc, and Edison International. She also is a member of the advisory board of the University of Virginia's Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. She served on the boards of Schlumberger, Ltd. from 1993-2010 and Raytheon Company from 2004-2015. A long-time member of the Energy Bar Association and a frequent speaker on electricity and natural gas regulation, she was named by the Legal Times in May 2005 as one of the leading energy lawyers in the nation. A former member of the National Commission on Energy Policy, she served as Chair of the Electricity Advisory Committee to the U.S. Department of Energy from 2008-2009. In January 2009, the Committee produced three reports addressing electricity storage, smart grid and "Keeping the Lights On in a New World."

Ms. Stuntz received a B.A. with honors in 1976 from Wittenberg University and her law degree, also with honors, in 1979 from Harvard. She is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia.

 

 

James Sweeney

James L. Sweeney is Director of the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (formerly named the Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency); Professor of Management Science and Engineering; Senior Fellow of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research; Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; and senior fellow of the Precourt Institute for Energy. He served as chairman of the Stanford Department of Engineering-Economic Systems and chairman of the Department of Engineering-Economic Systems and Operations Research.

His professional activities focus on economic policy and analysis, particularly in energy, natural resources, and the environment. His research includes energy policy, depletable and renewable resource use, electricity market analysis, environmental economics, global climate change policy, gasoline market dynamics, energy demand, and energy price dynamics. Along with Alan Kneese, he was editor of the three volume Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, part of the North Holland Handbooks in Economics series. He is the author of the book "The California Electricity Crisis", an analytical history of the economic and policy issues associated with California's electricity restructuring and the subsequent crisis. He authored the book, "Energy Efficiency: Building a Clean, Secure Economy," which shows how energy efficiency has led to US energy import security, a deep de-carbonization of the US economy, and economic benefits to the United States.

At Stanford he has served as Director of the Energy Modeling Forum, Chairman of the Stanford Institute for Energy Studies, and Director of the Center for Economic Policy Research (now the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research). He currently is on the executive committee of the Precourt Institute for Energy.

He periodically serves as a consultant or advisor to corporations, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, and law firms. He has served as expert witness in energy litigations in natural gas, oil, and electricity industries in the United States and in New Zealand.

He holds a B.S. degree from MIT in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Engineering Economic Systems. His articles have appeared in numerous books and journals, including Econometrica, Journal of Economic Theory, Resources and Energy, Management Science, Journal of Urban Economics, The Energy Journal, and International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences.

 

 

Margaret Taylor

Margaret Taylor is a Project Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and an Engineering Research Associate in Stanford University’s Precourt Energy Efficiency Center. She is also affiliated with several units at the University of California, Berkeley, where she served on the faculty from 2002-11 with a primary appointment in the Goldman School of Public Policy (GSPP). Margaret has a broad interdisciplinary education and professional experience that bridges engineering, the social sciences, and the environmental sciences; her degrees are from Carnegie Mellon University and Columbia University. Margaret also has legal and Capitol Hill experience in the areas of international trade, energy, and the environment.

Margaret's research, which has won awards from the Academy of Management and the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis, explores questions at the nexus of innovation and energy/environmental policy. She believes that the mechanisms underlying the relationship between the design and implementation of public policy and the invention, adoption, and diffusion of technologies are not well understood and can have important effects on the social and economic outcomes of public policy. This drives her research agenda, which has predominantly focused on technologies and industries in which government clearly plays a strong role, such as energy and the environment, but has also encompassed industries in which government plays a more subtle role, such as nanotechnology (she is an associate director of a nanotechnology research center at UC Berkeley) and even consumer products.

Margaret’s research approach is problem-driven, drawing theoretical and methodological insights from such fields as economics, sociology, business strategy, and organizational behavior. In the area of energy and environment, her work has spanned such technology domains as energy supply (e.g., renewables), energy demand (e.g., energy efficient appliances), environmental pollution control/remediation (e.g., sulfur dioxide control technologies), and transportation (e.g., advanced drive train vehicles). The policy instruments she has researched include emissions trading, performance-based standards, a regulatory sales mandate, renewable portfolio standards, investment and production tax credits, information policies, and R&D funding. When considering these instruments, she pays particularly close attention to the implications of statutory and regulatory language and related government processes for individual and organizational decision-making related to innovation, and tries to highlight strategic responses, whether they are anticipatory, same-period, or future-period.

 

 

Gordon van Welie

Gordon van Welie is President and CEO of ISO New England Inc. He has been actively involved since 2000 in the establishment and growth of advanced wholesale electricity markets and a robust regional system planning process in the New England region.

New England’s resources are undergoing a dramatic transformation from oil, coal, and nuclear generation to natural gas, renewable energy, and distributed resources. Gordon has led a strategic initiative to keep system reliability intact and wholesale markets competitive while the shift in fuels and technologies occur. These initiatives include addressing the interdependency between the gas and electric systems, ensuring efficient price formation, facilitating the integration of renewable, distributed, and ‘smart grid’ technologies, and making significant investments in the regional transmission infrastructure.

Before joining ISO New England, Gordon was the Vice President and General Manager of the Power System Control business for Siemens, which supplies energy and distribution management systems to electric utilities. Earlier in his career, he worked in various transmission and distribution control system engineering roles with the South African utility, Eskom.

Gordon is a member of ISO New England’s Board of Directors, as well as a number of industry groups, including the Executive Committee of the U. S. National Committee of CIGRE, the Member Representatives Committee of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the ISO/RTO Council, and the IEEE Power & Engineering Society. In 2017, he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

He is a recipient of 2017 Utility Variable-Generation Integration (UVIG) Achievement Award and, in 2016, was awarded the IEEE Power & Energy Society Leadership in Power Award.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

 

 

Frank Verrastro

Frank Verrastro is senior vice president and trustee fellow, Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). From 2012 to 2017, he held the James R. Schlesinger Chair for Energy and Geopolitics. Prior to that (2003 to 2012), he served as director of the CSIS Energy and National Security Program. His extensive energy and management experience spans over four decades in energy policy, operations, and project management positions in both the U.S. government and the private sector. His government service has included staff positions in the White House and the Departments of Interior and Energy, including serving as deputy assistant secretary for international energy resources. In the private sector, he has served as director of refinery policy and crude oil planning for the nation’s largest independent refiner, TOSCO Corporation, and more recently as senior vice president for Pennzoil. Responsibilities at Pennzoil included government affairs activity, both domestic and international, corporate planning, risk assessment, and international negotiations. In addition, he served on the company’s Executive Management and Operating Committees, as well as the Environmental, Health and Safety Leadership Council.

Mr. Verrastro holds a B.S. in biology/chemistry from Fairfield University, a master’s degree from Harvard University, and he completed the executive management program at the Yale Graduate School of Business and Management. He has been an adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and has lectured at Harvard’s Kennedy School. He has served as an expert witness before both houses of Congress and serves as an adviser to the National Intelligence Council. He has written extensively on energy policy, oil and gas markets, and security topics, served on the Advisory Board for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and is a member of both the National Petroleum Council and the Council on Foreign Relations.

 

 

Shree Vikas

Shree Vikas is Director, Market Intelligence & Business Analysis at ConocoPhillips, where he is responsible for conducting market research, assessing industry implications, performing big-data analytics and analyzing operational results. His team regularly contributes in corporate planning, strategy development and supply chain execution at ConocoPhillips. Prior to ConocoPhillips, he led a myriad of market analysis, financial due-diligence, R&D technology evaluation, and modeling projects for governmental agencies and energy companies. He served as the 2017 President of the United States Association for Energy Economics (USAEE). He is also an editorial advisory board member for the Oil & Gas Journal, a leading petroleum industry publication, and serves as the Chair of the External Advisory Board of Penn State’s Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering. He has a PhD in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering from Penn State and has completed Executive Business Administration Certificate in Strategy, Finance & Accounting from Rice University’s Jones School of Business.

 

 

Tina Vital

Ms. Vital has an extensive career in investment banking experience focused on debt and equity transactions and financings within the energy, power, metals & mining industries. Tina is Managing Director at Castle Placement, LLC focused on raising capital and loans for early stage and middle market companies. Previously, she held senior positions in investment banking and consulting, and began her financial career with Citibank NA in New York. Tina began her career as a design engineer with Exxon in New Jersey and Texas. She has been a frequent guest on international financial news shows and is the author of numerous engineering and investment publications. Tina holds a MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, ABD-PhD from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MS in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University, BS from the University of Pittsburgh, and FINRA Series 7 & 63 licenses.

 

 

Molly Williamson

Molly Williamson speaks extensively on U.S. foreign policy. She is a scholar with the Middle East Institute, a consultant, and a member of the Boards of the International Executive Service Corps, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and Noble Energy. She is a retired Foreign Service Officer, having served six U.S. Presidents, achieving the rank of Career Minister.

Williamson has had a unique combination of senior executive policy positions in four Cabinet Departments of the government. Her postings include: senior foreign policy advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Departments of State, Defense, Commerce, U.S. interim ambassador to Bahrain, and Chief of Mission and Consul General in Jerusalem during the Madrid Peace process which culminated in the Oslo Accords.

Williamson, a native of California, has been trained in both Arabic and Hebrew. She has won numerous awards for her many diplomatic accomplishments, including two Presidential Service Awards, as well as eighteen awards from the Secretaries of State, Commerce, Defense, and Energy.

 

 

Robert Wimmer

Robert Wimmer currently serves as director of the Energy and Environmental Research Group at Toyota Motor North America (TMA). Since joining Toyota in 2003, he has lead a team of research engineers assessing how changes in energy and environmental technology, policy and regulation will affect the automotive industry. Research areas have included petroleum and alternative fuels, advanced vehicle technologies and power generation.

Wimmer is also responsible for TMA’s hybrid, plug-in electric and fuel cell vehicle external affairs and technical activities, which he coordinates with other Toyota divisions in the U.S. and abroad. Additionally, he manages TMA’s energy collaborations with other corporations, the company’s interaction with the US Department of Energy and a portion of TMA’s university research activities.

Prior to joining Toyota, Wimmer served as the technical director of Fuel Cell Bus Programs at Georgetown University for 12 years. While there, he provided technical and program management oversight during the design, fabrication and testing of five fuel cell/battery hybrid transit buses.

Wimmer has been an active member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) since 1984. He chaired their Government and Industry Conference in Washington, D.C. and is the chief design judge of the Formula Hybrid SAE intercollegiate competition. He is also on the board of the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association, H2USA, Bio-based Industry Center, NextSteps project at UC Davis and the Fuels Institute. A native of California, Wimmer has a Master of Science in systems management from the University of Southern California and a mechanical engineering degree from California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, Calif.