Mr. David Blee
President & CEO
U.S. Nuclear Industry Council
David Blee serves as President & CEO of the U.S. Nuclear Industry Council – the leading business consortium advocate for nuclear energy and the promotion of the U.S. supply chain globally. The Council represents more than 80 companies comprising the “Who’s Who” of nuclear energy across a broad mix of the American supply chain, including key mover utilities, M&Os, manufacturers, suppliers and services companies.
Mr. Blee’s public service experience includes his current appointment on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee and past appointments as a Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy and Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Energy – and as Chief of Staff to former U.S. Senator Connie Mack, during his service in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Prior to his current assignments, Mr. Blee was an Executive Vice President for NAC International, a U.S.-based energy services and technology company, where he directed the company’s Worldwide Consulting Group and Marketing & Business Development portfolios. Mr. Blee was previously a Senior Vice President for the Wall Street-Washington DC-based Robinson, Lake, Lerer and Montgomery, a strategic communications firm.
Ms. Marcia Burkey
Chief Financial Officer
Marcia Burkey is the chief financial officer (CFO), responsible for TerraPower’s treasury and fundraising operations, including strategic financial management, shareholder relations, funding and cash management, taxes and commercial support for joint venture activities.
Immediately prior to joining TerraPower, Burkey was the managing director at TeleSoft Partners, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm which funds, incubates and helps build value in companies of various stages. She oversaw investment operations for a family of funds with commitments exceeding $625M including SBIC commitments. TeleSoft’s funds invest in communication, energy, internet and information technology (IT) companies.
Prior to her work at TeleSoft, Burkey was a senior vice president and partner of Bechtel Group, Inc. In her capacity as CFO of Bechtel Enterprises, she was responsible for leading the investment efforts along with financial planning and analysis, control, tax, treasury, and IT efforts. Additionally, Burkey assisted in capital raisings within Bechtel Enterprises and Bechtel Group, and served on the boards of UIC, Alterra and InterGen. She led the development and sale of investments in North America, Asia, South America and the Middle East. Burkey also served as the president of Bechtel’s NASD broker-dealer, Bechtel Financing Services, Inc.
Prior to her work at Bechtel, Burkey spent nine years at SBC Warburg (now UBS) in corporate and project finance positions. She was involved in project financings globally for SBC Warburg in New York, and directed the firm’s Latin America project finance business development efforts. In addition, she was responsible for corporate advisory and financing in multiple industries, including work with U.S. public utilities. While at SBC Warburg, Burkey assisted in raising debt and equity capital for U.S. electric, water and gas utilities in excess of $2.5B.
Burkey holds a Bachelor of Arts from Macalester College, Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude, and a Master of Arts from Columbia University; she also completed a year of study at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.
Dr. Jonathan Cirtain
President of Advanced Technology Programs
Dr. Jonathan W. Cirtain is the president of Advanced Technology Programs for BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT). In this position, he oversees innovative nuclear technology applications, including engineering for NASA’s Nuclear Thermal Propulsion program, 3-D printing technology for aerospace and defense applications, and radiochemical and radiopharmaceutical product development for cancer diagnosis and treatment.
During his time with BWXT, Dr. Cirtain also served as the director for Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Transformational Challenge Reactor program. Coordinating with national laboratories and industry partners, he was tasked with leading the complete production process and demonstration of a groundbreaking, additively manufactured reactor.
Dr. Cirtain joined BWXT after co-founding Astraea, Inc. – a small business created to design and develop a platform for machine learning and data science analytics utilizing Earth-observing satellite and in situ data sources. He served as the organization’s chief scientist and technologist.
Prior to his entrepreneurship, Dr. Cirtain spent nine years with NASA, beginning his career as an astrophysicist and holding positions of increased responsibility at the Marshall Space Flight Center. He concluded his tenure with the agency as the manager of the Science Research Office, overseeing a staff of nearly 170 scientists and contractors in applied science and technology development.
With a passion for design and innovation, Dr. Cirtain has contributed to and led teams in the development of leading science and technology applications including, x-ray imaging telescopes, extreme ultraviolet (EUV) imaging telescopes, UV spectropolarimeters and EUV spectroscopic imagers for stellar astrophysics experiments. He also developed plasma confinement systems for lab research, a solid rocket motor system for suborbital vehicles and graphics processing unit technology for video systems.
During his time with NASA in 2010, Dr. Cirtain received the most prestigious honor given by the U.S. government to scientists and engineers in the onset of their independent research careers – the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
Among his various honors and appointments, Dr. Cirtain has served on advisory committees for NASA, the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Academy for Science and Engineering, Royal Academy of Science, European Space Agency and numerous universities.
Dr. Cirtain earned his Ph.D. in physics from Montana State. A graduate of the University of Memphis, he also holds bachelor’s degrees in physics and mathematics.
Hon. Tim Echols
Georgia Public Service Commission
Commissioner Echols is a nationally recognized proponent for clean energy and is the architect of the regulatory package recently adopted by the Georgia Public Utility Commission with respect to completion of the U.S.'s flagship advanced nuclear project at Plant Vogtle 3-4.
After building a national non-profit organization, Commissioner Echols ran for and was elected to statewide office in Georgia in 2010 serving as Public Service Commissioner. His primary job is energy regulation.
Echols was re-elected to the Commission in November 2016 to his second six-year term and serves as vice chair. Throughout his career, he has supported and approved new carbon-free nuclear energy sources for Georgia that will provide baseload power for generations. He also supports recycling the nuclear waste and using the remaining energy resident in those fuel rods as the most sustainable course of action for the Georgia and nation.
Echols serves as vice chair of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' (NARUC) Nuclear Issues-Waste Disposal Subcommittee and is a member of the NARUC Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment. Echols has also represented the United States at the World Nuclear Exhibition for the last four years.
Mr. Michael Eckhart
Managing Director & Global Head of Environmental Finance
Michael Eckhart is a Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental Finance and Sustainability at Citigroup in New York City. He has been involved in the solar energy field since managing the first national assessment of PV markets, industry and policy for the Carter White House in 1978, continuing since then with solar work in the US, Europe, India, China and Africa. He created the SolarBank initiative as a pioneer in the financing of solar PV. He was deeply involved with the European renewable energy revolution in 1996-2004, and contributed to the drafting of the Feed-In tariff law in Germany. He was named Renewable Energy Man of the Year of India in 1998 for his work on training 1,000 bankers on making solar PV loans and for introducing solar financing to the microfinance industry there. He created the Shell-Eskom Solar Energy Company in South Africa which invented the pre-payment card system and went on the install over 10,000 solar home systems in KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape where President Nelson Mandela came to inaugurate the program. In 2001, he was named by Hermann Scheer to be U.S. Chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy and from that platform founded the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), then working full time for 10 years to build the organization. ACORE convened the first renewable energy finance conference ever held in the U.S. in 2003, which became the well-respected Renewable Energy Finance Forum – Wall Street. ACORE also established its annual policy forum in the Cannon Caucus Room of the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2002, he worked with Dr. Scheer to call for the first global conference of governments on renewable energy, which became the Bonn Renewables 2004 event, from which came the Renewable Energy Network for the 21 st Century (REN 21) where he has served on the Steering Committee and governing Board. He followed this by organizing the WIREC 2008 world meeting in Washington, DC which was co-convened with the Bush White House and State Department and attracted 8,600 attendees including 1,100 government officials. Following WIREC, he worked with REN 21 to turn it into an on-going series of bi-annual global conferences called the “IREC” series. Since 2004 he has been collaborating with peers in China, and was a co-organizer of the landmark Great Wall Renewable Energy conference in 2006. He attended the founding meeting of IRENA, for which he had advocated for years, and has since then become a leading private sector Observer at the IRENA Assembly meetings in Abu Dhabi. He also serves on the Renewable Industry Advisory Board to the IEA.
Today, he is the global head of environmental finance and sustainability at Citigroup in New York, and spends more than half of his time traveling around the world speaking on renewable energy finance and serving clients in the renewables, efficiency, and cleantech fields. Most recently, he has been involved in the $300 million NRG Yieldco IPO and the $1 billion IFC green Bond, and is a co-author of the new “Framework for Green Bonds” that is being adopted by the bond markets. Throughout this work, he has consistently brought a balance of technology, economic, market, industry and finance perspectives to the resolution of policy and finance.
Prior to his career in renewable energy, he served in the US Navy Submarine Service and received a degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Ms. Valerie Gardner
Founding Principal and Managing Partner
Nucleation Capital, LP
Ms. Gardner is co-founder of Nucleation Capital, LP, a group focused on making investments in the emerging advanced nuclear sector. For much of the last decade, as a principal of Tiemann Investment Advisors, LLC, Ms. Gardner has been studying the impacts of carbon risks on portfolio returns and developing quantitative, data-driven portfolio strategies for reducing and eliminating carbon risks. While many of her peers are engaged in ESG-oriented investment strategies, Ms. Gardner's research led her to take a deep dive into the nuclear industry, since the vast majority of the US's non-emitting energy has been and is still being produced by nuclear power. What she learned about nuclear power and especially the prospects for advanced nuclear, caused her to establish Nucleation Capital in 2018.
Tiemann Investment Advisors, an investment firm that provides an institutional-caliber, quantitative portfolio management service for high net worth clients, recognizes the inherent liabilities associated with carbon emissions, even if the market is not there yet. After assessing the full economic impacts of energy emissions, Ms. Gardner designed a unique methodology for a post-"carbon priced” portfolio design, which enabled TIA to customize its indexed portfolios to reduce carbon pricing risk. This approach, introduced in 2014 as the "Future Generations" portfolio strategy, provides a way to substantially eliminate carbon risk from public market portfolios, without reducing market exposure within the energy sector, unlike most other "sustainable" fund approaches.
Prior to TIA, Ms. Gardner served as co-founder, CFO and General Counsel of two innovative, high technology companies, Willow Peripherals in New York and WebTV Networks in Silicon Valley, which was acquired by Microsoft. Ms. Gardner's research on environmental issues, energy use, climate change and climate solutions has resulted in various initiatives including community engagement events and the (U.S.) Climate Coalition, a group calling for nuclear-inclusive clean energy standards, so as to hasten development of the non-emitting grids of the future.
Ms. Gardner earned a BA from Colgate University, a JD from Northeastern University Law School and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. She is happily married, has two daughters, and lives in Silicon Valley.
Mr. Seth Grae
President & CEO
Seth has led the strategic direction and financing efforts of Lightbridge since its founding, including taking the company public. During his tenure, Lightbridge has evolved into a leader in developing advanced nuclear fuel technologies and in providing advisory services to developing and existing nuclear energy programs seeking to meet the highest international standards of safety, non-proliferation, and transparency.
He leads Lightbridge’s efforts to develop and deploy advanced nuclear reactor fuel that will result in more electricity being provided from existing and new reactors, as well as enhanced safety and proliferation resistance, to allow nuclear power to compete and grow internationally as a non-emitting source of base load electricity.
Lightbridge also advises governments of countries seeking to start nuclear power programs from feasibility studies through procurement and operations. Lightbridge’s first major international engagement was to develop the strategic plan—the Roadmap for Success—for commercial nuclear energy for the United Arab Emirates, and Seth and his family lived in Abu Dhabi during the procurement process for the initial four reactors. Lightbridge is engaged by domestic and overseas governmental entities on critically important civil nuclear advisory matters.
Prior to Lightbridge, he worked as a corporate attorney in New York. Seth is invited to guest lecture at universities and to speak at conferences on energy, nuclear power, and the environment.
Seth is a member of the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee (CINTAC) to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and is a member of the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Board of Directors and Suppliers Advisory Committee. He is member of the Nuclear Security Working Group. He is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Washington College of Law at American University. He has served as Vice Chair of the Governing Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Lawyers Alliance for World Security, and as Co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Arms Control & Disarmament.
Mr. Grae earned a B.A. (cum laude) from Brandeis University; an M.B.A. and an L.L.M. in international law (with honors) from Georgetown University; and a J.D. from American University.
Mr. Steven Greenwald
With an undergraduate degree in computer science and an MBA from Baruch College, Steven Greenwald was first hired at First Boston for the financial modelling position. Initially, his duties were limited to doing financial models for projects on computer time-sharing terminals, but he gradually took on more responsibility as a member of the deal team. His first sizeable deal in which he led the charge as a senior associate was for the Newlands-Collinsville-Abbot Point project in Queensland, Australia. The deal brought in 26 banks to represent the largest Australian coal financing at the time. Greenwald took part in several other international deals in China, Venezuela, and other nations, as well as domestically. He was active in the growth of the institutional market in project finance with CSFB’s FPL Energy American Wind deal, a transaction that financed a total of 685 wind turbines spread out over the U.S in 2003.
After working his way up to managing director and head of the project finance group at CSFB and serving there for several years, in 2010 Greenwald transitioned to a senior adviser role. He is still actively involved in both the leveraged finance and energy and project finance teams, and has inspired others to excel in their economic and business careers. It is the challenge of the diversity of project-specific issues that has kept Greenwald satisfied in project finance and within the group at Credit Suisse, where he has remained throughout his career. He enjoys helping clients solve problems, and he often returns to his background in statistics to look at the probability of certain scenarios in project development and financing.
Ms. Damali Harding
Oracle | Opower
Damali Rhett Harding is an expert in the field of renewable energy and electric utilities, Harding has provided strategic advising to utilities such as Duke Energy, National Grid and other major domestic and international energy companies. Currently, she works for Oracle | Opower where she advises utilities on behavioral load shaping, customer engagement strategies and demand response management. Additionally, her expertise is often requested for speaking engagements regarding energy as well strategic management, leadership development, and community building.
Previously, Harding served as Executive Director of The Energy Co-op, a Philadelphia based nonprofit member-owned cooperative which provides renewable energy to thousands of homes and businesses in Pennsylvania. She is a current member of The Co-op’s Board of Directors. Damali also served as Commercial Director for Enviva LP, the world’s largest producer of industrial biomass to create clean renewable energy. She has also worked for IBM Global Business Management services and Deloitte Consulting as a strategy consultant.
Harding holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business and a BA from Dartmouth College. She is a proud member of Women of Renewable Industries & Sustainable Energy and in her spare time works passionately to eradicate energy poverty. Damali lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two cats.
Ms. Laura Hermann
Laura Hermann is a writer, trainer and strategist. After seven years at PCG, she became a partner at the firm in 2013. She focuses on communication challenges that are unique to large-scale, long-term infrastructure projects. Laura works with clients across the fuel cycle, including nuclear operators, suppliers, national laboratories and international utilities in newly liberalized markets. She builds capacity within diverse organizations to prepare strategic communication plans that respond to controversial issues while strengthening public acceptance, stakeholder confidence and investor support. Laura holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University in Illinois and a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago. She chairs the communication committee of the American Nuclear Society and serves as a designee to the American Association of Engineering Societies.
Mr. John Hopkins
Chairman & CEO
John L. Hopkins is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NuScale Power, LLC. He has held the CEO position since 2012.
Mr. Hopkins is currently serving as chairman of the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.
Prior to joining NuScale Power, Mr. Hopkins held numerous executive positions in his 24 years of service with Fluor Corporation, a Fortune 500 international engineering and construction company.
From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Hopkins served Fluor as group president, Corporate Development and New Ventures Group, responsible for Fluor’s strategic planning and global sales and marketing. In this role, Mr. Hopkins led Fluor’s Corporate Sales Board, account management activities, new ventures/emerging markets, corporate finance, government relations and corporate affairs, to achieve the company’s corporate growth and earning objectives.
From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Hopkins headed Fluor’s Government Group (FGG), with P&L responsibility leading the operations groups that provide value-added services to numerous government agencies, including the United States Departments of Energy, Defense, State, and Homeland Security and the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
Mr. Hopkins has held a variety of senior management, sales and operations roles around the world since joining Fluor in 1988. As group president of Fluor Global Services, Mr. Hopkins was responsible for the global Operations and Maintenance business unit. As president and chief executive officer of TradeMC, LLC, he was responsible for the strategic capital goods sourcing venture jointly owned by Fluor, IBM and Royal Bank of Canada. Additional P&L roles include group president of Corporate Sales & Marketing, Corporate Development and Project Finance; president of Chemicals & Life Sciences; and president of Chemicals, Composites and Textiles.
Active in a variety of professional and civic organizations, Mr. Hopkins is a member of the Nuclear Energy Institute board of directors and senior policy advisor of I Squared Capital, New York. He has also served as the senior executive member of both the Fluor Netherlands and Fluor United Kingdom board of directors, as chairman of the board for Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC, and as a director of the Business Council for International Understanding.
Mr. Hopkins graduated with a BBA from the University of Texas, Austin, and has completed several advanced management programs.
Mr. Walter Howes
Since May, 2007, Mr. Howes has been the Managing Partner of Verdigris Capital, LLC, a merchant banking firm focused on companies, technologies and projects in the areas of sustainable energy, water, transportation, and agriculture. Verdigris invests in, partners with and advises companies and projects in these sectors, both the US and internationally. Prior to founding Verdigris, Mr. Howes served at the U.S. Department of Energy, holding numerous positions, under four Secretaries’ of Energy. As the first Director of the Loan Guarantee Office, Mr. Howes formed a new entity now responsible for awarding and directing over $35 billion in Federal Loan Guarantees intended to drive the expanded commercialization of innovative energy projects. In addition to his government service, Mr. Howes has over 30 years of private market experience in global investment and commercial banking, private equity, venture capital and international privatization activities. Mr. Howes graduated with honors from Duke University in 1979, with majors in both Chemistry and Economics. He has an MBA in International Finance from New York University. He has served on numerous boards and committees and is a frequent speaker and writer on issues related to energy, sustainability, technology commercialization and related markets.
Mr. Simon Irish
Chief Executive Officer
Simon Irish is Chief Executive Officer of Terrestrial Energy Inc. He has 20 years of global investment banking and investment management experience in New York and London. He has a formal education in the quantitative sciences and quantitative finance and has established and managed multi-billion-dollar alternative investment businesses in North America.
Mr. Irish is the former Head of Man Global Strategies (MGS) in North America, the strategic investment division of Man Group Plc, a leading global investment management business. During his tenure at Man, Mr. Irish was responsible for building and managing the largest and most active strategic investment and managed account business in North America. Mr. Irish was a member of the Investment Committee and responsible for corporate acquisition opportunities in North America for Man Group Plc.
Mr. Irish began his banking career at Credit Suisse in London and in 2001 moved to New York as Director of FRM, the London-based investment firm, to establish its U.S. business.
In 2010, he focused on opportunities in breakthrough energy technologies and in particular nuclear energy given its unparalleled energy density and the commercial potential of advanced reactor technologies.
Mr. Irish holds an MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and an MSc in Finance from the London Business School.
Mr. Bret Kugelmass
Energy Impact Center
Bret Kugelmass ( is an American technology entrepreneur who's turned his focus to climate and energy advocacy. One the early pioneers in commercializing drones (Airphrame - acq. 2017) for environmental surveys and emergency response he's experienced first-hand market growth within complex technical, regulatory, and public opinion framework.
He received his Masters in robotics from Stanford and his earlier work includes designing a lunar rover controller for NASA, a concept electric car for Panasonic, and automating solar manufacturing processes for Nanosolar.
Motivated by the climate crises he moved to DC to set up a research initiative (Energy Impact Center) focused on exploring nuclear power and its role in deep decarbonization. He's conducting hundreds of audio interviews with experts throughout the nuclear sector ( communicating to a tech savvy and environmentally concerned audience the unique complexities and benefits of the technology.
Mr. James Magowan
Managing Director for Private Capital Raising Transactions
Growth Capital Services
James Magowan serves as Managing Director for private capital raising transactions at Growth Capital Services, a boutique investment bank. At Growth Capital Services and through his previous roles at Sutter Securities, Security Research Associates and Johnson Capital, Mr. Magowan has originated, structured and capitalized companies in low carbon energy, resource conservation, healthcare, financial services/technologies and real estate. Mr. Magowan is also an early stage investor in those areas. Mr. Magowan has previously served as a strategic consultant to investors including The World Bank/IFC, Inter-American Development Bank, FMO, SIFEM, and Select Africa. He serves on/as: the Board of Directors of Merchants National Properties (“MNPP”), the Advisory Board of Cornerstone Capital, a member of TONIIC and the CREO Syndicate, and the Board of a Private Family Foundation. He co-organized the Investing the Deep Decarbonization Conferences, serves as a Partner at the Caribbean Climate Smart Initiative, and has been speaker at United Nations, World Bank / IFC, KfW, SOCAP, and the US DoE events. Mr. Magowan is an honors graduate of Harvard University and holds an MBA from IMD International.
Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra
Chief Executive Officer
PLUS and AUI Ventures
Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra, CEO of PLUS and AUI Ventures has raised almost $150 Million from Venture Capital, Public Equity, Pension Funds and Family Offices for his 2 ventures (Oorja Protonics and H Power Corp). He also led an IPO for H Power on NASDAQ and raised $100 million in August 2000. This capital has been deployed for converting science and early-stage technology into commercial products globally in various markets. Dr. Malhotra was an active angel investor between 2006 and 2015 and invested in start-ups in US and India. He was also recruited to be the First Director of the Clean Energy Investment Center at the US Department of Energy.
Dr. Corey McDaniel
Vice President, Business Development
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
Dr. Corey McDaniel is the VP for Business Development at the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories. Previously he managed international and commercial cooperation for the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Nuclear Science and Technology Directorate. Corey also served as the lead laboratory coordinator for India to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the lead lab advisor to the DOE office of Nuclear Energy International Cooperation.
Prior to INL he served as VP for Asia in Hong Kong, China for a nuclear electrical supplier and in Mumbai, India as the international director of NuScale Power, a small modular reactor (SMR) company. Corey secured and managed the delivery of replacement safety class (1E) cables to KHNP’s Shin Kori 3 & 4. He also facilitated 1E cable deliveries to China and the UAE, and opened the Japanese market to U.S.-supplied cables for the first time. Corey facilitated MOUs with China’s largest nuclear utility and India’s largest nuclear EPC during visits to more than a dozen Asian and European countries.
Dr. McDaniel spent 5 years in the U.S. Senate as a legislative director and energy policy advisor to three Senators from Idaho and Arizona. Corey began his career as a nuclear safety analyst performing PRA and thermal-hydraulic research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
He received his doctorate in environmental science and public policy from George Mason University and his bachelors and masters degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of New Mexico and Purdue University respectively.
The Honorable Jeffrey Merrifield
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1998 - 2007)
Jeffrey Merrifield is a partner in the Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s energy practice. Mr. Merrifield was appointed by President Clinton and reappointed by President Bush to serve on the five-member, Senate-confirmed, independent United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. During his tenure, which was from October 1998 to June 2002 and from August 2002 to June 2007, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission had a staff of 3,250 employees with a budget of $900 million and set all policies and rules that govern the safe and secure use of nuclear materials at the 104 U.S. nuclear power plants operating at that time.
Prior to joining Pillsbury, Mr. Merrifield served as President of The Merrifield Group, LLC where he provided energy and environmental consulting, advocacy and strategic advice for companies, organizations and individuals. Specific areas of focus included management, energy market analysis, nuclear, fossil and alternative energy policy and deployment, radioactive and hazardous waste disposal strategies, safety and regulatory assessment and analysis, as well as public and government engagement.
Before working with the Merrifield Group, Mr. Merrifield was the Senior Vice President of Global Business Development with CB&I’s Power Business Unit. While there, he led a team of twenty-five sales and proposal staff to develop and win over $1.5 billion in annual sales, including the first competitive, EPC combined cycle gas unit in over six years.
Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President for The Shaw Group, Inc.’s Power Group. As a member of the Power Group's executive team, he was responsible for overseeing the group's external relationships including nuclear business development, customer relations, strategic planning, marketing and communications, as well as government and regulatory affairs.
Mr. Merrifield also served on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Ecology Corporation, which is one of the largest U.S. operators of both hazardous and low-level radioactive waste disposal facilities. He served as the Lead Director and Chairman of the Governance Committee and was a member of the Compensation and Audit Committees.
Currently, Mr. Merrifield serves as the Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Industry Council’s Advanced Reactors Task Force. Composed of more than 70 companies, the Council is the leading business consortium advocate for new nuclear energy and the promotion of the American supply chain globally.
The Honorable Lisa Murkowski
U.S. Senator for Alaska
Chairman Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources
Lisa Murkowski is Alaska’s senior representative in the U.S. Senate and the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Senate Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee. Sen. Murkowski has served on the energy committee since joining the Senate in 2002, and was the committee’s ranking Republican member from 2009 through 2014.
Sen. Murkowski is only the sixth person to represent the state of Alaska in the U.S. Senate. Before coming to Congress, she served three terms in the Alaska House of Representatives. As a senator she has focused on strengthening the nation’s energy policies as an issue of paramount importance to the good of Alaska and the country as a whole.
A recognized leader in Congress on energy and public lands policy, Sen. Murkowski follows the principle at all energy is good and has pursued policies to make America’s energy more abundant, affordable, clean, diverse, and secure. Sen. Murkowski recognizes that a sound national energy policy promotes not just job creation and economic growth, but also a higher standard of living and global stability. She supports the safe and efficient production and use of all forms of domestic energy, as well as research to develop emerging energy technologies. She has been an advocate for the free trade of America’s strategic energy resources, including increased exports of liquefied natural gas and ending the 1970s-era ban on oil exports.
In early 2013, Murkowski crafted a comprehensive policy blueprint, Energy 20/20: A Vision for America’s Energy Future, which provides a detailed picture of the nation’s energy outlook and recommends long overdue reforms. Sen. Murkowski has since added to that blueprint with papers on the economic and energy security benefits of increased international trade of energy commodities, the problem of energy insecurity in America, the link between energy and water, and challenges facing electric reliability.
Chairman Murkowski’s approach to energy policy was shaped by her upbringing in Alaska, a state with unparalleled natural resources but also the highest energy costs in the nation. While most think of Alaska as an oil-producing state, it also has tremendous potential in natural gas, coal, hydropower, biomass, geothermal, marine hydrokinetic, methane hydrates, and wind – not to mention prolific deposits of a wide range of metals and minerals.
Sen. Murkowski holds a BA in economics from Georgetown University and a law degree from Willamette University College of Law. She is married to Verne Martell, with whom she has two sons, Nicolas and Matthew.
The Honorable Daniel Poneman
President & CEO
Deputy Secretary of Energy (2009-2014)
Daniel B. Poneman is president and chief executive officer of Centrus Energy Corp. He also serves on the company’s board of directors.
From 2009 to 2014, Mr. Poneman was the Deputy Secretary of Energy, also serving as the chief operating officer of the U.S. Department of Energy. His responsibilities spanned the range of U.S. energy policies and programs – hydrocarbons, renewables, nuclear, and efficiency – including cybersecurity, project management, national security, and international cooperation. He was also responsible for the Department’s efforts on resilience and emergency response, in cases ranging from Fukushima to Hurricane Sandy. Between April 23, 2013, and May 21, 2013, Mr. Poneman served as Acting Secretary of Energy.
Prior to assuming his responsibilities as Deputy Secretary, Mr. Poneman served as a principal of the Scowcroft Group for eight years, providing strategic advice to corporations in a variety of strategic industries. In addition, for eight years he practiced law as a partner at Hogan & Hartson and an associate at Covington & Burling, advising clients on regulatory and policy matters.
In prior tours in government, Mr. Poneman served as a White House Fellow and as Director of Defense Policy and Arms Control for the National Security Council. From 1993 through 1996 he was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Nonproliferation and Export Controls at the National Security Council. His responsibilities included the development and implementation of U.S. policy in such areas as peaceful nuclear cooperation, missile technology, space-launch activities, sanctions determinations, chemical and biological arms control efforts, and conventional arms transfer policy.
Mr. Poneman has published widely on national security issues and is the author of Nuclear Power in the Developing World and Argentina: Democracy on Trial. His third book, Going Critical: The First North Korean Nuclear Crisis (coauthored with Joel Wit and Robert Gallucci), received the 2005 Douglas Dillon Award for Distinguished Writing on American Diplomacy. Mr. Poneman is a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, a Distinguished Fellow at the Paulson Institute, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
His fourth book, Double Jeopardy: Combating Nuclear Terror and Climate Change, was released by the MIT Press in May 2019.
Mr. Poneman received A.B. and J.D. degrees with honors from Harvard University and an M.Litt. in Politics from Oxford University.
Mr. Rich Powell
Rich Powell is the Executive Director at ClearPath and ClearPath Action, the DC-based organizations developing and advancing conservative policies that accelerate clean energy innovation.
He educates policymakers on investing wisely in energy innovation, removing roadblocks to building and exporting American clean energy technology, and maintaining and promoting our baseload clean energy resources. Powell also leads ClearPath’s external advocacy and research partnerships with non-profits, academia, and the private sector.
Previously, Powell was with McKinsey & Company in the Energy and Sustainability practices. He focused on corporate clean energy strategy, government low carbon growth strategy, and clean tech market entry.
Sen. James Risch
U.S. Senator for Idaho
Chairman Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Known for "pragmatic decision-making," Jim Risch is what his peers call a "no-nonsense, get-the-job-done leader" with more than four decades of experience in elected office. As the lead Republican on the Foreign Relations committee, Risch is focused on protecting the security and interests of the American people, in addition to continuing to advance U.S. prosperity and leadership in the world. He is confronting many issues that hit home across Idaho, like advancing the interests of Idaho citizens and businesses in international trade and investment, and promoting Idaho exports. During his service as Idaho's 31st governor, Risch lowered property taxes by 20 percent providing much-needed tax relief to Idaho taxpayers and designed a plan to manage Idaho's roadless areas and supervised the adoption of a rule that effectively prohibits the construction of traditional mercury-releasing pulverized coal power plants. Both measures earned Risch bipartisan acclaim for his pragmatic approach to natural resource issues and land management.
Following his tenure as president of the Idaho Prosecuting Attorneys Association, Risch served 11 elected terms in the Idaho State Senate. Senator Risch earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry from the University of Idaho, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Idaho, College of Law. He served on Law Review and the College of Law Advisory Committee at the University of Idaho and has taught criminal law at Boise State University. He was a small business owner, a rancher/farmer and senior partner in the Risch Goss Insinger Gustavel Law firm at the time of his election to the U.S. Senate.
Mr. Douglas Schultz
Director of Origination, Loan Programs Office
U.S. Department of Energy
Mr. Douglas Schultz is the Director of Loan Guarantee Origination for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO). He leads LPO’s lending activities focused on innovative alternative energy projects in the U.S. including solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, clean fossil, nuclear, and the related transmission and extraction infrastructure. An accomplished executive and proven innovator, Mr. Schultz has been active as a consultant, developer and lender in the energy and infrastructure sectors for over 20 years in the U.S. and abroad.
Prior to joining LPO, Mr. Schultz was a Senior Investment Officer at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). In the private sector, he was the Manager of Project Development and Finance at KMR Power Corporation, a global independent power company, directing the company’s development and financing of green field power projects and acquisitions throughout the Middle East, Asia and Africa. He was also a Principal Consultant at K&M Engineering and Consulting, an emerging market leader in public/private partnerships where he successfully advised governments and multilateral agencies around the world on privatization and Build-Own-Operate (BOO)/ Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) project implementation. Earlier in his career Mr. Schultz was an expert consultant with the international management and economic consulting firm of Nathan Associates focusing primarily on the evaluation and structuring of large public and private infrastructure projects.
The Honorable J. Clay Sell
Chief Executive Officer
Deputy Secretary of Energy (2005-2008
The Honorable J. Clay Sell was appointed CEO of X-energy in January, 2019, and has served on its advisory board since September, 2018. Sell has a deep professional background across many sectors of the U.S. and international energy industry developed during his service in senior level positions in the private sector and government. Clay completed a 14-year run in government as Deputy Secretary of Energy in the George W. Bush Administration from 2005-2008. In that role under Secretary Samuel W. Bodman III, Clay served as Chief Operating Officer of the department and emerged as one of the leading spokesmen and advocates for the Administration’s nuclear energy policies in that era. From 2003-2005, Sell served in the Bush White House as a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and a Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. From 1999 to 2003, he served as the Clerk for the Senate Energy & Water Subcommittee of Appropriations under the legendary Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico. Sell began his career in Washington on the staff of future House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry of Texas from 1995-1999. Clay left Washington, DC, in 2008 for his home state of Texas to pursue private business interests. From 2008 to 2018 he was the president of Hunt Energy Horizons, LLC, the renewable energy subsidiary of Hunt Consolidated, Inc., a multi-national energy, real estate, and investment corporation controlled by the Ray L. Hunt Family of Dallas. Clay holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law and a BBA in Accounting from Texas Tech University.