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  • 1 Dec 2016 11:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Program Manager at OurEnergyPolicy.org

    Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field, and any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention.

    I am a Program Manager with OurEnergyPolicy.org in Washington, DC as well as an attorney in Virginia. In 2004, I started out as a research assistant with a landfill gas development firm in Virginia. I focused primarily on state and federal policies designed to support the development of renewable energy. Later on, I worked with the Army supporting the development of clean energy projects at military facilities as a member of the Energy Initiatives Task Force (now the Office of Energy Initiatives).

    Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?

    Recently, I have enjoyed learning more about how competitive wholesale power markets function. This year was interesting since the Supreme Court decided two important cases reviewing how activities, even when wholly intrastate or traditionally within the purview of a state commission’s authority, can actually be regulated by FERC if they distort competitive wholesale markets. Although the court cabined its holding in each case to the facts presented, these decisions give some important insight into the scope of FERC’s regulatory authority since the court overwhelmingly ruled in the agency's favor each time.

    In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

    The electric power sector is facing some current challenges. From congressional inquiries into the overall competitiveness of wholesale electric markets to state commissions debating net metering rate design for retail customers, investor owned utilities are grappling with some tough issues. In addition, the industry’s rapid migration from coal to natural gas and the number of utility mergers suggests the electric power sector is evolving quickly.

    How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

    I was encouraged to join by Garry Tyran when we collaborated on a joint happy hour between OurEnergyPolicy.org and NCAC. Garry spoke highly of the organization’s collegial nature and diverse community. In April, I joined after attending NCAC’s Energy Policy Conference at Georgetown. Although I’m relatively new, I have enjoyed speaking with other members and learning about their energy backgrounds.

  • 1 Nov 2016 12:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CEO & Co-founder of Dūcō Experts

    Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field, and any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention.

    I am the CEO & Co-founder of Dūcō Experts, an online, on-demand marketplace of experts, who are available to provide quick actionable information to businesses around the world. Energy is one of our key industry focuses, and our energy experts include former senior White House and military officials, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders around the world. Our web-based platform facilitates introductions and partnerships so that businesses can immediately access actionable energy and geopolitical intelligence.

    Prior to starting Dūcō, I served at the Department of Defense working on Middle East Policy issues, with a particular interest in energy issues. Prior to the Pentagon, in 2010, I started the Energy Expert Group at the Truman National Security project -- a leading security-focused NGO.

    Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?

    I built Dūcō, a platform that makes it faster, easier, and more affordable for any organization -- from small businesses to think tanks to Fortune 100 companies -- to access world-class expertise on a range of topics, including energy policy and environmental issues.

    In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

    Apart from climate change, a central challenge facing the energy industry today is keeping up with the rapid pace of technological innovation -- from persistent cybersecurity threats to market-reshaping artificial intelligence -- and understanding the implications of geopolitical developments on markets. Whether it’s understanding the consequences of the evolving US relationship with Iran, the growth of the middle class in many Asian and African countries, or the proliferation of driverless cars, energy industry leaders will excel only by tapping into a truly global knowledge base. That’s what Dūcō can provide.

    How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

    I am a relatively new member and have heard about NCAC’s events and fantastic support from many others in the community. I look forward to meeting more members in the community soon and contributing to the organization and the broader industry. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at sidney@ducoexperts.com.

  • 1 Oct 2016 12:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Utilities Policy Manager, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

    Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field, and any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention.

    Currently, I'm the Utilities Policy Manager for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. I have 6 years experience in the energy field.

    Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?

    My biggest interest right now in energy is the impact of electricity pricing on residential customer behavior. Many electric utilities are now proposing significantly different pricing structures than previously used. I’m concerned these new pricing structures will alter price signals in a way that will increase overall consumption and discourage conservation. I’m also concerned these pricing structures are not cost based. I look forward to continuing to research and learn about this area of interest.

    In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

    In my opinion, the most important issue facing the energy industry is how to effectively transition away from an antiquated business model of vertically integrated electric companies to a model which produces a socially optimal outcome based in least cost service. This transition must also recognize and embrace the role of energy efficiency as a least cost resource that can minimize risk for the entire utility system.

    How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

    I’ve been a member for NCAC for about a year. I really enjoy the diversity of the membership and the insightful conversations I’ve had with other members.

  • 1 Sep 2016 12:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Energy Industry Analyst, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

    Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field, and any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention.

    I have been working in energy for over 20 years, and am currently an energy analyst with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, where I provide market oversight and analyze market trends for natural gas, coal, oil, and any fuel or process that contributes to or has an impact on electric generation or natural gas transmission. Prior to that I worked on several contracts with the Energy Information Administration, collecting, disseminating, and analyzing data on oil related surveys.

    Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?

    I fell into energy by chance when, out of necessity, I took an entry level job working on data collection on an EIA survey of petroleum marketers. At the time I took that job I intended to stay there for no more than a year, and move on to a career more in line with my undergraduate degree as an English major. However, I was immediately energized by how important energy availability, infrastructure, technology, innovation, and policy are to a nation and to it's people's well being. Even after years in this sector, I still get excited about energy developments, the complexity of the systems that make various forms of energy available to consumers, and by how energy related economic and political considerations shape national and international alliances, relationships, and fortunes. Virtually every major issue and development I read about has roots in historical or geographic factors related to energy.

    In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

    The most important issue facing the energy industry is how to provide resources to a growing global population, especially given the rising living standards and energy needs in developing countries, while reducing carbon emissions. Maintaining/promoting economic growth while decarbonizing the world economies will take technological leaps as well as creative and even radical thinking regarding energy supplies, project financing, governmental policies, and perhaps most important, social and cultural adjustments. I find this not only important but also fascinating.

    How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

    I joined the NCAC-USAEE in 2005. At the time, I was looking for ways to learn about energy topics outside what my work as a contractor entailed. I also wanted to increase my network and connect with energy professionals outside my regular circles. The NCAC-USAEE gave me the opportunity to do these things, and in the process also meet professional colleagues that have over time become friends. When I joined, I checked the box that says I would be interested in taking a more active role in the organization. A year later, Mark Lively reached out to ask me if I wanted to join the Council. Since then, I served as a council member, and also in every officer position. It has been quite a fun time thanks to the knowledgeable, warm, and friendly people who make up this organization.

  • 1 Jul 2016 12:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Founding Partner, Russo on Energy LLC

    Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field, and any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention.

    I founded Russo on Energy LLC about a year ago after spending 30 years at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Today I am interested in how natural gas markets are greening the electric power sector and global environmental policy. I’m also concerned about aging natural gas and oil infrastructure and safety issues as well as recent events at California’s Aliso Canyon Gas Storage facility that are causing electric reliability problems this summer.

    When I first came to FERC, I spent many years in the hydropower program doing and managing NEPA impact assessments. I learned quite a bit about the energy industry from my hydropower experience and spent a lot of time out of the office visiting projects (a great job perk!).

    I then jumped ship and got involved in FERC’s Reengineering Project and was exposed to energy markets. I was never the same again. I joined the Office of Enforcement and learned a great deal about physical natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids markets as well as energy derivatives.

    Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?

    NIMBY always troubled me as well as how NEPA is misused to site energy infrastructure. So when I had an opportunity to change things, I did. I helped craft a cooperative process between the New York Power Authority and 43 U.S. and Canadian federal, state and local agencies and NGOs for the FERC relicensing of the 900 MW St. Lawrence-FDR Hydropower Project on the St. Lawrence River. My efforts helped the parties jointly prepare NEPA documents and resulted in a comprehensive settlement. That was very satisfying.

    In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

    I think an important challenge for the energy industry and NCAC members is to educate the public. I see evidence of a vocal public focused on local issues that has little understanding on how electricity and natural gas markets work even though they provide many benefits. Instead, people are taking sides and using slogans like “More Renewables” or “No Fracking” with little or no knowledge of the consequences to the electric grid or environment. I guess events this summer in California will serve as a “test bed” for what happens when those natural gas resources are in short supply in a renewable heavy environment.

    The public has also grown increasingly impatient and has no appetite for energy infrastructure that poses safety or environmental concerns. NIMBY is on the rise also and even wind and solar projects are increasingly hard to site. Unfortunately, the primary elections have amply demonstrated that Presidential nominees have even less knowledge than the public on energy and infrastructure issues.

    How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

    I joined in 2014 and have made some great friends here. The luncheons are a convenient way to stay in touch with colleagues and keep abreast of energy issues. I’ve also taken advantage of outside seminars and training events such as the Energy Trading course put on by Alan Levine and Elaine Levin of Powerhouse.

  • 1 Jun 2016 12:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Senior Energy Efficiency Analyst, U.S. Energy Information Administration

    Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field, and any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention.

    I’ve been exploring energy issues since 1995, when I joined McKinsey & Company’s energy practice as a research analyst. At the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Market Oversight & Investigation, I became particularly interested in renewable energy, demand response, and energy efficiency in wholesale power markets. I recognized the important nexus between wholesale and retail policies and markets when I worked on teams that wrote several of FERC’s “Assessment of Demand Response & Advanced Metering” reports, required by Congress under EPAct 2005.

    At EIA’s Office of Energy Consumption and Efficiency Analysis, I’m working on ways to better incorporate energy efficiency savings and distributed generation characteristics into our analyses of energy use.

    In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

    I’m curious about the changes the next decade will bring as new technologies emerge and big data can inform decision making. What would a regulatory compact look like after weighing the importance of a reliable, resilient grid; keeping utilities financially “whole” without unfair cost shifting; and adapting to informed customer participation in a more distributed grid? What tools and data will be available so customers can make smart energy choices – with insights into the cost, timing, and locational value of their energy supply and power use? How can the size and contribution of distributed energy resources (including solar photovoltaics, CHP, energy efficiency, storage, and demand response) be consistently measured?

    How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

    I have been a member of NCAC since 2013 or 2014, but have long attended its informative lunches as a guest. Mark Lively’s warm, welcoming, and curious persona is one of my strongest memories from these gatherings; he will be missed.

  • 1 May 2016 12:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Associate Director, Capacity Building, CRDF Global

    Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field, and any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention.

    I came to energy by way of security. After focusing in the first part of my career on WMD-related topics, my perspective grew to include social and economic issues, like climate change and global development, as key security drivers. Energy consistently emerged as a critical issue, and therefore a critical part of any solution. So since at least 2009, when I augmented my economics education with a Certificate in Sustainable Business, I’ve increasingly focused on energy issues.

    Since 2010, I’ve been with CRDF Global, where I am now Associate Director of Capacity Building. For nearly six years I have led a team that implements a State Department program to promote strong security culture among technical organizations in partner countries that are enhancing their nuclear power programs.

    Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?

    It has been particularly gratifying to witness our international partners become knowledgeable, enthusiastic leaders implementing change in their countries and beyond.

    In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

    In the OECD, the shift toward clean energy sources is revolutionary. Integrating intermittent renewable generation into the grid at scale, accommodating distributed generation including through demand response, and reaching greater efficiencies offer a bright, clean potential future. To reach it, we must navigate a fragmented regulatory environment, update business models, minimize stranded infrastructure, and build resilience to natural disasters and cyber security threats alike.

    Beyond the OECD, access to electricity likewise promises revolutionary impacts. Electricity accelerates economic development, and impacts women in particular. Expanding access to energy is thus key to a host of extremely positive outcomes, doubly so when the energy is generated via affordable, low-carbon means.

    How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

    I joined NCAC in 2014. Mark Lively consistently welcomed me into this organization’s events, where I knew no one at first. His friendly smile and reliable presence went far to make this newcomer feel at home.

  • 1 Apr 2016 12:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Founder and Clean Energy Ambassador, Leaders in Energy

    Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field, and any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention.

    I am the Founder and Clean Energy Ambassador of Leaders in Energy, a clean energy and sustainability organization. We provide educational, professional networking, and advisory services. I feel very lucky that I found my calling early in my career when I was in graduate school in the Agricultural Economics Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I happened upon the book “Small is Beautiful: Economics as If People Mattered,” by the British economist, EF Schumacher. As a result, I became interested in what he called “appropriate technology,” which was more decentralized and accessible to local communities and people. I ended up writing a 250 page Master’s thesis on methane digesters in India that launched me on the energy and sustainability track. I describe myself as a “Clean Energy Ambassador” because of my extensive domestic and international experience which includes working at a state energy office, serving as a Foreign Service Officer for the US Agency for International Development in Nairobi, Kenya and in leadership roles at IBM, DynCorp International, Institute of Energy Analysis, and other management and technology firms.

    Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?

    I always liked the Margaret Mead quote −“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” I am proud of founding Leaders in Energy, which started as a small group on LinkedIn, to connect professionals who delight in thinking about, discussing, and collaborating on energy, environmental, and sustainability issues. The group has since morphed into an organization with a mission to build a community of leaders to enable solutions for a more sustainable energy system, economy, and world. We help connect professionals in locating green job and business opportunities and recognize the accomplishments of leaders in all generations, e.g., Millennial, Gen X, Baby Boomer, and World War II, in clean energy and sustainability. We conduct monthly educational and professional networking events in the Washington DC area and identify and collaborate with partners on research and development projects that will result in tangible benefits to further the development of a sustainable energy economy. Another impactful group achievement was a project that I co-led for Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment on promoting environmentally-sustainable landscaping practices in the community, resulting in Arlington County being certified as a Community Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation.

    In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

    It seems like every day that I read disturbing news about how we are pushing the boundaries of our planetary life support systems. In terms of the energy industry, we are facing important issues such as an aging electric grid, the risk of stranded assets, the need to move towards decarbonized energy sources, and regulatory changes that promote the wider deployment of “distributed” energy resources, such as micro grids, roof-top solar and other on-site power supplies, and storage. Better information and price signals are needed to encourage and enable consumers to use energy more efficiently. As citizens, we also need to examine how we can reduce our carbon footprint. As part of the 2015 Paris agreement, countries have provided pledges known as “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs). A related concept that I have written about and coined a name for is “Intended ‘Personally’ Determined Contributions” (IPDCs)” to harness personal commitment and behavioral changes to further accelerate the reduction of emissions.

    In addition, there are exciting technological developments where prices are coming down, e.g., solar, new innovation in small modular nuclear technology, microturbines, fuel cells, algae production for fuels and carbon absorption, and so many others. So how can we unleash and foster economic transformation that regenerates, rather than destroys the planet, and employs more people in clean energy and clean economy jobs and businesses? I am encouraged by new paradigms related to the Circular Economy, conscious capitalism, ecological economics, the “maker movement,” open source, sustainable manufacturing, integrated systems where buildings produce energy for the grid, etc. to move our society in this positive direction.

    How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

    I joined NCAC-USAEE in 2013. One of my fondest memories was participating in a 2-day NCAC-USAEE field trip to tour a coal-fired power plant, wind farm, and coal mine. I met many wonderful professionals on the trip, several of which have blossomed into working relationships and friendships.

  • 1 Mar 2016 12:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Policy Analyst at the White House Office of Management & Budget

    Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field, and any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention.

    I have been involved in energy and/or environment in one way or another since 2000 when I enrolled at Johns Hopkins SAIS to study Energy Policy. Since then, I have spent 5 years as an energy consultant (first at Deloitte, then KPMG), 7 years as an economist at EIA, and now almost 2 years at the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).

    Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?

    When I decided to go to SAIS I had every intention of working for Enron. When that option didn’t pan out (for obvious reasons), I explored other opportunities in the private sector never giving any though to government work (I didn’t even attend the PMF info session offered by SAIS). One thing led to another, though, and I ended up working for the Federal Government. And now, 14 years later, when I look back at how things turned out, I couldn’t be happier. Working for the Federal Government is certainly not for everyone but it can also offer an exciting and very rewarding opportunity.

    In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

    As has been the case since the days of Edison, there are countless important issues facing the energy industry. However, if pressed to name just one, I would say that the lack of large scale, cost-effective energy storage could be a particularly important one because of all that would be possible if it were available.

    How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

    I have been involved in NCAC for about 8 years. My favorite memory is the weekend-long trip in 2009 to see Drake’s Well. I met many NCAC members for the first time during that trip and got to know other members much better. Of the many noteworthy things that happened during that trip, one that stands out is Mark Lively taking it upon himself to entertain the group with a variety of energy-related trivia and presentations during the bus ride up to Titusville.

  • 1 Feb 2016 12:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Founder and president of SVB Energy International, and a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center


    Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field, and any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention.

    Dr. Sara Vakhshouri is founder and president of SVB Energy International. She is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center. She is an internationally recognized expert and has extensive experience in global energy market studies, energy security, and geopolitical risk with a special focus on the Middle East, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Mexico.

    Dr. Vakhshouri has experience working in both the public and private sectors of the Iranian energy industry, including the National Iranian Oil Company, where she worked from 2000 to 2008. Dr. Vakhshouri has been based in Washington, DC since 2009, where she has advised numerous energy and policy leaders, international corporations, think tanks, investment banks, and law firms on the global energy market, the geopolitics of energy, and investment patterns.

    She has testified to Congress on the Energy Markets and National Security and published articles in numerous journals including The Economist, Middle East Economic Survey (MEES), and Oil and Gas Journal. She is frequently quoted and interviewed in outlets such as The Financial Times, Reuters, The Financial Post, and Energy Intelligence, and she has appeared on Bloomberg, BBC, Al Jazeera, Platts Energy TV, Voice of America, and CBC. She authored a book on ‘The Marketing and Sale of Iranian Export Crude Oil since the Islamic Revolution’.

    Dr. Vakhshouri has a PhD in energy security and Middle Eastern studies, and was a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. She has an MA in business management (international marketing), and another MA in international relations.

    In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

    The new technologies in the energy industry, extraction of Unconventional Resources in the North America and US in particular, and the over supply in the market and low oil prices as the result of that are all the important issues the energy industry is facing today. The implication of the low oil prices on the producers, consumers and investors behaviors, its impact on different issues like the change of energy flow and geopolitics of energy, the competition between major oil producers and their market strategies and tactics to increase their market share, are all very interesting and importing factors that are going to shape the energy policy of courtiers and companies in the next few decades.

    It is also important to note that the current low oil prices have changed the notion and some of the components of energy security. The ‘low and affordable energy prices’ that has been one of the major defining factor for the energy security is now turned into a threat against the supply diversification and increased the global energy dependency on the ‘relatively’ unsecured low cost oil supplies of Middle East. Also the low oil prices could change the consumer’s behavior and reduced the efficiency of energy consumption.

    How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

    I have been a member of NCAC since 2009 or 2010 when I just moved to Washington DC. NCAC’s gatherings and events are always a great place to learn something new and stay connected with the energy network in DC.

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