Dr. Ellen Williams
Director, Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E)
Dr. Ellen Williams is the Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E), responsible for oversight of the Agency. Prior to joining ARPA-E, Williams served as the Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy and the Chief Scientist for BP. She is currently on a leave of absence from the University of Maryland where she has served as a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Physics and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology since 2000.
Dr. Williams has served as a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland since 1991. She founded the University of Maryland Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and served as its Director from 1996 through 2009. Williams received a B.S. in Chemistry from Michigan State University and a PhD in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology.
Chief Executive Officer, NRG
Mauricio Gutierrez is President and CEO of NRG. Mauricio joined NRG in 2004 and helped build it from a regional wholesale generation business to a national, Fortune 200 diversified energy company. NRG is the nation's largest competitive power generator. The company is also a major competitive energy retailer that serves nearly 3 million recurring retail customers and is one of the country's largest owners and operators of renewable power facilities.
Prior to becoming President and CEO, Mauricio held the position of Chief Operating Officer. In this role, he held top responsibility for ensuring that NRG's generating fleets operate at the highest levels of safety, performance and environmental sustainability. During his tenure, he also led NRG's engineering and construction activities related to new generation and repowering projects. And overseeing commodities trading as Executive Vice President, Commercial Operations and Senior Vice President, Commodities Trading, Mauricio helped maximize NRG's financial performance through increasingly volatile energy commodity markets.
Mauricio began his career as a senior consultant and project manager at Mexico City-based DTP Consultores, working on various energy and infrastructure projects in Mexico. When the U.S. merchant energy industry started to emerge, he joined Dynegy's management program and served in various positions, including Managing Director for the Southeast and Texas regions, Senior Trader for East Power and Asset Manager.
Mauricio has served on the Boards of the Mexican National Chamber of Consulting Firms and the Electric Power Supply Association in the U.S. He holds a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from the Universidad Panamericana and two master's degrees - one in mineral economics from the Colorado School of Mines and one in petroleum economics from the French Petroleum Institute.
President and Co-Founder, EnerNOC
David co-founded EnerNOC in 2001 and currently serves as company President. Prior to EnerNOC, David worked at Beacon Power Corporation, a developer of flywheel-based energystorage solutions. David also held positions at Winslow Management Company, one of the oldest environmentally-focused investment firms, and the SolarBank Initiative, which helped pioneer solar energy financing. David is a member of the World Resources Institute's Global Advisory Council and serves on the Board of Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment. He holds a BA with High Honors from Wesleyan University, a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University, and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
Special Guest Speaker
CFO, Power Generation Services Division, Siemens AG
Steven C. Conner is CFO of the global Power Generation Services Division of Siemens AG, a position he assumed in January 2008. He also serves as the CEO of Siemens Energy, Inc. in the USA.
Since joining Siemens in 1996, Mr. Conner has provided extensive business and management experience in global finance, product line management, strategic planning, project management, marketing and sales expansion, contract negotiation, litigation mediation, business development, international operations and has held several management positions with increasing responsibility.
Before joining Siemens, Mr. Conner had been the president and founder of an accounting, consulting, acquisition and divestiture professional services firm based in New Berlin, Wisconsin, USA. Prior to that, he spent six years with Price Waterhouse. He also served in the U.S. Air Force.
Mr. Conner was born in Michigan City, Indiana, and graduated in 1988 from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. He and his wife, Connie, have three daughters, Kathryn, Meghan, and Samantha.
The Evolution of Electric Utilities
President and CEO, ComEd
Pramaggiore joined ComEd in 1998 to work on the company’s transition to competitive energy markets under the Illinois Consumer Choice Law of 1997. In her role as ComEd’s lead lawyer and as head of Regulatory Policy, she led major policy work around the restructuring of the Illinois electric industry.
In 2009, Pramaggiore was appointed as ComEd’s COO and became responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations on the electric grid and in customer operations. In that role, she led the company’s effort to set the legislative framework for ComEd’s smart grid build-out, a leading model nationally for modernizing one of the largest utility systems in the country.
Pramaggiore was promoted to her current position in February 2012. She is the first female to hold the post of president and CEO at the electric utility.
Pramaggiore serves as a board member of Chicago Federal Reserve Board, Motorola Solutions, Inc., Babcock and Wilcox Enterprises and several civic and community organizations.
She is a 1989 graduate of DePaul University School of Law and served as editor-in-chief of the school’s Law Review. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Theater from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Southern California Edison
Choi previously served as vice president of Energy and Environmental Policy, responsible for analysis of federal and state energy and environmental policies; analysis and development of a long-term environmental, energy and technology strategy for SCE; and directing case management for key regulatory filings.
Prior to joining SCE in 2012, Choi was executive director of Environmental Services & Strategy at Progress Energy, where she was responsible for leading environmental permitting, compliance and policy. She served the company in various roles, including director, Energy Policy & Strategy, and manager, Federal Public Affairs.
Choi has served on various non-profit boards and is a board member of the Smart Electric Power Alliance, the California Electric Transportation Coalition (CalETC), the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, the National Forest Foundation and the California Advisory Board of The Trust for Public Lands. Choi has a bachelor’s degree in government from Dartmouth College.
Rebecca J. Kujawa
Vice President, Business Management, NextEra Energy Resources
Before joining NextEra Energy, Ms. Kujawa was senior vice president of equity research at Stanford Group Company, and she began her career as an equity derivatives analyst at Goldman Sachs. Ms. Kujawa holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and previously was a member of the New York Stock Exchange and National Association of Securities Dealers’ joint committee on the research analyst qualification exams.
Ms. Kujawa holds a bachelor of arts degree in public policy studies from Duke University.
Katie Kross (moderator)
Managing Director, Center for Energy, Development and the Global Environment (EDGE), Duke's Fuqua School of Business
Energy Access "TED Talks"
Professor of Law, Vermont Law School
Professor Dworkin’s previous past positions include: Chairman of the Vermont Public Service Board, President of the New England Conference of Utility Commissioners, Chairman of NARUC’s Committee on Energy and the Environment, a member of the Board of the American Council on Energy Efficiency, and he was on the Executive Committee of the Board of the Electric Power Research Institute.
In earlier years he was an appellate litigator for US EPA, an administrative law judge for the Vermont Public Service Board and a management partner of a Riser Management Systems, a telecommunications engineering firm.
Michael has been awarded NARUC’s annual Kilmarx Award for sustained contributions to clean energy, the environment, and good government; US EPA’s Bronze Medal for Environmental Merit; Vermont Law School’s annual Richard Brooks Award for research and scholarship; on behalf of the Vermont PSB, he received the Kennedy School of Government award for "Innovations in American Government."
Director of Product Management, Off Grid Electric
Vice President of Licensing and Technology, GE Ventures
Challenges and Opportunities for Distributed Energy Resources
Director, Distributed Generation, Pacific Gas & Electric Company
Principal, 38 North Solutions
Vice President and Head, Siemens North American Energy Automation businesses
Partner and Practice Lead, Grid Transformation, ScottMadden, Inc.
The Future of Transportation
Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain General Motors Company
Reuss was born and raised in metro Detroit and is deeply committed to revitalizing the city via education, community and philanthropy. In 2010, he spearheaded a $27.1 million grant to the United Way for Southeastern Michigan to improve graduation rates at seven Detroit-area high schools. In 2013, he championed the GM Student Corps, a summer internship and career development program for under-served youth. He also was instrumental in bringing the Chevrolet Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix back to the city, which generates millions in economic impact for the region.
He holds a bachelor of engineering degree from Vanderbilt University and a master of business administration from Duke University.
Reuss is a member of the Skillman Foundation Board of Trustees, the Cranbrook Schools Board of Trustees and the Horizons Upward Bound Board. He also serves on The Henry Ford Board of Trustees, the Detroit Workforce Development Board and is Vice Chairman of the GM Foundation.
Project Manager, North American Council for Freight Efficiency
Senior Advisor, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, US DOT
Alex is currently on detail as a senior advisor in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology. In this role, Alex works to enhance research efforts across DOT and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), foster multi-modal innovation within DOT, and amplify the DOT’s role in catalyzing external innovation.
Alex previously worked for the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office and the Western Governors’ Association and has a B.S. from the Department Engineering at the University of Illinois and M.S. from the Division of Economics and Business at the Colorado School of Mines.