Keynote Speakers

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.

 
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Mauricio Gutierrez
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.

 

David Brewster
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

Steve Conner
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.

 

Panelists

The Evolution of Electric Utilities

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Anne Pramaggiore
President and CEO, ComEd

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Anne Pramaggiore is president and CEO of ComEd, an electric utility company delivering electricity to 3.8 million customers in Chicago and Northern Illinois.

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.

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Caroline Choi
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Southern California Edison

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Caroline Choi is senior vice president of Regulatory Affairs for Southern California Edison (SCE). She is responsible for regulatory policy and affairs, regulatory operations and environmental affairs.

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.

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Rebecca J. Kujawa
Vice President, Business Management, NextEra Energy Resources

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Rebecca Kujawa is vice president, business management for NextEra Energy Resources, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), one of the nation's leading electricity‐related services companies and the largest renewable energy generator in North America. In this role, Ms. Kujawa has profit and loss responsibility for all of NextEra Energy Resources' approximately 19,777 megawatts of generating capacity across 25 states, Canada, and Spain. Prior to being named to this position in February 2015, she served as vice president of business management for the Midwest and International region for NextEra Energy Resources and, prior to that, served as director of investor relations for NextEra Energy. Ms. Kujawa started her career in NextEra Energy Resources’ power marketing division focused on structured transactions.

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.

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Katie Kross (moderator)
Managing Director, Center for Energy, Development and the Global Environment (EDGE), Duke's Fuqua School of Business

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Katie Kross is managing director of the Center for Energy, Development and the Global Environment (EDGE) at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, where she directs student programming, oversees center operations, and manages the EDGE Advisory Board. The center is a thought leader for issues at the intersection of business, energy, and environment, and prepares future business leaders to understand the business risks and opportunities inherent in the energy and sustainability sectors. Katie has more than 12 years of experience in university and nonprofit administration, including previous leadership as executive director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. She has advised on energy and sustainability strategy, business planning, and market research projects for a number of organizations in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. She has a BA from Davidson College and an MBA from UNC.


Energy Access "TED Talks"

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Michael Dworkin
Professor of Law, Vermont Law School

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Michael Dworkin is Professor of Law at Vermont Law School and Founder of its Institute for Energy and the Environment. He serves on the Boards of Directors of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation and VELCO. He is also a Ph.D. Reviewer for the Engineering and Public Policy Department of Carnegie Mellon University.

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."

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Ted Hesser
Director of Product Management, Off Grid Electric

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Ted Hesser runs the product management group at Off Grid Electric. Before this, he began his career as a financial analyst working for Bloomberg New Energy Finance in New York. While at Bloomberg, Mr. Hesser directed the company’s Energy Smart Technology research practice in North America. After Bloomberg, he worked as the Director of Research for a start-up private equity firm focused on environmentally sound commodity-type investments. Upon conducting due diligence on companies in the off-grid solar industry, Ted decided to take the leap into operating roles. First at d.light design, and then as the Director of Product Management at Off Grid Electric. Throughout his clean energy career Mr. Hesser has authored dozens of publications focused on industry trends, policy implications, technology innovations and investment dynamics associated with the world’s transition to a lower carbon future. He has been quoted in numerous media outlets, such as Bloomberg Television, Businessweek, GreenTechMedia and the HuffingtonPost, and his research has been cited by the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. In addition to his career in clean energy Ted has also worked as a professional rock climber with The North Face and National Geographic in the Himalaya’s, culminating in being featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine in 2012, and featured in a VICE documentary in 2016.

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Brian Selby
Vice President of Licensing and Technology, GE Ventures

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Brian Selby is VP, GE Licensing & Technology Ventures focused on accelerating growth of GE Venture’s strategic initiatives by leveraging GE’s intellectual property with our customers, GE businesses and GE Global Research centers outside of North America. Brian is based in Singapore. Prior to GE, Brian spent eleven years as part of the senior leadership team of Elemica Inc. a global cloud based supply chain management solutions company providing modular, scalable SCM cloud applications to capital intensive manufacturing industries.  Before joining Elemica, Brian spent nine years with GE in various roles of increasing responsibility within GE Corporate and GE Plastics, including Business Development, Sourcing and Commercial Sales.  Brian started his career as lawyer in the USA focused on international trade, mergers and acquisitions and commercial litigation.   Brian holds a JD from Chicago Kent College of Law. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago with an A.B. in history.


Challenges and Opportunities for Distributed Energy Resources

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Dan Halperin
Director, Distributed Generation, Pacific Gas & Electric Company

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Dan joined PG&E in May 2013 as Director of Distributed Generation (DG). In this role, Dan is responsible for policy, customer experience initiatives and programs for customers adopting solar and other renewable technologies. Prior to joining PG&E, Dan spent six years in the solar industry with leadership roles in project development and finance at HelioPower, Solyndra and MMA/Fotowatio. Dan began his energy career at Entergy in corporate development and also worked at PG&E in regulatory and finance. He has an MBA from Duke University and a law degree from the University of Western Australia.

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Katherine Hamilton
Principal, 38 North Solutions

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Katherine is principal and co-founder of 38 North Solutions, a public policy firm specializing in clean energy and innovation. Katherine ran the GridWise Alliance, focused on smart grid and served as policy advisor for Good Energies, a private investment company with a clean energy portfolio. She led American Bioenergy Association, developing renewable portfolio standards in states, including Maryland and New Jersey. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Katherine worked in buildings research and government relations. Katherine spent a decade at an investor-owned utility, designing electrical systems for commercial and residential developments. Katherine holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne. She was appointed an Ambassador to the Secretary of Energy’s C3E Program under the Clean Energy Ministerial; is a co-host of The Energy Gang podcast through Greentech Media; serves as President of the Board of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic; and is Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of Energy.

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Pat Wilkinson
Vice President and Head, Siemens North American Energy Automation businesses

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Currently Vice President and Head of the Siemens North American Energy Automation businesses, Pat has spent the last 20 years in regional and global leadership roles in the energy industry. His focus is on collaborating with customers along the energy value chain to better understand and resolve their emerging challenges through the deployment of innovative protection, control, and automation technology. Pat started his career in Operations at the Ford Motor Company before joining ABB where, based out of the US and Switzerland, he led a variety of teams in the Power Products and Power Systems divisions. Pat is a past board member of the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster and a graduate of both Duke University and the Indiana University Graduate School of Business.

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Cristin Lyons
Partner and Practice Lead, Grid Transformation, ScottMadden, Inc.

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Cristin Lyons is a partner with ScottMadden and leads the firm’s Grid Transformation practice, which helps clients adapt to the operational, planning, customer, and regulatory changes driven by the increasing penetration of distributed energy resources. Since joining the firm in 1999, Cristin has consulted with myriad transmission and distribution clients on issues ranging from process and organizational redesign to merger integration to project and program management. She is also a frequent speaker and panelist at conferences across the country. Cristin earned a B.A. in political science and Spanish from Gettysburg College and an M.B.A. from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.


The Future of Transportation

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Jeff Barghout
CEO, Robocist

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As CEO of Robocist, Jeff Barghout delivers strategic, market based solutions for the development, evaluation and adoption of mobility and robotic technologies. Government agencies, universities, and businesses engage us to help them understand, plan for, and integrate connected vehicles, autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, robotic systems - and the supporting infrastructure –solving problems efficiently and cost-effectively. Over the past 20 years, Jeff has been a successful entrepreneur, an engineer at Chrysler, assessed technologies for NASA, and served as vice president of Transportation Initiatives at a cutting-edge research and consulting firm. His work has placed him in high exposure environments where he has been continuously challenged to navigate the complex intersection of technology, market forces, regulation and the vast array of stakeholder opinions, perception and needs.

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Mark Reuss
Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain General Motors Company

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Mark L. Reuss leads the design, engineering, safety, quality, research and development and program management of General Motors vehicles around the world. He also oversees GM’s Global Purchasing and Supply Chain organization, and is a member of the GM Executive Leadership Team, the Opel Supervisory Board and the board of Shanghai General Motors (SGM).

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.

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Jack Roberts
Project Manager, North American Council for Freight Efficiency

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Jack Roberts is a trucking journalist and Project Manager for the North American Council for Freight Efficiency who has been writing and reporting on the North American trucking industry for over 20 years and over the past several years has emerged as a leading authority on the increasing use of advanced technology in working trucks today, including intelligent drivetrains, autonomous vehicle technology, truck platooning and alternate fuels. As a licensed CDL-holder, Roberts conducts first-person drive reports on new trucking vehicles, equipment and technology. Roberts has won numerous journalism awards, including two Jesse H. Neal awards for journalistic excellence and the construction industry's Robert. F. Bolger Award reporting from Ground Zero in New York City on cleanup efforts in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. A graduate of the University of Alabama, Roberts lives and works in Tuscaloosa, AL, where his hobbies include reading, Crimson Tide football, boating and playing guitar.

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Alex Schroeder
Senior Advisor, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, US DOT

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Alex Schroeder has spent his career working at the intersection of energy policy and technology. As a technology deployment manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), he is responsible for managing and developing strategic projects to further NREL’s mission in sustainable transportation. In this capacity and in previous roles, Alex has led a number of research and policy initiatives that have directly resulted in forward-looking, innovative programs and policies. His current interests and efforts are focused on aligning sustainability and mobility objectives in transportation.

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.

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Tim Johnson
Associate Professor of the Practice in Energy and the Environment, Duke University
Chair, Nicholas School’s Master of Environmental Management Energy and Environment program

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Timothy Johnson is an Associate Professor of the Practice in Energy and the Environment at Duke and Chair of the Nicholas School’s Master of Environmental Management Energy and Environment program. Tim’s teaching and research address topics at the intersection of energy system planning, design of the built environment, and natural resource management, with a particular interest in how we can leverage interactions among these areas to improve environmental quality and human health. Prior to joining Duke, Tim worked for the US EPA’s Office of Research and Development, where he was part of a multidisciplinary team of energy analysts responsible for examining the environmental consequences of technology change across the energy system. Tim earned a M.S. and his Ph.D. from the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Minnesota.