The Honorable Bud Albright
President & CEO
U.S. Nuclear Industry Council
The Honorable Clarence "Bud" Albright is the current President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Nuclear Industry Council (USNIC). Albright is also the former Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy where he provided leadership for energy and environmental programs, including: energy research and development; demonstration and deployment; environmental cleanup; and legacy management and radioactive waste management. He was appointed by President Bush and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Prior to joining the Department, Albright served as Staff Director for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. Additionally, he worked as the Deputy Associate Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice. He earned his juris doctorate from George Mason University.
Dr. Rita Baranwal
Chief Nuclear Officer
Electric Power Research Institute
Rita Baranwal Joined The Electric Power Research Institute in January 2020 as its Chief Nuclear Officer. Before this, Dr. Rita Baranwal served as the former Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) from July 2019 - January 2021. She was nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to perform in this role. Dr. Baranwal led the office’s efforts to promote research and development (R&D) on existing and advanced nuclear technologies that sustain the existing U.S. fleet of nuclear reactors, enable the deployment of advanced nuclear energy systems, and enhance the U.S.A.'s global commercial nuclear energy competitiveness. Prior to her role, Dr. Baranwal directed the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative at Idaho National Laboratory. She was responsible for providing the nuclear industry and other stakeholders access to DOE's state-of-the-art R&D expertise, capabilities, and infrastructure to achieve faster and cost-effective development, demonstration, and ultimate deployment of innovative nuclear energy technologies. Under her leadership, GAIN positively impacted over 120 companies. Before joining the U.S. Department of Energy, Dr. Baranwal served as Director of Technology Development & Application at Westinghouse. There, she led the creation and development of game-changing technologies and managed characterization and hot cell laboratories. Her previous positions at Westinghouse included director of Core Engineering and manager of Materials and Fuel Rod Design. Prior to joining Westinghouse, she was a manager in Materials Technology at Bechtel Bettis, Inc. where she led and conducted R&D in advanced nuclear fuel materials for US Naval Reactors. Dr. Baranwal has served on Advisory Boards for MIT’s Materials Research Laboratory and UC Berkeley’s Nuclear Engineering Department, and also was adjunct faculty at University of South Carolina's nuclear engineering graduate program. Dr. Baranwal is a past Chairman of the Executive Committee of the American Nuclear Society's (ANS) Materials Science and Technology Division. She has also served on the Boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters-Pittsburgh and North Hills Community Outreach. Dr. Baranwal is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society. She has a bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in materials science and engineering and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in the same discipline from the University of Michigan.
Mr. Keith Cronkhite
President & CEO
New Brunswick Power
Keith Cronkhite was appointed NB Power President and Chief Executive Officer on April 1, 2020. A lifelong New Brunswicker, Keith has more than 30 years’ industry experience. He has held positions of increasing responsibility within NB Power operations and corporate, including his most recent role of Senior Vice President, Business Development and Strategic Planning. He is well known within the energy industry, and throughout his career has established strong working relationships with industry, government and business leaders.
Keith’s vision for NB Power includes a nimble, customer-focused NB Power that is well positioned to serve New Brunswickers while responding to a rapidly changing industry. He is committed to ensuring the customer is at the centre of NB Power’s business decisions, and that the utility ensures New Brunswickers have clean, reliable energy at stable prices for generations to come.
Keith has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of New Brunswick, has completed the Reactor Technology course for Utility Executives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds an ICD.D with the Institute of Corporate Directors and is board member on the Energy Council of Canada as well as the Atlantica Centre for Energy. He is also a member of the Canadian Standards Association Technical Committee.
Mr. Jake Dewitte
Founder & CEO
Jacob DeWitte is the Founder and the CEO of Oklo Inc., a Sunnyvale, CA based company developing and building small nuclear reactors. Jacob has been working with nuclear technology for nearly 15 years and has experience with nuclear reactor design and analysis, spanning a variety of reactors including sodium fast reactors, molten salt reactors, and next generation PWRs. Jacob has worked at GE, Sandia National Labs, Urenco US, and the naval reactor research laboratories. At Sandia, Jacob worked on the Lab’s irradiation facilities, including a fast test reactor. He led core design on the PRISM sodium fast reactor while at GE. Jacob is originally from Albuquerque, NM. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Florida and his SM and PhD at MIT in nuclear engineering where he developed strategies to introduce high performance light water reactor fuels as part of long term capital asset management planning for nuclear power plants.
Mr. Paul Dickman
Senior Policy Fellow
Argonne National Laboratory
Paul Dickman is a Senior Policy Fellow with Argonne National Laboratory focusing on nuclear energy, nonproliferation, and national security policy. For over thirty-five years Mr. Dickman has been involved in the forefront nuclear energy and national security programs in the U.S. and internationally. He has held senior managerial positions at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. He holds leadership positions in the American Nuclear Society and the World Council on Isotopes, advises organizations on risk communication, and serves as an advisor to the Japanese Government on the decommissioning of the Fukushima accident site. As a Senior Policy Fellow, Mr. Dickman has a broad portfolio for engagement on international civil nuclear energy, waste management, nonproliferation, and national security policy. He writes and frequently speaks on nuclear waste and fuel cycle issues, the promotion of U.S. civil nuclear technology and safety, and international nonproliferation goals and regimes. He served as the Study Director for American Nuclear Society’s (ANS) special report on the nuclear accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor complex and currently advises the Japanese government on the decommissioning of the Fukushima site. He is a member of the National Academy of Science’s study committee on Science and Technology for the Department of Energy’s Defense Environmental Cleanup Program. Prior to joining Argonne, Mr. Dickman served as Chief of Staff to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Dale E. Klein, managing the Chairman’s staff, including day-to-day operations of the Chairman’s office and coordinated policy among Commissioner offices, the White House, and the interagency. During this dynamic period of positive management, the NRC achieved unprecedented acclaim from industry and Congress for modernizing the agency and from the international safety community for their leadership in advancing global nuclear safety. Prior to joining the NRC, Mr. Dickman served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Policy for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). As a member of the Undersecretary’s staff, he had responsibility for nuclear energy and nonproliferation policy, international cooperation initiatives, and for development of the Congressional budget and hearing testimony. In addition, he served as the NNSA representative to various stakeholder and NGO working groups on nuclear materials recycle and disposition policy. During his 40-year career, Mr. Dickman has focused on the nuclear fuel cycle and radioactive waste management. Early in his career he managed environmental research projects in remediation of nuclear weapons testing areas, and disposal of highly radioactive materials and components using remote controlled systems. He also managed the nuclear waste characterization and transportation programs for the Waste Isolation Pilot Project and served as principal technical advisor to the Director for the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste. Mr. Dickman received his M.S. in Natural Sciences in Nuclear Chemistry and Physics from the University of Wyoming and his B.A. in History (of Science) from the University of Denver.
Mr. Tim Echols
Georgia Public Services Commission
Tim Echols is a member of the Georgia Public Services Utility, the state body charged with regulating the state's utility companies. He represents District 2. Prior to his election in 2010, Echols spent 15 years in the private sector, including 7 years with Baudry Ford and several years with Campus Crusaders for Christ. Tim represented the United States at the World Nuclear Exhibition and the Asia Nuclear Business Platform in 2018. Tim created the Clean Energy Roadshow that has traveled the state for seven years helping commuters, businesses and municipal governments evaluate alternative fuel for transportation and residential use. When Tim took office, Georgia was 34th in solar power. Now, it is 4th in the nation in approved solar. Promoting clean energy has resulted not only in millions of solar panels being installed but an increase in electric vehicles with Georgia now ranking fourth in electric vehicles. Mr. Echols founded “TeenPact” and grew the mock legislative youth program for teens to 38 states in his tenure. He continues to serve on the Board of Directors. Tim received a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Georgia, and Master’s degrees in mass communication and nonprofit organization from the same University.
Dr. Ron S. Faibish
Sr. Director of Strategic Development
Nuclear Technologies and Materials
General Atomics - Electromagnetic Systems Group (GA-EMS)
Dr. Ron S. Faibish has nearly 20 years of combined experience in the governemmt and industry energy sectors, including extensive work with and within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory complex and other government functions.
Dr. Faibish leads strategic development for General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Group (GA-EMS) in the area of nuclear technologies and materials, leading strategic planning and programmtic growth for fission-related technology development and products, such as high temperature gas-cooled fast reactor technologies, space nuclear thermal propulsion and power systems, advanced nuclear fuels, and various applications of advanced ceramic composite materials, such as GA-EMS’ SiGA®-silicon carbibe technologies-related applications.
Prior to joining General Atomics, Dr. Faibish worked at Argonne National Laboratory for nearly 14 years, most recently leading Argonne’s Energy Systems initiatives and associated program development. He managed several DOE international engagements on nuclear safety and technology. Dr. Faibish also spent time in Washington as an Argonne detailee, serving as the Senior Advisor to the Director of the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy. In this role, he advised the Director on policy, technology and strategic planning.
Dr. Faibish also served as the Science Fellow with the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, where he worked on major legislation, led the authorship of one of five whitepapers for Senator Lisa Murkowski on the energy-water nexus, worked closely with numerous external stakeholders, and negotiated complex issues related to bilateral international energy legislation, among other accomplishments.
Prior to joining Argonne, Dr. Faibish worked as a Research Development Manager at the International Atomic Energy Agency, managing multinational scientific research proposals and projects related to peaceful, non-electrical applications of nuclear energy.
Dr. Faibish received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. He also completed a certificate program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Dr. Ashley Finan
Director, National Reactor Innovation Center
Idaho National Laboratory
Ashley Finan most recently served as Executive Director for the Nuclear Innovation Alliance (NIA) where she was responsible for managing the organization’s strategy, operations, policy and technical development, stakeholder outreach, and fundraising. She provided expert guidance to policymakers, academic teams, industry stakeholders, and NGOs. Dr. Finan previously served as a Director of Nuclear Innovation at Clean Air Task Force.
Dr. Finan earned her Ph.D. in Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her doctoral work focused on energy innovation investment and policy optimization, both in nuclear and renewable energy technologies. She has played a key role in studies of the use of advanced nuclear energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in several applications, including hydrogen production, coal to liquids processes, and oil production methods.
Dr. Finan has worked as a strategy and engineering consultant, primarily on nuclear energy applications. She also contributed to an analysis of the techno-economic potential of energy efficiency improvements in the residential and commercial sectors and several related topics. Dr. Finan holds an SB degree in Physics as well as SB and SM degrees in Nuclear Science and Engineering from MIT.
Mr. Simon Forster
Chief Executive Officer
Simon Forster Currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer with Shearwater Energy. A British water and energy infrastructure specialist with 34 years international experience, specializing in identifying strategic energy opportunities for governments, international agencies, and the private sector. In recent years he has undertaken the planning of hybrid renewable energy systems in Africa and Asia. Shearwater was born out of Simon’s work for the UK government on the future of the Hinkley Point nuclear power station.
The Honorable Chris Hanson
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
The Honorable Christopher T. Hanson was designated Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by President Joe Biden, effective Jan. 20, 2021. He was sworn in as a Commissioner on June 8, 2020, and is filling the remainder of a five-year term ending on June 30, 2024.
Hanson has more than two decades of government and private-sector experience in the fields of nuclear energy. Prior to joining the NRC, he served as a Staff Member on the Senate Appropriations Committee, where he oversaw civilian and national security nuclear programs.
Before working in the Senate, Hanson served as a Senior Advisor in the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy. He also served in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, where he oversaw nuclear and environmental cleanup programs, and managed the department's relationship with Congressional Appropriations Committees.
Prior to joining the department, he served as a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he led multiple engagements for government and industry in the energy sector.
Hanson earned master's degrees from Yale Divinity School and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where he focused on ethics and natural resource economics. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Mr. Ken Hartwick
Chief Executive Officer
Ontario Power Generation
Ken Hartwick is Ontario Power Generation’s President and CEO. Ken joined OPG in March 2016 as OPG’s Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President - Finance, where he led all operations under Finance, Business Development, Strategy, and Risk. As CFO and SVP - Finance, Ken also led the launch of Canada’s first utility green bond as well as OPG’s expansion to the U.S. through the acquisition of Eagle Creek Renewable Energy LLC.
Ken joined OPG from Wellspring Financial Corporation, where he was CFO and Treasurer. He was also interim President and CEO at Atlantic Power Corporation, a generating company that does business in Canada and the U.S. For ten years prior, Ken was the President and CEO of Just Energy Corporation, a Canadian-based energy retailer. In addition, he held the position of CFO at Hydro One between 2001 and 2004. He also held senior positions at Cap Gemini and was a partner at the accounting firm Ernst & Young.
Ken is a Chartered Professional Accountant with an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration. He serves on a number of boards.
Originally from Norwood, Ontario (near Peterborough), Ken now lives in Milton with his wife. He has three grown children.
Dr. David Hill
Board of Directors
Terrestrial Energy USA
Dr. David Hill is a physicist and M.B.A. with 30 years of career experience in nuclear research and in managing large nuclear laboratories in the U.S. Dr. Hill has held senior executive management positions in the foremost national nuclear laboratories in the U.S. from 1984 to 2012, specifically Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL). From 2005 to 2012, Dr. Hill was Deputy Laboratory Director for Science and Technology at Idaho National Laboratory. Most recently, Dr. Hill has been an independent contractor and provided consulting services to companies in the nuclear industry, including Babcock & Wilcox, the world’s largest provider of nuclear engineering, procurement and construction services. Throughout his career, Dr. Hill has gained experience in all aspects of nuclear energy, domestically and internationally. He has managed major projects, including at the experimental fast reactor at INL, and led the restructuring of INL. He has been responsible for hundreds of staff, and hundreds of millions of dollars in annual budgetary research and development expenditures. Dr. Hill received his BSc (first class) and his PhD in mathematical physics from the Imperial College, London University. He further received his Honors Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society and Member of the International Nuclear Academy.
Dr. Paul K. Kearns
Argonne National Laboratory
Paul K. Kearns has served as Director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory since 2017. Argonne is a growing multidisciplinary science and engineering research center with a $1.2 billion diversified research portfolio and more than 3,300 employees, 8,000 facility users, and 800 visiting researchers. Kearns has set the laboratory’s strategic vision to deliver pivotal discoveries, pioneering leadership, and powerful scientific tools and facilities. He has strengthened sponsor relationships and fostered a welcoming and inclusive culture valuing diversity, innovation and collaboration, and laboratory impact.
A biologist and accomplished steward of diverse scientific resources, Kearns has managed complex research and development enterprises for over 30 years, enabling them to achieve ambitious goals in energy, environment, and national security. As Argonne laboratory director, Kearns oversees multiple projects critical to Argonne’s mission of accelerating science and technology to drive U.S. prosperity and security. Upgrading the Advanced Photon Source and launching the first exascale computer in the U.S. at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility are critical to maintain U.S. leadership in science and technology. Argonne’s leadership of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research reflects the laboratory’s long history of battery science expertise and collaboration.
As Argonne chief operations officer from 2010 to 2017, Kearns directed over 900 staff providing mission support services in financial management, human resources, safety performance, business systems, technology commercialization, and facilities management. Kearns also guided the establishment of an independent energy storage start-up and directed construction of cutting-edge research laboratories.
Kearns was an executive with Battelle Global Laboratory Operations for five years prior to joining Argonne. Kearns helped establish a groundbreaking program to deploy micro-grids and support cyber security technologies for the U.S. military. He worked with the University of Manchester, the United Kingdom’s National Nuclear Laboratory, and the United Kingdom Technical Strategy Board to define a research and development investment strategy in nuclear energy. As President and Managing Director of Battelle-Italia, Kearns implemented an integrated business plan for Battelle Memorial Institute subsidiary working with the government of Italy and industry to address energy, security and environmental challenges.
Kearns’ stewardship of DOE resources includes accomplished tenures with the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) between 1995 and 2005. He helped develop technical and contracting strategies for high-level radioactive waste processing by the Hanford Tank Waste Remediation System and managed an award-winning PNNL staff conducting R&D activities for public and private sector clients in chemical, thermal, electrochemical, and radiochemical processing. At INEEL, Kearns oversaw the laboratory’s program in energy, environment, and national security, including the Advanced Test Reactor and Specific Manufacturing Capability Tank Armor Production Facility.
Kearns is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He serves on the Executive Committee of the DOE National Laboratory Directors’ Council and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness’ National Commission on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers. He was also recently named Director of the Year by the Federal Laboratory Consortium and was appointed chair of the National Lab Directors’ Council.
Kearns has a doctorate and a master’s degree in bionucleonics and bachelor’s degree in natural resources and environmental sciences, all from Purdue University. He and his wife, Lynn Kearns, have three children and four grandchildren.
Dr. Hussein Khalil
Director Nuclear Energy and Security Program
Argonne National Laboratory
Hussein S. Khalil is the director of Argonne’s Nuclear Engineering research program. He provides technical leadership for the development and execution of the Lab’s research in nuclear energy development and application.
Dr. Khalil joined Argonne in 1983 and has carried out research to optimize fast-reactor core design and improve computational methods for reactor physics, dynamics and fuel cycle analysis. He fulfilled key technical and leadership roles in Argonne and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) programs, including the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (2016 – present), Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation (2010 – 2015), and Generation IV Reactor Systems (2000 – 2010).
Dr. Khalil is an Argonne Distinguished Fellow and a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society. He served as Director of Argonne’s Nuclear Engineering Division from 2003 to 2014.
Ms. Christine King
Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN)
Christine King currently serves at the Idaho National Laboratory as the director for the Gateway to Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN), after being named to the post on February 17th, 2020. As director, King leads efforts on behalf of the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy to provide the nuclear community with access to the technical, regulatory and financial support necessary to move innovative nuclear energy technologies toward commercialization.
King joined INL with 26 years of experience in the nuclear energy industry, including a history of leading strategic initiatives with multimillion-dollar budgets, fostering relationships and expanding programs. She most recently served as the operations director for Nucleation Capital, an emerging venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley focused on bringing private capital into the developing advanced nuclear sector to help speed these disruptive technologies to market. There, she began to build relationships with advanced nuclear entrepreneurs and members of the investment community and developed an appreciation of the challenges facing emerging nuclear technologies in being able to compete within the broader energy and capital markets for funding. She has also held several senior leadership positions in consulting firms and nonprofit organizations within the energy industry, including the Electric Power Research Institute. She is well known for her ability to lead teams and execute innovative programs, developing and streamlining processes to eliminate obstacles and achieve organizational success. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Lynchburg College.
Ms. Marilyn Kray
Vice President – Nuclear Strategy
Marilyn Kray is responsible for leading major initiatives related to current and advanced reactor designs to create growth opportunities that leverage Exelon’s nuclear operations competency. These initiatives include potential acquisition of existing plants, pursuing operational service agreements both domestically and internationally as well as engaging with advanced reactor developers in order to evaluate potential business opportunities and future deployment of the technology.
Marilyn served as President of NuStart Energy Development, LLC an industry consortium formed to develop the process for preparing the Combined Construction and Operating License applications for the first wave of new nuclear plants to be constructed in the US in over 30 years.
Marilyn has an in-depth knowledge of the global nuclear industry. She was Vice President of Exelon Nuclear Partners, responsible for international business development and she led Exelon’s Nuclear Acquisition Support and Integration team pioneering the internal processes for due diligence and plant transitions which resulted in the successful completion of the purchases of Three Mile Island, Clinton, and Oyster Creek. More recently, she led the acquisition of the FitzPatrick plant.
She began her career with Exelon in the licensing organization for Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station. Prior to joining Exelon, Marilyn was a Reactor Engineer and Project Manager for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Marilyn has testified in front of Congress on multiple occasions on the subject of nuclear development in the U.S.
Throughout her career, Marilyn has served in leadership roles as Exelon’s representative to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). She was the 2019-2020 President of the American Nuclear Society. Marilyn is the 2005 recipient of the World Nuclear Association (WNA) award for Distinguished Contribution to the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Technology. In 2007 she received the American Nuclear Society’s Utility Leadership Award. Under Kray’s leadership, the NuStart organization was one of four finalists for the 2012 Edison Award.
Kray is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering.
Mr. Chris Levesque
Chief Executive Officer
Chris Levesque is president and chief executive officer of TerraPower, and also serves as a member of the TerraPower Board. He was appointed to that position in November 2018 after having served as president of TerraPower since 2015. Levesque leads this nuclear innovation company in the pursuit of next-generation nuclear energy solutions and also oversees TerraPower’s new venture into therapeutic medical isotopes. His proven track record in scoping, planning and implementing complex projects began with his service in the U.S. Nuclear Navy and features more than 30 years of experience in the nuclear field.
Prior to joining TerraPower, Levesque led major new reactor build efforts at both Westinghouse and AREVA, overseeing projects in both the U.S. and Finland. Before his assignment in Finland, he led the formation of AREVA’s joint venture with Newport News Shipbuilding, AREVA Newport News, for which he served as chairman of the Board and president.
Levesque has extensive experience with the nuclear industrial base and nuclear component manufacturing. Earlier in his career, Levesque served as the manager of engineering and manufacturing at Westinghouse’s Newington, New Hampshire, component manufacturing facility, and he has served in multiple management positions at two nuclear-capable shipyards. Levesque began his career as a nuclear submarine officer and served on both the USS Boise (SSN 764) and the USS Will Rogers (SSBN 659). On Boise, he supervised initial criticality and reactor startup testing, and qualified as chief engineer.
Levesque holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Master of Science in mechanical engineering and a Naval Engineer degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also serves on the Board of the Nuclear Energy Institute.
Mr. Jeff Lyash
Chief Executive Officer
Tennessee Valley Authority
Jeff Lyash is as comfortable talking with a crew in a plant as he is in the boardroom. His exceptional people skills and technical experience make him one of the top leaders in the energy industry. Appointed president and chief executive officer of the Tennessee Valley Authority by the Board of Directors in February 2019, Lyash leads the nation’s largest public utility and one of the top producers of electricity in its mission of serving the people of the Tennessee Valley.
Under his vision and leadership, TVA has significantly lowered operating and maintenance costs, improving both productivity and efficiency. These savings are passed on to customers in terms of lower energy costs – 70 percent of the nation pays more for energy than those served by TVA. In 2019, he announced a 10-year financial plan proposing a decade of stable rates – making TVA and the Valley even more competitive.
He introduced a long-term partnership proposal with our Local Power Companies that allows us to fully leverage the capability of the Tennessee Valley Public Power model. In less than a year, more than 90 percent of the 153 local power companies that TVA serves have signed onto the partnership. The partnership allows for better long-range planning and closely aligns the interests and objectives of TVA and our customers.
With significant public and stakeholder input, a new Integrated Resource Plan was approved that serves as a guide as TVA provides clean, reliable and low-cost energy for the next 20 years.
Lyash has shown tremendous leadership in providing support and assistance to the customers and communities impacted during the pandemic. This includes providing $1 billion of credit support to Local Power Companies; a $4 million Community Care Fund; and Back-to-Business incentives for local businesses. In addition, in August 2020 the TVA Board approved a $200 million Pandemic Relief Credit — a 2.5 percent reduction — for customers during Fiscal Year 2021.
Before coming to TVA, Lyash served as president and CEO of Ontario Power Generation Inc., one of the largest electric generating companies in Canada with a diverse fleet of nuclear, hydroelectric, gas, biomass and renewable generating stations.
Lyash was formerly the president of CB&I Power where he was responsible for a full range of engineering, procurement and construction of multi-billion-dollar electric generation projects in both domestic and international markets. He also provided operating plant services for nuclear, coal, gas, oil and renewable generation.
Prior to joining CB&I, Lyash served as executive vice president of Energy Supply for Duke Energy where he led engineering, maintenance and operations of the company's 42,000-megawatt generation fleet, fuel procurement, power trading, major projects and construction, environmental programs, and health and safety programs.
Before the merger of Progress Energy and Duke Energy, Lyash was executive vice president of Energy Supply for Progress Energy. In this role, he oversaw Progress Energy's diverse 22,000-megawatt fleet of generating resources including nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas and hydroelectric stations. In addition, Lyash was responsible for generating fleet fuel procurement and power trading operations.
Lyash joined Progress Energy in 1993. Before leading the Energy Supply division at Progress, he served as executive vice president of corporate development, president and chief executive officer of Progress Energy Florida, senior vice president of Energy Delivery Florida, and vice president of Transmission.
Lyash also held a wide range of management and executive roles in Progress Energy's nuclear program, including operations manager, engineering manager, plant manager, and director of site operations.
Lyash began his career in the utility industry in 1981 and worked for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in senior technical and management positions throughout the Northeast and in Washington, D.C. He received the NRC Meritorious Service Award in 1987.
Lyash earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University, and was honored with the Drexel University Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2009. He has held a senior reactor operator license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and is a graduate of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Executive Training Program and the Duke Fuqua School of Business Advanced Management Program.
Lyash is an avid golfer and fly fisher. He and his wife, Tracy, enjoy cooking, skiing, reading and charitable work – and spending time with their two married children and nine grandchildren. The Lyashes live in Knoxville, Tennessee.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Mike Marsh became President and Chief Executive Officer in April 2015. He joined SaskPower in 1991, following 12 years in the construction industry in Alberta and Saskatchewan. At SaskPower, Mr. Marsh has held several management positions in engineering, maintenance, business planning and corporate planning. He joined the SaskPower Executive table as Vice-President of Transmission and Distribution in 2007. In 2012, he became Vice-President of Operations and Chief Operations Officer, responsible for all operational areas including Power Production, Transmission Services and Distribution Services. Mr. Marsh attended the University of Saskatchewan, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He later studied at Queen’s School of Business and obtained a Master of Business Administration. He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan. Mr. Marsh received the 2016 Electricity Industry Leader of the Year Award from Electricity Human Resources Canada. In January 2018, he was named the University of Saskatchewan College of Engineering’s 42nd C.J. Mackenzie Distinguished Lecturer and was an inductee to the Alumni Wall of Distinction, College of Engineering.
Dr. Kathryn A. McCarthy
Associate Lab Director
Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Kathy McCarthy, Associate Laboratory Director for the Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate, joined ORNL after three years as vice president for science and technology and laboratory director for the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, where she oversaw a staff of 650 and grew the labs’ commercial work. She previously held a variety of engineering and leadership roles at Idaho National Laboratory, including director of domestic programs in INL’s Nuclear Science and Technology Directorate, director of the Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program Technical Integration Office, and national technical director for the Systems Analysis Campaign for DOE Nuclear Energy’s Fuel Cycle R&D Program.
McCarthy began her career in fusion technology with a focus on liquid metal blanket designs. She was a participant in the US DOE US USSR Young Scientist program, which included experience at the Efremov Institute in Leningrad, Russia, the Latvian Academy of Sciences in Riga, Latvia, and the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow, Russia, and was also a Guest Scientist at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany.
McCarthy earned her Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a major field of fusion engineering and minor fields of nuclear science and engineering and physics. She was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering this year and has received two American Nuclear Society presidential citations. McCarthy served on the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee from 1999 to 2013 and on the US ITER technical advisory committee from 2010 to 2013.
Dr. Corey McDaniel
Chief Commercial Officer
Idaho National Laboratory
Corey McDaniel is the Chief Commercial Officer for the Idaho National Laboratory. Prior to this, he served as the VP for Business Development at the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories. Before this, 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 master’s degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of New Mexico and Purdue University respectively.
Hon. Jeffrey Merrifield
Former Commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission;
Chairman, USNIC Advanced Nuclear Working Group;
Partner - Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
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 on the Board of the U.S. Nuclear Industry Council and is also the Chairman of its Advanced Nuclear Working Group. 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.
Mr. Joseph Miller
BWX Advanced Technologies
Joseph K. Miller is the president of BWXT Advanced Technologies, LLC, a subsidiary of BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT). Prior to his current position, he served as general manager. He also held the role of program manager for BWXT’s Nuclear Energy Advanced Reactors and Engineering group.
Mr. Miller previously served as the Company’s system design manager of various nuclear engineering projects as well as test engineering manager, validating the design of the mPower™ small modular reactor nuclear steam supply system.
During his 19-year career, Mr. Miller served in the U.S. Navy onboard the USS Norfolk (SSN 714) and was a mechanical test engineer for new construction of Virginia-class submarines. He also worked as a semiconductor equipment engineer.
Mr. Miller holds a master’s degree in radiation health physics from Oregon State University. He is a member of the Virginia American Nuclear Society Executive Committee and a board member for the International Critical Infrastructure Security Institute.
Mr. Miller also works with Virginia universities, the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research and the Commonwealth of Virginia to establish an open research facility in Central Virginia. The facility consists of platforms representing unique assets for nuclear and non-nuclear research, coupling technology and hardware for pilot-scale investigation into existing and emerging technologies.
Mr. Chris Mowry
Chief Executive Officer
Chris Mowry currently serves as the CEO of General Fusion. Through his leadership, Mr. Mowry has revitalized businesses within GE Energy and The Babcock & Wilcox Company. He was the founder and CEO of Generation mPower, a company formed in 2011 to design, license, and deliver Small Modular Reactors (SMR), the next generation of nuclear fission power technology. Mr. Mowry previously served as President of WSI, a private equity-backed specialty robotic repair and mechanical integrity solutions company serving the global power and oil & gas sectors. Earlier in his career, he also served in several construction management and operational leadership roles within the commercial nuclear power industry. Mr. Mowry holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in Astronomy from Swarthmore College, and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University.
Ms. Tara Neider
Senior Vice President – Fuels and Project Development
Tara Neider is senior vice president of fuels and project development at TerraPower. She partners closely with the senior vice president of engineering to coordinate resources and priorities to advance the traveling wave reactor program. Areas of responsibility include fuel design and development, licensing, project management, engineering processes and the TerraPower Laboratory.
Neider comes to TerraPower with more than 30 years of experience in nuclear engineering, project management and licensing. Previously, she worked as senior vice president of Back End Business Development and Sales at AREVA, Inc. Neider had responsibility for directing back end customer relations for AREVA in North America, developing an overall fuel and decommissioning strategy for the company, and pushing sales revenues for AREVA and AREVA subsidiary Transnuclear, Inc. to double their sales targets.
For four years prior, Neider served as president and CEO of AREVA Federal Services. She established the overall strategy for AREVA Federal Services. In this role, she held board positions on major Department of Energy project teams, including the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility, Hanford Tank Operations, Yucca Mountain, Savannah River Remediation and Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Neider’s many accomplishments include developing a new product line in support of AREVA’s Reactors, Services and Fuels group, and expanding the company’s mission to include sales to Canada and Saudi Arabia.
Neider spent much of her early career with Transnuclear, Inc. She began as a project manager and design engineer, and rose to serve as president and CEO of the company. Over the years, she worked on dry transfer systems, dry fuel storage, transportation cask design, licensing, fabrication and installation projects, on both engineering and management levels. As president and CEO, she was responsible for leading the company’s overall strategy and investments, as well as day-to-day operations.
Neider holds a Bachelor of Science and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also earned an MBA in finance and international business from New York University.
Mr. Scott Nagley
Vice President - Nuclear Operations Group
Scott Nagley is the vice president of business development for the BWXT Nuclear Operations Group, Inc.(BWXT NOG), a subsidiary of BWX Technologies, Inc. In this role, Mr. Nagley is responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive marketing and business plans for BWXT NOG that leverage the group’s unique licenses and high-consequence manufacturing capabilities. During his 25 years with the company, Mr. Nagley’s experience has primarily been in leading engineering and operations related to the manufacture of highly specialized nuclear components and uranium processing. He served as the engineering department manager at BWXT NOG where he led approximately 150 process and development engineers in support of manufacturing naval nuclear reactors for submarines and aircraft carriers. In addition, he has extensive project and program management experience with the U.S. Department of Energy in the areas of highly enriched uranium downblending, recovery and specialty nuclear fuel development. He also has experience working closely with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Mr. Nagley is a veteran of the United States Army, where he served nine years in armor and chemical officer roles. His last active duty assignment was as a master instructor of chemistry at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He holds a Master of Engineering degree in chemical engineering from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry-engineering from Washington & Lee University.
Mr. Tim O'Connor
Executive Vice President
Mr. O’Connor graduated from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1982 with a
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
Mr. O’Connor is employed as Executive Vice President and Chief Generation Officer for Xcel
Energy in 2020. He is responsible for all generation assets within Xcel and its jurisdictions nuclear,
fossil, hydro and renewables. Responsible for enterprise supply chain and commercial operations
which include fuels and energy markets.
Mr. O’Connor was appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer for Xcel Energy in
2012. He was responsible for the Xcel nuclear strategic direction, business plans, finance, and
operations for the company. That includes corporate, the operations of the Monticello and Prairie
Island nuclear generating plants, and the decommissioning and nuclear fuel storage. In June 2012,
he was appointed Vice President of Corporate Engineering/Nuclear Regulatory Compliance and
Licensing for the nuclear fleet after 5 years as Monticello site vice president.
Mr. O’Connor joined Xcel Energy in 2007 as Site Vice President at the Monticello plant. He has
over 38 years of commercial nuclear experience with both boiling water and pressurized water
reactors. During that period of time, Mr. O’Connor has held a variety of senior leadership and
executive leadership positions in several utilities and sites and variety of complex situations. This
also included a position with the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) as a Nuclear Plant
Evaluation Team Manager on a reverse loaned assignment. Mr. O’Connor received his mechanical
engineering degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI and has completed several
executive business programs with the Chicago Kellogg School of Business and with GAP
He serves on the executive advisor group for the DOE/INL Nuclear Science and Technology areas,
the Holtec Decommissioning Industry Advisory Group, NEI industry labor advisory group and on
the Industry Advisory Committee for Terrestrial Energy. He also serves as a member of the Board
of Directors for the Minneapolis St. Paul Jeremiah charitable organization for single mothers.
Mr. Tom Owens
Chief Executive Officer
Global Laser Enrichment
Tom Owens is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Global Laser Enrichment. Prior to this role, Tom spent over 30 years working in different positions within GE Hitachi. He finished his time there as a Engineering manager of a 70+ person engineering and technology team which was Responsible for developing proposals, performing design, testing, qualification and providing technical support of advanced technology products for aviation and nuclear applications. While with GE Aviation, he worked as the Manager of the Thermal and IR Design group. He began his career with the Goodyear Atomic Group as a Chemical process engineer engaged in startup of the Gas Centrifuge Enrichment plant for the DOE. Tom is an engineering graduate of the Ohio State University, and graduated from Xavier university with an MBA.
Dr. David Pointer
Section Head, Advanced Reactor Engineering and Development
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
W. David Pointer is a recognized expert in the thermal hydraulics and safety of both conventional and advanced nuclear energy systems. He has extensive experience in the application, validation and development of computational fluid dynamics software as well as a strong background in experimental fluid dynamics methods for nuclear energy system and component design and licensing. Dr. Pointer has contributed to a wide variety of technical initiatives including: • The development of integrated multi-physics simulation toolsets for advanced reactor design and safety analysis which leverage high performance computing to provide unprecedented predictive power and precision. • The development and calibration of CFD-based simulation capabilities for boiling flows to support industry application to current fuel performance issues.• The development and execution of advanced separate effects experiments to support the design of advanced reactor concepts, including VHTR and SFR systems. • The design and execution of dual use experiments that address physics questions related to specific reactor design features and provide opportunities for validation of higher fidelity methods.• The identification and prioritization of phenomena occurring in postulated events in advanced reactor designs, including VHTR and SFR concepts.• The application of CFD methods to a variety of engineering problems in the areas of power generation, energy efficiency and transportation.
Mr. Pete Poppano
As Vice President, Fuel Production, Pete Pappano, PhD, leads X-energy’s fuel production strategy. Since joining X-energy in 2015, he has managed the company’s low enriched uranium supply chain and the development of X-energy’s fuel fabrication capabilities. Pete leads X-energy’s Department of Energy (DOE) ARC15 project, which enables X-energy to further its reactor design codes and methods, research/develop a TRISO-based fuel production capability, and initiate interactions with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. As Principal Investigator for the DOE iFOA project, he manages X-energy’s team that will complete the design of a CAT II facility and develop an NRC fuel fabrication license application. Pete has 20 years of experience in the public and private sector, including the U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and SGL Carbon, where he has managed nuclear energy projects and multiple cooperative research and development agreements with DOE offices. Pete was awarded undergraduate and master’s degrees from Penn State University and went on to earn a PhD in Materials Science from the University.
Dr. Per Peterson
Chief Nuclear Officer
Per F. Peterson is the chief nuclear officer for Kairos Power, an advanced nuclear startup company headquartered in Alameda, California. He also holds the William and Jean McCallum Floyd Chair in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. His work has focused on high-temperature fission energy systems, as well as topics related to the safety and security of nuclear materials and waste management. He was appointed in February 2010 as a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future and co-chaired its Reactor and Fuel Cycle Technology Subcommittee with Senator Pete Domenici. He has served as a member or chair of numerous advisory committees for the national laboratories and National Research Council. He participated in the development of the Generation IV Roadmap in 2002 as a member of the Evaluation Methodology Group, and co-chaired its Proliferation Resistance and Physical Protection Working Group. His research in the 1990s contributed to the passive safety systems in the GE ESBWR and Westinghouse AP-1000 reactor designs. He currently focuses on heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and regulation and licensing for advanced reactors.
Dr. Mark Peters
Executive Vice President
Battelle Energy Alliance
Mark Peters has served as the executive Vice President of Laboratory Operations for Battelle since January 2020, a scientific research foundation which manages or co-manages many of the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories. Previously he served for 5 years as the director of Idaho National Laboratory, one of the laboratories which works with Battelle. Peters brings to the organization his extensive relationships across the DOE community and is known for advocating national lab missions. Peters spent more than 11 years at the Illinois-based Argonne National Laboratory in various roles such as associate director for the energy and global security directorate. He also worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico for six years and chaired the National Laboratory Directors Council for two terms. Peters is an active member of professional organizations, including the Geological Society of America, where he served as a member of the Committee on Geology and Public Policy. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the Geochemical Society, the Mineralogical Society of America, and the American Nuclear Society. He serves on the ANS Public Policy Committee, and the Executive Committee of the ANS Fuel Cycle and Waste Management Division. His professional achievements have resulted in his election to Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, as well as Sigma Gamma Epsilon, the Earth Sciences Honorary Society. Peters earned his doctorate in geophysical sciences from the University of Chicago and his bachelor’s in geology from Auburn University. He has undertaken extensive management and leadership education and training, including completion of the Strategic Laboratory Leadership Program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Hon. Daniel Poneman
President and CEO
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.
Dr. José Reyes
Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder
Dr. Reyes is the co-founder of NuScale Power and co-designer of the NuScale passively-cooled small nuclear reactor. He is an internationally recognized expert on passive safety system design, testing and operations for nuclear power plants. He has served as a United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) technical expert on passive safety systems. He is a co-inventor on over 110 patents granted or pending in 20 countries. He has received several national awards including the 2013 Nuclear Energy Advocate Award, the 2014 American Nuclear Society Thermal Hydraulic Division Technical Achievement Award and the 2017 Nuclear Infrastructure Council Trailblazer Award. He is a fellow of the American Nuclear Society and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
At Oregon State University, Dr. Reyes served as head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics. He directed the Advanced Thermal Hydraulic Research Laboratory (ATHRL) and was the co-director of the Battelle Energy Alliance Academic Center of Excellence (ACE) for Thermal Fluids and Reactor Safety in support of the Idaho National Laboratory mission. Additionally, Dr. Reyes was the OSU principal investigator for the AP600 and AP1000 design certification test programs sponsored by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the U.S. Department of Energy and Westinghouse. He currently serves as a Professor Emeritus in the School of Nuclear Science and Engineering.
Prior to joining the faculty at OSU in 1987, Dr. Reyes worked nearly 10 years as a thermal hydraulics research engineer in the Reactor Safety Division of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He holds Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor of Science degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Florida. He is the author of numerous journal articles and technical reports, including a book chapter on SMRs for an ASME B&PV Codes and Standards handbook. He has given lectures and keynote addresses to professional nuclear organizations in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Mr. Brad Sawatzke
Chief Executive Officer
Brad Sawatzke was appointed CEO of Energy Northwest in April 2018. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nuclear Officer, beginning in December 2014, with responsibility for all Energy Northwest generating units. He joined EN as vice president of Nuclear Generation/Chief Nuclear Officer in December 2010.
Prior to joining Energy Northwest, he served as Director of Site Operations at the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant with Xcel Energy. Brad worked for NSP/NMC/Xcel Energy for nearly 29 years. The majority of that time was spent at the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant where he held positions in Operations and Training prior to holding the Performance Assessment Manager, Maintenance Manager and Plant Manager positions.
Brad holds a Bachelor of Science and Applied Physics from Winona State University and is a graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Program. He has also held a reactor operator and senior reactor operator license at the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant, a boiling water reactor.
Brad also serves on the INPO board of directors and accrediting board, Association of Washington Business executive committee, Nuclear Energy Institute board of directors and the TRIDEC executive committee.
Energy Northwest is a joint operating agency serving the needs of public power by providing reliable, low-cost electricity while promoting public power activities in the region. It has received numerous awards and recognition for its hiring of veterans, employee philanthropy and community service. Energy Northwest was also recognized by the Association of Washington Business as the “2016 Employer of the Year” for its innovative job retention, creation and compensation plans that foster a thriving work environment.
Mr. James Schaeffer
Senior Managing Director
James Schaefer is a Senior Managing Director within Guggenheim’s Power, Energy and Renewables team and covers a number of electric and gas utility and renewable energy accounts for Guggenheim Securities. Mr. Schaefer brings to Guggenheim extensive expertise in energy‐related mergers, acquisitions and financing, developed over his more than 20 years in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Guggenheim, Mr. Schaefer lead the Global Energy, Power and Renewables Practice at Blackstone. Prior to Blackstone, Mr. Schaefer was a Managing Director, Global Head of Power & Renewable Energy at UBS Investment Bank. Prior to UBS, Mr. Schaefer worked in the power groups at Lehman Brothers, Salomon Brothers and Chase. Mr. Schaefer has completed approximately $60 billion of strategic advisory assignments and over $30 billion of lead managed financings. Mr. Schaefer graduated with honors in Finance and Accounting from the University of Michigan's MBA program and cum laude in Finance from the University of Vermont.
President & CEO
As head of sales for URENCO, Kirk Schnoebelen is responsible for marketing and sales for the largest uranium enrichment company in the western world, with more than $1.7 billion in annual revenues. URENCO’s portfolio includes contracts to supply fuel to more than 50 nuclear utilities in 19 countries, with commitments beyond 2025 having a total value of $17.5 billion.
Schnoebelen played a crucial role in enabling URENCO and the energy companies it has partnered with to construct and operate the National Enrichment Facility in New Mexico—the first enrichment plant built in the United States in 30 years. This facility continues to expand and provides about one-third of nuclear fuel used in the United States, or the energy used to power about 1 out of 10 light bulbs. Enrichment facilities are extremely capital-intensive to build, and he was responsible for establishing a sufficient portfolio of contracts with U.S. nuclear utilities to support the multi-billion-dollar investment. His work on the project, which stretched over years, involved developing and executing a marketing plan, working with partners and drafting and negotiating contracts to make the world’s newest and most modern uranium enrichment facility a reality.
After earning his UW-Madison bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering in 1982 and his nuclear engineering master’s degree in 1984, Schnoebelen worked in engineering roles at various utility companies. He received an MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Business in 1997 and went on to work in nuclear fuel procurement/project management at Northern States Power (now Xcel Energy) and then in technical sales and marketing at Cameco Corporation. He became president of URENCO Inc. in 2006 and head of sales for URENCO in 2014.
Mr. Clay Sell
Chief Executive Officer
Clay Sell serves as CEO of X-energy. Clay has deep professional expertise across many sectors of the international and U.S. energy industry developed through his service in senior level positions in the private sector and government.
From 2008-2018, Clay was the president of Hunt Energy Horizons, LLC, the renewable energy subsidiary of Hunt Consolidated, Inc., a multinational energy, real estate, and investment corporation controlled by the Ray L. Hunt family of Dallas.
Previously, Clay held positions for 14 years in the U.S. government, most recently as Deputy Secretary of Energy in the George W. Bush Administration from 2005-2008 — and the youngest person to hold that position. In that role, Clay served as Chief Operating Officer of the Department and emerged as one of the leading advocates for the Administration’s nuclear energy policies. From 2003-2005, Clay served in the White House as a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and a Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. From 1999-2003, he served as the Clerk for the Senate Energy & Water Subcommittee of Appropriations under the legendary Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico. Clay began his career in Washington on the staff of future House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry of Texas from 1995-1999.
Clay holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law and a BBA in Accounting from Texas Tech University.
Mr. Muhannad (Mike) Shaqqo
Senior Vice-President, Advanced Reactor Programs
Westinghouse Electric Company
Mike Shaqqo holds the position of Senior VP, Advanced Reactor Programs at Westinghouse. He is responsible for leading program development and deployment for the Westinghouse portfolio of advanced nuclear plants, including small modular reactors and micro reactors.
Prior to returning to Westinghouse, Mike held the position of VP, Commercial Operations at TerraPower, LLC, where he was responsible for the company’s commercial operations in support of advanced reactor technology commercialization. Mike joined TerraPower in 2017 as the VP and Project Director to support TerraPower’s Joint Venture (JV) in China where he lived for approximately 1.5 years.
Prior to joining TerraPower, Mike was at Westinghouse Electric Company where he held various roles of increased leadership and responsibilities. As the Director of New Plants Project Development, Mike was responsible for promoting and implementing the company’s AP1000 global new nuclear plants business strategy, with focus on India. His involvement at Vogtle 3&4 AP1000 Project, as the Director of Technical Services, established a world-class technical services organization and aligned procurement and construction needs. As Vice President of China new nuclear plants engineering, he directed day-to-day operations of the organization with responsibility for first-of-a-kind design completion.
Mike served as the operations manager for the Nivelles Nuclear Service Center in Belgium that provided services to operating nuclear plants across Europe. His early career experience providing maintenance and inspection services for operating nuclear plants created a solid foundation for increasing responsibilities throughout his professional life.
Mike holds a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the University of Tennessee. He is Six Sigma certified and received the George Westinghouse Signature Award of Excellence.
Ms. Wendy Simon-Pearson
Ultra-Safe Nuclear Corporation
Wendy Simon-Pearson is General Counsel for Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation, an advanced nuclear startup company based in Seattle, Washington. She is a specialist in International Energy Law and arbitration and received her law degree from The George Washington University Law School. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the United States Nuclear Industry Council, she recently led the negotiations to form USNC’s Joint Venture with Ontario Power Generation to build USNC’s first demonstration reactor at the Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario, Canada. She attended UMass Amherst for her Bachelor’s degree, and graduated from GW Law School with her JD.
Mr. Justin Sink
Business Development & Innovation Advisor - Research, Technology & Digital Delivery
ExxonMobil Upstream Integrated Solutions
Justin Sink is a Business Development & Innovation Advisor for ExxonMobil’s Upstream research and technology organization. He also leads options exploration for low carbon industrial heat through ExxonMobil’s Tech Scouting and Ventures organization. He has broad experience across oil and gas, chemicals, finance, and digital transformation developed through his more than 16 years at ExxonMobil as well as other companies. His current work focuses on integrating connections across adjacent industries and internal divisions to find ambitious new value steams. Mr. Sink graduated with a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Florida and Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University.
Mr. Dan Stout
Director of Nuclear Technology
Tennessee Valley Authority
Dan Stout works as the Director of Nuclear Technology at the Tennessee Valley Authority. Before this, he worked as the Senior Manager, Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Technology for the TVA. He is responsible for nuclear project development including managing the scope, schedule, budget and business planning associated with licensing and potential deploying up to four SMRs at TVA’s Clinch River Site in Oak Ridge, TN. Mr. Stout has over 28 years of experience in the nuclear energy sector. He joined the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in April 2009 and assumed responsibility for TVA’s SMR program in 2012. Prior to TVA, Mr. Stout served as Director, Nuclear Fuel Recycling at the Department of Energy where he was responsible for planning and policy development regarding nuclear fuel recycling. Prior to that, from 1991 to 2006, Mr. Stout worked in the uranium enrichment industry, predominantly at USEC Inc., with responsibility for R&D, engineering, and licensing of advanced uranium enrichment technologies and facilities. From 1985-1991 Mr. Stout served in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear submarine officer. He also served in the Naval Reserves in the Naval Special Warfare community from 1991-2007, retiring as a Commander. Mr. Stout graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985. He received his Master’s Degree in Engineering Management from the National Technological University in 1997.
Ms. Rumina Velshi
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Rumina Velshi was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the CNSC in August 2018. Ms. Velshi has had a long association with the CNSC, having been a Commission member from 2011 until her appointment as President and CEO. Ms. Velshi has extensive technical, regulatory and adjudication expertise in the energy industry. Throughout her career, she has worked in various capacities at Ontario Hydro and Ontario Power Generation, the electrical utilities in the province. Ms. Velshi also previously served as a part-time Board member of the Ontario Energy Board, the economic regulator of the province’s electricity and natural gas sectors. In February 2020, Ms. Velshi was appointed Chairperson of the Commission on Safety Standards (CSS), established by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), for a four-year term. Ms. Velshi very actively promotes careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), especially for young women. Since joining the CNSC as President and CEO, she has launched a women-in-STEM initiative to consider ways to support women in STEM careers at the CNSC and elsewhere, and to further STEM education by working with interested partners. She has also delivered several international keynote addresses about breaking down barriers for women in STEM. Ms. Velshi was one of the founding members of Canada's Women in Science and Engineering and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Institute for Women in Engineering and Science (CIWES), an institute that advances education in the STEM fields worldwide through an international network of organizations, foundations and experts. She has served as Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors of Scientists in School, a non-profit organization that offers STEM-focused workshops to more than 700,000 students each year. Ms. Velshi is one of 150 Canadian women whose stories are compiled in Your Turn, a book published to mark Canada's 150th anniversary and inspire the next generation of women leaders. Ms. Velshi holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in civil engineering, a Master of Engineering degree in chemical engineering and a Master of Business Administration, all from the University of Toronto.
Dr. Venkat Venkataraman
CTO & EVP of Engineering
Venkat Venkataraman is the CTO and EVP of Engineering at Bloom Energy. He
leads the development of clean, highly efficient and low cost Bloom Energy Servers
to generate clean power onsite using natural gas, biogas and hydrogen as
feedstock. During his 17 years tenure at Bloom, he led the company through many
technological breakthroughs bringing Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) technology from
early stages of development to a matured state enabling deployment of highly
efficient commercial systems deployed across the world reducing greenhouse gas
emissions signficantly. Over the years, Venkat has assembled, led and mentored a
very strong team of engineers and innovators around the world in the areas of fuel
cell stack technology, system integration and power electronics, who have made
tremendous strides in that time, solving the key technical challenges that had
previously prevented the commercialization of SOFC technologies. Venkat’s recent
focus has been on the use of Solid Oxide Electrolyzer Cell (SOEC) technology for
hydrogen production and use hydrogen SOFC for power generation in an effort to
accelerate hydrogen economy and decarbonization across the world.
Prior to joining Bloom Energy, Venkat was a Principal Technologist at Aspen
Technology, Inc. where he led the commercial development of high end design,
simulation and optimization software for the chemical and petrochemical industries.
Venkat is a winner of AIChE award in the area of chemical process optimization.
He has authored/co-authored several patents in the areas of SOFC technology, fuel
processing, heat integration and control systems.
MS & PhD in Chemical Engineering – Clarkson University (1987)
BTech Chemical Engineering – National Institute of Technology, Trichy, India (1982)
Mr. Jeff Whitt
Framatome Government Solutions
Jeff Whitt currently works as the president of Framatome US Government Solutions. His work supports activities across the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, national laboratories and nuclear energy university programs. This includes the development of advanced reactor technologies and a broad portfolio of nuclear services that involves fuel, instrumentation and controls, inspections, maintenance, and engineering. He began with Areva in 2010 as a Proposal Manager, before the transition into Framatome in 2017. Jeff holds an ASB from Averett University focused in Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, as well as a degree in manufacturing technology from Central Virginia Community College. Mr. Whitt holds multiple patents in the area of product manufacturing tooling.
Mr. Jay Wileman
President & Chief Executive Officer
Jay Wileman is the President and CEO of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH). GEH is a world-leading provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services, with manufacturing, service and sales facilities around the globe. Jay is also responsible for managing the joint venture between the General Electric Corp. (NYSE: GE) and Hitachi Corp. With more than 30 years’ experience, Jay has a wealth of international knowledge, having led many global teams to success across the energy spectrum. Prior to being named to his current position in 2015, Jay served as Senior Vice President, Nuclear Plant Projects and Chief Operating Officer upon his return to GEH in 2012. In 2009, Jay was appointed President and CEO of GE Energy Sub-Saharan Africa where he worked with customers to meet the continent’s needs in oil, natural gas, power generation, water, renewables and new grid modernization. Since joining GE in 1994, Jay has held several senior leadership positions in various GE businesses, including energy, mining, rail and oil and gas in the U.S., Japan, Italy, Australia and South Africa. He began his career as a nuclear fuel engineer and commercial manager at Southern Nuclear. Jay earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering from Mississippi State University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Advanced Reactor Concepts LLC
Mr. Wolf, a founding shareholder of ARC, is a business executive and venture capital investor who has held senior level/founder responsibilities in many different businesses. He is the co-founder of a real estate private equity business based in Paris and Washington, DC. Previously, he was general partner in a U.S. based real estate development company. There, he put together and served as CEO of a building materials, construction and solid waste business, and as CEO of a hotel management company that managed the group's hotels. Mr. Wolf earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from New Mexico State University, an MBA from Stanford Business School, and a JD from Harvard Law School.