About Us

OurEnergyPolicy.org Topic Directors are leading experts who are committed to the improvement of the national energy policy dialogue, and who work with OurEnergyPolicy.org in an advisory capacity.

Marilyn Brown

Professor of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. Marilyn A. Brown is a Professor of Energy Policy in the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Visiting Distinguished Scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. At ORNL, Dr. Brown co-led the report, Scenarios for a Clean Energy Future, which remains a cornerstone of engineering-economic analysis of low-carbon energy options for the United States. She was designated a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007. She is the lead author of Climate Change and Global Energy Security (MIT Press, 2011) and the co-editor with Benjamin K. Sovacool of Energy and American Society: Thirteen Myths (2007). In October 2010, she was sworn onto the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation’s largest public power provider, following her nomination by President Barack Obama.


Wil Burns

Co-Director, Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment

Wil Burns is Co-Director of the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment. His research focus is on climate change law and policy issues at the international level, including climate change litigation, geoengineering, and adaptation responses. He holds a Ph.D. in international environmental law from the University of Wales-Cardiff School of Law. He also serves as the Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association and is the President-Elect of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences. He is also the former Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law interest group of the American Society of International Law. Prior to becoming an academic, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs for the State of Wisconsin and worked in the non-governmental sector for twenty years, including as Executive Director of the Pacific Center for International Studies, a think-tank that focused on implementation of international wildlife treaty regimes, including the Convention on Biological Diversity and International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.


Dr. Bruce Dale

University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University, Dept. of Chemical Engineering

Professor Dale is Distinguished University Professor of Chemical Engineering and former Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University. He also serves as Editor in Chief of the Wiley journal Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. In 1996 he won the Charles D. Scott Award for contributions to the use of biotechnology to produce fuels, chemical and other industrial products from renewable plant resources. In 2007 he won the Sterling Hendricks award for contributions to the chemical science of agriculture. He was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in 2011 and also in 2011 he won the Award of Excellence of the Fuel Ethanol Workshop. In 2013 he was named University Distinguished Professor, a designation held by approximately 1% of university faculty. Professor Dale is interested in the environmentally sustainable conversion of plant matter to industrial products -- fuels, chemicals and materials -- while still meeting human and animal needs for food and feed. He occupies a leadership role in the DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC). The GLBRC will receive $275million in Federal funding over 10 years to develop cellulosic biofuels.


Dave Goldstein

President, Emeritus, Electric Vehicle Association, Washington D.C.

Dave Goldstein is a multi-talented electric and hybrid vehicle expert whose career began shortly before the Iranian Oil Crisis of 1979, when he initiated one of the first EV demonstration efforts in the nation for the Washington, D.C. Mayor’s Energy Office and the U.S. Department of Energy. In 1980, he co-founded the nonprofit Electric Vehicle Association of Washington, D.C. (EVA/DC) as a coalition of EV owners and enthusiasts, educators and entrepreneurs, and has served continually as President until 2011 when he was awarded President Emeritus. In 1992, Dave co-founded the Electric Vehicle Industry Association (EVIA) on behalf of independent EV manufacturers, converters and suppliers, serving as Washington Representative. Since 1994, he has served on DOE advisory boards, working with Argonne National Laboratories on the EVTECA project to compare energy efficiencies and emissions of alternative fuel vehicles; the DOE ad hoc Advanced Battery Readiness Working Group (ABRWG) to eliminate barriers to advanced battery production, shipping, recycling and safety; and as a member of the DOE Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) Stakeholders’ Advisory Group. As both an independent business consultant and consumer representative, Dave draws upon the combined talents of a capable EV technician, fleet and facility manager, program manager, government affairs representative, radio and TV broadcaster, producer, writer, energy policy analyst and educator. He has worked with inner-city schools and universities to promote science, math and engineering through the development of solar and battery-powered racing vehicles. He has written a number of magazine articles and has been interviewed as an EV expert by major news media throughout the world, including Fox Business News, National Public Radio, NBC and the Voice of America. Dave currently moderates the EV track on OurEnergyPolicy.org and is a member of the IEEE Energy Policy Committee. As an independent consultant, Dave has provided a range of services to electric utilities, EV manufacturers and converters, advanced battery manufacturers and end users, and has worked for Planning Research Corporation and Booz Allen & Hamilton. He is a Washington, D.C. native with a BA in Communications from the University of Maryland and postgraduate work in Computer Science and Management from UMD and USDA Graduate School. He has been married for 37 years and owns four cars, including an EV and a PHEV.


Robert Grant

Former Energy Adviser to US and UK Governments, Corporate Advisor

Robert Grant presently oversees energy as well as international government relations for Mitsubishi Corporation, from its Washington office. For the past decade, Robert has served as a policy-maker, political adviser and diplomat for both the British and American Governments, and as a consultant to think tanks and corporations. Most recently he advised the US State Department's Energy and Resources Bureau on strategy, outreach and communications. Immediately prior to that, he served as the UK Government’s chief representative on energy issues, at the British Embassy in Washington. During his time at the Embassy, Robert represented national and commercial interests to the US administration and Congress on international and domestic energy and environment policy. Before coming to Washington, Robert held various policy positions at the UK Environment Ministry, including as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Minister of State. Having worked at the center of US, European and global energy policy, Robert brings a sophisticated understanding of the intersection of international energy markets, environmental regulations and geo-politics. Robert received his undergraduate degree from the University of York, and a Master’s degree in Political Theory and Government from London School of Economics and Political Science.


David Hammer

J.C. Ward Jr. Professor of Nuclear Energy Engineering , Cornell University

DAVID A. HAMMER is the J. Carleton Ward Professor of Nuclear Energy Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. His current research interests are in the dynamics and radiative properties of high energy density plasmas produced by pulsed power machines. He presently serves as the Director of Cornell’s Center for Pulsed-Power-Driven High-Energy-Density Plasma Studies. Professor Hammer received the B.S. degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1964 and the Ph.D. degree in applied physics from Cornell University in 1969. He then spent seven years at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., where he carried out theoretical research on streaming instabilities in plasmas and initiated experimental research on intense relativistic electron beam interaction with gases and plasmas. He was also a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Maryland from 1973-1976, where he studied non-neutral plasmas. Immediately before returning to Cornell as a faculty member in 1977, Dr. Hammer was an Associate Professor of Electrical Sciences and Engineering at UCLA. He spent the summer of 1977, the academic year 1983-84, the Spring semester 1991 and the Spring semester of 2005 in the Physics Department at Imperial College, London, as a Senior Visiting Fellow studying z-pinch plasmas, the Spring of 1998 at Applied Materials, Inc., working with a plasma-processing group, and January – July, 2011 studying plasma jets for application to laboratory plasma astrophysics with colleagues at the Paris Observatory and at the CEA laboratory in Gramat, France. Professor Hammer’s teaching in recent years has concentrated on plasma physics, controlled fusion and a seminar course on energy issues. Hammer was elected to serve as Vice Chair and then Chair of DPP in 2003 and 2004, respectively. He represented DPP on the APS Council from 2006 until 2010 and has been a member of the APS Executive Board, the Budget Committee, the Committee on Committees and the Committee on Meetings. Currently, he serves on the APS nominating committee. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Dr. Hammer is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), of IEEE and of the AAAS. In 2004, he was the winner of the IEEE Plasma Science and Applications Committee Award. He served as the Chair-Elect of the Division of Plasma Physics (DPP) of the American Physical Society (APS) in 2003, and as the Chair of the division in 2004. Dr. Hammer was elected Division Councillor of the DPP in 2006 and is serving a 4-year term on the APS Council as a result (2007-2010). He is serving as a member of the APS Executive Board during 2009 and 2010.


Elias Hinckley

Partner, KL Gates

Elias Hinckley is a strategic advisor on energy finance and energy policy to investors, energy companies and governments. He is an energy and tax partner with the law firm KL Gates where he helps his clients solve the challenges of a changing energy landscape by using his understanding of energy policy, regulation, and markets to quickly and creatively assemble successful energy deals. His prior experience also includes leading the clean energy practice at two large law firms and building the national alternative energy tax practice for one of the world’s largest professional services firms. Elias also acts as a strategic advisor on energy policy and markets, and as an adjunct professor of International Energy Policy at the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Follow him on Twitter @EliasHinckley


Dr. Andrew C. Kadak

President, Kadak Associates, Inc.

Andrew C. Kadak is a President of Kadak Associates, Inc., a consulting firm in the nuclear field specializing in operations, advanced reactors, and executive management. He was formerly a Professor of the Practice in the Nuclear Science and Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests include advanced reactors, nuclear safety, waste management and nuclear space applications. He presently serves on the US Nuclear Waste Technology Review board overseeing the Department of Energy's nuclear waste program. Prior to joining MIT in 1998, he was president and CEO of Yankee Atomic Electricity Company, a nuclear utility and service company to New England's nuclear plants. He was President of the American Nuclear Society from 1999 to 2000. He has a Ph.D. and Master's degree in nuclear engineering from MIT and a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Union College in Schenectady, New York.


Daniel Kammen

Distinguished Professor of Energy, University of California, Berkeley

Daniel M. Kammen is the Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he holds appointments in the Energy and Resources Group, the Goldman School of Public Policy, and the department of Nuclear Engineering. He works on energy and environmental science, policy and analysis, and has extensive field experience in Latin American, southeast Asia and China, and in Africa, which has been a focal point of his work for two decades. Kammen is the founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL).


Nathan S. Lewis

George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry; Director, Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, California Institute of Technology

Dr. Nathan Lewis, the George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry, has been on the faculty at the California Institute of Technology since 1988 and has served as Professor since 1991. He is the Principal Investigator of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, the Energy Innovation Hub in Fuels from Sunlight, and has also served as the Principal Investigator of the Beckman Institute Molecular Materials Resource Center at Caltech since 1992. From 1981 to 1986, he was on the faculty at Stanford, as an assistant professor from 1981 to 1985 and as a tenured Associate Professor from 1986 to 1988. Dr. Lewis received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Lewis has been an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, and a Presidential Young Investigator. He received the Fresenius Award in 1990, the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry in 1991, the Orton Memorial Lecture award in 2003, the Princeton Environmental Award in 2003 and the Michael Faraday Medal of the Royal Society of Electrochemistry in 2008. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Royal Society of Chemistry journal, Energy & Environmental Science. He has published over 300 papers and has supervised over 60 graduate students and postdoctoral associates. His research interests include artificial photosynthesis and electronic noses. Technical details of these research topics focus on light-induced electron transfer reactions, both at surfaces and in transition metal complexes, surface chemistry and photochemistry of semiconductor/liquid interfaces, novel uses of conducting organic polymers and polymer/conductor composites, and development of sensor arrays that use pattern recognition algorithms to identify odorants, mimicking the mammalian olfaction process.


Michael S. Lubell

Professor of Physics, City College of the City University of New York

Michael Lubell is a Professor of Physics at the City College of the City University of New York and former Director of Public Affairs of the American Physical Society. He received his B.A from Columbia University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Yale, where he was a faculty member for ten years before assuming his position at CCNY. He has held fellowships from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and visiting appointments at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University of Texas-Austin, the University of Bielefeld and the Santa Barbara Institute of Theoretical Physics. He served as CCNY Physics Department Chairman for six and half years. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Lubell's publications comprise more than 300 articles, abstracts and columns in scientific journals, books, conference proceedings and newspapers in the fields of high-energy physics; nuclear physics; atomic, molecular and optical physics; and science policy. He appears on radio and TV in North America, Europe and Asia and is one of the experts most frequently quoted by the U.S. media on science policy issues. He has been a newspaper columnist and presently writes a bimonthly opinion piece, “Inside the Beltway,” for APS News. He has worked on many political campaigns, has held elective office and has been a policy advisor to several members of the United States Congress. He is credited as being one of the pioneers of science lobbying in Washington.


David J. Manning

Representative to the United States, Government of Alberta, Canada

After 2 years running the New York Smart Grid Consortium as Executive Director, and leading the energy practice of VHB Engineering, Mr. Manning was appointed on the 1st of February, 2013 as the Province of Alberta, Canada's Representative to the United States. Alberta accounts for over half of the world's oil reserves available to investor owned producers [79% are controlled by governments, 21% available for development.] Alberta represents 28% of US oil imports and supplies 12% of US natural gas consumption. It also has over 100 megawatts of installed wind and is starting major solar projects. Previously Mr. Manning spent 10 years in the uitility sector as Executive Vice President and Chief Environmental Officer of Keyspan/National Grid, one of the largest power and gas utilities in the United States. Mr. Manning had responsibility for all external affairs, including government relations on the local, state, and national level, public relations and communications, as well as community strategy. Mr. Manning also managed both environmental policy and environmental operations for KeySpan. KeySpan operated throughout the U.S. Northeast, and was acquired by National Grid, the London based utility. Prior to his role with KeySpan / National Grid, Mr. Manning was the President of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the industry trade group representing the entire Canadian upstream, including Canada’s Oil Sands. In that capacity, he was a delegate to Kyoto and introduced the first industry-lead voluntary CO2 reduction program in 1995. In addition to Mr. Manning’s corporate and trade association leadership, he served as the Deputy Minister of Energy for the Province of Alberta in the early 90’s, following five years as Alberta’s International Trade Counsel and representative in the United States. In that capacity, he was actively involved in the creation of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and the North America Free Trade Agreement on behalf of the Province. He also participated in the successful efforts to develop infrastructure and significantly expand Canadian energy exports to U.S. markets.


Andrew Revkin

Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding, Pace University

Andrew Revkin, the Pace University Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding, has reported on science and the environment for more than three decades, from the Amazon to the White House, the Hudson Valley to the North Pole, mainly for The New York Times. He has written on global warming science and solutions and energy issues since the 1980s and is among those credited with first proposing that we have entered a “geological age of our own making,” known increasingly as the Anthropocene. Since joining the faculty at Pace in 2010, he has developed or co-developed innovative courses in blogging,environmental communication and documentary film. He has also helped organize and run campus and online events onurban resilience, the mix of technology and tradition in agriculture, renewable energy opportunities and more. Revkin has won the top awards in science journalism multiple times, along with a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is widely recognized for fairness and a pursuit of reality in a polarized media environment. Revkin has written acclaimed books on global warming, the changing Arctic and the violent assault on the Amazon rain forest, as well as three book chapters on science communication. Drawing on his experience with his Times blog, Dot Earth, which Time Magazine named one of the top 25 blogs in 2013, Revkin has spoken to audiences around the world, including at the United Nations and Vatican, about the role of communication innovation in forging progress on a turbulent planet. In spare moments, Revkin is a performing songwriter and was a frequent accompanist for Pete Seeger. His 2013 CD of original songs was described as a “tasty mix of roots goulash” on Jambands, an influential music website. Two films have been based on his work: “Rock Star” (Warner Brothers, 2001) and “The Burning Season” (HBO, 1994), which starred Raul Julia and won two Emmy Awards and three Golden Globes.


Herschel Specter

President, Micro-Utilities, Inc.

I am a professional engineer with over 50 years of experience in the electric power industry. After graduating from MIT and serving as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, I started my career in physics, thermal hydraulics, and heat transfer. In 1965, I joined the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) where I established national containment acceptance criteria. Later, as the AEC licensing manager for the Indian Point 3 (IP3) Plant, I completed its safety review, wrote the safety evaluation report, and presented my results before the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS). This led to the licensing of this plant. I was then selected by AEC Commissioner Doub to serve at diplomat rank at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria (1974-1979). I led the efforts of some the world’s outstanding nuclear design experts. We produced a series of international nuclear design safety standards. I returned in 1979 to the Department of Energy where I worked on the safety of our Defense Nuclear Systems. In 1981 the New York Power Authority (NYPA) offered me the position of Manager of an adjudicatory hearing defending IP3. I developed the technical strategy for this case and wrote major portions of the testimony presented to the court. Some of my material was published in the NY Times. This case was successfully concluded in 1985. Later, as Technical Advisor to NYPA’s Executive Vice President, I was asked by the Department of Energy to chair a national committee on emergency planning. Our final report was forwarded to Congress. I also chaired NUMARC’s Task Force on Emergency Planning. Our NUMARC report (NUMARC/NESP-005) was distributed to all U.S. nuclear utilities. I was a guest lecturer at Harvard for over five years on emergency planning. I also directed NYPA’s efforts on the hardened vent issue, saving the company over one million dollars. As part of this effort I discovered that the NRC’s cost/benefit equation was incorrect. I then worked with EPRI to provide the correct formulation. In the source term area I directed NYPA’s computer code development for severe accident analysis. I presented results before the American Physical Society, the ACRS, and the NRC. I served on a DOE source term committee and was a principal speaker at an ANS Executive Conference on source terms. In 1987, I conducted a major review of the NRC’s NUREG-1150, gave testimony to NRC expert panels and to the American Nuclear Society’s Special Committee on Source Terms. I published source term papers in “Nuclear Engineering and Design” and elsewhere. In 1992 I initiated a national effort on “Risk-Based Regulation” (RBR) and presented this concept to all five NRC Commissioners at a public hearing. Risk based regulation has become the centerpiece for modernizing the nuclear regulatory process at the NRC and within the nuclear industry. I have written fundamental papers on this subject, assisted EPRI in initiating its program on risk-based regulation, appeared before national regulatory and industry groups, been a guest lecturer and invited international speaker, chaired industry committees on this subject and have been an active member on others. In 1993 I wrote the ANS Policy Statement on RBR. In addition to my RBR activities, I have published extensively on other nuclear safety issues, on the environment, and on energy policy matters. I have served on an editorial board of an international energy journal.


Sarah L. White

Senior Associate, Center on Wisconsin Strategy

Sarah White (Ph.D. Columbia University, B.A. Wellesley College) is a Senior Associate at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy. Her work at COWS focuses on sustainable workforce strategies, both local and national, including green career pathways in the clean energy economy. White came to COWS from Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development, where she served as the Secretary’s policy and budget analyst for federal employment and training programs. Before that, she ran the Development Education Office of Interfaith Hunger Appeal in New York, working to integrate academic and NGO efforts addressing food security, poverty and sustainable development. A labor historian by training, White has written widely on political mobilization and education for social change.

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