Cheryl A. LaFleur

Chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission


Cheryl A. LaFleur was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2010 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a four-year term. She was renominated by President Obama on May 1, 2014 to serve on the Commission for a second, five-year term and confirmed by the Senate on July 15, 2014. She serves as the FERC liaison to the Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the NARUC Committees on Electricity and Critical Infrastructure and was co-chair of the FERC/NARUC Forum on Reliability and the Environment. Prior to joining the Commission in 2010, Acting Chairman LaFleur had more than 20 years’ experience as a leader in the electric and natural gas industry. She served as executive vice president and acting CEO of National Grid USA, responsible for the delivery of electricity to 3.4 million customers in the Northeast. Acting Chairman LaFleur has been a nonprofit board member and leader, including as a trustee of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, United Way of Central Massachusetts, and several other organizations.


Daniel Yergin

Vice Chairman, IHS


Daniel Yergin, IHS Vice Chairman, is a Pulitzer-Prize winning author and leading authority on energy, international politics and economics and is a recipient of the United States Energy Award for “lifelong achievements in energy and the promotion of international understanding.” His latest book, The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World, has been hailed as “a fascinating saga” about the “quest for sustainable resources of energy”.


Dr. Yergin serves on the U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory Board and chaired the U.S. Department of Energy’s Task Force on Strategic Energy Research and Development. He is a Trustee of the Brookings Institution, on the Board of the New America Foundation, and on the advisory boards of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Energy Initiative and the Institute for 21st Century Energy. 


Dr. Yergin holds a BA from Yale University, and a PhD from Cambridge University, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He has taught at the Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


Evan Bayh

Campaign Co-Chair, Nuclear Matters


Evan Bayh served as the junior United States Senator from Indiana from 1999 to 2011. As a moderate Democrat, he was a leader, working in a bipartisan manner to seek consensus on several key issues, including financial services reform and healthcare. He was also a leading voice advocating fiscal restraint on government spending. Senator Bayh served on several committees, including Armed Services; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Energy and Natural Resources; Small Business and Entrepreneurship; Aging; and Senate Intelligence.


Prior to being elected to the Senate, he was elected to two terms as governor of Indiana, where he enacted welfare reform, cut taxes, and brought about fiscal discipline to the state's budget. He also served as Secretary of State in Indiana (1986-1989). Senator Bayh received his bachelor’s degree in business with honors from Indiana University in 1978, and received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1981. In 1982, Senator Bayh clerked for the Honorable Judge James E. Noland of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.


Currently Senator Bayh is a partner at McGuireWoods LLP and a senior advisor to McGuireWoods Consulting. Senator Bayh is also a senior advisor at Apollo Global Management in New York.

Senator Bayh serves on the board of directors for Fifth Third Bank, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Berry Plastics Corporation, RLJ Lodging Trust, and McGraw Hill Education. He also serves on the advisory board for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and is a Fox News contributor.


Marianne Kah

Chief Economist, ConocoPhillips


Marianne Kah is the chief economist for ConocoPhillips based in Houston.  She is responsible for developing the company's market outlooks for oil and natural gas and is also the company's expert in scenario planning.


Prior to joining Conoco, Kah had been manager of planning at Cabot Corporation; a planner at the U.S. Synthetic Fuels Corporation; and a management analyst for energy at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, where she conducted energy policy studies for U.S. Congressional energy committees.


She has presented her views at major conferences around the world.  She was also a past president of the United States Association for Energy Economics, and received a Senior Fellow Award from that organization.   


Robert McNally (Moderator)

President and Founder, The Rapidan Group


Robert McNally is the founder and President of The Rapidan Group, an independent energy consulting and market advisory firm based in the Washington DC area. Mr. McNally started his professional career in 1991 as an oil market analyst and consultant with Energy Security Analysis, Inc. In 1994, he joined Tudor Investment Corporation and for twelve subsequent years analyzed energy markets, macroeconomic policy, and geopolitics for Tudor portfolio managers, earning promotion to Vice President and Managing Director. From 2001 to 2003, Mr. McNally served as the top international and domestic energy adviser on the White House staff, holding the posts of Special Assistant to the President on the National Economic Council and, in 2003, Senior Director for International Energy on the National Security Council.


Mr. McNally earned his double major BA/BS in International Relations and Political Science from American University and his MA in International Economics and American Foreign Policy from Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He was co-chair for energy policy on the 2008 Romney Campaign, served on the Policy Advisory Committee for Senator Marco Rubio's 2010 campaign, and regularly advises congressional and administration officials on energy policy and markets. Mr. McNally is a nonresident fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. Mr. McNally has testified to Congress on energy markets and national security. Mr. McNally is married and has three children.


FIRESIDE CHAT 2: Energy Policy and Innovation

Travis Bradford (Moderator)

Associate Professor of Practice in International and Public Affairs, Director, Energy and Environment Concentration


Travis Bradford is the Director of the Energy and Environment Concentration at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.  He is also a full-time Associate Professor of Practice at Columbia University, teaching energy and natural resource markets and innovation at SIPA, CBS, and the Earth Institute. 


Travis is also the founder and president of the Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development, a nonprofit organization focused on harnessing the power of the business sector to develop cost-effective and sustainable solutions in technologies, including energy, water, food, and recycling. Through the Institute, he helped launch many organizations, including Greentech Media and the Carbon War Room. 


Travis earned a bachelor's degree in finance from Georgia State University in 1992 and an MBA in 1996 from the NYU Stern School of Business. In 2006, he received an MPA degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  He has previously worked at the Federal Reserve, as a partner at various public and private equity investment firms, and as a board member of numerous publicly traded, private, and non-profit firms in the US and abroad.

Audrey Zibelman

Chair - New York State Public Service Commission


Audrey Zibelman was confirmed as a Commissioner of the New York State Public Service Commission on June 19, 2013, and was named Chair on September 3, 2013. Her term turns through February 1, 2018. Ms. Zibelman has extensive experience in the public, private and not-for-profit energy and electricity sectors. She is a recognized national and international expert in energy policy, markets and Smart Grid innovation. As PSC Chair, she sits on the State Energy Planning Board. She is also Chair of the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment. She sits on the board of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the board of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Inc. (RGGI), the New York State Disaster Preparedness Commission, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Task Force. Ms. Zibelman was appointed to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Board of Directors, and is a member of NARUC Committee on Electricity She is also a member of the U.S. Department of Energy's Electricity Advisory Committee.


Ms. Zibelman is a Founder and past President and Chief Executive Officer of Viridity Energy, Inc., which she formed after more than 25 years of electric utility industry leadership experience in both the public and private sectors. She has participated as both counsel and expert witness in numerous electric utility proceedings before state and federal regulatory and legislative bodies on topics such as the benefits of power markets and Smart Grids to consumers. Ms. Zibelman also has served on the boards of organizations responsible for assuring the security and reliability of the nation's power system, including Reliability First, the GridWise Alliance, and the Midwest Reliability Organization.


Dr. Sergej Mahnovski (Moderator)

Professor SIPA & Director, Consolidated Edison


Sergej Mahnovski is Director of the Utility of the Future team at Con Edison. He formerly served as Director of the Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability for NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, where he managed citywide energy and sustainability policy. Sergej has served as Chairman of the New York City Energy Policy Task Force, Chairman of the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation, and board member of the New York State Smart Grid Consortium. He is currently an Assistant Adjunct Professor at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.


Previously, Sergej was Director in the Global Power Group at IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a Doctoral Fellow at RAND Corporation, and Engineer at Exponent. Sergej is a graduate of Stanford University, with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and B.A. in History. He received his M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Policy Analysis from the RAND Graduate School.



Marc van Gerven

Vice President Global Marketing, First Solar


Marc van Gerven is Vice President Global Marketing at First Solar where his responsibilities include the incubation of new business models and market segments such as Hybrid Generation and Energy Access solutions.


Before joining First Solar he was the CEO of Q-Cells North America where he built a turn-key solar power plant business in the distributed generation market.  Prior to Q-Cells he was part of the founding team of Solaria, a solar technology start-up. Earlier in his career, he was responsible for an Oil & Gas business segment at GE and spent four years with Unocal Geothermal, where he developed large scale geothermal power production projects.


Marc currently serves as a board member of Powerhive, an off-grid energy services company active in Africa and has served on the board of the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Rick Tempchin

Executive Director, Retail Energy Services, Edison Electric Institute


Rick joined EEI in 1987 and is proficient in nearly every arena of retail energy services, including customer service, operations and marketing, consumer affairs, large commercial and industrial customer outreach, rate making and rate design, state regulatory advocacy, federal affairs, electric transportation, energy storage, building codes, appliance standards, demand response, efficiency, smart grid, distributed generation, technology commercialization and supplier diversity.


Prior to joining EEI, Tempchin served as a senior utility analyst for Synergic Resources Corp. and also as a research analyst at the U.S. Department of Energy. He has a B.S. in marketing from the University of Maryland and an MBA in energy management from the University of Denver.


Tempchin is a founding board member of the Association of Energy Services Professionals and a board alternate and member of the strategic planning and policy board committees of the Alliance to Save Energy, as well as a board alternate for the Electric Drive Transportation Association in Washington.


A native Washingtonian, Tempchin has three children and lives in the nation’s capital with his wife, Judy Licht, a writer and photographer.

Peter D. Fuller

Senior Director, East Region Market & Regulatory Affairs,
NRG Energy Inc.


Peter D. Fuller is Senior Director, East Region Market & Regulatory Affairs for NRG Energy Inc.  In this position, he is responsible for NRG's state, regional and federal regulatory and policy activities in the New England, New York and PJM market areas, including the company’s interactions with the RTOs as well as supporting the company’s asset optimization and business development efforts in the region.  Prior to joining NRG, Mr. Fuller was Director of Market Affairs for Mirant Energy Trading from 2000-2007.


Mr. Fuller is Vice Chair-elect of the Independent Power Producers of New York and also served as Chairman of the New England Power Generators Association, the largest trade association representing independent power producers in New England, from 2005 to 2010.  Mr. Fuller is a former Chair of the NEPOOL Participants Committee and is currently the Chair of the NEPOOL Budget & Finance Subcommittee.  He also served NEPOOL from 2004-2013 as the Vice Chair of the Participants Committee representing the Generation Sector.  Prior to joining Mirant in 2000, Mr. Fuller held a number of positions in power supply, planning and engineering with Eastern Utilities Associates.

Marisa Uchin

Director, Regulatory Affairs, Opower


Marisa Uchin is Director, Regulatory Affairs for Opower where she is responsible for policy and advocacy to advance markets for energy efficiency and demand response. Marisa recently joined Opower from Pacific Gas and Electric, where she held a variety of roles including Sr. Manager of Energy Efficiency Strategy, and as a lead lobbyist in Washington, DC covering a broad set of issues including climate change, natural gas distribution and transmission, transportation electrification, energy efficiency renewables and taxes.


Prior to joining the energy industry, Marisa held a variety of leadership roles in strategy, customer acquisition and communications at companies including XM Satellite Radio, General Motors, and Fleishman Hillard. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Patrick Haischer (GSB '04)

Partner, A.T. Kearney


Patrick Haischer is a Partner with A.T. Kearney and a member of the firm’s Global Energy Practice.  His focus areas are electric power, oil & gas as well as petrochemicals.


Patrick is based in New York and has worked for clients in North America, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia on strategic and operational topics. He is also a co-author of A.T. Kearney’s shale gas study. Patrick holds a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Management from the University of Karlsruhe (Germany) and an MBA from Columbia University.



Anatol Feygin

Senior Vice President, Strategy & Corporate Development,


Anatol Feygin has been the Senior Vice President, Strategy & Corporate Development since March 2014. Prior to joining Cheniere Mr. Feygin worked with Loews Corporation where he spent six years, most recently as their Vice President, Energy Strategist and Senior Portfolio Manager. In these roles, he developed forecasts for Loews' three energy platforms (upstream, midstream and services), identifying risks and making capital allocation decisions. Prior to joining Loews, Mr. Feygin spent three years at Bank of America as Head of Global Commodity Strategy and as Senior Analyst covering natural gas pipelines and distributors. Mr. Feygin began his career at J.P. Morgan Securities where he covered natural gas pipelines, distributors and electric utilities as a senior analyst. Mr. Feygin earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University and his MBA in Finance from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at NYU.

James Guidera (Moderator)

Professor, SIPA & Managing Director and Group Head for
Energy & Infrastructure (North America), Credit Agricole CIB


Jim Guidera is the regional head for Credit Agricole’s project finance and nonrecourse lending activities in North  America, covering all industrial sectors: conventional and renewable power generation, oil & gas transportation infrastructure, petrochemicals, and mining, as well as financing roads, bridges and other social infrastructure using the public-private partnership model.  Project finance is a long-standing specialty of Credit Agricole.  The New York team Mr. Guidera leads has consistently been ranked among the top three in the arranger-bank league tables for the region. 


Mr. Guidera joined the bank’s predecessor Credit Lyonnais in 1992.  With more than thirty years of banking experience, he was previously a senior banker in the project finance and energy groups of KOP bank and Bank of Boston.  Before his banking career, Mr. Guidera practiced law in Philadelphia, and has a J.D. from Villanova University.

Teddy Kott

Head of Global Gas Analysis, EDF Trading


Teddy Kott is Head of Global Gas Analysis for EDF Trading, a subsidiary of the EDF Group.  Headquartered in London, EDF Trading is one of the largest participants in global power, gas, coal, freight and environmental markets. Teddy is responsible for developing fundamental analysis and market views of North American gas, European gas, and LNG.


Prior to joining EDF Trading in 2011, Teddy directed energy research at LCM Commodities, an independent brokerage in New York.  He previously analyzed energy and emissions markets at Lehman Brothers.  Teddy holds a BA in Public Policy and American Institutions from Brown University and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Bruce Usher (Moderator)

Professor, Columbia Business School


Bruce Usher is The Elizabeth B. Strickler '86 and Mark T. Gallogly '86 Faculty Director of the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School in New York City, where he teaches MBA students on the intersection of finance, social and environmental issues. Professor Usher is a recipient of the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence. From 2002 to 2009, Usher was CEO of EcoSecurities Group plc, during which time he built it into the world's largest carbon credit company. Usher led EcoSecurities through an IPO, a secondary public placement and strategic investment, and the sale of the entire company to JP Morgan in December 2009. EcoSecurities developed more than 400 projects in 36 countries, representing approximately 10% of all projects approved by the United Nations under the Kyoto Protocol. Prior to EcoSecurities, Usher was co-founder and CEO of TreasuryConnect LLC, which provided electronic trading solutions to banks and was acquired in 2001. Prior to that, he worked in financial services for twelve years in New York and Tokyo. Usher is an active investor in entrepreneurial ventures, having invested in 21 companies, including seven clean energy businesses. He is on the Board of Community Energy, a US solar project development company, and the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships. He earned an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.



Jonathan Chanis (Moderator)

Professor SIPA & Manager New Tide Asset Management


Jonathan Chanis has worked in energy and finance for over 25 years. Most of this time has been spent trading and investing in the emerging markets and various commodities markets, especially oil and natural gas. Currently he is Managing Member of New Tide Asset Management, a proprietary vehicle focused on global and resource investing.


Previously, Mr. Chanis was Managing Director at Tribeca Global Management where he traded energy and emerging market equities, and commodities and currencies. He also was a Senior Trader at Caxton Associates were he traded similar assets. Earlier, Mr. Chanis assisted AIG in building its third party asset management business, and was president of several AIG companies including its Russian investment bank. He also worked on the trading desk of J. Aron & Co., and he was a Vice President at the Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of the U.S.S.R., and at the New York Mercantile Exchange.


Mr. Chanis is a member of the Council on Foreign Relation, and he was an Advisory Board member, and then a member of the Board of Directors of The Energy Forum, for over 20 years. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Graduate School, CUNY, and a BA in Economics from Brooklyn College.


Over the last five years, Mr. Chanis has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on, among other subjects, energy security, international politics, and political economy. His courses on oil and natural gas at Columbia University have been recognized as among the “Top Five Courses” (out of approximately 200 courses) at the School of Public and International Affairs for the last three years in a row.



Jonathan E. Nathanson

Senior Vice President, Corporate Development,
Boardwalk Pipeline Partners


Jonathan Nathanson is Senior Vice President of Corporate Development of Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, L.P., a publicly traded master limited partnership.  Prior to joining Boardwalk in 2011, Mr. Nathanson served as Vice President of Corporate Development for Loews Corporation, where he was instrumental in the acquisition of several interstate gas pipelines and the formation of Boardwalk in 2005, and was a director of Boardwalk GP, LLC.  Mr. Nathanson began his career as an investment banker in 1989 with a predecessor of Citigroup Inc.  He holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School, as well as a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Steve Corneli

Senior Vice President, Policy & Strategy, NRG



Kate Sherwood

Director, Commercial Partner Channels, SolarCity


Kate Sherwood is the director of commercial partner channels at SolarCity, where she leads the company’s strategy and project development efforts with commercial-scale partners.  She has over eight years of experience in the renewable energy industry, in a variety of sales and marketing leadership roles from venture-capital backed startups to major solar manufacturers. Prior to the renewable energy industry, Ms. Sherwood held a diverse set of roles in technology, strategy consulting, international development and federal government.


She holds a MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a BS cum laude from George Mason University. She lives in San Francisco with her family.

Izzet Bensusan

CEO and Founder, Karbone Group


Mr. Bensusan is CEO and founder of Karbone Group, a New York-based leading renewable energy and environmental markets firm providing capital advisory, commodity brokerage and research services to utilities, project developers and other energy-focused organizations.


Since founding Karbone in 2008, Mr. Bensusan has worked on large-scale wind, solar and biomass power plant financings where he structured equity investments. He has grown the the firm by building a team of finance professionals who have extensive buy-side and sell-side experience in North American renewable energy markets.


Under Mr. Bensusan’s leadership, Karbone has received significant recognition and awards from leading industry publications and organizations. He has been asked to serve in various advisory boards such as the Environmental Markets Association, the Leadership Council of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and as a board member of the New York City Association for Energy Economics. In 2013, he was recognized as one of the Top Energy Entrepreneurs in New York by the industry news source Breaking Energy.


Mr. Bensusan is a former partner at Net2s, a global consulting firm that is now a part of British Telecom. While at Net2s, Mr. Bensusan built and managed a team of over 100 consultants and engineers servicing leading U.S. financial firms. Mr. Bensusan holds an MBA from Columbia University and an MA and BA in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University. He is the co-founder of the Brandeis University Alumni Entrepreneurs Network in New York.

Dan Rosen

CEO and Founder, Solar Mosaic


Dan is a serial entrepreneur with 10 years of experience leading clean energy, green building and energy efficiency companies in rural Native American communities and Israel. He is an Unreasonable Institute fellow and Brower Youth Award winner. In 2012, Dan was recognized as one of the 30 Under 30 in Energy by Forbes Magazine in recognition of his leadership on innovative ways of financing clean energy.

Henry C. Hager

Principal, Client and Partner Group, KKR


Henry C. Hager (New York) joined KKR in 2011 and is a member of the Client and Partner Group. He has been involved in the Firm’s global capital raising activities and currently works as a product specialist focused on energy and infrastructure. Prior to joining KKR, he was with Constellation Energy in its corporate strategy and development group, where he was involved in a number of merger, acquisition, and other corporate advisory transactions. He holds an M.B.A. from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and a B.S. from Wake Forest University. Mr. Hager is an active board member of the Building Conservation Trust.

Ramey Layne

Partner, Vinson & Elkins LLP


Ramey's principal areas of practice are capital markets, securities law, and mergers and acquisitions. He has a particular focus on transactions relating to publicly traded master limited partnerships (MLPs), and has significant experience across energy-related sectors including clients engaged in midstream, oilfield services, chemicals, and timber and wood product related activities. He represents both issuers and underwriters in public and private securities offerings. Ramey has advised clients on general corporate matters, public company reporting issues, restructuring of partnerships, and reporting obligations in connection with acquisition and disposition of partnership securities

David Sandalow (Moderator)

Inaugural Fellow, Center on Global Energy Policy


David Sandalow is the Inaugural Fellow at Columbia University’s new Center on Global Energy Policy.  He is a senior adviser to Garten Rothkopf LLC and member of the Zayed Future Energy Prize Selection Committee.  Prior to joining Columbia, Mr. Sandalow served in senior positions at the U.S. Department of Energy, including Under Secretary of Energy (Acting) and Assistant Secretary for Policy & International Affairs.  As Under Secretary (Acting), Mr. Sandalow helped oversee DOE’s renewable energy, energy efficiency, fossil energy, nuclear energy and electricity delivery programs, with a budget of more than $3.5 billion per year.  As Assistant Secretary, he helped coordinate policy development and international activities at the Department.  Prior to serving at DOE, Mr. Sandalow was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, as well as Energy & Climate Change Working Group Chair at the Clinton Global Initiative.  He has served as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment & Science and a Senior Director on the National Security Council staff.  Mr. Sandalow is the author of Freedom from Oil (McGraw-Hill, 2008) and editor of Plug-In Electric Vehicles: What Role for Washington? (Brookings Press, 2009).  He speaks and writes widely on energy and environment policy and has served as a moderator at many conferences including the Clinton Global Initiative and World Future Energy Summit.  Mr. Sandalow is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School (JD) and Yale College (BA Philosophy).



Scott Fisher

Director, Alternative Energy, NRG


As Scott Fisher is currently Director, Alternative Energy at NRG Energy, Inc, based in Princeton, NJ. In that role, Mr. Fisher heads up various new business initiatives at NRG in the energy storage and residential solar areas. This work includes NRG’s R&D joint venture with the University of Delaware to develop vehicle-to-grid technology and NRG Home Solar’s efforts to develop community and shared solar. Previously, he led NRG’s work to secure federal funding for its renewable development and clean coal projects and also worked in NRG’s plant operations group. Mr. Fisher was the project director for NRG’s successful proposal to the Department of Energy (DOE) for a carbon capture and storage plant at one of the company’s coal plants in Texas. The project received a $167 million grant from DOE and, in September 2014, started construction. From 2006 to 2008, Mr. Fisher worked in NRG’s plant operations group integrating business practices across the company’s fleet.

Mr. Fisher’s previous experience includes corporate management consulting at Booz & Co (currently Strategy&), as well as 5 years at Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), New Jersey’s largest utility. While at PSEG, he worked in a variety of roles, including in corporate strategy, project management, and plant operations. Mr. Fisher currently teaches “Financing the Green Economy” as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. He graduated from Yale SOM in 1998 and holds a BA from Vassar College.

Manuel Sattig

Manager, BMW i, BMW of North America


Manuel Sattig was one of the early team members in the BMW Group’s electric vehicle efforts at the headquarters in Munich, Germany. Manuel worked on an electric vehicle field trial program with the MINI E and later became Global Communication Manager for Project i and BMW i, where he was responsible for the strategy, planning and coordination of BMW’s electric vehicle and future mobility program communication and activities. Prior to BMW i, Manuel held a number of positions within the MINI brand, including marketing specialist, launch manager for the John Cooper Works GP and Clubman. He began his automotive career at the German region of the BMW AG in 2002 as specialist for marketing accessories and aftersales launch management, overseeing the BMW X3 and BMW 1 Series as well as marketing and sales concepts for MINI accessories.


Manuel is currently the Manager BMW Brand Strategy and Communication for BMW of North America, LLC. In this role, Manuel Sattig is responsible for National Marketing, Media Strategy, CRM content management, Digital marketing, Social media and emerging technologies.  Manuel Sattig studied business administration at the University of Hamburg in Germany and received a MBA in 2001 from the University of Hamburg.


Jeremy McCool

Founder, HEVO Inc.


While serving in the Iraqi War, Jeremy McCool pledged to do whatever was in his power to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign fuel. After he exited the military, Jeremy attended Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) where he studied energy security through the creation and deployment of sustainable development policies and innovative, disruptive technologies. Focusing his pursuits on this hybrid model led Jeremy to create an urban-based solution that would accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.


Jeremy founded HEVO Inc. (Hybrid Electric Vehicle Optimization) in November of 2011 with the mission to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) through the use of its wireless charging solution. HEVO and NYU School of Engineering successfully developed a wireless power transfer technology to charge EVs.  With the help of a recently awarded NYSERDA grant, HEVO has initiated its Alpha prototype pilot program with the support of various stakeholders throughout New York State and the US. With HEVO Power, you simply park and power up.

Travis Bradford (Moderator)

Associate Professor of Practice in International and Public Affairs, Director, Energy and Environment Concentration


Travis Bradford is the Director of the Energy and Environment Concentration at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.  He is also a full-time Associate Professor of Practice at Columbia University, teaching energy and natural resource markets and innovation at SIPA, CBS, and the Earth Institute. 


Travis is also the founder and president of the Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development, a nonprofit organization focused on harnessing the power of the business sector to develop cost-effective and sustainable solutions in technologies, including energy, water, food, and recycling. Through the Institute, he helped launch many organizations, including Greentech Media and the Carbon War Room. 


Travis earned a bachelor's degree in finance from Georgia State University in 1992 and an MBA in 1996 from the NYU Stern School of Business. In 2006, he received an MPA degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  He has previously worked at the Federal Reserve, as a partner at various public and private equity investment firms, and as a board member of numerous publicly traded, private, and non-profit firms in the US and abroad.



Micah Kotch

Director of NY Prize and Strategic Adviser for Innovation, NYSERDA


Micah Kotch serves as Director of NY Prize and Strategic Adviser for Innovation at the New York State Energy and Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) where he is responsible for the design and execution of NY Prize, helping to catalyze the innovation and entrepreneurship necessary to transform the State’s electric power infrastructure.  NY Prize is a first-in-the-nation $40 million competition to engage communities in advancing plans for local power infrastructure to reduce costs, promote clean energy, reliability and resiliency.

Previously, Micah served as Director of Innovation.and Entrepreneurship at the NYU School of Engineering, where he worked with the New York City Economic Development Corporation to open New York City’s first sponsored tech incubator on Varick Street in Hudson Square in 2009 and launched the DUMBO Incubator in 2010.  In 2012, Worth Magazine named the incubators under his leadership among its “Top 10 Idea Labs.”  Now a designated ‘StartupNY’ tax-free zone, the incubators have created more than 1000 jobs and had an economic impact approaching $500,000,000 since inception.


 He is the Founding Director of the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Resilient Economy (NYC ACRE), which is a critical axis for innovators to connect and develop new technologies essential to meet both city and state energy and environmental goals, as well as the demands of climate change adaptation and mitigation.  During his time at NYU he also served as the Director of the ‘Powerbridge NY’ proof of concept center, helping commercialize University research using the NSF i-Corp ‘Lean Launchpad’ methodology.

Timothy L. Hoffman

NYC Metro Director, Cleantech Open
& Managing Director, Watts Capital Partners


Tim Hoffman is an experienced investment banking and consulting professional. For over 19 years he has provided strategic and M&A advisory, capital raising, and financial modeling services for large corporations, family-run firms, renewable energy developers, middle market companies and early stage enterprises.


Tim is currently a Managing Director with Watts Capital, LLC, a FINRA and SIPC member broker-dealer based in New York City. Tim’s affiliation with Watts Capital enables him to raise capital for and provide M&A advisory services to renewable energy and cleantech companies and projects.


Tim is also a Managing Director at Green Owl Advisers, which provides financial and strategic consulting services to renewable energy and cleantech companies. He is currently the NYC Metro Director for and National Board Member of the Cleantech Open, which has recognized Tim with the following awards: National Mentor of the Year 2012, Northeast Volunteer of the Year 2013, and National Volunteer of the Year 2013. He also serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence for NYSERDA and as a mentor in PowerBridgeNY.


Prior to joining Watts Capital, Tim was a Managing Director and a member of the Alternative Energy and Cleantech team at Scott-Macon, Ltd. Previously, Tim was a Senior VP with Natixis Bleichroeder, Inc., where he advised on a significant number of cross-border transactions involving European companies.


Tim is a graduate of Indiana University, where he earned two B.A. degrees and spent one year studying at Universität Hamburg. Tim later earned an M.A.E. with a concentration in Finance from the University of Michigan. He is fluent in German and proficient in Japanese and holds Series 7, 79 and 63 securities licenses.

John Freer

Manager, External Technology Initiatives, GE Global Research


Mr. Freer is a technology leader for General Electric’s Venture Capital team.  Leveraging the strength of GE Global Research, Mr. Freer is responsible for management and execution of technology diligence on target investments.  Broadly focusing on the clean-tech, energy, unconventional oil & gas, and advanced manufacturing spaces, Mr. Freer has evaluated a wide variety of emerging technology firms leading to more than 35 equity investments & deployment of >$120M in invested capital.  Mr. Freer is also responsible for developing strategic collaborations between venture-stage technology firms and General Electric, including work-for-equity and other unique relationships of mutual benefit.


Mr. Freer is GE Ventures’ board observer & representative at leading firms including: TPI Composites, a manufacturer of wind turbine blades & composite structures; Arctic Sand Technologies, a developer of high efficiency / small footprint power conversion semiconductors; 1366 Technologies, a manufacturer of low-cost Silicon wafers; and Oblong Technologies, a developer of breakthrough three-dimensional user interfaces and collaboration platforms.  Mr. Freer is responsible for developing and executing follow-on financings, as well as cultivating strategic relationships with General Electric Company.


Mr. Freer has more than 14 years’ experience in the clean-tech and semiconductor industries.  Mr. Freer spent several years as the Product Line Manager for Thin Film and Utility Solar Systems within GE Renewables.  Prior to joining General Electric, Mr. Freer was Director of Engineering for a public firm in the solar industry as well as Lead Engineer at Teradyne, focused on semiconductor capital equipment. Mr. Freer received his BSME and MBA degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University.  Mr. Freer is a NYS licensed Professional Engineer.

Chris Baker

Enterprise Account Executive, Stem Inc.


Chris leads enterprise account activities at Stem, Inc. an energy storage and analytics firm focused on helping customers reduce the demand portion of their energy bills.  Headquartered in San Francisco, Stem also works closely with utilities to manage capacity issues in the face of increasing renewables generation.   Prior to joining Stem, Chris spent five years at Bloom Energy providing a distributed fuel cell solution for mission-critical power needs.  He previously held diverse roles in management consulting and federal government.


Chris holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BA and BS in Economics and Biology from the University of California at San Diego. He was a co-founder of the Green Business Club and recipient of the Heffernan Service Award at Columbia Business School.


Sara F. Tjossem (Moderator)

Senior Lecturer in Discipline of International and Public Affairs, SIPA


Sara Tjossem is a Senior Lecturer in SIPA’s Master of Public Administration program in Environmental Science and Policy, and the program’s Associate Director of Curriculum. She is also affiliated with the Earth Institute. Her teaching and research interests are on the intersection of science and society, the history of science (particularly biology and ecology in the 20th century), agriculture, marine science, and the development of environmental movements and policy.


Tjossem’s book, The Journey to PICES: Scientific Cooperation in the North Pacific (Alaska Sea Grant Press, 2005) traces the events and explores the impediments to the eventual formation of the North Pacific Marine Science Organization in 1992. PICES is now the premier intergovernmental marine organization for the Pacific Ocean, promoting and coordinating advances in marine science.


Other publications include "Scientific Cooperation in the North Pacific: The PICES Project," with Warren S. Wooster in Multilateralism and International Ocean-Resources Law (Law of the Sea Institute, 2004) and several reviews of history of science books and articles.


Tjossem taught history of science at the University of Minnesota from 1995 to1998 and was assistant director of the Institute of Social, Economic and Ecological Sustainability (ISEES) from 1996 to1998. From 1998 to 2003 she served as lecturer and capstone instructor in history and in the Program on the Environment at the University of Washington, Seattle.


Tjossem holds a BA from Swarthmore College (1983), an MS in ecology and evolutionary biology (1990) and a PhD in history of science (1994 EEB), both from Cornell University.


Farrukh Khan

Senior Manager & Head Climate Finance, Executive Office of the Secretary General (EOSG), United Nations



Jean-Philippe Brisson

Partner, New York, Latham & Watkins


Jean-Philippe Brisson, a leading environmental lawyer, advises oil and gas, industrial and financial institution clients on a wide range of energy and environmental matters, including carbon finance, renewable energy and commodities.


Mr. Brisson is a partner in Latham’s Environmental, Land and Resources Department and Co-Chair of its Air Quality and Climate Change Practice. He has more than fifteen years of experience advising clients on energy, commodities and climate policy issues, and is ranked by Chambers USA and Chambers Global for his work in this area. He is a recipient of a 2012 Burton Award for Legal Achievement and a registered lobbyist in California where he represents a number of clients in proceedings before the State Legislature and State Agencies.


Mr. Brisson was previously Vice President in Goldman Sachs’ Global Commodities business where he helped establish Goldman’s US carbon trading desk and worked on a number of private equity transactions. Over his career, he has diligenced, negotiated, structured and drafted more than 100 environmental commodities transactions.


Mr. Brisson also has extensive experience advising clients on environmental issues arising in business transactions and on global product regulations, including those of the WEEE, RoHS and other similar EU Directives.

Andrew H. Darrell

Chief of Strategy, US Climate and Energy & New York Regional Director, EDF