Joe Woomer
Joe Woomer
Vice President, Grid & Technical Solutions, Power Delivery Group, Dominion

Joseph A. “Joe” Woomer is vice president–Grid and Technical Solutions, Power Delivery Group

He leads the company’s grid modernization efforts and is responsible for the technical and engineering aspects of Dominion Energy’s electric distribution business unit, including design, planning, reliability, strategic undergrounding, metering technologies, end-use technologies, renewable energy interconnections and federal energy solutions.

Woomer joined Dominion Energy in 1986 as an associate engineer in Northern Virginia and has held various engineering, operational, and management positions. In 2000, he was promoted to manager–Northwest Operations, responsible for local and regional operating groups and the management of distribution assets. In 2001, he was named director-Distribution Operations Centers, responsible for oversight of electric distribution system operations, gas dispatch, emergency preparedness and GIS. He was named director–Reliability, leading the reliability strategic planning effort, in 2006, and director–Electric Distribution Construction in April 2010. He assumed his current role in July 2018.

He is a member of the Gold Shovel Standard Board and SEE Engineering and Operating Committee and recently transitioned to represent Dominion Energy as an Executive Champion at Virginia State University. He is a former member of the Virginia 4H Foundation Board.

A native of Western Pennsylvania, Woomer earned his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Penn State University in 1986, and graduated from the Tuck Executive Program at the University of Dartmouth in 2003.

Melissa Dykes
Melissa Dykes
President & COO, JEA

Melissa Dykes serves as JEA’s President and Chief Operating Officer. She leads the operation of the utility, responsible for providing reliable, affordable, safe utility services to more than one million people across four counties. Her team of more than 1,900 employees includes electric, water, wastewater, customer experience, human resources, environmental services, compliance, technology, supply chain, and legal. She is responsible for nearly all of JEA’s $2 billion budget and management of assets of $8.8 billion.

Ms. Dykes served as JEA’s Chief Financial Officer for nearly six years prior to her current role. As CFO, she provided leadership to ensure the financial health of JEA, resulting in access to capital at low cost on behalf of JEA’s customers. Her efforts as CFO helped JEA deliver more than $1 billion in cost savings to the community, including savings from refundings, a rate restructuring, and savings from the shutdown of the St. Johns River Power Park earlier this year. She was responsible for all aspects of JEA’s finances, including treasury, financial reporting, budgeting, supply chain management, and shared services, and had lead responsibility for ensuring compliance with all reporting, regulatory and tax requirements for JEA.
 
Prior to joining JEA, Ms. Dykes was CFO at a portfolio company of a large energy private equity firm and a principal in a renewable energy development company, where she was responsible for origination, commercial structuring, development and capital raising for renewable energy projects. She also was Vice President of Investment Banking at JPMorgan, where she was responsible for providing capital solutions for clients, including more than $26 billion in financings for many municipal electric and water systems across the country, risk management product delivery, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining JPMorgan, Ms. Dykes worked for The World Bank Group, where she researched and published on private participation in infrastructure industries in developing countries. She is a graduate of the University of Florida and holds a certificate in Advanced Management from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Jason Handley
Jason Handley
Director of Smart Grid Technology & Operations, Duke Energy

Jason Handley, P.E. is Director of Smart Grid Technology and Operations in the Emerging Technology Office at Duke Energy. Jason has over 18 years of electric utility experience specializing in the smart grid, distribution automation, and operations management. This role allows Jason to follow and define new technologies that may be impacting the electrical grid and oversee all of the ongoing operational aspects on new technology pilot projects in the Emerging Technology Office. Jason manages a group that develops, installs, tests, and evaluates new technologies for Duke’s electrical grid. He and his team are responsible for developing and updating the strategic roadmap for power grid devices at Duke Energy. Jason received his electrical engineering degree from Auburn University and is currently pursuing his MBA at Wake Forest University. He is a registered professional engineer and received his electrical contractors unlimited license in 2009.

Raiford Smith
Raiford Smith
Vice President, Energy Technology and Analytics, Entergy

Raiford Smith and his team lead Entergy’s pursuit of new, enabling technologies such as Distributed Energy Resources, big data analytics, and the development of customer-facing products and services. Mr. Smith is based out of Entergy’s offices in The Woodlands, TX. Entergy is an integrated energy company that owns and operates approximately 30GW of electric generating capacity and delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Mr. Smith has 26 years of experience in the energy industry, including various roles in legal, planning and analytics, smart grid, customer management, demand-side management, pricing and rates, product development, wholesale deal structuring, mergers and acquisitions, and technology.

Sherry Login
Sherry Login
Electric Vehicles Program Manager, ConEdison

Sherry Login is the Manager of Electric Vehicles Programs at the Consolidated Edison Company of New York. Con Edison operates one of the world’s largest energy delivery systems providing electric, gas and to the 10 million people who live in New York City and Westchester County. Sherry pioneered the SmartCharge New York program, the first electric vehicle off-peak charging incentive program to utilize a connected car technology to monitor charging behavior.  She holds an MBA and Master of Environmental Studies from Yale University, as well as a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Environmental Technology from Cornell University.

Michael Quinn
Michael Quinn
Vice President Portfolio Strategy & Risk Management, Oncor Electric Delivery

Michael Quinn is Vice President Portfolio Strategy and Risk Management for Oncor Electric Delivery.  He has been charged with setting the company’s course in transforming the value of the electric grid through innovative, technology-driven and customer focused solutions that meet the growing and changing needs of the market. His work impacts system performance and capital spending, legislative and regulatory efforts, customer engagement, and future business model evolutions.

He joined Texas Utilities, Oncor’s predecessor company, in 1988 and has had assignments in Nuclear Generation, Fossil Generation, System Protection, Asset Management, Grid Operations, Business Development, Federal Advocacy and Corporate Strategy. Over the last twenty-two years, he has held numerous management and leadership positions within these organizations.

Michael is a 1988 graduate of Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas.  He is active on numerous trade associations and industry boards including energy storage, environmental science institute, communications, transmission development and NERC compliance.  He is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Dallas.

Michael and his wife Stephanie live in Flower Mound, Texas with their three children, Lexi, McKenna and Hunter.

Eduardo Guerra
Eduardo Guerra
Manager Non-Wires Alternatives, ConEdison

Eduardo Guerra has 15 years of experience in the energy industry. In his current role, he focuses on identifying and implementing Non-Wires Solutions (NWS) to defer or offset capital infrastructure upgrades. The first NWS under implementation is Brooklyn Queens Demand Management (BQDM) program as part of New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative. Prior to joining Con Edison, he developed energy performance contract projects in municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals (MUSH markets) for ConEdison Solutions. His work involved the design and implementation of distributed energy resources (DER) with focus on distributed generation and microgrids. Prior to this, he worked for Siemens Industries, as a Senior Energy Engineer in the energy performance contract team and alternative energy group. Eduardo holds a B.S. Biochemical Engineering and a M.S. Energy Management from New York Institute of Technology.

Lee Ragsdale
Lee Ragsdale
Senior Vice President Grid Infrastructure & Compliance, North Carolina's Electric Cooperatives

Leads the Power Supply team responsible for NCEMC’s Asset Management & Compliance (Environmental and Regulatory), Grid Infrastructure (Transmission, Engineering, and Grid Modernization), and Portfolio & Resource Optimization. Member of the NCEMC CyberSecurity steering group and manages our EPRI involvement.

Samuel Delay
Samuel Delay
Sr. Program Manager Enterprise Research & Technology Innovation, Tennessee Valley Authority
Howard Smith
Howard Smith
Manager of Distributed Energy Resource Policy, Southern Company

Howard Smith graduated Clemson University in 1977 with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering. 

Currently, Howard is the Manager of Distributed Energy Resource Policy.  In this role, he is responsible for tracking current and future trends and activities involving the broad aspects of DER.  Also, he is responsible for developing plans and policy positions related to DER in support of Executive Management’s efforts in the establishment of goals, actions and policies for the Southern system.

At the present time, Howard is on the Advisory Council for the new Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) which is the merged Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and Association of Demand Response and Smart Grid (ADS) associations.  In addition, he was formerly the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the ADS, and he served on the Alabama Governor’s Advisory Team for Industrial Energy Efficient and CHP.  He has made numerous regional and national presentations on integrated resource planning, demand-side management, smart grid and other electric industry related topics. 

Prior Work Experience:

Duke Power

While attending Clemson, he worked as a student engineer for Duke Power Company in their Anderson operating district. Upon graduation, Howard worked as a Quality Assurance/Special Project engineer in distribution.  In 1979, he worked in the Duke Power corporate office as a distribution staff engineer responsible for distribution design and equipment standards, outdoor lighting, and special projects.

Georgia Power

In July 1981, Howard went to work for Georgia Power in their Transmission Substation Design department.  From 1983 through 1992, he held various jobs within Transmission, Generation and Market Planning.  In 1993, Howard became responsible for developing the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). In addition, he was responsible for the development, filing and approval of Purchase Power Contracts that were the result of competitive bidding of generation needs through a Request-for-Proposals process.    Also, in 2003, Howard became the Metro Team Manager for Key Accounts in the Sales Organization.  In 2005, he became the Manager of Technical Sales and his team was responsible for promoting electric end use processes for non-electrical customer processes.  Also, his team was responsible for the evaluation of Customer Cogeneration Opportunities.

Alabama Power

In May 2008, Howard became the Manager of Resource Planning and Demand Response Operations for Alabama Power.  He was responsible for the development of the generation supply-side and demand-response plan to meet the future needs of Alabama Power’s customers.  This responsibility includes seeking cost effective resources such as: combined heat and power generation, renewable resources (wind, solar, biomass, etc.), traditional generation and customer energy efficiency and demand controlled resources.

Sharon Allan
Sharon Allan
Chief Innovation Officer, SEPA

Sharon Allan has over 30 years of experience and is an executive known for business transformation and growth.  She was President and CEO of SGIP which merged with SEPA. She is also on the Advisory Board of Enertech Capital.  Previously, she was Managing Director  of Accenture’s Smart Grid Practice. Other industry roles include President of Elster Integrated Solutions, Chief Knowledge Officer of Elster Electricity, as well as executive roles at ABB, and IBM.

Sharon has been recognized throughout the years as a Pioneer by Smart Grid Today, Mover and Shaker by GTM (Greentech Media),  Top 3 by Smart Grid News, Technology leader by NCCBI, Platts Energy, and a “Class of 2007 and Alumni” leader by World Generation.  Sharon is an honors graduate from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering and holds an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua Business School.

Tim Driscoll
Tim Driscoll
Director of Information Management Outcomes, Itron

Tim Driscoll is director of information management outcomes, responsible for data management, analytics, and distributed intelligence applications and strategy at Itron, a company dedicated to enabling utilities and cities to safely, securely and reliably deliver critical infrastructure services to communities in more than 100 countries. Tim has been in the utility industry for 30 years and has been with Itron for the past 19 years, with roles in marketing, solution architecture, sales, product line management and consulting. Prior to joining Itron, Tim worked at Nova Scotia Power for 10 years in the areas of distribution engineering and load research & forecasting. Tim has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, both from Dalhousie University in Canada, and is a registered professional engineer.

Warren Westrup
Warren Westrup
Business Developement Manager, Utilties, Sierra Wireless

Warren has more than 25 years of experience working in the electric and gas utility industry as well as experience in wireless communications. Warren started his career as a Field Engineer in GE’s utility services group.  He then worked for CPS Energy as an Instrumentation/Control Engineer at CPS Energy’s coal and gas fired generating plants.  Warren then moved into wireless telecom; holding engineering and sales positions at Motorola, AT&T and Verizon.

Warren is now the Director of Business Development at Sierra Wireless.  In his role, he partners with utility consultants, OEMs and telecom carriers so they can take full advantage of Sierra Wireless’ solutions.

He is a licensed Professional Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Business Administration degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio.

Gina Garner
Gina Garner
Vice President, General Manager of Sales and Customer Operations, Landis + Gyr

Ms. Garner is a senior executive overseeing all Sales, Operations and Support, servicing customers in Investor Owned Utilities, Municipal and Public Power programs in 25 US States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Her role has direct responsibility for the Regional revenue generation, growth, and operational delivery of Landis+Gyr’s entire portfolio of smart grid products and services.  As VP and GM, she is accountable for building a satisfied customer base, a high-performing organization, and driving profitable revenue with existing and new solutions. Her region generates over $400 million annually, with nearly 400 customers.

Ms. Garner’s career history spans across the utility sector with over 25 years of experience working for or serving utilities in strategy, business management, business development, product management and information technology.

Ms. Garner graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA degree (majoring in Management, with a minor in Marketing) and an MBA in Finance from Georgia State University.

Thomas Golden
Thomas Golden
Chief Strategy Officer, EnergyUnited

Thomas Golden is the Chief Strategy Officer at EnergyUnited EMC.  Thomas is responsible for developing groundbreaking strategic initiatives to leverage emerging technology, innovative service models, and disruptive trends in the marketplace to catapult EnergyUnited to the forefront of the electric industry.

Thomas has held a variety of other roles in his career, including Program Manager, Technology Innovation at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). At EPRI Thomas and his team were responsible for managing a large portfolio of research focused on emerging technology and thought leadership.

Prior to EPRI, he was as the Manager of Energy Market Design at the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), where he and his team were responsible for the evolution of the NYISO wholesale energy electricity market design. The team was closely focused on improving pricing signals and incentives that closely align with reliability needs and/or policy objectives.

Before leading Energy Market Design, Thomas was the Manager of Technology Management at Duke Energy, where he helped shape the company's strategy and policy regarding energy storage and emerging technologies. Thomas was a speaker at numerous National conferences and Universities where he delivered a message of thought leadership and change management related to emerging technologies. He was honored as one of the fifty Smart Grid Pioneers of 2015.
Finally, he led the Senior Reactor Operator Initial Licensing Program at Duke Energy's Catawba Nuclear Station. In this role, Thomas developed future licensed reactor and senior reactor operators who are tasked with operating a two-unit commercial nuclear reactor facility.

Thomas earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as well as a Master of Business Administration from Wake Forest University.
Thomas is a military veteran, serving 12 years on active duty in the US Navy where responsibilities included operating submarine nuclear reactors and land-based prototype nuclear reactors.  Thomas continues to serve today in the Navy Reserve as a Supply Corps Officer.

Rishi Sondhi
Rishi Sondhi
Emerging Products Manager, National Grid
Kyle Butler
Kyle Butler
Vice President Horizontal Markets, PowerSecure

Kyle is the Vice President of Horizontal Markets, focusing on microgrid development, implementation, and management across the United States and Puerto Rico for PowerSecure.  PowerSecure is an industry leading microgrid supplier through their EPC+ approach, with a fleet of ~2GW of systems across the country.  Kyle has spent his 9 years at PowerSecure in Application Engineering, Business Development, and Management roles, and has participated in the development of 150MW+ of microgrid projects.

Kyle holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, as well a Masters in Management from the Fuqua School of Business.

Gary Rackliffe
Gary Rackliffe
Vice President Smart Grids and Grid Modernization, ABB

Gary Rackliffe is the ABB Vice President for Smart Grids and Grid Modernization. He has been in this position since 2009 and leads ABB’s smart grid initiatives in North America. He also is the General Manager for the Smart Grid Center of Excellence located in Raleigh, North Carolina.

With 30+ years of electric grid transmission and distribution experience, Gary has been recognized as an industry leader on smart grid technologies. He is the past chair of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s Smart Grid Council and is the Technical Advisor for the IEC US national Committee’s advisory group.

Gary holds BS and ME degrees in Power Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer and an IEEE Senior Member. He has co-authored a T&D planning book, and has written numerous technical papers and articles.

Ben Kellison
Ben Kellison
Director, Grid Research, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

Ben is the Director of Grid Research for Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (Formerly GTM Research), specializing in Distribution Automation, Network Management and Renewables Integration markets. He previously worked as a research analyst for Knwldg Houston, formerly a green energy and healthcare consulting firm, where his research focused on AMI deployment and smart grid regulatory policy. Prior to Knwldg Houston, Ben was a policy intern with Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates where he performed research for energy, transportation, and defense clients.

He has authored multiple studies on the smart grid market, concentrating on policy evolution, technology innovation, the market's competitive landscape and project economics. Ben has delivered keynote presentations for multiple industry conferences, moderated and participated in panels covering a variety of topics, and regularly hosts industry webinars with GTM Research / Greentech Media. Ben has been a smart grid contributor on CNN Money, NPR, and the Texas Tribune. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science.

Elta Kolo, Ph.D.
Elta Kolo, Ph.D.
Research Manager, Grid Edge, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

Elta is a Research Manager for the Grid Edge team at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (formerly GTM Research), working on demand-side management in U.S. electricity markets. Prior to joining GTM, Elta pursued a joint Ph.D. funded by the European Commission on Sustainable Energy Technologies and Strategies at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. During her doctoral studies, she researched demand response policies for the implementation of smart grids and has presented her work at both U.S. and European conferences in addition to publishing in international scholarly journals. Elta holds a Master of Science degree in economics and management of network industries and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Union College.

Chris Wedding
Chris Wedding
Managing Partner & Co-Founder, IronOak Energy Capital

Chris Wedding is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of IronOak Energy Capital, an investment banking and advisory firm focused exclusively on clean energy. In addition, he is a professor at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and was previously Director and Senior Adviser at Cherokee Investment Partners. He has two decades of experience in private equity, startups, renewable energy, green building, cleantech, and education. He received a BS in Environmental Science from Western Kentucky University as a national Goldwater Scholar and earned an MS and PhD in green real estate from UNC.

Julian Spector
Julian Spector
Staff Writer, Greentech Media

Julian is a staff writer at Greentech Media, where he reports on energy storage and other clean energy sectors. He also has experience covering clean transportation, state and federal energy policy, and climate adaptation. Previously, Julian reported for CityLab at The Atlantic and conducted grant-funded climate change reporting in Bangladesh. He graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in political science.

Patty Durand
Patty Durand
President & CEO, Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative

Patty Durand is President & CEO of the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC), a nonprofit whose mission is to serve as a trusted source of information for stakeholders seeking a broad understanding of consumers’ views and attitudes about energy technology and grid modernization. SECC also educates consumers and provides materials to support stakeholders in their outreach and educational efforts engaging consumers about smart energy topics.

Before joining SECC, Durand worked for the Georgia Institute of Technology where she assisted in smart grid research projects. She has an MBA from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Daniel Vermeer, Ph.D.
Daniel Vermeer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of the Practice of Energy & Environment Executive Director Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment (EDGE) Fuqua School of Business, Duke University

Dr. Daniel Vermeer is founder and director of Duke University's Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment (EDGE), an initiative that harnesses the power of business to meet the global demand for energy, resources, and improved quality of life. Through education, thought leadership, and outreach, EDGE helps to develop promising new solutions to global energy and sustainability challenges, and convenes business, civic, and academic leaders to scale these solutions for maximum impact.

Since EDGE’s founding in 2010, Vermeer has launched several new programs including the Energy Industry Fundamentals workshop, EDGE Seminar on Energy & Environment, EDGE Chats video series, EDGE Notes blog, and the EDGE Forum (2014 Forum on the China Cleantech Revolution). He has also recruited 12 leading global companies to participate in the EDGE Advisory Council, including ABB, Duke Energy, Chevron, Coca-Cola, SunRun and Walmart. EDGE plays a major role in supporting several student clubs (e.g. Energy Club, Net Impact Club, MEM-MBA Club), and coorganizing the annual Energy Conference, Sustainable Business and Social Impact Conference, and Week-in-Cities tours.

Vermeer is Associate Professor of the Practice at Fuqua School of Business and Nicholas School of the Environment, where he teaches sustainability, energy, and international business courses. In addition to his Business Strategies for Sustainability class, Vermeer leads the EDGE Seminar Series, advises student teams through the Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum, and co-leads the China GATE Course, an immersive  introduction to Chinese culture and business that includes a 2-week trip to four Chinese cities. In his consulting practice, he works on sustainability challenges with leading companies and organizations including Bank of America, ABB, GE, Walmart, Dupont, The Nature Conservancy, UN Global Compact, Claremont Creek Ventures, and other private and public organizations.

His areas of expertise include sustainability strategy, risk management, energy & behavior, value chains, resource productivity, water and ecosystem services, sustainable agriculture, industrial efficiency, product certification, and sustainable development. His current research focuses natural capital considerations in business decision-making, water risk and resilience, data and analytics for sustainable agriculture, cleantech urban development, and energy innovation in emerging markets.

At Duke, Vermeer collaborates with several related initiatives, including the Duke University Energy Initiative, Center for Sustainability and Commerce, Duke Campus Sustainability Committee, Food Sustainability Committee, and the Duke Campus Farm. He is the faculty advisor to several student Master’s Projects at the Nicholas School for the Environment and Sanford School for Public Policy. He also serves on the Duke Brazil Initiative Board, and is a partner on a Mellon grant focused on Energy Geopolitics in the Western Hemisphere.

Beyond Duke, Vermeer is an editor for the Frontiers in Energy Systems and Policy journal, and serves on the Award Nominating Committee for the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS). He also is on Sustainability Advisory Boards for Ingersoll Rand and Xylem. He currently serves on USAID’s Powering Agriculture Mentoring Council, where he advises entrepreneurial ventures that provide energy solutions for agriculture in the developing world.

Vermeer joined Duke from The Coca-Cola Company, where he led the Global Water Initiative, an industry-leading effort to protect the quality and availability of the company's primary ingredient. As part of this work, he designed a new risk management methodology for assessing Coca-Cola’s global manufacturing facilities, and founded Coca-Cola’s Community Water Partnerships program, resulting in nearly 500 public-private partnerships in over 90 countries.

During his tenure at Coca-Cola, he also launched the company’s Sustainable Agriculture program to manage lifecycle impacts of agricultural supply chain inputs, and led the Sustainable Value Chain initiative to embed sustainability capabilities across business functions, including finance, strategy, operations, marketing, and procurement.

Vermeer plays a leading public role in advocating for business sustainability through speaking, research, and institution-building. He is the founder and chief architect of the Global Water Challenge, a multi-partner organization for innovative water and  sanitation initiatives, co-author of the CEO Water Mandate (signed by more than 50 Fortune 500 companies), and lead contributor to several policy documents issued through the World Economic Forum, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the United Nations Foundation.

Vermeer is trained as an anthropologist, and did extensive fieldwork and research in the Himalayas of India and Nepal as part of his Master’s thesis at the University of Virginia. He completed his Ph.D. in Learning Sciences at Northwestern University, where he conducted research on organizational learning and change at Xerox PARC in Silicon Valley.

Brian Murray
Brian Murray
Director, Duke Energy Initiative, Duke University

Brian Murray is widely recognized for his work on the economics of energy policy, particularly as it relates to efforts to mitigate climate change risk. This includes the design and assessment of market-based instruments such as carbon tax, cap-and-trade, and tradable performance standards, as well as policies affecting the markets for bioenergy and other renewables. Murray is among the original designers of the allowance price reserve approach for containing prices in carbon markets that was adopted by California and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap-and-trade programs and served on a National Academy of Science panel to examine the effects of the U.S. federal tax code on energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.

Throughout his 25-year research career, Murray has produced many peer-reviewed publications on topics ranging from the design of market-based environmental policies and the effectiveness of renewable energy subsidies to the evaluation of programs to protect natural habitats such as forests, coastal and marine ecosystems.

Murray is a research professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment and a faculty affiliate with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, where he previously served as Director of the Environmental Economics Program. Murray also serves a faculty affiliate with the Duke Initiative for Science and Society.

Jessica Hamm
Jessica Hamm
Director of Solutions, Utilities, SparkCognition

With over a decade of experience in the energy industry, Jessica Hamm joins SparkCognition as the Director of Solutions for Utilities.

Previously, Hamm served as the Manager of Emerging Technology Strategy and Communication for Duke Energy, where she was responsible for monitoring technology-driven megatrends, identifying and developing utility technologies, and informing long-term strategy.

Hamm started her career in utilities at Progress Energy. She held roles in Finance and Distribution Project Management, as well as assuming the role of Chief of Staff for the SVP of Midwest Delivery Operations. Prior to that, Hamm was with IBM Global Services.

Hamm earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from North Carolina State University graduating summa cum laude, and was an NC State Park Scholar. She also holds a master’s degree in sustainability from Wake Forest University.

Raj Lakhiani
Raj Lakhiani
CEO, Athena Power

Mr. Rajesh (Raj) Lakhiani is the founder and CEO of Athena Power, a Washington, DC-based energy technology company providing low-cost/high functionality grid modernization solutions to electric utilities. Prior to joining Athena Power, Mr. Lakhiani worked at VC-backed CURRENT Group (acquired by Ormazabal), where he was VP and head of the North America Smart Grid business. Prior to joining CURRENT Group, he worked at Siemens Venture Capital (SVC), covering the energy, industrial, and enterprise software space. Mr. Lakhiani also worked with Siemens portfolio companies, including G2 Microsystems (acquired by Roving Networks), BPL Global (Qualitrol), Prenova (acquired by Ecova), Smart Synch (acquired by Itron), eMeter (acquired by Siemens). Mr. Lakhiani began his career in energy working for Merrill Lynch Commodities in Houston where he supported the risk management and power trading desk. He attended the University of Texas at Austin  (The McCombs School of Business) where he received his BBA and Stanford University, where he studied engineering/environmental sciences.

Timothy Johnson
Timothy Johnson
Associate Professor, Duke University

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

Chris Doerfler
Chris Doerfler
Founder, 3DFS

A genuine startup entrepreneur, Chris Doerfler has worked in a number of industries before settling on creating a brand new one with Software-Defined Electricity. As a cofounder in 3DFS and CEO of SAM Controllers, Chris is part of an awe inspiring team that is transforming the energy industry with a technology that leverages advancements in computing, sensing and controls. He is a North Carolina native, an alumni of UNC-Chapel Hill and a father of two children. In his free time, when not attempting to change the way humans interact with electricity, his time is spent on attempting to change the way his children act when company is present.

Mike Phillips
Mike Phillips
Co-Founder & CEO, Sense

Mike Phillips is the CEO and co-founder of Sense, a startup creating technology that helps homeowners better understand their energy use. A pioneer in the field of machine learning, Mike began his career in speech recognition. He worked as a researcher at MIT before co-founding two speech recognition companies (SpeechWorks and Vlingo) which brought groundbreaking speech recognition capabilities to call centers and to mobile phones, including the technology that powered virtual assistants across hundreds of millions of phones. Mike’s passion for machine learning led him to found Sense in 2013, bringing the power of machine learning into the home.