November 16 Panel 

Cheryl A. LaFleur is a nationally-recognized energy leader. She serves as Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy, focusing primarily on the adaptation of the electric and natural gas sectors to the challenges of climate change. LaFleur also serves on the Board of Directors of ISO New England, the organization that plans and operates the power system and administers wholesale electricity markets for New England.

 

Previously, LaFleur was one of the longest-serving commissioners on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). nominated by President Obama in 2010 and 2014 serving until August 2019. She served as Chairman was 2014-15 and as Acting Chairman from 2013-14 and during 2017. She successfully navigated nearly a decade of change in the nation's energy industry, power supply, and political leadership, helping FERC respond effectively to major energy challenges and opportunities across the electric, natural gas, and oil sectors. She has been recognized with several awards for energy policy and leadership, including the Carnot Prize for leadership in energy policy, the Vanguard Award for leadership on energy market issues, a Bipartisan Congressional Award for leadership in addressing emerging hazards to the grid.
 

Earlier in her career, 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. She began her career as an attorney at Ropes and Gray in Boston.


LaFleur has served on several nonprofit and community boards and currently serves on the Trustee Advisory Board of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She has a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an A.B. from Princeton University. 

Scott Hall 

Cheryl A. LaFleur is a nationally-recognized energy leader. She serves as Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy, focusing primarily on the adaptation of the electric and natural gas sectors to the challenges of climate change. LaFleur also serves on the Board of Directors of ISO New England, the organization that plans and operates the power system and administers wholesale electricity markets for New England.

 

Previously, LaFleur was one of the longest-serving commissioners on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). nominated by President Obama in 2010 and 2014 serving until August 2019. She served as Chairman was 2014-15 and as Acting Chairman from 2013-14 and during 2017. She successfully navigated nearly a decade of change in the nation's energy industry, power supply, and political leadership, helping FERC respond effectively to major energy challenges and opportunities across the electric, natural gas, and oil sectors. She has been recognized with several awards for energy policy and leadership, including the Carnot Prize for leadership in energy policy, the Vanguard Award for leadership on energy market issues, a Bipartisan Congressional Award for leadership in addressing emerging hazards to the grid.
 

Earlier in her career, 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. She began her career as an attorney at Ropes and Gray in Boston.


LaFleur has served on several nonprofit and community boards and currently serves on the Trustee Advisory Board of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She has a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an A.B. from Princeton University. 

Scott Hall has over 30 years of experience managing various hydroelectric generating assets and companies in the Northeast. Mr. Hall has been directly responsible for all facets of hydroelectric company operations focusing on employee management, environmental compliance, facility maintenance and operations, and business development activities. Mr. Hall has also been the active leader in a variety of stakeholder settlement agreement processes that ultimately addressed numerous socio-economic issues related to river flows, energy development, and natural resource management. Mr. Hall has also been actively engaged in industry groups including assuming leadership roles for those organizations. Mr. Hall holds bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Maine.

Thad (John B., III) Hill serves as President and Chief Executive Officer at Calpine Corporation, one of the nation’s largest independent competitive power companies. Calpine operates its power plants and retail businesses in 25 states and Ontario, Canada. Calpine is the largest gas fired generator in the United States and operates the world’s largest geothermal generation facility which combined are approximately 27,000 MW’s of capacity or enough generation for more than 25 million homes. Calpine’s retail businesses provide energy and energy services to some of the nation’s largest commercial and industrial users of electricity as well residential customers through both direct and indirect sales channels.

Thad has led Calpine since 2014 when he was promoted from President and Chief Operating Officer to CEO. Calpine was listed on the NYSE until March of 2018, but was then taken private by a large consortium – led by Energy Capital Partners with the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board and Access Industries along with other pension, insurance, and sovereign wealth funds. The go private valuation was at a 50% premium to its unaffected share price and achieved a $17.1B enterprise value. Thad was awarded the Institutional Investor Mid-Cap CEO of the year award for 2018.

Thad joined Calpine in 2008. Prior to Calpine, Thad was Executive Vice President of NRG Energy since February 2006 and President of NRG Texas since December 2006 where he had responsibility for NRG’s largest regional portfolio of power generation assets including its 44% share of the South Texas Project nuclear facility.

Paul Segal is the Chief Executive Officer of LS Power and has served in that capacity since 2011. Mr. Segal is also a member of LS Power’s Management Committee, overseeing one of the largest independent power and transmission developers in the United States. Since its inception in 1990, LS Power has consistently been at the leading edge of the industry’s evolution, often introducing or commercializing new technologies and developing new markets.

 

To date, LS Power has developed, constructed, managed or acquired more than 42,000 MW of power generation, including utility scale solar, wind, hydro, natural gas-fired and battery storage projects, and 630 miles of transmission. Additionally, LS Power actively invests in businesses and platforms focused on distributed energy resources and energy efficiency. Through its greenfield businesses and investment partnerships, LS Power has raised over $45 billion in debt and equity financing to support North American infrastructure.

 

Prior to his appointment as CEO, Mr. Segal oversaw LS Power’s asset management and renewables development activities. In 2002, Mr. Segal founded Luminus Management, a hedge fund which invested across the capital structure of publicly-traded power, energy, utility and related companies.  He was President and Portfolio Manager until 2011 and sold the business in 2017. Mr. Segal began his career at Smith Barney as a generalist in the Mergers and Acquisitions Investment Banking group.

 

Mr. Segal is a member of the Mount Sinai Department of Medicine Advisory Board, the Weill Cornell Medicine Dean’s Council, the board of the Digestive Disease Research Foundation, the Advisory Board of the NYU Law School’s Institute for Policy Integrity, and Chairman of the Electric Power Supply Association.

Alicia Barton was appointed Chief Executive Officer of FirstLight Power (“FirstLight”) on August 3, 2020.  FirstLight is a leading clean power producer and energy storage company in New England with a portfolio that includes 1.4 GW of pumped-hydro storage, battery storage, hydroelectric generation, and solar generation. FirstLight operates one of the largest portfolios of carbon-free electric generation in ISO-NE and is the largest provider of energy storage in Massachusetts.

Ms. Barton has extensive clean energy leadership experience from both the public and private sectors.  Her past public service included recently serving as the President and as CEO of the New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and previously as CEO the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), where she helped both New York and Massachusetts to advance and implement nation-leading clean energy strategies.  Ms. Barton’s prior private sector experience includes serving as Co-Chair of the Energy and Cleantech Practice at Foley Hoag LLP, and as Chief of Operations of the Global Utility business unit at SunEdison where she oversaw teams building utility-scale wind and solar projects.  Ms. Barton’s career has been focused on advancing new clean energy projects and markets in areas such as offshore wind, solar, energy storage, efficiency and accelerating clean technology innovation.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of numerous prominent climate-focused organizations including Greentown Labs, the Environmental League of Massachusetts, and the Alliance to Save Energy. 

Jennifer Benson joined the Alliance for Business Leadership as its President in 2020 after 11 years in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. During her time in the Legislature, Benson served as Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, as well as Chair of the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight. Throughout her time in the House, she was a progressive champion for bold environmental and energy policy.

 

Her environmental justice-focused carbon pricing bill garnered the support of over 100 of her colleagues and is being used as model legislation in other states. She has brought that same commitment and passion to the Alliance for Business Leadership, a nonprofit coalition of business leaders advocating for progressive policy solutions, where she helps lead the New England for Offshore Wind coalition and the Alliance's Climate and Energy Policy Council.

 

Benson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Florida Atlantic University and a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Paul Hibbard is a Principal at Analysis Group, a Boston-based economic and financial consulting firm.  Paul is a former Chairman of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, and has held positions in both energy and environmental regulatory agencies in Massachusetts.  Paul has also served on the New England States' Committee on Electricity, and the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board.  In private practice, Paul provides technical, economic and policy analysis and strategic advice to public and private sector participants in the natural gas and electric industries.  

 

Paul holds a B.S. in Physics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and an M.S. in Energy and Resources from the University of California at Berkeley.

Melissa joined the Attorney General’s Office as Chief of the Environmental Protection Division in November 2012, and was named Chief of AG Healey’s newly formed Energy and Environment Bureau in February 2015.  She oversees the work of the Bureau’s attorneys on a range of matters including prosecuting civil enforcement of environmental laws and cost recovery cases, proceedings before the DPU, energy policy, defensive cases, and undertaking affirmative advocacy, including litigation in support of EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, and federal regulation of carbon pollution.  In 2013, Melissa received a Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Top Women of Law award.

Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Melissa served for over five years as a vice president of Conservation Law Foundation and director of its Healthy Communities and Environmental Justice Program, and from 2007-2010, as director of CLF’s New Hampshire Advocacy Center.  Melissa coordinated CLF’s regional transportation advocacy, represented CLF in federal Clean Air Act litigation, lead CLF’s advocacy efforts in connection with complex federal water permitting issues at a coal-fired power plant, and, in 2010, launched CLF’s Sustainable Farm & Food System Initiative.

Melissa practiced at WilmerHale for many years before joining CLF, where her focus was environmental law and litigation and she worked on a range of matters including cost recovery under the Massachusetts and federal Superfund laws, corporate successor liability, NEPA, insurance cost recovery, zoning, Clean Water Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, and state clean water, wetlands, and hazardous and solid waste disposal laws.  In 2007, Melissa received a Boston Bar Association President’s Award for her pro bono work at WilmerHale representing six detainees interned at Guantanamo Bay in Boumediene v. Bush.

Melissa served as a law clerk for the Honorable Magistrate Judge Joyce London Alexander, Boston Federal District Court.  She received a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law, Certificate in Environmental Management from Tufts University, M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts, and B.A. from Hampshire College.  In her spare time, she raises a small herd of Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats at her farm in Central Massachusetts.

Tom Rumsey is Senior Vice President of External & Regulatory Affairs for Competitive Power Ventures.  He is responsible for all regulatory affairs, government relations, energy market coordination and corporate communications.

 

Tom’s previous role was as the SVP of External Affairs at the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO).  He led their government relations, regulatory affairs, media and corporate communications as well as their customer services and support.

 

Prior to joining the NYISO, Tom was an executive with General Electric beginning in 2001. He joined GE as part of their Junior Officer Leadership Program leading their acquisition and corporate communications. He held positions of increasing responsibility including communications leader for GE’s Nuclear Power business and was the Communications and Marketing leader for the newly formed Power and Water business.

Chairman Neil Chatterjee was nominated to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by President Donald J. Trump in May 2017 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in August 2017. He served as Chairman from August 2017 to December 2017 and was again named Chairman on October 24, 2018.

 

Since joining the Commission, Chatterjee has championed several strategic initiatives reflecting his firm commitment to ensuring that FERC regulations and actions reflect changes in today’s energy landscape.

 

These include: Streamlining and improving FERC’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal application review and approval process; Ensuring new technologies such as electric storage can compete freely in energy markets; Reforming the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA); Securing the nation’s energy infrastructure from physical and cyber threats; and Bolstering grid reliability and resilience.

 

In July 2019, Chatterjee announced creation of the Division of LNG Facility Review & Inspection, including the establishment of a Houston Regional Office, to accommodate the growing number and complexity of applications to site, build and operate LNG export terminals. Each of these actions has further advanced the Chairman’s priority of expediting and improving LNG export terminal application reviews. Chatterjee strongly believes that FERC must proactively address shifts in the energy industries it regulates to ensure that emerging technologies play an integral role in wholesale electric markets. First as Commissioner and again as Chairman, he voted to support FERC’s landmark Order No. 841, requiring competitive wholesale market operators to facilitate the participation of energy storage in their markets. Chatterjee views energy storage as a potential game-changer for the nation’s electric system and has advanced reforms to break down market barriers.

 

Achieving one of his top priorities, Chatterjee also pushed forward a proposed rule to modernize the Commission’s implementation of PURPA, which was enacted by Congress in 1978. The proposed reforms balance today’s tremendous technological advancements in renewables and increased sophistication in competitive markets, with Chatterjee’s objective that FERC continue to meet its statutory obligations. In 2019, Chatterjee launched the EnVision Forum to bring together thought leaders and new voices in the energy world. This ground-breaking venture started a conversation focused on new lines of communication and collaboration to address issues facing the nation’s changing energy landscape. Chatterjee has been an outspoken voice on the need to secure the nation’s critical energy infrastructure against physical and cyber threats. He’s advocated for leaders to continually evaluate security rules and postures to address shifts in the energy industries so that companies can both harness the benefits of new and emerging technologies and mitigate associated risks.

Joseph T. Kelliher is a former Executive Vice President-Federal Regulatory Affairs for NextEra Energy, Inc. (NextEra) and former Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Mr. Kelliher was responsible for developing and executing FERC regulatory strategy for NextEra and its principal subsidiaries, NextEra Energy Resources and Florida Power & Light Company, from 2009 to 2020. NextEra is the largest electricity company in the U.S., one of the few national electricity companies, operating in every region and every organized market, and the most complex company regulated by FERC, with multiple business lines subject to FERC regulation.

Previously, Mr. Kelliher served as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) from 2005 to 2009. A hallmark of his chairmanship was efficient implementation of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the largest expansion in FERC regulatory authority since the 1930s. This law gave FERC a new mission to assure reliability of the interstate power grid, granted the agency strong enforcement authority for the first time and expanded FERC powers in other areas. Chairman Kelliher pursued a series of reforms to promote competitive wholesale power and natural gas markets, improve FERC economic regulation and strengthen the U.S. energy infrastructure.

Mr. Kelliher has spent his entire professional career working on energy policy matters, serving in a variety of roles in both the public and private sectors. These include senior policy advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, majority counsel to the U.S. House Commerce Committee and positions with private corporations, trade associations and law firms.

Mr. Kelliher earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, and a Juris Doctor degree, magna cum laude, from The American University Washington College of Law.

Secretary Kathleen A. Theoharides oversees the Commonwealth's six environmental, natural resource and energy regulatory agencies, which include the Departments of Environmental Protection, Public Utilities, Energy Resources, Conservation & Recreation, Agricultural Resources, and Fish & Game. Secretary Theoharides also serves as Chairman of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the Energy Facilities Siting Board, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

Trained as a field biologist, Secretary Theoharides began her policy career working in Washington, D.C. at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and Defenders of Wildlife. During her time in D.C., Secretary Theoharides worked on the federal farm bill and conservation policy, and helped establish a national program that partnered with federal and state agencies to incorporate climate change adaptation into policy, budgets, and planning. After returning to Massachusetts, she served as the Executive Director of the Hilltown Land Trust, and founded Theoharides Consulting which provided climate and environmental policy analysis, strategic planning, and facilitation to universities, government agencies and non-profits.

Secretary Theoharides joined the Baker-Polito Administration in 2016 as Director of Climate and Global Warming Solutions in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. As Director and later Assistant Secretary, Secretary Theoharides guided the development and implementation of the Administration’s efforts to safeguard Massachusetts from the impacts of climate change, support cities and towns, and coordinate efforts across state government to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.  She worked to implement Executive Order 569, led the development of the State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan and created the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program, working to grow the program to reach 50 percent of cities and towns in the Commonwealth in less than 3 years. Secretary Theoharides was promoted to Undersecretary in 2019, and continued to lead the Commonwealth’s efforts on climate change, including working to strengthen regional and national coalitions focused on bipartisan state climate leadership including the United States Climate Alliance and the Transportation Climate Initiative.

Gordon van Welie is President and CEO of ISO New England Inc. He has been actively involved since 2000 in the establishment and growth of advanced wholesale electricity markets and a robust regional system planning process in the New England region.

 

New England’s resources are undergoing a dramatic transformation from oil, coal, and nuclear generation to natural gas, renewable energy, and distributed resources. Gordon has led a strategic initiative to keep system reliability intact and wholesale markets competitive while the shift in fuels and technologies occur. These initiatives include addressing the interdependency between the gas and electric systems, ensuring  efficient price formation, facilitating the integration of renewable, distributed, and ‘smart grid’ technologies, and making significant investments in the regional transmission infrastructure.

 

Before joining ISO New England, Gordon was the Vice President and General Manager of the Power System Control business for Siemens, which supplies energy and distribution management systems to electric utilities. Earlier in his career, he worked in various transmission and distribution control system engineering roles with the South African utility, Eskom.

 

Gordon is a member of ISO New England’s Board of Directors, as well as a number of industry groups, including the Executive Committee of the U. S. National Committee of CIGRE, the Member Representatives Committee of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the ISO/RTO Council, and the IEEE Power & Engineering Society. In 2017, he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

 

He is a recipient of 2017 Utility Variable-Generation Integration (UVIG) Achievement Award and, in 2016, was awarded the IEEE Power & Energy Society Leadership in Power Award. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Matthew Nelson was appointed Chair of the Department of Public Utilities in February 2019.  Nelson began his energy career at the DPU in 2007 in the Natural Gas Division.  Subsequently, Nelson served as the Supervisor of Regulatory, Policy, and Planning for Eversource Energy as part of the nationally recognized Mass Save program.  Returning to the DPU, Nelson became the Director of Electric Power, as well as the director of Regional and Federal Affairs.   During Nelson’s time at the DPU, he investigated a wide range of utility issues, including grid modernization investments, general rate case issues, solar and renewable energy development, energy efficiency, climate strategies, competitive supply, and storm restoration issues.  Specifically, significant cases in energy policy that that Nelson has covered include:

 

  • Multiple Off-shore wind adjudications including the recent approvals for Vineyard Wind

  • The Energy Efficiency Three Year Plan(s)

  • The Grid Modernization Adjudication (Phase 1)

  • Public Electric Vehicle Charging infrastructure programs

  • Net Metering, Energy Storage, and Capacity Rights

  • Storm Response and Restoration Investigations

  • Implementation of the MA SMART Tariff

 

Nelson’s work at the DPU and elsewhere has focused on reducing costs to ratepayers, while improving reliability and continuing to drive down greenhouse gas emissions.   Nelson is a graduate of Stonehill College, and holds a Master’s degree in economics from Tufts University.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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