1 New Jason Nagy

Africa Business Development Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa Region
U.S. Trade & Development Agency (USTDA)

Since 2008, Jason Nagy has been based in Johannesburg, South Africa, working for the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). Mr. Nagy travels throughout sub-Saharan Africa to meet with public and private sector project sponsors to develop USTDA grant activities that support USTDA’s mandate of promoting economic development in Africa (infrastructure, technology transfer, job creation and skills development, and market-oriented reforms) and U.S. exports.

In his nine years with USTDA, Mr. Nagy has assisted in identifying and crafting more than $60 million of USTDA program funding, primarily focused on clean energy solutions, transportation efficiencies and infrastructure improvements (ports, rail and aviation), and information and communication technology projects. Through funding for feasibility studies, technical assistance, study tours, and workshops, Mr. Nagy facilitates financing for key infrastructure projects, as well as capacity building and institutional networking to support successful project implementation. In 2013, he launched the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Development and Finance Center.  Mr. Nagy is a passionate promoter and facilitator for innovation, entrepreneurialism and skills development programs in Africa, and is always eager to bring together public, private, non-governmental and academic institutions for the common good.

Prior to USTDA, he worked for the Member of the Board of Directors at the Export-Import Bank of the United States responsible for the Bank’s sub-Saharan Africa business development efforts.

Mr. Nagy has a master’s degree in international affairs from American University with concentrations in international economic policy and international business. His bachelor’s degree is in political science and journalism from Indiana University.


Melvin Foote

President and Chief Executive Officer
Constituency for Africa

Mr. Melvin P. Foote has worked on African issues for more than 35 years.  He is the Founder, President and CEO of the Constituency for Africa, (CFA), a 20-years old Washington, D.C.-based network of organizations, groups and individuals committed to the progress and empowerment of Africa and African people worldwide.

CFA’s mission is to build public and private support for Africa, and to help shape U.S. policies towards Africa.  In 2002 Mr. Foote also founded the African American Unity Caucus (AAUC), a broad-based coalition of African-American and other Americans of African descent, who lead or are leaders of Africa-focused organizations and groups — to promote Pan-African cooperation and to link Diaspora leaders in the Western Hemisphere with the African Union (AU), as part of their “sixth region” outreach initiative.  Further, he serves as a consultant to the World Bank on African Diaspora issues as well as advises the African Union’s Ambassador to the United States.

Mr. Foote has traveled and worked extensively in more than thirty African countries.  To start his career, from 1973 – 1976, he went to Eritrea and Ethiopia as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer and teacher.  From 1981-1984, he served as Africare’s Representative in Somalia, where he designed and managed a number of projects and programs that addressed issues of refugee assistance and rural development.  From 1984-1994, he was assigned to Africare’s Washington headquarters as their Director of Development Education and Constituency Development, which eventually led to the founding of the Constituency for Africa.

Mr. Foote has participated in numerous high-level missions to Africa, including as a participant on a White House delegation to assess the impact of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994; as a Member of a high profiled team of former Peace Corps Volunteers, that sought to end the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1998; as a member of a Presidential mission to five African countries in 1998 to promote U.S. trade with Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act; as the leader of a mission to reach a comprehensive peace agreement in Sudan in 2001; and as the leader of a delegation to South Africa in 2003 to assess the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), a continent-wide initiative to promote economic integration and development.  In December 2010, Mr. Foote traveled to Senegal and Gambia at the behest of the State Department, to address young African leaders on U.S. – African relations.

Mr. Foote is the recipient of numerous high level awards and recognitions including the “Ordre National du Lion” Award in 1998, which is a prestigious public service honor from the Government of Senegal, and the Congressional Black Caucus 2001 Annual Legislative Conference’s Diggs Award for Foreign Affairs in recognition of his outstanding commitment and achievement on issues and concerns pertaining to Africa.  In the summer of 2011, Mr. Foote was named by Western State College of Colorado, as part of the schools Centennial Celebrations, as one of the “top 100 Westerners” in the history of the school.

Mr. Foote is a regularly requested speaker on radio and television as well as a prolific writer of articles and editorials featured in newspapers and magazines across the United States and in Africa.


Ambassador Irene Giner-Reichl


Austrian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and Mongolia, and the President of the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy

Irene Giner-Reichl is the Austrian ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and Mongolia and the President of the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy.  She has worked in Austria and abroad occupying various positions. She worked in Egypt and New York in Foreign Service for Austria and was the deputy head of mission, and later headed the Austrian mission to the United Nations.  She represented Austria at the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Other positions include head of unit for International Women’s Issues, head of the department for multilateral social affairs, Alternate Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations in Vienna, head of the International and European union Affairs Department at the Ministry for the Environment, Youth and Family Affairs,  Permanent Representative of Austria to United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO), the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations Office in Vienna and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Assistant Director-General for United Nations (UN) Affairs, Director of the UNIDO office in New York and Minister-Plenipotentiary in the Department for Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vienna.

She served as Director-General for Development Cooperation and the Ministry for the European and International Affairs in Vienna, prior to being appointed the Austrian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and Mongolia.

The ambassador is active in energy issues.  She has chaired/convened a variety of workshops such as “Fostering the Linkage between Energy and Sustainable Development within the International Institutions“,  “ International Expert Meeting on Renewable Energy”, “The  EU Expert Group on Energy and Sustainable Development.

She was on the Board of the World Energy Council (WEC) for the revision of „Energy for Tomorrow’s World“, and the panel for the World Energy Assessment, jointly hosted  by the United Nations Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Development Program and the World Energy Council.

She has also lectured on a variety of issues.Her degrees include a Mag. Phil and Juris Doctorate from the University of Innsbuck in Austria and a Masters of Arts from Fordham University in New York.


Kathleen Hancock

Associate Professor
Director, Graduate Program
Colorado School of Mines
Liberal Arts and International Studies Division

Dr. Hancock is an Associate Professor of Political Science in the Liberal Arts and International Studies Division, where she teaches undergraduate courses in International Relations and in the Masters of the International Political Economy of Resources (MIPER) program. She earned her PhD in Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. She specializes in regional economic integration, global governance, and Eurasia. Her teaching interests also include human rights.

Before earning her PhD, Dr. Hancock worked in Washington, DC as a Senior Evaluator at the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) and as a lobbyist for the Federation of American Scientists. She has conducted field research in numerous countries in Europe and Eurasia, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Ukraine. Dr. Hancock’s book,Regional Integration: Choosing Plutocracy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) compares economic integration efforts led by Prussia, South Africa, and Russia. She has published articles in Foreign Policy Analysis, China-Eurasia Forum, Asian Perspective, and Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. She is currently working on her second book, tentatively titled Identity and International Institutions: Regional Integration in Southern Africa.


1 H.E. Palan Mulonda


Zambia’s Ambassador to the United States of America (USA)

Born circa 1972, Mulonda earned an undergraduate law degree (LLB) and a post-graduate certificate in Legislative Drafting at the University of Zambia in 1995 and a Masters degree in International Law (LLM) at Lund University in Sweden.

A member of the bar of the High Court of Zambia, Mulonda practiced law as a partner at the firm of Palan & George Advocates, specializing in conveyancing and legal drafting, commercial transactions, probate and succession, human rights, and Zambian constitutional law.

Mulonda has worked for the Zambian Ministry of Justice and served as executive director of the Institute of Human Rights, Intellectual Property and Development Trust (HURID), a private human rights organization in Zambia.  He served on the Zambian Human Rights Commission, starting as vice-chairman in November 2007. He taught law at the University of Zambia, and served as director of the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education from December 2009 to December 2012.


Carol Dahl

Research Professor
Division of Economics and Business
Colorado School of Mines

Carol Dahl received her Bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin and her Ph.D. degree from University of Minnesota in Economics. She is currently a Professor of Mineral Economics and Director of the CSM/IFP Joint International Degree Program in Petroleum Economics and Management, in the division of Economics and Business at the Colorado School of Mines.

She has supervised numerous Ph.D. students, published and traveled extensively pursuing her interests in modeling international energy markets. She has particular expertise in energy demand and supply elasticities.

She is currently working on a book for Pennwell Press called Energy Economics and International Energy Markets (forthcoming in 2001) and is developing material on international energy markets for a distance learning course.




2 H.E. Stephen D. Matenje


Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Malawi to the United States of America

His Excellency Stephen D. Matenje became Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Malawi to the United States of America on the September 16, 2010, the day he presented letters of credentials to the US President, Barack Hussein Obama. He is also accredited to the Bahamas, Canada, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Puerto Rico on a non- residential basis.

A public servant in the Malawi Public Service since 1980, prior to his appointment Ambassador Matenje served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Malawi to the United Nations from November 2006 to May 2010. From 1995 to 2006, he served as Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary in Malawi’s Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs which he joined in September 1980.

Ambassador Matenje holds a Master of Arts degree in Business Law from City of London Polytechnic (1988), a Bachelor of Laws with honors from Chancellor College, University of Malawi (1980), a Diploma in International Law from the University College London (1983), and a Commonwealth Certificate in Legislative Drafting (1986). He is married to his lovely wife Isabel and they have four children; two boys and two girls.


3 Mark Richard Dagel

CEO & Chairman of the Board of Directors at iConnectCapitalMarkets and Chairman of the private sector advisory group at Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organization (IREO)

Intellectual, progressive, out of the box thinker, hands on executive with sales, President, CEO and Board member blend, reinforced by a reputation for being able to solve and close complex business problems.

Finance, Infrastructure, Ability to Create “Workable” Transaction Structures, Negotiations with the ability to actually close what others cannot seem to close. I am up for difficult transactions.

IConnect has offices in Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, Mauritius, Singapore, Luxembourg, and Dubai.


Philip Mshelbila

‎Regional Communication Manager
Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Company Ltd

Philip graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1990 with a degree in Human Medicine (MB,BS), and went on to work for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). In 1994 he left NNPC to work for National Oil & Chemical Marketing Plc (a Shell JV) as a Medical Officer. He further studied Occupational & Environmental Medicine at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and underwent training and attachments in various Shell refineries and petrochemical plants in the UK, France and The Netherlands, rising to the position of Chief Medical Officer and Corporate Health Safety and Environment Adviser. He also obtained a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the IESE Business School of the University of Navarra, Spain in 2000. Subsequently he joined Shell Nigeria Oil Products working for Shell Health Services as the Regional Health Adviser for Africa. In this position he oversaw the management of all health and related matters for Shell downstream (retail, marine, aviation, LPG, manufacturing, consumer & industrial) and chemicals businesses in 35 African countries.

In 2004 he left the medical practice to work as Regional (Business) Adviser for Africa in the International Directorate of Royal Dutch Shell in The Hague, The Netherlands. In this position he provided cross-business and country advice to the Regional Managing Directors of Shell on African matters. He also served briefly as the Private Assistant to the Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell.

He subsequently moved to the Gas & Power business where he worked in LNG Business Development as the Planning & Integration Manager, and subsequently as a Commercial Manager. Subsequently he worked as the Project Development Manager on various Gas & Power projects. In 2009 he joined an industry team to evaluate the Nigerian Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), as the gas subject matter expert.

In 2010 Philip was appointed as the Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Gas Ltd, a natural gas distribution company that builds and operates pipeline networks in Lagos, Aba and Port Harcourt areas of Nigeria, supplying natural gas to over 60 industrial and commercial customers.

Philip became the General Manager for Sustainable Development and Community Relations in the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria from January 2012, overseeing social performance, sustainable development, social investment, community relations and relations with the state governments in the Niger Delta. Most recently he was appointed as the Regional Communications Manager for West Africa.


5 Mutiu Sunmonu

Managing Director of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC)
Vice President Production (Sub Sahara Africa)
Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria

Mutiu Sunmonu graduated from the University of Lagos in 1978 with a first-class degree in Mathematics and Computer Sciences. He joined the IT department of Shell in Nigeria where he held various roles before being posted abroad.

Following three years in Aberdeen at Shell UK, he returned to Nigeria in 1993 to become Head of IT Infrastructure Services and in 1995 he became IT Manager for the Shell Petroleum and Development Company. In 1997 he moved to the core production side of the business as an area production manager. In 2001 he worked as Regional Business Adviser at Shell Headquarters at The Hague, in the Netherlands where he helped develop the initial investment proposal for the China West-to-East integrated pipeline and gas supply project. Returning to Nigeria in 2003, Mutiu was appointed General Manager Production for SPDC Eastern operations. Two years later, he joined the Board of SPDC following his appointment as Executive Director Corporate Affairs and then Executive Director Production in 2006 with overall accountability for the company’s oil and gas production activities and delivery.

He was appointed Managing Director of SPDC and Vice President Production on 1 January 2008. In January 2010, Mutiu was appointed Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria.

He is married to Funke and they have four children. Mutiu’s hobbies include golf and reading (especially autobiographies). He is a member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, the Nigeria Association for Energy Economics and in his spare time enjoys educating and imparting knowledge.


7 Andrew Yager

Sustainable Development Advisor

Andrew Yager is a sustainable development advisor resident in Oslo, Norway. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the public and private sectors as well as academia. He recently retired from the United Nations where he had served as head of the Water, Energy and Strategies Branch in the Division for Sustainable Development.

Dr. Yager works on strategy and program development related to sustainable energy access, energy efficiency, alternative energy, and ‘smart city’ issues. He is currently conducting a formal evaluation of the Global Energy Assessment for the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Prior to spending 9 years at UN HQ in New York City, Dr. Yager lived in Nairobi, Kenya where he managed a major Industrial Energy Efficiency Project, aimed at increasing sustainable industrial development and decreasing global carbon emissions.

Prior to joining the United Nations, he was Head of International Development at the Institute for Energy Technology in Norway where he managed the energy and climate change portfolio.

He previously served for 6 years as Renewable Energy and Rural Electrification Advisor to the SADC Energy Sector, while residing in Luanda, Angola for 3 years.

Dr. Yager is a Norwegian resident and a Canadian citizen. He received his Ph.D. in Energy Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1984.


Chuck Blakeman

Crankset Group and Groupe Weyi International

Chuck is the founder of Crankset Group and Groupe Weyi International. The Crankset Group focuses on helping build and grow successful local businesses around the world, while the Groupe Weyi International based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) concentrates on building locally-owned for-profit businesses to reduce poverty in that country. He has successfully started and grown eight businesses in different sectors utilizing creative business models. His innovative approach to business has been duplicated by many business founders and leaders.

Chuck has among many books authored Making Money is Killing Your Business and Why Employees Are Always a Bad Idea, (where he discusses how building tens of thousands of small local businesses provides the best solution to reducing poverty in Africa and is a required reading at the University of Georgia/Terry College of Business), rated “#1 Business Book of the Year” by NFIB and one of the Top 10 Business Books of 2013 respectively.

Chuck is a sought after speaker averaging over 100 speaking engagements and workshops per year worldwide. He has spoken in Kenya, DRC, Ireland, New Zealand, and across the U.S. Chuck’s work has been quoted and featured in the Harvard Business Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, CNNMoney.com, and NYTimes.com. He was recently cited in Dr. Stephen Covey’s recent book, The 3rd Alternative.


5 Azra Tutuncu

Harry D. Campbell Chair in Petroleum Engineering Department at Colorado School of Mines
Director of Unconventional Natural Gas and Oil Institute (UNGI)

Professor Tutuncu is the Harry D. Campbell Chair in Petroleum Engineering Department at Colorado School of Mines and the director of Unconventional Natural Gas and Oil Institute (UNGI). Dr. Tutuncu held various research and leadership assignments in Well Engineering, Rock Physics, Geomechanics and Subsurface R&D groups at Shell International E&P and Shell Oil Company. Her research interest areas include rock-fluid interactions, integrated borehole stability, geomechanics, reservoir characterization, formation damage and contamination detection, mitigation and removal for environmental protection.

Dr. Tutuncu leads several multidisciplinary consortia in solving variety of technical, environmental and economic challenges in reservoir characterization, coupled geomechanics, wave propagation and fluid flow measurements, modeling and real time characterization and monitoring of the drilling, hydraulic fracturing, acoustic stimulation and production in unconventional oil and gas resources. In addition, she coordinates the federal and state regulatory training curriculum for the United States contributing toward the standardization of the unconventional regulatory effort. She is a member of the EPA Scientific Advisory Board on Hydraulic Fracturing Research, former President of American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA), the SEG representative for AGI Environmental Geoscience Advisory Committee, and a members of SEG Research Council and Global Affair Committee in addition to serving on various SPE, SEG, ARMA and ISRM technical and executive committees.  Dr. Tutuncu is a licensed Professional Petroleum Engineer and Licensed Geoscientist in the State of Texas.


Dr Luka Powanga

Professor in the School of Management at Regis University
Executive Director of the Global Commerce Forum

Dr. Luka Powanga is a professor in the School of Management at Regis University and the Executive Director of the Global Commerce Forum which hosts the Energy Africa Conference.  He is also the Managing Editor of the Journal of Global Commerce Research and the Journal of Current Research in Global Business. He is currently the US correspondent for CargoNews Asia a trade magazine based in Hong Kong.

He holds a BSC degree in Metallurgy and Mineral Processing, Masters and PhD degrees in Mineral Economics from Colorado School of Mines with a minor in Finance from the Graduate School at Denver University. He also holds a Masters degree in Computer Information Technology and Graduate Level Certificate in Object Oriented Programming from Regis University. He specializes in international business, economic analyses and consults in mining and international business management.

He worked in the mining and telecommunications industry at middle and senior management level within and outside the United States. He taught at Colorado School of Mines before transitioning to Regis University.

He has written a case study on the privatization of the Zambian copper mining industry and a textbook in economics published by McGraw-Hill. Dr. Powanga also works with entrepreneurs and students to help them find the required resources.


Adrienne Bambou Diagne

President and CEO
International Ventures

Adrienne Bambou Diagne is the President and CEO of International Ventures, a company that works closely with U.S. investors, the African Diaspora in the United States and African entrepreneurs.

She has extensive knowledge of the African market having worked in over 20 African countries as a business person as well as a volunteer for Doctors without Borders. She has served as team leader in several hospitals in Senegal and large Organizations such as the International Rescue Committee, Institute Fournier in Paris and the World Health Organization (WHO). In 1999, under the umbrella of the Doctors without borders, she received the Nobel Peace prize as one of the volunteers of the organization.

She is a strong advocate for improving the living conditions of the underprivileged populations, the victims of war and women welfare focusing on education and health.

Adrienne Bambou Diagne holds a nursing qualification as a mid-wife, anesthesiology, mental and physical development of early childhood and Reproductive Health from Clermont-Ferrand France.  She also has a PhD Degree in reproductive health and Social welfare from the Paris Institute Fournier, France.


14. Ambassador Amina Salum Ali


Permanent Representative of the African Union to the United States of America

As the African Union Ambassador to the U.S., Ambassador Ali speaks on behalf of the African Union and its Member States on the African Union’s strategies to, accelerate socio-economic integration of the continent, promote peace and stability, build partnerships between African governments and all segments of civil society, in particular women and youth, as well as the private sector based on a common vision of a united, strong and prosperous Africa.

One of the major functions of her office is to support the African Diplomatic Corps in their efforts to consolidate and strengthen partnership with both the Executive and Legislative Branches of the U.S. Administration, including building political constituencies to advance the goals and objectives of the African Union as well as organizing the African Diaspora to contribute towards Africa’s socio-economic development. Ambassador Ali’s mandate also consists of informing American popular opinion about Africa and the African Union, as well as articulating Africa’s key concerns and priorities. In building political constituencies in Washington, Ambassador Ali works towards nurturing and sustaining bilateral and multilateral relationships, with the U.S. Congress and Agencies, the Bretton Woods Institutions and the Organization of American States.

A veteran Tanzanian civil servant and politician, Ambassador Ali was born and raised on the island of Zanzibar and educated in India, where in 1979 she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics, and two years later an MBA in marketing. She has held various ministerial positions in the Tanzanian government, the most recent of which was minister of state in the office of the chief minister in Zanzibar and was also a long-serving member of Parliament. Ambassador Ali has also served as a board member of various institutions such as the Tanzania Telecommunication Company and Mzumbe University in Morogoro. In addition, she established various capacity-building institutions including the Institution of Finance Administration and the Presidential Fund for Self-Reliance.

As the African Union’s first woman ambassador, Ambassador Ali is committed to promoting women’s rights and children’s issues. She is also the founder of Zanzibar Women Welfare Trust, an NGO that supports the development of women and children to combat devastating health issues like HIV/AIDS. Ambassador Ali is also is a member of IDB Bank eminent women panel to mainstream women development policies in the bank.


17. Eugene Obiero

Managing Director
Starnberg Limited

Eugene Obiero is the Managing Director of Starnberg Limited. Starnberg is a Kenyan registered investment and consulting company which partners with various stakeholders in the private, public and social sectors. The company looks to solve problems and create value through its experience in the Kenyan market and networks internationally. It addresses a wide range of strategic and operational issues within the energy, climate change/conservation sectors, finance and investments.

Starnberg works with partners from around the world especially those wishing to transact business in Africa. Our partners include Kenyan, Tanzanian, Mauritanian, Ugandan, South African, Brazilian, Chinese, European and American companies and institutions. The firm currently has over ten acres under forest plantations and is involved in energy projects development within Kenya.

Eugene has been involved in business development & consulting for clients in the East African region. He currently has a working relationship with Finance & Competence (Sweden) representing the company in Eastern Africa. He is also an Associate Director of Standard & Mutual a boutique advisory firm.

He has experience working at Shell in several roles within Africa, from finance, credit and retail operations. In retail operations he worked as the pricing manager & site business planner. This role involved the implementation of the Retail fuels pricing strategy in Kenya & Uganda. He was also responsible for retail fuels and lubricants delivery optimization in addition to creating and monitoring site business plans. He also managed the retail east Africa balanced scorecard implementation.

Prior to that, he worked as credit analyst supporting credit managers in Shell downstream operating units across Africa.

Eugene has experience working in Germany for Allianz Capital Partners as Portfolio Management Associate and interning at Siemens Information and Communication Networks.

He has an MBA in Global Energy from the Warwick Business School, Coventry, UK and has a bachelor’s degree in Commerce. He is also an Associate Member of the Energy Institute (UK), and speaks English, Kiswahili and basic German.


22. Pam C Namai

Founding & Principal Partner
Afro-American Consortium

Pamela is the founding partner & principal partner of Afro-American Consortium. With her 10 year combinational experience in government relations and as an entrepreneur extraordinaire, Ms. Namai brings an in-depth knowledge of several issue areas to the Consortium including but not limited to; foreign relations, international trade, financial services, energy, commodity trading and negotiations. She has proven ability to adapt to different cultures, operate effectively with diverse team members and exceptional communications skills with expertise in day-to-day operations.

Her entrepreneurial spirit helped form The Africa Energy Association. The association shall be the most influential, effective and independent non-profit organization serving as the voice of energy in Africa. As a founder and CEO, she is responsible for bottom-line factors including; the vision, short and long-range strategic planning, marketing, quality assurance operations and financial management.

At America Gas Association, she worked in the Government Relations/Federal Affairs department as a specialist on government issues. It is through her time here that she got exposed to policy issues in natural gas industry, communicated with the executive branch, legislative branch (members of congress) and the cabinet of the United States, knowledge of Federal Election Committee laws and regulations pertaining to association and corporate membership PAC, election cycles, legislative process of the United States of America, political contributions and disbursements, lobby disclosure and reporting. She managed the legislative outreach congregation such as the legislative forum and supported the Vice President in fundraising. She was also responsible for the department budget of $1m including; preparation, forecasting, monitoring and tracking.

Prior to joining AGA, Pamela had spent four years at Zurich North America/Zurich Financial Services. She supported the Vice President’s efforts to lobby, build coalitions and sustain relationships with different multi-lateral institutions including, International Finance Corporation, OPIC, World Bank – MIGA and International Monetary Fund. As a manager of the Government & Industry Affairs, she developed business relations with emerging markets; defined project scope, goals and deliverables, which supported the company’s business goals in collaboration with senior management & stakeholders. She interpreted and ensured consistent application of organizational policies; negotiated contracts services, approved supplier’s invoices, maintained financial records and managed a budget of $ 5million for the department. She is also an advisor to several energy companies in Africa.


180 Chris Hansen

Senior Director, Energy Insights

Chris Hansen is the Senior Director, Energy Insights at IHS.  He specializes in energy sector economics, energy market reform, with more than 15 years of experience in the global energy industry.  His current role at IHS is to lead a global portfolio of energy events and partnerships, including programs and communities for CERAWeek, a 3000-person executive event focused on energy markets.  In addition, he directs a social media analytics development team with a suite of products across several industries.

Dr. Hansen was based in Dubai in 2008-09, where he managed a comprehensive review of the Emirate’s energy sector to support Dubai’s rapid growth plans. He is a co-creator of the OptGen analysis, IHS CERA’s unique tool for applying financial portfolio techniques to power generation. His recent research also includes an analysis of global nuclear power developments and the market potential for small nuclear reactors.

Before joining IHS, Dr. Hansen was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, where he analyzed electricity and gas sector reform in India, and published several papers in professional journals on energy sector economics and policy analysis.  Dr. Hansen holds a BSc in Nuclear Engineering from Kansas State University; a Graduate Diploma of Civil Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; a Master of Science in Technology Policy from MIT; and a PhD in Economic Geography from Oxford University.


Mark D Safty

Practice Group Leader
Holland & Hart’s Energy & Infrastructure Group

For more than 30 years, energy companies operating on five continents have turned to Mr. Safty for virtually every type of development and financing transaction. In transactions involving $2 million to those exceeding $2 billion, clients trust his extensive experience developing and financing energy projects. Mr. Safty provides the counsel clients need to clear regulatory, financial, and operational hurdles so they can keep pace with industry changes and demands.

Since the 1980s, Mr. Safty has served as lead counsel in the development, acquisition, financing, and refinancing of dozens of power generation facilities across the spectrum of energy technologies. Since the late 1990s, Mr. Safty has focused his practice on development, construction, financing, and M&A activity in the renewable energy industry. His earlier years of experience as general counsel and COO of a bank holding company, and his time as outside director and chairman of the board of a $2.5 billion financial institution, help him understand his clients’ interests from the business side of any matter.

As a complement to his energy practice and an additional service to his clients, Mr. Safty handles general corporate and transactional matters. He advises multinational clients on the sale and acquisition of mining and oil and gas properties, and has helped them successfully complete corporate reorganizations including spin‐off transactions and mergers. His clients span industries including mining, manufacturing, power generation, health care, education, transportation, and water and waste treatment, among others.

Mr. Safty currently serves as the  Practice Group Leader for Holland & Hart’s Energy & Infrastructure Group. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for project finance law. Mr. Safty is an adjunct professor at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law and at the University of Colorado Law School, where he teaches Renewable Energy Development and Regulation and Finance. He is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences on renewable energy topics.


20. Pius Kamau, MD

Founder of AAHEP – Africa America Higher Education Partnerships
Co-Founder of CADUS – Consortium of African Diasporas in the US

Born and raised in Kenya he attended school in Mombasa and Strathmore College in Nairobi. He went to Medical school in Spain and the UK. Trained in General and Thoracic Surgery in New York and Denver’s Children’s Hospital.

He has been a newspaper columnist for The Rocky Mountain News, the Denver Post for two decades. He was a commentator for NPR and KUNC radio. He has been in a dozen nonfiction books and has written a murder mystery. He currently writes for the Huffington Post and is still working on his Memoir.

He is the Founder of AAHEP – Africa America Higher Education Partnerships – training African women of STEM to attain their graduate degrees in US universities to return to teach in African schools.

He is also one of the Founders of CADUS – Consortium of African Diasporas in the US that believes that the African Diaspora’s strength and potential are still unrealized.



21. Jamie van Leeuwen

Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Hickenlooper

Jamie Van Leeuwen currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Hickenlooper after two years as Senior Advisor and Director of Community Partnerships. Leading up to the Hickenlooper administration, he worked as the Policy Director and served on the transition team for the Hickenlooper for Colorado gubernatorial campaign. He is also the founder and Executive Director of the Global Livingston Institute, a non- governmental organization in East Africa designed to engage students and community leaders to develop innovative solutions to poverty and is a Senior Research Fellow with the Buechner Institute at the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs. He became a Fulbright Scholar in 2013. In 2006, Jamie was appointed by Denver Mayor Hickenlooper to head up Denver’s Road Home, the city’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness. In 2007, Jamie was appointed to chair the Drug Strategy Commission and oversee the Office of Drug Strategy. Previously, Jamie directed fundraising, legislative work and research as Director of Development & Public Affairs at Urban Peak, serving homeless youth.

He is a graduate of Leadership Denver, Emerging Leaders, and Leadership Arts and served as adjunct faculty at University of Colorado, Metropolitan State College of Denver and University of Denver. He was selected in 2005 as a Livingston Fellow by Bonfils-Stanton Foundation to cultivate his leadership and in 2006 was named “Forty Under Forty” by the Denver Business Journal. He received the 2009 Denver Foundation “Judy Kaufman Civic Entrepreneurship Award”, the 2010 Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation Alumnus of the Year, and named in the 2011 Power Issue of the Out Front magazine as a leader in the Lesbian & Gay community.

Jamie completed his PhD in Public Policy at the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver. He has a Masters degree in International Public Health and a Masters degree in Sociology from Tulane University.

Specialties: Research and evaluation, fundraising, media and communications, marketing, affordable housing, youth homelessness, education, international development, policy.


23. David Makongo

Partner & General Counsel
Afro-American Consortium, LLC

David Makongo is a partner & General Counsel at Afro-American Consortium, LLC, He is also President, Chief Negotiator and Legal Advisor with MAP, LLC in Denver, Colorado. He holds an LLB, JD and LLM in Natural Resources Law, Environmental Law and Policy from Denver University’s Sturm College of Law, where he won the highest academic performance distinction in the negotiation of natural resources agreements.

David is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA), the International Bar Association (IBA), the Mining Committee of the International Bar Association, and the Anti-corruption Committee of the International Bar Association.

David has been very instrumental in maintaining good relationships between mining companies and illegal miners and local communities in Africa through his corporation.

“David Makongo is in the process of establishing himself as an expert in identifying and negotiating important natural resources agreements across the whole of the African continent. David is an individual who has successfully combined legal knowledge with a keen eye for business opportunities,” says Don C. Smith, Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy Program University of Denver Sturm College of Law.


24. Sandy Stash

Group Vice President: Safety, Sustainability & External Affairs
Tullow Oil Plc.

With over 30 years in the oil and gas and mining industries, Sandy Stash has vast, global leadership experience in operations and engineering, business, risk and crisis management, external affairs and communications, sustainability, safety and health, complex litigation, and organizational transformations and start-ups. She spent many years representing business internationally on controversial natural resource, social and sustainability issues with the general public, national and local media, and local, regional and national governments.

After a career with ARCO, Anaconda, TNK-BP, BP, and Talisman Energy, Sandy joined Tullow Oil in October 2013 as its Group Vice President of Safety, Sustainability, and External Affairs. Tullow, headquartered in London, is the largest independent oil and gas company in Europe with operations on five (5) continents.

A petroleum engineer by training, Sandy spent her early career as one of the first women to work as a drilling engineer and well site supervisor at ARCO locations across North America. These roles enabled her to build strong technical knowledge of field operations and provided unique insights into the challenges of management-labor relations. Sandy’s subsequent work in managing discontinued businesses for ARCO and then BP, broadened her experience to include all P&L, operational, legal, strategic planning, financial, and government and media affairs aspects for this suite of mining, manufacturing, and oil businesses. She spent the last ten years leading global functional organizations including operations and engineering, government and public affairs, social performance, safety, environment and sustainability.

She has also served on several Boards of Directors including the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the International Women’s Forum (IWF), the Montana Tech Foundation (as Chairman) and the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC).

Sandy is a graduate of the Colorado School of Mines.

Specialties: Oil and Gas Operations; Government and Public Affairs; HSE and Operational Assurance; Strategic Planning; Communication; Engineering



President & Chief Executive Officer
Colorado Oil & Gas Association

Ms. Tisha Conoly Schuller serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association.  As President, Ms. Schuller is responsible for leading the industry in Colorado legislative, regulatory, and public relations matters.

Previously, Ms. Schuller served as a Principal and Vice President with Tetra Tech, a national environmental consulting and engineering firm.  In addition to running business operations, Ms. Schuller spent 15 years conducting environmental permitting for oil and natural gas projects across the country.

She has a B.S. in Earth Systems with an emphasis in Geology from Stanford University. Tisha is a proud Advisory Board Member of the American Red Cross in Denver.



bryan johnson

Sheldon Kye Energy

Brian re-located back to the US after being offshore for 14 years in Australia and the UK.  He has set up a limited liability company called Sheldon Kye Energy whose focus is energy infrastructure development and advisory.

Brian was previously (2002-2012) an Executive Director heading up the Energy & Utilities team in Melbourne at PricewaterhouseCoopers with a focus on strategic, commercial development and risk management activities in competitive energy & broader resource markets.  Previously, he has come from the UK where he was a Director & Senior VP at Caminus (1999-2002) leading the strategic consulting team that focused on merchant energy projects throughout Europe and risk management advisory (Caminus was a leading European strategic energy advisory firm specialising in Energy Utilities).  Brian was involved across the value chain and advised a range of large European utilities, North American new entrants into utilities, upstream and midstream gas companies and several investment banks.  Prior to Caminus Brian was a Director at Oakvale Capital (1996-1999) in Sydney where he specialised in general energy financial risk management issues and strategic risk management issues for a range of resource focused entities across Australia.  Brian held mandates with a range of Australian companies (power generators, retailers, the high voltage network operator,  upstream oil and gas companies and several mining companies & other large energy consumers) providing general and strategic trading and risk management advice, deal execution services as well as constructing a range of market and asset valuation tools to assess value and risk.

Brian has also held positions as the Director of Energy Research for the New York Mercantile Exchange (1990-1996), Business Development for Colorado Coal & Coke and started his energy career as a petroleum geologist working with Amoco, Canadian Hunter and Questar.  He holds undergraduate degrees in petroleum geology and business administration from Western State Colorado University and completed a MS degree in mineral economics & finance from the Colorado School of Mines.


Robert Stoner

Deputy Director for Science and Technology of the MIT Energy Initiative, and founder and co-Director of the Tata Center for Technology and Design at MIT

Robert Stoner is Deputy Director for Science and Technology of the MIT Energy Initiative, and founder and co-Director of the Tata Center for Technology and Design at MIT.  His research interests include energy technology and policy, power systems, and design for resource constrained settings.  He is currently a member of the MIT Energy Council, and the Science and Technology Committee of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Dr. Stoner has worked extensively in academia and industry throughout his career, having built and managed successful technology companies in the semiconductor, IT and optics industries.  He is the inventor of numerous measurement and computing techniques used extensively in semiconductor manufacturing, and holds patents in the fields of acoustics, IT, optical metrology and electronics.  From 2007 through 2009 he lived and worked in Africa and India while serving in a variety of senior roles within the Clinton Foundation, including CEO of the Clinton Development Initiative.

He earned his Bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from Queen’s University, and his Ph.D. from Brown University in condensed matter physics.