Meet the Speakers!

In order of participation on the conference agenda.

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Chris LaRoe
Chair, IPPNY Board of Directors
Director of Regulatory Affairs
Brookfield Renewable

As the Director of Regulatory Affairs with Brookfield Renewable, LaRoe is responsible for creating strategies relating to existing and potential future wholesale energy market rules and public policy initiatives. He also tracks and participates in the New York Independent System Operator stakeholder process, New York State Public Service Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceedings, and New York State legislative and administrative efforts that establish policies, laws, and market rules impacting Brookfield Renewable.

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Gavin J. Donohue (Moderator)
President & CEO

Mr. Donohue joined IPPNY in 2001 as the Executive Director and was appointed President and CEO of the association in May of 2003. While at IPPNY, Mr. Donohue has been a vocal proponent of improving New York energy policy and increasing competition in the state’s energy markets. He has been active on a variety of issues before the New York Independent System Operator, the New York Public Service Commission and both state and federal legislatures.

In 2019, Mr. Donohue was named the first appointment to the New York State Climate Action Council, a 22-member body created in statute under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The Council is charged with developing a plan to reach New York State’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals by 2050.

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Willie L. Phillips
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Willie L. Phillips was named by President Biden to be Acting Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on January 3, 2023 and is serving a Commission term that ends June 30, 2026.

He most recently served as the Chairman of the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia, named to that role in 2018. He served on the Commission since 2014. He is an experienced regulatory attorney combining nearly 20 years of legal expertise in public and private practice. He has an extensive background in the areas of public utility regulation, bulk power system reliability, and corporate governance.

Prior to being appointed to the DCPSC, Mr. Phillips served as Assistant General Counsel for the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), in Washington, D.C. Before joining NERC, he also worked for two law firms, where he advised clients on energy regulatory compliance and policy matters.

Mr. Phillips has also served on the boards of several organizations, including the board of directors for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the Organization of PJM States (OPSI). He also has served as president of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC), and he has held leadership roles on several advisory councils, including the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Advisory Council.

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Pat Wood III
Hunt Energy Network

Pat Wood III has been the chief executive of the Hunt Energy Network since February 2019. Best known for his role in setting up competitive utility markets while serving as chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas and of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Pat is an evangelist for the decentralized, decarbonized, democratized and digitized future of power. At the Hunt Energy Network, Wood and his team are deploying a portfolio of distributed power assets across Texas.  Presently, they have 140 MW of operational assets; by 2026, the team expects to have a portfolio of 1,000 MWs of batteries and peaker generation attached to the ERCOT power grid.

Pat is presently Chairman of Luma, the joint venture rebuilding and operating Puerto Rico’s electric power system.  And he is on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s External Advisory Council.

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William M. Flynn
Industry Team Leader - Energy, Telecommunications and Media
Harris Beach

Bill advises businesses and organizations on energy related matters, strategic planning initiatives regarding economic development, state and federal regulatory affairs, and policy decisions. He leads the Harris Beach Energy Industry Team and advises clients on local, state and federal governmental affairs. Notably, Bill and his team are representing the renewables developer who filed the first ever solar-only Article 10 project at the New York State Public Service Commission, as well as developers of offshore wind capabilities tied to New York’s nation-leading efforts regarding climate change.

Bill is known for his experience with regulatory policies related to electricity, gas, water and telecommunications services. He served as Chairman of the New York State Public Service Commission (NYS PSC) from February 2003 to December 2006. Prior to serving as Chairman of the NYS PSC, he was President of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) where he also served as vice president, treasurer, and secretary to the board of NYSERDA from 1999 to 2003. As NYS PSC Chairman, Bill also served on NYSERDA’s Board of Directors and as Chair of the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment. He is a former board member of the New York State Environmental Board, the New York State Disaster Preparedness Commission, and former co-chairman of the New York Telecommunications Reliability Advisory Council. He was appointed by the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as vice-chairman of the federal Joint Board on Economic Dispatch for the Northeast Region. He also served as a member of the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners Electricity Committee and chaired the Telecommunications Legislative Task Force.

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Suedeen G. Kelly
Jenner & Block

Suedeen Kelly is a partner at Jenner & Block, where she is co-chair of the firm’s energy practice.  She is a former FERC Commissioner and Chair of the New Mexico Public Service Commission. She is an experienced litigator and highly-recognized counsellor in the areas of energy market structures and financial products, infrastructure development and operation, emerging technologies, federal and state law, impending policy changes, and domestic/international market interrelations. Suedeen has been recognized as a leading energy lawyer by Chambers USA, Chambers Global, Best Lawyers in America, and she was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award in 2022 by the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she taught energy law, utility regulation, and administrative law for 15 years.

Keynote Speaker

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Rory M. Christian
Public Service Commission

On September 30, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul designated Commissioner Rory M. Christian as the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Public Service Commission (Commission). On June 10, 2021, Mr. Christian was appointed Commissioner, and his term runs through February 1, 2027.

Mr. Christian began his career in the energy industry with KeySpan Energy where he first served as a civil engineer before transitioning to a role engaging government agencies operating in Long Island and New York City. In this role, he was responsible for coordinating activities between KeySpan and government organizations, negotiating contracts, developing contingency plans and streamlining operations to satisfy both organizations’ operational needs. Mr. Christian then transitioned to Exelon Energy, where he developed new products targeting public sector clientele and helped facilitate the creation of multiple partnerships and alliances.

Mr. Christian then served as the Director of Energy Finance and Sustainability for the New York City Housing Authority, where he oversaw the Authority’s then $500M+ utility portfolio with the aim of reducing annual energy expenditures while achieving city, state and federally mandated greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements. More recently, he was the Director of New York Clean Energy at Environmental Defense Fund where he provided strategy management, programming, business development and stakeholder collaboration for the Clean Energy program in NY. He oversaw a multidisciplinary team (economists, lawyers, and engineers) to design, implement, and manage legislative and policy campaigns to lower the environmental impact of energy use.

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Susanne DesRoches (Moderator)
VP, Clean and Resilient Buildings 

Susanne DesRoches is NYSERDA’s Vice President of Clean and Resilient Buildings leading the Authority’s work on building decarbonization, advancing programs and policies to deliver a carbon-neutral building stock. Prior to joining NYSERDA in April 2022, she served as Regulatory Director for Energy Policy at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate & Sustainability and Mayor’s Office of Climate Resiliency. While there, she was responsible for the City’s energy policy and regulatory affairs at the local, state, and federal levels, and directed the City’s policies and programs designed to adapt regional infrastructure systems to climate change, including electric, gas, and transportation systems and the City’s efforts to transition to 100 percent clean electricity by 2040. Ms. DesRoches led the City’s long-term energy planning efforts, which centered on decarbonization while prioritizing a just and affordable energy transition for all New Yorkers.

Ms. DesRoches also led the City’s efforts to ensure climate resiliency was integrated into utility and bulk power system planning and oversaw the development of the NYC Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines. She led the NYC Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, which works to identify climate risks and coordinate adaptation strategies and was a chapter author for the fourth National Climate Assessment.

Ms. DesRoches was previously the Chief of Resilience and Sustainability for the Engineering Department at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

She is highly regarded in the clean energy and resilience space, bringing expertise and rich experience in areas including climate policy, resiliency, city, and state partnerships level relationships, and building decarbonization. Ms. DesRoches holds a Bachelor of Industrial Design from Pratt Institute and an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University and is a LEED Accredited Professional. Susanne is on the faculty of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and School of Professional Studies.

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Danielle Manley
Policy Manager
Urban Green Council

Danielle is the Policy Manager at Urban Green Council where she is responsible for advocacy, collaboration, and analysis on Urban Green’s policy initiatives in New York City and State. Her work covers Local Law 97, all-electric new construction, zoning, benchmarking, the energy code, and the NYS CLCPA. She previously worked at Columbia University’s Earth Institute researching local climate risk information for stakeholder planning and served as project manager for the Third New York City Panel on Climate Change Report. Danielle also worked for nonprofits in Buffalo on environmental education and advocacy. She holds a Master’s Degree in Climate and Society from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from the University at Buffalo.

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Zachary Steinberg
Vice President
Real Estate Board of New York

Zach leads REBNY’s policy work on issues including taxes, budget, labor, sustainability, building operations, economic development, construction, and real estate market conditions. His work has helped to advance sensible City and State policies that support building owners in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Prior to REBNY, Zach was Deputy Policy Director in the Office of the New York City Comptroller and worked for former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin.

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Radmila Miletich (Moderator)
Legislative & Environmental Policy Director

Ms. Miletich assists the President & CEO in lobbying before the Executive Branch and the New York State Legislature. She is responsible for managing IPPNY's involvement in State environmental proceedings, representing IPPNY's membership at stakeholder meetings, and coordinating the development and submittal of written comments related to the implementation of the State's environmental programs. Ms. Miletich also is responsible for identifying and monitoring State legislation and provisions of the New York State Budget, preparing and submitting position memos to New York State Legislature, and developing and drafting legislative initiatives that benefit IPPNY Members. 
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Elizabeth C. Garvey
Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Elizabeth “Beth” Garvey assists clients nationwide with complex regulatory, governance, and transactional matters.

Beth draws upon her deep government experience having previously served in a number of high-level governmental positions, including as acting counsel to the New York State Governor, senior vice chancellor for Legal Affairs and general counsel at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Albany, and counsel to the State Senate majority.

While at SUNY, Beth managed all legal aspects of the SUNY operation, including retention and management of outside counsel on particular issues. She was responsible for policy development and implementation to ensure compliance with various state and federal laws and worked with outside regulators to manage inquiries from enforcement entities, in addition to assisting in responses to audits.

While serving as the Counsel to the New York State Senate Majority, Beth supervised the management of day-to-day operations on the Senate Chamber floor and was principally responsible for negotiations with other stakeholders in government. 

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Alexandra C. Moore
Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs
The Roffe Group of Robinson+Cole
Alexandra C. Moore is the Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs at The Roffe Group of Robinson+Cole. She has worked with the team since 2006. In that capacity, she oversees all aspects of adminitrative and legislative lobbying and interfaces with the clients in assisting them navigate New York State government.

At The Roffe Group of Robinson+Cole, Alex also carries the title of Compliance Officer. In that role, Alex handles the preparation and filing of all lobbying reports with the New York State Commission on Public Ethics and is the point person for the firm’s participation in countless random compliance audits. Alex interacts with the firm’s clients to ensure that they are kept abreast of all New York laws and regulations affecting their lobbying activities and advises them on their respective compliance issues as they prepare and submit their required New York State filings.

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John Harris
Industry Team Leader Energy & Environment
Brown and Weinraub

John leads a team of professionals focusing on clients in the energy, environment and economic development space.  With a broad array of clients in various industries including solar, wind, hydrogen, battery storage, renewable natural gas, electric vehicle and ev charging infrastructure, the team actively represents clients in the state legislature and works with NYSERDA, NYPA and the Department of Public Service on a regular basis.  Mr. Harris has also represented clients before state and local agencies in connection with the regulatory review, permitting, financing and development of projects such as residential apartment complexes, solid waste and recycling facilities, asphalt plants, mines, golf courses, office buildings, casinos, shopping centers and a broad array of transmission and generation projects.

He also works with clients in connection with proposed regulations and agency guidelines. He has advised insurers, computer companies, real estate developers, utilities and energy companies on pending legislation and rule making in the State of New York.

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Alicia Artessa
Vice President
Ostroff Associates

Alicia joins Ostroff Associates with over six years of legislative and government relations experience in Albany.

Prior to joining OA, Alicia was a Government Relations Representative with the New York State School Boards Association. There she worked on education law and policy and dealt with the severe difficulties schools faced during the pandemic.

Previously, she was the Director of Local Government Relations with the Retail Council of New York State. She focused her lobbying in New York City and other local governments. Her work at two not-for-profit associations introduced her to the intricacies of lobbying in New York and helped her hone her member relations skills.

Before becoming a lobbyist, Alicia served as an Assistant Counsel in the New York State Senate. As an attorney for the Senate, Alicia worked on legislative policy and budget priorities. She covered a wide range of issue areas, predominantly focusing on environmental conservation, energy and telecommunications, consumer protection law, housing, agriculture, labor, and civil service.

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Joseph DeRosa
Bolton-St. Johns

Joseph DeRosa is a Partner at the lobbying and government relations firm Bolton-St. Johns (“BSJ”) and has over fifteen years of experience implementing and shaping clean energy policy in New York State. As lead of the energy practice at BSJ and member of their Albany-based lobbying team, he works diligently to advance the business priorities of market-leading clients before key decision makers in the Executive Chamber, NYS Legislature, state agencies, and local governments, focusing primarily in the areas of clean energy, cannabis, transportation, technology and procurement.  

While at BSJ, Joseph has won major legislative, budget and procurement victories, including: codifying clean energy deployment goals in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA); winning three competitive contracts to develop 3.3 GWs of offshore wind; standardizing the tax assessment methodology for solar and wind projects; helping to secure millions of dollars to transform the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal into the largest offshore wind port in the US; securing $1 million to create a program to develop hydrogen fueling stations for zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles; and winning one of the first five medical marijuana licenses in NYS. In June 2016, he was recognized by City & State Magazine as an “Albany 40 Under 40 Rising Star” and has since been featured on their 100 Most Responsible New Yorkers List in 2022, and the Energy & Environment Power 100 List from 2019 – 2023.  

Prior to joining BSJ, Joseph served over six years as lead Project Manager for residential financing at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), focusing on market transformation initiatives in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. While at NYSERDA, he was responsible for the development, management and reporting functions associated with several financing products spanning the residential, multifamily and small business/not-for-profit sectors, including the Green Jobs-Green New York loan portfolio valued at over $70 million, and the Residential Loan Fund, valued at over $100 million.  

Luncheon Speaker

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C. Lindsay Anderson
Professor, Depart Chair - Biological and Enviromental Engineering
Cornell University

Dr. Anderson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Biological & Environmental Engineering at Cornell. Her research focuses on energy system decarbonization, at the interface of environmental and systems engineering, electric power systems, applied optimization and decision science. Lindsay also serves as the interim Director of the Cornell Energy Systems Institute, and was previously the Kathy Dwyer Marble and Curt Marble Faculty Director for Energy with the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability. Dr. Anderson received a B.Sc.(Engineering) and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from University of Guelph (Canada) and Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Western Ontario (Canada).

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Liz Benjamin (Moderator)
Managing Director
Marathon Strategies

Liz Benjamin is a former reporter with more than two decades of experience covering state and New York City government and politics. She has a unique knowledge of the nexus between downstate and upstate interests and issues, and the levers of power that influence them. Liz has covered a wide array of complex and controversial policy debates, and understands how members of the media will approach them. Her expertise includes print, TV and digital reporting and commentary.

Liz began her career at the Albany Times Union, where she spent 10 years moving from covering local government and Albany City Hall to the state Capitol. While at the Capitol, she was the paper’s lead political reporter and launched Capitol Confidential, the Capitol’s first blog, which is still going strong. She then spent four years at the New York Daily News as a political blogger and columnist. For the past eight years, Liz has been the host of “Capital Tonight,” a landmark political and policy show on Spectrum News, and the editor of the show’s companion blog, State of Politics.

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Clint Plummer
Rise Light & Power

Clint Plummer is Chief Executive Officer at Rise Light & Power, where he oversees the company’s existing generation facility’s operations and leads the development of its new projects and strategic partnerships.

A 15-year veteran of New York’s clean energy industry, Plummer previously served as Head of Market Strategies and New Projects for Ørsted US Offshore Wind, a leading offshore wind developer. In this capacity, he secured customer agreements for more than 2GW of new offshore wind projects in New York and New Jersey. Previously, Plummer worked as Vice President of Development for Deepwater Wind, where he grew its U.S. market for offshore wind energy and positioned it as a respected and responsible market leader. From 2009 to 2011, Plummer led the pre-construction development of Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm, the first of its kind in the U.S. In 2013, he spearheaded the company’s successful efforts to acquire the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s first competitively-leased offshore wind site, as well as to scope the project now known as Deepwater ONE. Additionally, Plummer drove the company’s successful efforts to secure a Power Purchase Agreement with the Long Island Power Authority for the South Fork Wind Farm, the first in New York. Plummer also led Deepwater Wind’s successful application to the Maryland Public Service Commission for the nation’s first award of Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credits.

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Will Hazelip
National Grid Ventures US Northeast

Will Hazelip is a complicated energy infrastructure executive.  Currently, Will is the President of National Grid Ventures (NGV), US Northeast. NGV operates outside National Grid’s regulated network utility businesses in the US and UK, where it develops, operates and invests in energy infrastructure projects and businesses to accelerate the development of a clean energy future.

As President, Will oversees a diverse, cross-functional team who manages a large portfolio of energy infrastructure investments in electric transmission, renewable and conventional power generation, and liquified natural gas all of which enable the energy transition in the northeast US.

Will joined National Grid in 2015 and in just a few years played a key role creating NGV.  Among his many accomplishments, Will has built strategic partnerships that led to Community Offshore Wind’s successful award to develop 1.3 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity for the state of New York through a joint venture between NGV and RWE. He is spearheading large-scale transmission infrastructure projects under the New York Transco joint venture to carry clean energy across the state.

Will has more than 20 years of strategy, business development, transaction, finance and operations experience. 

Previously, he held various leadership roles at Duke Energy where he led the acquisition and subsequent management of Path 15, an electric transmission company in California and the divestiture of DukeNet, a regional telecom provider. During this time, he was also responsible for origination and development of new business opportunities for the non-franchise electric transmission unit in North America. 

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Julie Tighe
New York League of Conservation Voters

Julie Tighe was named President of NYLCV and NYLCVEF in 2018. As President, she oversees
the organizations’ policy, political, development, programmatic, and communications teams. Due
in part to the League's and her advocacy in 2019, the State Legislature passed the nation’s
most progressive climate law, the Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act, along with
congestion pricing and several other pieces of legislation to reduce emissions from the
transportation and buildings sectors. She also helped secure increased State funding for water
infrastructure and New York City funding for parks and open spaces. Her priorities for NYLCV
include a focus on expanding the use and production of renewable energy and reducing waste.

Previously, she served for more than eleven years at the NYS Department of Environmental
Conservation in various roles, having been elevated to Chief of Staff following her role as
Assistant Commissioner of Intergovernmental and Legislative Affairs. As DEC’s Chief of Staff,
she was instrumental in advancing the agency’s legislative priorities including reform of the
State’s Brownfield Cleanup Program and a ten-year, $1 billion Superfund authorization. Ms.
Tighe was a primary negotiator for the landmark $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act, the
incorporation of the Climate Change program into New York’s historic $300 million
Environmental Protection Fund, three successful Constitutional Amendments, and the most
comprehensive electronics recycling law in the country. She oversaw DEC’s policy
development, helped run the nearly 3,000 employee agency, and served as a key member of
the organization’s leadership team.

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Joe Canovas
Special Counsel
New York State AFL-CIO