2019 Conference Speaker Bios
Andrew Argeski is the Manager of the Gas Planning & Design group at Public Service Electric & Gas Company. He holds Bachelor Degrees in Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Engineering Management from Dartmouth College and is a licensed Professional Engineer with the state of New Jersey. He has worked at PSE&G for 12 years in Gas Asset Strategy and Gas Planning & Design. Andrew is currently responsible for maintaining system integrity, preparing and managing the gas main replacement program and providing technical support to gas field operations. His group also maintains the company’s gas design and operations standards and is a significant driver of R&D projects.
Stacey Balkan is an assistant professor of Environmental Literature and Humanities at Florida Atlantic University where she also serves as a faculty affiliate for FAU’s Peace, Justice, and Human Rights initiative. Dr. Balkan’s teaching and research focus on postcolonial ecologies, environmental justice, landscape aesthetics, petrocultures and petromodernity, and Global South literatures. Her current book projects include a monograph entitled Rogues in the Postcolony: Narrating Extraction and Itinerancy in India, which examines the environmental impact(s) of uneven development on the subcontinent, and a forthcoming essay collection entitled Oil Fictions: World Literature and our Contemporary Petrosphere. Stacey’s recent work also appears in ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, The Global South, Comparative Literature and Culture, The Cambridge Companion to Comparative Literature, World Literature and Comparative Cultural Studies, Social Text Online, Public Books, and Global South Studies. She received her Ph.D. in English, with concentrations in Postcolonial and Ecocritical Studies, from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY).
Kandilarya (Kandi) Barakat is a project manager/chemical engineer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with more than 12 years of experience in analyzing and delivering projects on time, while meeting the agency’s mission. Excellent at strategic and organizational planning, directing, and coordinating activities pertaining to specific projects, while simultaneously managing and monitoring multiple projects. Some of her additional roles involve the following: Advised management and various stakeholders on measures to increase business, program, or product efficiency and effectiveness. Critically analyzed and compiled environmental and technical reports and resolved issues to produce more than 10 publicly issued environmental documents. Led cross-functional team members in the planning, development, and execution of special studies and projects for the agency’s information management program. Fostered extensive inter-agency relationships through consistent collaboration with agency counterparts including the Environmental Protection Agency, and Clean Air Council, as well as state agencies administering federal permits. Engaged public, state, and federal stakeholders through outreach presentations and program to promote increased collaboration. She recently completed a Masters Certificate in Federal Project Management, enhancing communication, leadership, and problem solving skills. She received both her M.E. in Environmental Engineering, and her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland.
Kai Bosworth earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in geography from the University of Minnesota. He also has a B.A. in environmental studies from Macalester College. Bosworth’s research examines new forms of environmental populism emerging from struggles over oil pipelines in the Upper Midwest, where farmers, ranchers and Native nations have collaborated to delay the Keystone XL pipeline. His research strives to understand the ways in which such groups are attempting to build a mass movement for climate justice while also confronting issues of racism, nationalism and settler colonialism in North America. Bosworth is working on a book on this subject tentatively titled “Pipeline Populism: Affective Infrastructures of Grassroots Environmentalism in the 21st Century.”
Tim Clarke is the Senior Integrity Consultant with Boardwalk Pipelines. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree from Angelo State he made the decision to follow his father into the pipeline industry in 1980. While working with Vetco Pipeline Services he discovered ILI technology and implemented it on the service side prior to the company buyout by Tuboscope Services in 1997. In 2000 he accepted an ILI Manager role at Gulf South Pipeline. He remained at Gulf South Pipeline through its merger in 2007 with Texas Gas Corporation as ILI Manager under the newly named Boardwalk Pipelines. He has been involved in integrating different technologies and data analysis areas such as Hard Spot identifying and grading algorithms, as well as crack like features in girth welds, seam issues and expanded pipe material changes. A member of NACE, ASME, PRCI, and INGAA, he was also involved in developing API 1163 and ANSI/ASNT ILI PQ standards for ILI and has most notably been involved in addressing the Personnel Qualifications for tool technicians and data analysts. In addition he has also published papers on Hard Spot while utilizing (INS) Inertial Navigation System and also 42” speed control with TDW.
Grant A. Coleman, P.Eng. is the Vice President of Technology for Enduro Pipeline services responsible for bringing new ILI solutions to market and continuous improvement of existing Enduro technologies and processes that address pipeline operator needs. Grant has been active in the industry for over 20 years in various R&D and management roles. He has presented papers at IPC, PPIM, and NACE conferences and contributed to courses offered through SGA and others. He is a member of NACE and ASME and is the Enduro representative at PRCI and CEPA. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics from the university of British Columbia and is a registered professional Engineer in the province of Alberta. He currently lives in Calgary, Alberta with his wife and twin teenage boys.
Nancy Conder is the Director of SMS and Quality for CenterPoint Energy. Nancy has nearly two decades of engineering, quality, compliance and project management experience across several industries including utilities, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper. In her current role, she is responsible for Safety Management Systems, Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Quality Management, and Management of Change. She has successfully implemented all the elements of API RP1173 within a combined gas and electric utility operating in multiple states. Nancy has served as a member of the American Gas Association Operations Safety Regulatory Action Committee, the American Gas Association Quality Management Committee, and the American Gas Association Pipeline Safety Management System Pilot Program. She is a published author on Pipeline Safety Management Systems, Quality Management, and Damage Prevention. Nancy earned her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Evansville and master’s degree in Business Administration from Murray State University. She is certified as a quality auditor and lean six sigma yellow belt.
Christopher De Leon graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering. Christopher was a practicing Pipeline Integrity Engineer at Energy Transfer prior to joining ROSEN. He is currently the Head of Integrity Solutions at ROSEN for the US, Mexico, and Central America. His leadership responsibilities focus on developing markets which can leverage the in-line inspection technologies, engineering services, and software based solutions ROSEN has available. His team of Engineering and GIS professionals are responsible for performing threat specific post ILI engineering, fitness for service, material testing; and progressive data management strategies, risk remodeling, data integration, and integrated enterprise solutions for making risk based integrity decisions. He has now been with ROSEN for the last 6 years and is an active contributor in our Industry and is often seen at PRCI, AGA, API, INGAA, and Regulatory events.
Howard “Skip” Elliott was sworn in as the Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration on October 30, 2017. Elliott joins PHMSA following his retirement from CSX Transportation, where he served as Vice President of Public Safety, Health, Environment, and Security. Elliott’s portfolio at CSX included hazardous materials, transportation safety, homeland security, railroad policing, crisis management, environmental compliance and operations, occupational health management, and continuity of business operations. Elliott has more than 40 years of experience in the boardroom, on Capitol Hill, and in state houses and city halls and is a leading advocate in developing and implementing computer-based tools to assist emergency response officials, first responders, and homeland security personnel. Elliott has earned honors from a number of institutions and is a recipient of the Association of American Railroads’ (AAR) prestigious Holden-Proefrock award for lifetime achievement in hazardous materials transportation safety. Elliott has served on the AAR’s Risk Management Working Committee and its Security Committee, and is a member of the American Society of Industrial Security and the FBI-DHS Domestic Security Alliance Council. Skip Elliott earned a double major in English and Forensic Studies at Indiana University, and a Master of Science from Columbia Southern University.
Graham Emmerson is the Technical Manager of Integrity Programs with Enbridge Inc. and is the Integrity Management lead within Enbridge’s Enterprise Safety and Operational Reliability Team. For the past six years Graham has worked with a multi-disciplinary team of experts to strengthen Enbridge’s process safety management and improve operational reliability through Enterprise minimum standards, safety culture assessment, incident investigation and a variety of assurance activities. Prior to joining Enbridge Graham spent eight years with Canada’s National Energy Board, preceded by eight years in engineering consulting and oilfield services. Graham works actively with several Industry Association and standards committees to advance safety and loss management programs and is currently Chair of the CSA Z260 Technical Committee developing the Pipeline Safety Metrics Standard. Graham is a geotechnical engineer by training with a B.Sc.(E) in Geological Engineering from Queens University and an Masters in Civil Engineering from the University of Calgary. Graham currently resides in Calgary, Alberta and has worked extensively across North America and Canada’s Arctic Territories.
Stephen (Steve) Ernst is the Integrity Engineering Manager at Marathon Pipe Line LLC (MPL). Steve and his team are responsible for integrity management on nearly 10,000 miles of pipeline across the United States. Key responsibilities include mainline and facility integrity, in-line inspection; risk modeling and data integration; engineering analysis; tank integrity; hydrotesting; operational support; and implementation of MPL’s Integrity Management Plan. Prior to his current role, Steve held various positions in Marathon’s Integrity, Operations and Logistics, and Engineering groups. Steve holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Purdue University. He resides in Findlay, Ohio, with his wife and four boys.
Roger Evans is a Senior Pipeline Accident Investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board’s Rail, Pipeline, and Hazardous Materials Investigation Division. He has nearly ten years of government service. Prior to his current position, he spent five years as an investigator at the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. Mr. Evans is currently the Investigator-In-Charge on five ongoing NTSB pipeline investigations; including, the Magellan Ammonia Pipeline accident in Tekamah, Nebraska, the Colonial Pipeline Gasoline Release and Fire in Helena, Alabama, the Minnehaha School Explosion in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Atmos Energy Dallas Gas Release in Dallas, Texas, and the Merrimack Valley Natural Gas Over Pressurization accident in the city of Lawrence and Andover areas in Massachusetts. Prior to his federal service, Mr. Evans spent nearly 20 years as a consultant/accident investigator for fixed facilities. He also wrote compliance programs, authored procedures, and audited fixed facility compliance to both the OSHA Process Safety Management standard and EPA’s Risk Management Plan program. He has over a decade of facility design/pipeline engineering experience with the Bechtel and Fluor Daniel companies. Mr. Evans currently resides in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Mary Friend is the Director of the Gas Pipeline Safety Division for the Public Service Commission of West Virginia, and is responsible for managing the program which oversees the application and enforcement of Federal and State pipeline safety regulations for construction, design, operations and maintenance for approximately 14,000 miles of intrastate gas and hazardous liquid regulated gathering and transmission pipelines as well as gas distribution. Prior to her tenure at PSCWV, she was employed by PHMSA as an instructor at the Training and Qualification facility in Oklahoma City where her duties included training both federal and state pipeline inspectors as well as participation with industry through seminars, industry standards committees and other organizations. She was employed at Columbia Gas Transmission for 30 years, and worked in variety of capacities including exploration and production, underground natural gas storage and pipelines. Mary is an active member of the Gas Piping Technology Committee, the API RP 80 rewrite committee and the API RP 1182 committee creating a new standard for unregulated gathering lines. Mary has a bachelors degree in geology from Lafayette College in Easton, PA, and a master’s degree in geology from Temple University.
John A. Gale is the Director of Standards and Rulemaking for the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) in the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the Department of Transportation (DOT). John is responsible for planning, developing, and managing the Federal Safety regulations for the transportation of fuels by pipeline. John’s Office is also responsible for the management of the two Pipeline Advisory Committees, and the issuance of advisory bulletins and interpretations on Pipeline Safety Regulations. John has served in that capacity since June 2008. John began his career with PHMSA’s Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS) in 1984. He became the Chief of OHMS’s Standards Development office in 2003. In this position John was responsible for helping produce and maintaining a national and international regulatory program for the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials, and providing guidance in compliance and enforcement. A lifelong DC native, John now resides in Fredericksburg, VA. John is a father of two boys, a history buff, enjoys playing golf and is passionate about his local professional sport teams. John received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Catholic University of America in 1988.
Don Gilliam is the Director of the Lincoln County Kentucky Emergency Management Agency. He has served in this capacity for 9 years after having held the position of Chief for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. Gilliam also served 23 years with the Kentucky State Police as Trooper, Detective and Executive Security Officer for the administrations of Governors John Y. Brown Jr., Martha Layne Collins and Wallace Wilkinson. He has received such honors as ‘Trooper of the Year’, the ‘Meritorious Service award’ and “Honorary Colonel Aide de Camp.’ Under his leadership the Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency has been recognized as the most improved in the Commonwealth. Gilliam oversees daily operations which include Hazardous Materials Response, Search and Rescue incidents, and Dive Team Water Rescue events. He serves on the Safe Communities Coalition, The Public Board of Health, Bluegrass 911 Communications Board, The Local Board of Elections, the Local Emergency Planning Committee, the Disaster & Emergency Services Panel and the Homeland Security Council. His office plans, schedules and conducts both regional & local training for public and private emergency responders including Law Enforcement, Fire Protection Districts, Emergency Medical Personnel, Hospitals, Schools, Churches, Civic groups, Utility Corporations, etc. Gilliam holds a degree in Business Administration from Eastern Kentucky University.
James P. “Jim” Gordon is Manager of Federal Government Relations, & Policy – U.S. for TC Energy, a North American energy infrastructure company. In his role Jim engages U.S. congressional and executive agency policymakers on critical industry issues, develops policy positions and advocacy strategy, and handles industry stakeholder and trade association relations on behalf of TC Energy. Before coming to TC Energy, Jim worked for more than fifteen years for his hometown congressman, U.S. Representative Stephen F. Lynch (MA08). During his time with the Boston-based Congressman, Jim worked in the congressional district and on Capitol Hill, covering a broad range of issues and focusing a great deal on local energy infrastructure projects and energy policy. Jim holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Sara Gosman is an associate professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville and the President of the Board of Directors for the Pipeline Safety Trust. She teaches and writes in the areas of environmental and energy law. Her current work focuses on the governance of risks from the development and transportation of oil and natural gas. Since 2016, she has represented the public on the Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee, a federal advisory committee to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Before becoming a law professor, Gosman practiced law as an Assistant Attorney General in Michigan and a water resources attorney for the National Wildlife Federation. Professor Gosman received an A.B. with high honors from Princeton University and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School. She also holds a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.
Jim Hall is the former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and is a leading expert on crisis management and government relations, and transportation safety and security, having served government and private clients for more than five decades. President Bill Clinton appointed him to the National Transportation Safety Board in 1993, and to serve as its Chairman in 1994. He led the Board through January 2001. During his NTSB chairmanship, Mr. Hall worked tirelessly to improve safety in all modes of transportation in the U.S. and abroad. He visited more than 30 nations as Chairman, and oversaw a period of unprecedented activity as the NTSB investigated numerous major aviation, rail, pipeline and maritime accidents in the U.S. Among the major investigations the NTSB conducted while Mr. Hall was Chairman was the Olympic Pipeline accident in Bellingham, Washington in 1999. Mr. Hall graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1967 with a baccalaureate of legal letters degree and has an honorary doctorate degree in public service from George Washington University for his outstanding leadership and commitment to the public. He served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1973, receiving the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service in Vietnam in 1969.
Jeffrey Insko lives in Michigan, where the Enbridge Line 6B pipeline, the same line that ruptured in Marshall, Michigan in 2010, traverses his property. After the spill and subsequent replacement of the pipeline, he launched the Line 6B Citizens’ Blog (http://grangehallpress.com/Enbridgeblog/), as a source of information for other landowners. Jeff is also a member of the Pipeline Safety Trust’s Board of Directors. He holds a PhD in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is an Associate Professor of American Literature at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, where he teaches courses in nineteenth-century American literature and culture and in the Environmental Humanities. He is the author of History, Abolition, and the Ever-Present Now in Antebellum American Writing (2018). His second book is an environmental history of the Michigan oil spill titled Untimely Infrastructure: The 2010 Marshall, Michigan Oil Spill in the Human Epoch.
Mojgan Karimi is a member of Canadian Energy Pipeline Association’s performance team as Manager of Integrity First Implementation. She is actively engaged in key initiatives at CEPA including Safety Culture and Integrity First Implementation. Mojgan also represents CEPA on a number of external committees, including the CSA Z260 (Pipeline Safety Metrics) Technical Committee. Prior to joining CEPA, she worked with an internationally recognized environmental consultancy, where her focus was on supporting the Canadian oil and gas industry. Her professional experience also includes academic research and production engineering with a global chemicals producer. She is a professional engineer (Alberta) and received her Master’s degree in engineering from University of Calgary.
Mobeen Khan is the head of Systems Enhancement Department for New Jersey Natural Gas, leading a department of 21 engineers and technicians. Primary responsibilities of the teams include Distribution and Transmission Integrity Management, Pipeline Corrosion Control, Public Awareness, Underground Pipeline Damage Prevention, Company O&M and Emergency Manuals and Material Failure and Testing programs. The department seeks and provides assistance to other areas of both operations and engineering as needed. He is also the company’s primary pipeline safety regulatory liaison with the State of New Jersey Bureau of Pipeline Safety. Mr. Khan has been at New Jersey Natural Gas since 1993, starting out as a corrosion engineer, performing cathodic protection systems inspection, designing and installation of galvanic and impressed current cathodic protection systems. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tulsa, and is a NACE Certified Senior Corrosion Technologist. He is also a member of American Gas Association and Northeast Gas Association.
Max Kieba is an Engineer for the Engineering and Research Division of U.S. DOT PHMSA’s Office of Pipeline Safety. Max’s core areas of involvement include: leak detection systems; SCADA and Control Room Management; human factors/fatigue management; plastic and composite piping systems; and composite repair applications. Max also assists with evaluating new technologies through PHMSA’s special permit and other technology notification processes. Prior to joining PHMSA in 2007, Max worked for over 7 years as an Electrical Engineer performing Research and Development for Federal and Industry sponsored projects designing wireless sensors used in the areas of horizontal directional drilling and cathodic protection. Max graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.
Chuck Lesniak is the Principal of CL3 Consulting, and recently retired from his position as the Environmental Officer for the City of Austin, Texas. He has over 25 years of experience in the environmental protection field working on behalf of the City of Austin, where he has lived and worked for more than 30 years. As Environmental Officer he was responsible for ensuring that environmental protection is given the highest priority in public and private development. In addition to addressing development issues, Chuck worked on a variety of general environmental policy topics, including transmission pipelines and abandoned landfills. Prior to being appointed Environmental Officer, Chuck worked in a variety of environmental areas for the City of Austin including hazardous spills and complaints investigation, large environmental remediation project management, environmental regulation and policy development, evaluation of environmental threats from hazardous liquids transmission pipelines and large municipal landfills, and Endangered Species Act compliance. Chuck is a member of PHMSA’s Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee. Chuck holds a Bachelors of Science in Aquatic Biology from the University of Texas at Austin.
Luke Litteken is Senior Vice President, Gas, for Xcel Energy. He is responsible for the gas business including: employee and public safety, engineering, integrity management programs, operations, compliance, system performance, GIS, reliability, and overall gas strategy. Mr. Litteken has worked at Xcel Energy since 2014. Mr. Litteken was previously employed by CenterPoint Energy for 25 years. His responsibilities at CenterPoint Energy included distribution operations, sales, community relations, contractor services, and retail services operations. Mr. Litteken holds a Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration and MBA from Augsburg College in Minneapolis. He is a member of the executive council and board of directors for the Southern Gas Association (SGA); the American Gas Association (AGA) Leadership Council, Safety Council and Operations Managing Committee; board of directors Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) and the Board Chair for the Gold Shovel Standard.
Shawn Lyon is president of Marathon Pipe Line LLC. and vice president, operations of MPLX GP LCC. Mr. Lyon joined Marathon in 1989 as an engineer in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mr. Lyon graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in construction engineering in 1989. He was licensed as a Professional Engineer in 1994. Mr. Lyon serves on the Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee. He also serves on the board of directors of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL), is vice chairman of the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) pipeline subcommittee steering group, serves on the API-AOPL pipeline safety excellence steering committee that works to improve the industry’s safety performance, and is on the AOPL Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Policy Committee. He serves on the board of the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) and as an owner representative for Marathon Petroleum’s interest in Capline, both of which are significant entities in the nation’s crude oil infrastructure. Previously, Mr. Lyon served as chair of the pipeline industry’s implementation of the Pipeline Safety Management System (API RP 1173) from 2015-2018 and on the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board, by appointment of Governor Rick Snyder, from 2017-2018.
Aaron Martinez serves as the Director of Transportation Safety and Compliance for MPLX, a majority owned subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corporation. In this role, Aaron is responsible for providing coordination and oversight of regulatory compliance and safety for the transportation of petroleum and natural gas by pipeline, truck, and rail. Aaron joined Marathon as part of its acquisition of Andeavor in 2018, where he previously served roles as Director of Environmental, Health, and Safety and Director of DOT Compliance for the Logistics business unit. He currently chairs the work group developing API Recommended Practice 1182 (Large Diameter Gas Gathering Lines). Aaron has almost 20 years of experience in regulatory compliance, transportation safety, community outreach, and emergency response planning. His previous experience includes roles with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), City of Corpus Christi Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), Koch Pipeline Company, and NuStar Energy. Aaron earned a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. He has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Emergency Management Association of Texas and the San Antonio Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Alan Mayberry is the Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety, within the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and serves as the senior career official for pipeline safety oversight. Previously, Alan served as the Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy and Programs, leading PHMSA’s development of comprehensive oversight programs including regulatory development, engineering and research, state grants, federal enforcement and the Training and Qualifications Division. Prior to August 2013, Alan was the Deputy Associate Administrator for Field operations overseeing US pipeline safety oversight through PHMSA’s five regional offices. Alan has over 34 years of experience in the energy industry, divided between pipeline operations and design engineering. In 2006, Alan first joined PHMSA’s Office of Pipeline Safety in a senior engineering role in the Engineering and Emergency Support Division. Alan was appointed Director of the group in 2008. In his role as PHMSA’s technical lead, Alan was responsible for supporting programs and the regional offices on nationwide pipeline issues to ensure uniform policies. Additionally, Alan led the agency’s response to major pipeline incidents. Alan is a Civil Engineering graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is also a registered professional engineer.
Captain David Murk, US Coast Guard (ret.), is the Pipeline Manager at the American Petroleum Institute (API) and is responsible for the oversight of infrastructure policy and technical issues to support and advocate for the safe and reliable transportation of petroleum liquid and natural gas by pipeline. Murk joined API having served twenty-six years in the public sector including twenty-four years with US Coast Guard and two years at US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). In his last three years in the Coast Guard, Murk served as the Senior Maritime Advisor to the Secretary of Transportation. Immediately prior to joining API in 2016, Murk served as the Director of Field Operations in the Office of Pipeline Safety, PHMSA, USDOT where he helped lead over 140 pipeline inspectors in the oversight of federal safety regulations for interstate natural gas and petroleum liquid pipelines and liquefied natural gas facilities. Murk began his career at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut earning a BS in Applied Science and has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. David, his wife Pam and boys reside in Maryland with their five dogs.
Dr. Christie Murray is the Director of Outreach and Engagement in the Office of Pipeline Safety at the U.S. DOT/Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in Washington D.C. She joined PHMSA in 2010. In this capacity, Christie leads and directs the execution of various pipeline safety programs such as damage prevention, 811, public awareness, community liaison services, national pipeline mapping systems, the voluntary information-sharing system working group, and other outreach initiatives. Christie also has a strong background in engineering, operations, acquisitions, and communications.
Patricia ‘Trish’ O’Quin has served as Deputy Director for the Lincoln County Kentucky Emergency Management Agency for 3 years. She is a veteran of the United States Navy, a certified SCUBA diver and an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician. She is Chief Operations Officer for the Lincoln County Search and Rescue Team and Chairperson for the Local Emergency Planning Committee. Trish is a member of the Kentucky Homeland Security Council and The Safe Communities Coalition. She assists with the planning and development of training opportunities for both local and regional responder organizations. Trish has received numerous commendations for her expertise in the creation and presentation of video enhanced documentation and training.
C.J. Osman is the Director of Operations, Safety and Integrity for the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA). INGAA advocates regulatory and legislative positions on behalf of the interstate natural gas pipeline industry. C.J. is responsible for directing the association’s efforts to promote effective, practical and technology-driven safety practices and regulations. Prior to joining INGAA in 2016, C.J. held engineering and construction management roles for an oil and gas operator, working on a variety of upstream and midstream projects in New Mexico, Texas and Colorado. He received degrees in Chemical Engineering and Economics from Vanderbilt University.
Dan Rivera is the Mayor of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Dan grew up in Lawrence, went to Lawrence public schools and now owns a home there. As a youth Dan was a Boy Scout, a U.S. Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol Cadet, newspaper delivery boy for the Eagle Tribune, Co-chair of LHS Model United Nations, and high school Senior Class Secretary. Dan Rivera is the son of a single mother who emigrated from the Dominican Republic to find a better life for her family by working in area mills. As the middle boy of a family of four, Dan is the type of person who never had anything handed to him. He has worked hard his entire life and now work for the people of Lawrence as Mayor. Dan has the experience and educational background for the job and shares the common values of a strong work ethic and meaningful community involvement. Dan is a Lawrence kid. He has the character, integrity and work ethic to restore the city’s pride, rehabilitate the image. By uniting the residents of the city, Dan will renew a commitment to all Lawrencians that we will have responsive, efficient government services, safe and clean streets, excellent schools, and a vibrant local economy.
Matt Romney is a Senior Product Manager at T.D. Williamson. Matt has nearly 9 years’ experience in the Pipeline industry, with over 7 years dedicated to designing In-line Inspection tools. In his currently role, Matt is responsible for managing T.D. Williamson’s advanced in-line inspections tools, including the Multiple Dataset (MDS) and Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) fleets. He resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, obtained his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University and his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Utah. Matt is also a certified Product Manager through the Association of International Product Marketing & Management organization.
Christina Sames is the Vice President of Operations & Engineering Services for the American Gas Association. In this role, she works with stakeholders to improve safety, reliability, and efficiency through sound regulation and legislation, best practices programs, peer-to-peer reviews, forums to exchange information, and the development of a wide range of publications. Christina’s team is responsible for pipeline safety, natural gas physical and cybersecurity, integrity management, and executing operations and engineering initiatives related to distribution, intrastate transmission and underground storage. Christina leads AGA’s efforts on safety culture, Commitment to Enhancing Safety, Executive Leadership Safety Summit, and is on the Advisory Boards of the Eversource Energy Center, Cross Bore Safety Association, and API Emergency Response. Prior to joining AGA, Christina worked for Pipeline Research Council International and spent 12 years with DOT’s Office of Pipeline Safety. She holds a B.S. in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.
Brien Sheahan is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among state regulatory commissioners for the promotion of innovation and forward-looking regulatory policy, Sheahan chaired the Presidential Task Force on Innovation for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). He also serves on the NARUC Board of Directors, and frequently speaks and publishes on the role of state utility commissioners in driving modernization of the nation’s utility infrastructure and regulatory paradigms. Prior to being appointed to the Commission, Sheahan was a senior advisor to Governor Rauner’s successful 2014 campaign, Counsel to the Governor’s transition committee, and Director of Government Relations for an Illinois based Fortune 500 industrial manufacturer. His extensive background in government includes serving three Illinois Governors in senior leadership roles, and as General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party. Sheahan was also an elected member of the DuPage County Board for ten years and served on the staffs of the Office of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the Illinois Commerce Commission. Commissioner Sheahan received his Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning, with High Honors, from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and his Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law.
John Stoody represents the interests of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) and its member companies on an industry-wide basis before Congress, its committees and individual members. Mr. Stoody leads pipeline safety improvement programs and U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration regulatory issues at AOPL. He also leads AOPL’s public relations efforts and serves as AOPL’s primary media relations contact. Mr. Stoody came to AOPL with 20 years of Washington legislative and policy experience. He spent 13 years as a U.S. Senate aide, serving as Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Counsel for U.S. Senator Kit Bond and Majority Staff Director of the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. Previously, he served 7 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including time as an attorney-advisor in EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. He began his federal government service as a Presidential Management Fellow at EPA and the White House Office of Management and Budget. Mr. Stoody has a B.S. in Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an M.G.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law.
Jeff Sutherland is Canadian and has Engineering and Physics degrees (B.A.Sc, M.A.Sc.) from Dalhousie University and Queen’s University in Canada. His 25 year career had included various roles in engineering and product development – including Chief Engineer and Global Product Leader – for systems and services for the imaging, inspection and integrity assessment for hydrocarbon pipelines and water infrastructure pipe networks. His current role is Products Portfolio Manager for the new Process & Pipeline Services division of Baker Hughes, directing investment portfolio strategy, and R&D initiatives for new developments to aid owners and operators of hydrocarbon pipelines. He is actively part of the global community for pipeline engineering and integrity, and is engaged in standards and research organizations like CSA, API, ASME, ISO and PRCI. He is a licensed professional engineer (P.Eng.) in Canada.
Massoud Tahamtani is the Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy and Programs with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). He advises the Administrator and the Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety on all policy and program matters. He directs education and outreach, guides PHMSA’s pipeline safety research and development program, provides support to the state pipeline safety programs, and oversees the development and delivery of technical training programs for federal and state compliance staff. Before joining PHMSA, Mr. Tahamtani served the Commonwealth of Virginia for over 38 years as the Director of the Division of Utility and Railroad Safety with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. He actively promoted underground utility damage prevention, pipeline safety and railroad safety on the national stage by testifying before Congress and the National Transportation Safety Board, served on numerous national task forces and committees including the American Petroleum Institute’s Committee on Pipeline Safety Management Systems. Mr. Tahamtani has served on the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) Board of Directors, representing the states. He has received numerous awards for his distinguished public service including the CGA’s Jim Barron Award for his dedication and commitment to reduce excavation damage to underground facilities. He was appointed by the Secretary of Transportation to serve on PHMSA’s Liquid Pipeline Advisory Committee for multiple terms. He is the past Chairman of the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR) and received the NAPSR Lifetime Leadership award in 2013 and again in 2017.
Mishal Thadani is the Director of Market Development and Policy at Urbint, an international enterprise software company that enables utilities and infrastructure operators to manage risk and increase resiliency through AI-powered solutions. Mish has deep expertise in the energy sector, drawing from experiences in the wind, solar, and cleantech industries to navigate complex regulatory frameworks to advance technology adoption and environmental stewardship for a cleaner, smarter future. Prior to joining Urbint, Mish founded a residential and commercial solar development company serving the District of Columbia and continues to play a substantial role in driving forward the District’s visionary energy policy goals. In addition, Mish serves as a Senior Advisor to the Clean Energy Leadership Institute to educate, empower, and connect diverse young professionals in clean energy. He holds a BS in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Minor in Energy and Water Sustainability from Rice University.
Aaron Van Pelt is the Vice President of Product Strategy for Picarro, Inc. Aaron has twenty years of experience in product development and marketing in the photonics field and leads Picarro’s product strategy, marketing and client service delivery teams focused on Picarro’s Energy vertical. For the past decade, he has served in various technical, marketing and business development roles at Picarro. Previously, he was a Senior Research Scientist at Physical Sciences, and prior to that, held marketing, product management and applications engineering positions at New Focus. Aaron received his M.S. in physics from Washington State University focusing on ultrafast laser spectroscopy and his B.S. in physics from the University of Wyoming.
Joe von Fischer is Professor and Associate Chair of Biology at Colorado State University. His research examines the human and natural forces that give the atmosphere its greenhouse gas composition. Joe’s lab partnered with Environmental Defense Fund and Google to deploy a new generation of highly sensitive methane analyzers on Google Street View cars around the US. This novel approach has been used with natural gas utilities to better map the size and location of natural gas leaks in 15 US cities, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. This applied research has yielded 5 scientific publications thus far. He has served as an expert witness in several utility rate cases, and testified on the implementation of California state bill 1371 for methane emissions management.
Carl Weimer is the Executive Director of the Pipeline Safety Trust. In that capacity he has served as a member of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee, the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association’s External Advisory Panel, and the governor appointed Washington Citizen Committee on Pipeline Safety. Carl has been called upon to testify to the U.S. House and Senate multiple times, as a witness by the National Transportation Safety Board, and was honored in 2015 as a Champion of Change by the White House for his pipeline safety efforts. He has organized eleven national pipeline safety conferences, pushed for stronger pipeline safety legislation on the national and state level, and regularly serves as an independent source of pipeline safety information for news media, local government, and citizens around the country. Carl was elected in 2005 and again in 2009 and 2013 to the Whatcom County Council, where he served as chairman for four of those years. He has a degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Education from the University of Michigan, as well a degree in Industrial Electronics Technology from Peninsula College.