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March 17th

Keynote Speaker
Peter D. Thomson
The World Bank

Location: Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Room G06

Growth Opportunities in the Utilities Sector
Location: Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Room 365

Building a Renewable Energy Future
Location: Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Room 365

Closing Keynote
Ronnie Hawkins, Citigroup
Head of Natural Resources

Location: Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Room G60

Location: Hoover Lounge
38th and Spruce



Symposium Speakers



Brent Alderfer is President & Chief Executive Officer of Community Energy.  Brent brings vision and leadership to the venture from his national role in opening new energy markets. As a former public utility commissioner, Brent led efforts to introduce wind and other new generation technologies at utility scale. Under his direction, Community Energy, Inc. was founded in 1999 to develop the market for wind energy and has become a leader in this rapidly expanding market. Brent gained experience with development stage companies as a commercial lawyer representing and serving as a director of development stage companies from start up to public offering. Brent holds an electrical engineering degree from Northeastern University and a J.D. from Georgetown University.


Peter L. Corsell is President and Chief Executive Officer for GridPoint and is responsible for the strategic vision, business development and leadership of the company. Prior to co-founding GridPoint, Mr. Corsell gained expertise within the energy industry as the Director for Energy Markets at Gemstar Group, Inc., where he directed the Photovoltaics Market Aggregation Initiative and developed strategies to expand existing markets for renewable energy.

Before entering the renewable energy sector, Mr. Corsell served with the U.S. State Department as Special Assistant to the Principal Officer of the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba, where he developed program initiatives to prepare for a peaceful, democratic transition in Cuba. Prior to assuming that post, Mr. Corsell worked as a political analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency, where he received the Agency's Exceptional Performance Award for superior accomplishment.

Mr. Corsell has been a featured speaker on intelligent energy management at Georgetown University Law School. He is a frequent lecturer on U.S.-Cuba relations and recently spoke at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Mr. Corsell has held public affairs positions with the office of Congressman Lee H. Hamilton as well as the New York City Commission for the United Nations. Mr. Corsell holds a B.S.F.S. from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.


Calvin Crowder is Managing Director, RTO & Public Policy for American Electric Power. He has responsibility for the development and advocacy of AEP’s public policy positions on major regulatory, legislative and regional transmission organization (RTO) issues across an eleven-state area and at the federal level.

Mr. Crowder is an electric utility industry expert with fifteen years’ experience in regulatory affairs and public policy. He has led major initiatives in business development and organizational restructuring, and his experience spans state and federal public policy, industry restructuring and RTO development, regulatory and legislative affairs, operational reorganization.

He graduated from New Mexico State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in Economics, and attended the Center for Public Utilities graduate program at New Mexico State University, where he received his Masters degree in December 1991. Since graduation, he has held positions of increasing responsibility with Central Power and Light Company, Central and South West Corporation and AEP.

Mr. Crowder lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, Lynne and daughter, Erin.


Alan R. Forster is Manager, Joint Ventures and Emerging Markets, for Shell WindEnergy Inc. in Houston, Texas. He oversees SWE’s 50% equity interest in four joint-venture companies in the US. In addition, he manages the business development strategy for entry into new geographic markets.

Dr. Forster started with Shell as a research scientist supporting chemical and oil products. He managed chemical process research and then moved into a business development role. This led to activity in Mergers & Acquisitions spanning chemical company acquisitions, joint venture development, and divestments. This last area involved a variety of financing structures leading to the role in Shell WindEnergy.

Dr. Forster  received a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Oregon and a Ph.D. in (Analytical) Chemistry from Arizona State University.

Christopher P. Johns is Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of PG&E Corporation.

Johns, 45, is responsible for the financial activities of the $34 billion company. He oversees treasury, accounting, business planning, investor relations, tax, risk management,
corporate development, strategic planning, and information technology functions, as well as the financial policies of the Corporation's utility unit, Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Johns joined Pacific Gas and Electric Company in 1996 as Vice President and Controller, and became Controller of PG&E Corporation when it was formed in January
1997. Later that year, he was promoted to Vice President and Controller.  Johns was named Senior Vice President and Controller in September 2001, and was elected Chief Financial Officer in January 2005.

Before joining PG&E Corporation, Johns was a partner of KPMG Peat Marwick LLP. He also was the associate national director of the firm's Public Utilities practice.

Johns earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Notre Dame. He is a Certified Public Accountant in the states of California and Florida, and is a
member of the Financial Executives Institute.


Tony Lent is the EVP, Strategy (New York) for US Renewables Group.  Mr. Lent is a national expert in renewable and clean energy commercialization. From 1994 to 2002 he co-founded and led EA Capital, an investment bank working on renewables technology commercialization and deployment with corporate strategic investors such as Duke Energy, PacifiCorp, and AEP and venture stage firms introducing new technologies. Mr. Lent has worked on the commercialization of land fill methane, biomass, wind, hydro and a broad range of advanced energy technologies. He was co-developer of US Forest Capital and a tax-exempt bond for use in forestry, and a co-founder of EcoTimber in 1992.

Mr. Lent holds an MBA in technology management and strategy from the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley, and a BS in Biology from Tufts University.


Juan Carlos Roa is an independent consultant on ethanol ventures.  He has extensive experience in the development, acquisition, financing and management of projects in the power sector in Latin America. Juan Carlos has led the acquisition and development of projects amounting to more than $800 million in Latin America and has experience as asset manager of electric distribution companies in Latin America. Juan Carlos is a partner of Quantum Ventures, a small boutique investment bank that has been advising in the development and financing of fuel ethanol facilities in Colombia and other countries in the Caribbean and Central America. As advisor Juan Carlos has been working on structuring the funding for the projects, and in the design and negotiation of key contracts. Colombia is the first country in Latin America to introduce the mandatory mix of fuel ethanol with gasoline, which has allowed the development of this market.  Juan Carlos is a Civil Engineer with a Specialization in Finance; in 2004 he attended the Advanced Management Program at Wharton.


Pattabi Seshadri joined the Dallas office of the Boston Consulting Group in 1997. He focuses on the energy sector, and leads BCG's Power & Gas Utilities Practice in North America. He has worked with clients on a broad range of issues including strategy development, capabilities improvement, M&A, reorganization, benchmarking, best practice process development, and new business launch. He has most recently been involved in all aspects of utility M&A, including target assessment, diligence, and post merger integration activities.

Prior to joining BCG, Mr. Seshadri was a Transportation Planning and Economics consultant at Louis Berger International. Pattabi received a B.S. in Civil Engineering with Distinction from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, an M.S. in Transportation Engineering with Honors from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.B.A. with High Honors from the University of Chicago.


Knut Simonsen, 42, is senior vice president of Energy Resources for DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. In this position, Simonsen provides leadership in strategy, M&A and business development for DTE Energy and its utility and non-utility businesses. Furthermore, Simonsen is responsible for identifying and exploiting opportunities that create value, integrating the activities between the business units, and expanding or generating new business areas for the company to enter. This included the acquisition of Duke’s share in the Vector Pipeline and the formation of DTE Gas Resources, an unconventional gas E&P business that currently focuses on the Barnett Shale in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Simonsen joined DTE Energy from McKinsey & Company’s Dallas, Texas office. At McKinsey, he was a management consultant specializing in the energy industry serving leading firms among gas and electric utilities and major oil companies. Areas of primary focus were merger and acquisitions, growth and restructuring strategies, wholesale trading, and performance management. Prior to McKinsey, Simonsen worked in Texaco Inc.’s Global Gas & Power division based in New York. As a Project Manager at Texaco, Simonsen led power development teams in North America, Europe and Latin America. The focus included both traditional gas fired turbine technology as well as Texaco’s proprietary gasification technology using high sulfur fuels such as coal, petroleum coke and heavy residual oils. Experience included project economics and financing, developing and evaluating EPC bids, and leading contract/bid negotiations with suppliers/vendors. Previously, Simonsen was an Assistant Treasurer in the New York based Project Finance group of Den Norske Bank, where he marketed, analyzed and structured project finance loans primarily for independent power and gas pipeline projects.

Simonsen earned an MBA from Columbia University in New York with concentration in Finance, and a bachelor of science degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University. While at Texas A&M, he completed two internships in Statoil’s reservoir engineering and exploration groups in Norway.


Peter Thomson is Director of the Infrastructure Department of the Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank. He is responsible for the Bank’s infrastructure activities (energy, transportation, water, sanitation and urban development) in the 28 countries of Eastern Europe and the CIS that make up the Europe and Central Asia Region. The portfolio includes over 90 projects under implementation, with associated lending of US$5 billion, and over 40 projects under preparation with projected lending amounts in excess of US$2.5 billion. The Department consists of 90 professional World Bank staff located in 18 countries.

Mr. Thomson joined the Bank in 1997 as a Sector Leader in the Energy Department of the Europe and Central Asia Region. He subsequently became the Energy Sector Manager responsible for the Bank’s energy programs in the CIS countries within a merged Infrastructure Department. He was appointed to his present position in July, 2005.

Prior to joining the Bank, Mr. Thomson worked for 25 years in the private sector primarily with Mobil Corporation where he held a variety of management positions in both the United States and Europe including the positions of Manager of the Corporate Economics Department, President and General manager of the Mobil Companies in Turkey, Vice President, Accounting Finance and Systems for Mobil Europe, Head of Mobil Solar Inc, and Assistant Treasurer for Mobil Corporation.