WASHINGTON, August 30, 2017 - Anne Steckel has left her post as lobbyist for the National Biodiesel Board in Washington to start up her own consulting firm, Ardent Strategies. One of her first clients is the National Farmers Union, which says Steckel is leading a new initiative “to advance federal policies that support homegrown and home-produced renewable energy sources.” Before joining NBB in 2011, Steckel served as chief of staff to Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif. She also has directed government relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation and at Growth Energy. Meanwhile, NBB’s chief operating officer, Doug Whitehead, will be managing NBB’s federal affairs program in the national’s capital… NBB also recently said goodbye to its general counsel, Sandra Franco, who set up Franco Environmental Law firm earlier this month.

Jeanette Pablo has joined the Energy Futures Initiative Inc. (EFI) as general counsel and senior associate. Pablo will advise on a variety of legal issues for EFI, as well as help drive strategic planning as a member of the senior management team. Pablo comes to EFI from the Energy Department, where she served as acting deputy director for Energy Systems within the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis.  

A presidential delegation is in Astana, Kazakhstan, this week for the EXPO International Fair on Future Energy. Delegates include George Krol, United States ambassador to the Republic of Kazakhstan; Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.; Ray W. Washburne, president and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corp.; Lisa Curtis, senior director for South and Central Asia with the National Security Council; and Ronald J. Pollett, vice president of General Electric and president and CEO of General Electric Russia/CIS. The delegation is led by Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

President Trump has nominated South Dakota’s John Henderson as assistant secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy. Henderson has a background in petroleum with the Department of Defense and in energy infrastructure worldwide for the Defense Logistics Agency. He has over 23 years of active military experience as an Army engineer officer, serving two combat tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan as an engineer battalion task force commander. He most recently served as the commander of the Omaha District, Army Corps of Engineers.

Brian Kemker assumes the role of senior resident inspector for construction at Southern Nuclear Operating Co.’s Vogtle nuclear plant Units 3 and 4. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in Atlanta named Kemker for the post overseeing construction near Waynesboro, Ga. He previously served as resident inspector at the Byron Nuclear Station in Illinois and senior resident inspector for the Millstone plant in Connecticut. More recently, Kemker held the senior resident inspector position at Cook and Fermi nuclear plants in Michigan and the Clinton plant in Illinois. He began his career in the U.S. Navy, serving aboard two nuclear-powered submarines.

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) has a new board member. Neal Kemmet, representing Ace Ethanol (and Fox River Valley Ethanol), was elected to a three-year term on the board at ACE’s 30th annual conference in Omaha. Nine incumbents were also re-elected. Click here to see a full list of ACE board members.

Kelly Craft, a top Republican fundraiser from Kentucky, has been sworn in as the new U.S. ambassador to Canada. Craft, who runs a business advisory firm based in Lexington, is the wife of Joe Craft, the billionaire chief executive of Alliance Resource Partners, a large Kentucky coal producer.

The Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas has hired Sanjay Srikantiah as its new federal affairs manager in Washington. Srikantiah previously worked at the State Department from 2009-2015, supporting work in the Bureau of Energy Resources and the Bureau of Resource Management, among others. A former Peace Corps volunteer and a fluent speaker of Russian, Srikantiah served as a fellow in the Emerging Markets Development Advisors Program, a cooperative effort between USAID, the Institute of International Education, and the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance. In that role, he provided technical assistance and support to the American Chamber of Commerce in Kazakhstan.

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