2015 PNWER Annual Summit in Big Sky, Montana
Sr. Technical Leader of Technology Innovation, Electric Power Research Institute
Robin is responsible for coordinating EPRI’s Innovation Scouting and Polaris Initiative activities, which monitor worldwide science and technology developments to identify high-value opportunities for potential development, demonstration and eventual deployment in the electricity sector. She also coordinates and conducts Strategic Energy Analysis activities. Prior to joining the Technology Innovation Program, Robin was involved in EPRI’s Generation and Environment sectors. Robin holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Santa Clara University and an MS in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Energy Systems from Stanford University.
Gov. Steve Bullock
Governor of Montana
Steve Bullock, Montana’s former attorney general, was elected as the state’s 24th governor on Nov. 6, 2012.
Born in Missoula and raised in Helena, Bullock received his undergraduate degree from Claremont McKenna College and his law degree with honors from Columbia University Law School in New York.
Bullock’s top priorities as governor have been to improve the quality of jobs and education in his state and increase government efficiency. He and his wife Lisa have three children: Caroline, Alexandria and Cameron.
Edward H. Comer
Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary at the Edison Electric Institute
Edward H. Comer began at EEI as a staff attorney in 1981 and became Vice President and General Counsel in 1998. Mr. Comer was elected Corporate Secretary in September 2011.
Mr. Comer is responsible for all legal issues affecting EEI and its members and works directly on the critical policy issues affecting the electric industry. He represents EEI in Congress and in proceedings before federal regulatory agencies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and several others agencies. He also represents EEI before state legislative and administrative bodies and with state officials on matters of generic industry interest. Currently he is engaged in issues involving environmental rules, transmission siting, smart grid implementation, energy efficiency, and general utility regulation.
Dr. Waded Cruzado
President, Montana State University
Since January of 2010, Dr. Waded Cruzado has served as the 12th President of Montana State University, and during that time she has significantly reshaped the face and future of the state's first land-grant institution.
During President Cruzado's tenure, MSU has competitively won more than $400 million for research. In 2011-12, MSU set an institutional record of $112.3 million in research expenditures. Some recent projects include the renovation of Cooley Lab thanks to a $15 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, as well as a $67 million grant from the Department of Energy for the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration partnership, which is housed at MSU.
In 2014, President Cruzado was elected to serve a three-year term on the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Board of Directors, the governing and policymaking body of the association.
Prior to coming to MSU, President Cruzado served as executive vice president and provost at New Mexico State University, posts she held since Sept. 1, 2007, and served as NMSU's interim president from 2008-2009. She has a master of arts in Spanish and a doctorate in the humanities, both from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Sen. Steve Daines
U.S. Senator for Montana
Steve is a lifelong sportsman and grew up in Bozeman, Montana. He attended Montana State University – Bozeman and graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering.
Daines spent thirteen years in a management role for Procter & Gamble before returning to Bozeman in 1997 to work with his parents in the family’s construction business. In 2000, Daines took on the role of VP of Customer Service for Right Now Technologies, a Bozeman-based start-up company that had around 100 employees at the time. The company grew rapidly and today is a publicly traded software company that employs more than 1,000 people—making it the largest commercial employer in Bozeman.
Daines was elected to serve as Montana’s United States Representative in 2012. During his time in the House, Daines championed legislation to expand responsible development of Montana’s energy resources, move forward meaningful forest management reform, increase transparency and accountability in government and require members of Congress to balance the budget. He was ranked the most effective first-term House member in 2013 for moving bills out of Committee.
In the U.S. Senate, Daines is working on issues of critical importance to growing good-paying Montana jobs, developing our state’s energy resources, managing our public lands and supporting the needs of Montana’s tribes. He serves on the Senate Committees on Energy and Natural Resources, Commerce, Indian Affairs and Appropriations.
Dr. Royce C. Engstrom
President, University of Montana
The University of Montana’s 17th President, Dr. Royce C. Engstrom, assumed his duties on October 15, 2010, after serving as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for three years. He came to Missoula in 2007 from the University of South Dakota, where he served as Professor and Chair of Chemistry, Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. As a faculty member, Engstrom taught Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, and General Chemistry and conducted an active research program in electrochemistry and analytical chemistry.
President Engstrom is interested in science policy, higher education public policy, program development, and in building relationships between the various stakeholders in higher education.
Born in Michigan, Engstrom received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has a wife, Mary, and two grown children, Tyler and Carey.
Ambassador Bruce Heyman
United States Ambassador to Canada
Hon. Bruce Heyman presented his letter of credence to the Governor General of Canada on April 8, 2014. He is a 33-year veteran of Goldman Sachs, where he served as a regional managing director of the Midwest private wealth management group, which covers 13 states and half of Canada, from 1999 until December of 2013.
Mr. Heyman has served as a board member for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Foundation. He also served as an advisor to the Fix the Debt CEO Council of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. He has been a member of The Economic Club of Chicago, The Executives’ Club of Chicago, and the Facing History and Ourselves Chicago Advisory Board.
A magna cum laude graduate with both a BA and an MBA from Vanderbilt University, Mr. Heyman continues to maintain close ties to his alma mater. He is married to the former Vicki Simons of Ashland, Kentucky.
Rep. Jeff Morris
State Senator for Washington
Jeff represents the 40th Legislative District that includes San Juan County and parts of Skagit and Whatcom Counties. A fourth-generation native of the San Juan’s, Morris is a preeminent source of critical thought in the areas of energy, infrastructure, technology, and commercialization. Recently named one of the 13 most Tech Savvy Legislators in the United States, was appointed by US Energy Secretary Moniz as an advisor to the Department. His private and public sector work assisting new energy technology companies is internationally recognized. Morris co-chairs a National Energy Task Force, co-founded Northwest Energy Angels now Element 8 and is owner of Energy Horizon Corporation.
Darrin N. Old Coyote
Chairman, Crow Nation
Darrin N. Old Coyote is the 21st Chairman of the Crow Nation. Ishbilaxe Itche "One who has a Good Drum” is a member of the Piegan clan and a a child of the Ties in a Bundle and Whistling Water.
Darrin Old Coyote became Chairman of the Executive Branch in December 2012. He was first elected Vice-Secretary of the Executive Branch in December 2004 and subsequently reelected in December 2008.
Old Coyote attended Concordia College in Moorehead, Minnesota having completed a bachelors degree in History with a minor in Native American Studies. Upon graduation, he returned home to serve as a language teacher with the Crow Tribe’s Head Start program. In 1997, he moved on to the Lodge Grass schools, where he taught Crow music and dance and also Crow language and history.
In 2000, the Crow Nation Executive Branch appointed Old Coyote as the Director of Culture, where he worked with many Apsáalooke Elders to preserve and perpetuate the Apsáalooke way of life, work he continues to this day. He always advocated for empowerment and leadership for Apsaalooke youth. He is a founding member and drum keeper of the Black Whistle Singers.
Executive Chairman, BNSF Railway Company
Matt Rose is the executive chairman of BNSF Railway Company after having served 13 years as chief executive officer and 11 years as chairman. BNSF became a Berkshire Hathaway-owned company in 2010.
Rose joined Burlington Northern Railroad in 1993. He held several positions in the railroad’s Merchandise Business Unit before being named senior vice president and chief operations officer. Rose was was made president and chief operating officer in 1999.
Rose received a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing with a minor in logistics from the University of Missouri.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Canada, Mexico and Regional Economic Policy.
Sue Saarnio is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Canada, Mexico and Regional Economic Policy. Ms. Saarnio previously served as Director of Canadian Affairs and started her diplomatic career at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. She is a career Foreign Service Officer with 30 years of experience working on international trade and economic issues in the U.S. State Department.
Ms. Saarnio served as the Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa responsible for the bilateral economic, trade, energy and environment relationship from 2010 to 2013. She served in the State Department’s Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Bureau from 2008 to 2010 as Deputy Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs and Director for Multilateral Trade Affairs.
She served as the U.S. Special Advisor for Conflict Diamonds representing the U.S. government in the multilateral Kimberley Process from 2005-2008 leading implementation of the U.S. Clean Diamond Trade Act. Prior to her government service, Ms. Saarnio worked as journalist in Montana and Minnesota. She is a graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and attended the American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Sam Schulhofer-Wohl is senior vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. He oversees the Bank’s Research Division, leads its economists in advising the Bank’s president on monetary policy, and regularly attends meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee in Washington, D.C. Schulhofer-Wohl also serves on the Bank’s Management Committee.
Schulhofer-Wohl joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis as a senior economist in 2010 and was promoted to senior vice president in 2013. From 2007 to 2010, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Economics and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has a background in newspaper journalism and has worked at the Freeport (Ill.) Journal-Standard, the Birmingham (Ala.) Post-Herald, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Schulhofer-Wohl received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in physics from Swarthmore College.
Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Canada
Mr. Stevens has served with the Canadian Government for 19 years, 10 of them in management positions in the departments of Justice; Indian and Northern Affairs; Public Safety and at the Privy Council Office, the department that serves the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.
Mr. Stevens previously served as Consul General of Canada in Seattle. Mr. Stevens earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations with great honors from Harvard University. He earned his law degree and Masters of Business Administration from McGill University. A native of Montréal, Mr. Stevens is married to Gen Chanteloup, and they have two daughters.
Ambassador David H. Wilkins
Partner,Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
Ambassador David H. Wilkins is a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP and chairs the Public Policy and International Law practice group, which focuses primarily on representing businesses on both sides of the US-Canadian border and offers experience on a wide range of strategic bilateral issues.
Mr. Wilkins was nominated by President George W. Bush to become the United States Ambassador to Canada. He began his service on June 29, 2005, and served until January 20, 2009. During his tenure, Ambassador Wilkins helped to resolve some of the highest profile issues between Canada and the United States, including the decades-old softwood lumber trade dispute. He is known on both sides of the border as an honest broker who worked for solutions on the toughest issues – energy, national security, the environment, trade and travel – impacting millions of citizens in both countries.
Sen. Jon Tester
U.S. Senator for Montana
Senator Jon Tester is a third-generation Montana farmer, a proud grandfather and a former school teacher who has deep roots in hard work, responsibility and accountability. Jon and his wife Sharla still farm the same land near the town of Big Sandy, Mont. that was homesteaded by Jon’s grandparents in 1912. After earning a degree in music from the College of Great Falls, Jon took over the Tester farm in 1978. Jon ran for and was elected to the Montana Senate in 1998.
In 2005, Jon’s colleagues chose him to serve as Montana Senate President. The people of Montana elected Jon to the U.S. Senate in 2006 and again in 2012. Jon believes in holding himself accountable to the highest standards possible, and he has improved transparency at all levels of government.
In the U.S. Senate, Jon is an outspoken voice for rural America. He is an advocate for small businesses who has hosted numerous Small Business Opportunity Workshops across Montana to serve thousands of business owners and entrepreneurs. He is a champion of responsible energy development, sportsmen’s issues, clean air and water, Indian nations, women’s access to care, and quality health care for all of America’s veterans. In the Senate, Jon serves on the Veterans’ Affairs, Homeland Security, Indian Affairs, Banking and Appropriations Committees.
Rep. Ryan Zinke
U.S. Representative for Montana
Congressman Ryan Zinke serves the people of Montana as their sole Representative in the United States House. Ryan is a fifth generation Montanan, former state senator and a 23-year U.S. Navy SEAL veteran. In 2014, Ryan became the first Navy SEAL elected to the House. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Natural Resources.
Congressman Zinke is a Constitutional conservative who believes in the vision the forefathers laid out which separates powers between the three branches and ensures the sovereignty of our states. As a Navy SEAL, State Senator and now a Member of Congress, Zinke swore an oath to defend the Constitution. His decisions are based on upholding the Constitution and doing what is right for Montana and America.