Moderators and Panelists


Jackie Flowers, General Manager, Idaho Falls Power

Jackie Flowers is the General Manager of Idaho Falls Power – a locally owned electric utility providing electric service to more than 27,000 metered customers in the City of Idaho Falls. Flowers manages a staff of 73 employees and a $63 million budget. In addition to providing electric service, the utility owns and maintains hydro-power plants along the Snake River in Idaho Falls, nearly 450 miles of transmission and distribution lines, and the City’s dark fiber optic network which has been operational since 2005. Under Flowers’ leadership, Idaho Falls Power achieved Diamond status (2015) in the American Public Power Association’s Reliable Public Power Provider designation program, this is the highest designation level indicating the utility’s strong commitment to reliable and safe electric service.

Flowers joined the utility in July 2006 as the first female manager in utility’s history (the city first started generating electricity in 1900). Flowers, a Wyoming native, is a Registered Professional Engineer with a background in Civil Engineering and 25 years of experience, seventeen of which involve managing publicly owned utilities.

Flowers serves as the governor-appointed Chair of the Board of Directors for the Idaho Strategic Energy Alliance and an appointee to the Idaho Energy Resources Authority board. She chairs the Board of Directors for the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (the first woman to hold that seat). She serves as 1st Vice President to the Northwest Public Power Association Board of Trustees. Flowers is Past-President for the Partnership for Science and Technology and Past-President of the Idaho Falls Rotary Club No. 1041. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center and for Public Power Incorporated., a subsidiary of the American Public Power Association.

Earlier this year, Flowers was selected as a 2017 Idaho Business Review Women of the Year honoree. In 2010, the Partnership for Science and Technology awarded Flowers the Energy Advocate Award for exceptional leadership and devoted service to the advancement of energy initiatives. Passionate about community service both locally and internationally, Flowers has achieved multiple Paul Harris Fellows (+4) through her service to Rotary International.

Beyond the walls of the power utility, you can find Flowers spending time with her family skiing, kayaking, camping, hiking, biking and any other activity that involves the outdoors.

Michael Hagood, Director, INL Regional Initiatives

Michael Hagood is the Director of Regional Initiatives at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), where he provides leadership in advancing energy and security innovation in support of Northwest and Intermountain West energy transitions. Mike works across the INL mission areas, the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) and with other regional partners to assess strategic opportunities and develop impactful research and development programs.

Prior to this position, Mike was the Program Development Director for the INL Energy and Environment Science and Technology directorate, focused on advanced transportation, clean energy integration, advanced manufacturing, and environmental assurance. During the same period, he served as the Deputy Director for Program Development at CAES, an energy research and education consortium comprising INL, Boise State University, Idaho State University, University of Idaho, and University of Wyoming.

During his more than 35-year career, Hagood has worked extensively in the energy and environmental fields, including working for several years in Europe, the Middle East and Far East. Hagood has testified before the U.S. House Committees on Science Space and Technology and Natural Resources on the development of unconventional fossil energy resources. Mike currently sits on the Board of the CleanTech Alliance and advises EPA on water security R&D. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology and is a registered geologist and hydrogeologist in the state of Washington.

Douglas Hunter, CEO and General Manager, UAMPS

Douglas Hunter is the Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (“UAMPS”). Mr. Hunter joined UAMPS in December of 1983 and is a 35 year veteran of the electric utility industry. Prior to his appointment as General Manager in 1995, he served as Assistant General Manager and Manager of Municipal Resources of UAMPS.

Mr. Hunter holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Utah State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis. He served as the Chair of the Executive Committee and as a Board Director for the American Public Power Association.

John Kotek, Vice President for Policy Development and Public Affairs, Nuclear Energy Institute

John Kotek is responsible for providing policy and public affairs leadership on financial, economic, tax, electricity market and environmental issues related to the nuclear energy industry.

Kotek was appointed in January 2015 to the position of principal deputy assistant secretary for the Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE), and was nominated by President Obama in October 2015 to serve as assistant secretary for nuclear energy. In that role he was responsible for DOE’s research efforts on current and future nuclear energy systems, maintaining the government’s nuclear energy research infrastructure, establishing a path forward for the nation’s spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste management program and a host of other national priorities.

Prior to his appointment, Kotek was the managing partner of the Boise office of Gallatin Public Affairs. He advised energy, natural resources and other clients facing complex communication and government relations challenges.

From 2010-2012, Kotek served as staff director to the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, which recommended a new strategy for managing nuclear waste in the United States. He led the development of the Commission’s final report to the Secretary of Energy, engaged in regular communications with Congressional and White House staff and served as media spokesperson.

From 2003-2006, Kotek was deputy manager of the DOE’s Idaho Operations Office. He was responsible for development and management of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) contract and interface with the INL cleanup effort. Before joining DOE in July 2003, Kotek worked for Argonne National Laboratory where he directed Argonne’s participation in the Generation IV technology roadmapping project, an international effort focused on evaluating and developing a next-generation of nuclear energy systems.

In 2002, Kotek was the American Nuclear Society’s Glenn T. Seaborg Congressional Fellow. He served in the Office of Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Kotek started his career with DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology. He held several positions during his nine years with DOE-NE, including associate director for technology, associate director for management and administration and chief of staff.

Kotek holds a bachelor of science in nuclear engineering from the University of Illinois and a master of business administration from the University of Maryland. He lives in Boise, Idaho with his wife Denise and their three children.

Dr. Mark A. Northam, Director, School of Energy Resources, University of Wyoming

Mark A. Northam is the founding Director of the School of Energy Resources at the University of Wyoming. He came to the university after a year and a half with Saudi Aramco in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia where he worked as a Research Science Consultant in the areas of Carbon Management and Technical Intelligence at the Research and Development Center. Prior to joining Saudi Aramco, Mark worked for over twenty years at Mobil and ExxonMobil, holding a variety of research, operations, and management positions in the US and Europe.

Mark earned a Ph.D. degree in Organic Geochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Wake Forest University. He is originally from Virginia.

Jim Ogsbury, Executive Director, Western Governors Association

Jim Ogsbury was hired by the Governors in November 2012. He has over twenty years experience creating and implementing public policy, as well as designing successful lobbying, communications and public affairs strategies.

Prior to coming to WGA, Jim was the legislative director at the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, a voluntary association of all ninety-one municipalities in the State of Arizona. There he was responsible for development and execution of comprehensive political strategies concerning state legislation affecting cities and towns.

Jim also worked as Managing Principal, Washington Office Triadvocates, an Arizona-based public affairs firm, for Jones Walker as government relations counsel emphasizing federal appropriations and as subcommittee chief-of-staff on the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development of the United States House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations.


Richard Boardman, Ph.D., Laboratory Relationship Manager, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technology Office, Idaho National Laboratory

Dr. Richard Boardman oversees the INL Clean Energy Platform for Integrated Energy Systems development. His staff develops computational tools and test facilities supporting the design, assessment, integration, optimization, and control of industry-scale hybrid energy systems. Hybrid energy systems operate in a closely-coupled, dynamic manner to enhance the systems technical, economic, and environmental performance. Boardman is also responsible for coordination of DOE Laboratories, government, universities, regional stakeholders, and industry for this effort.

After receiving his doctorate in chemical engineering from Brigham Young University, he worked for Exxon Production Research and Geneva Steel Mill, then joined Idaho National Laboratory in 1990. His personal expertise includes combustion, gasification, synthetic fuels process development, gas cleanup, and atmospheric environmental chemistry.

Chris Colbert, Chief Strategy Officer, NuScale

Chris Colbert utilizes his extensive experience in project development to focus on the development and implementation of NuScale projects and strategic partnerships. Colbert held the position of Chief Operating Officer from September 2011 to July 2014.

Colbert joined NuScale from UniStar Nuclear Energy, LLC, where he was Senior Vice President for Projects and Services during 2007-2011. While at UniStar, Colbert was responsible for the deployment of the U.S. EPR at UniStar’s existing nuclear power plant sites at Calvert Cliffs (Maryland) and Nine Mile Point (New York). In addition, Colbert was responsible for the provision of licensing and other project development services to other U.S. EPR projects, ensuring that benefits of standardization were shared amongst the fleet of proposed U.S. EPRs.

Prior to UniStar, Colbert worked for GenPower, LLC, where he was Vice President of Coal Project Development during 2001 – 2007, focused on the development of the $2.2 Bn, 700MW Longview coal-fired power plant outside of Morgantown, WV. Prior to GenPower, Colbert held numerous positions within InterGen, and led or contributed to the development of over 6300 MW of fossil-fueled electricity generation projects during 1996-2000. Of note was his role as lead developer for the AUS$1.4 Bn, 840MW Millmerran Power Project and associated three million ton per annum coal mine located 200 km west of Brisbane, Australia.

Colbert began his career at GE Aircraft Engines as an Engineering Development Program Trainee, where he participated in a series of six-month assignments through a number of engineering areas. He then moved to General Electric Company as an audit manager, and later became a representative for Bechtel Financing Services, Inc., where he commenced work as a financial analyst, culminating in leading Bechtel’s participating in the $940 million project financing of the 740 MW Dabhol (Phase I) CCGT power project.

A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S. in electrical engineering and a minor in computer science, Colbert received an M.B.A. from the Walter A. Haas School of Business in Berkeley, CA. He is also a chartered financial analyst.

Donald  Collins, CEO, Western Research Institute

Collins leads a diverse R&D team in development of clean fossil and renewable energy technologies, environmental remediation and prevention technologies, highway asphalt and pavement material advancements, and highly specialized analytical services and test devices. Operating as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit R&D entity, last year annual revenues totaled $14MM from a combination of commercial, state and federal clients, including competitive proposal wins.

The vision is that Western Research Institute is a “World Class” innovative team making substantial, positive, important and timely contributions to society through our energy, environmental and transportation science and technology. He manages all financial matters, Institute policies, environmental and safety practices, business development, invention and patent processes, technology licensing and contributes technology leadership within the local and state business and economic development organizations.

He serves on five councils reporting to the Governor of Wyoming on: 1) Strategic Workforce Development; 2) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Energy Project Development; 3) Science and Technology Strategy; 4) State Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program for the State Energy Office, and 5) State Energy Assurance Strategic Planning. In addition, Don serves as a Technical Advisor on the West Virginia University Advanced Power and Electricity Research Center, and is on the Board of Directors for the Laramie Economic Development Corporation and Electronic Magnetic Power Solutions, Inc. an advanced-intelligent inverter technology start-up company.

Cindy Crane, CEO, Rocky Mountain Power

Cindy was appointed president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power in November 2014.

Cindy is responsible for delivering electricity safely and reliably to 1 million customers in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming, and also oversees thermal generation, mining and resource development for the company. Prior to her current position, Cindy served as vice president of Interwest Mining and Fuels for PacifiCorp Energy. She was responsible for the Energy West and Bridger Coal mine operations, as well as overall coal supply acquisition and management for PacifiCorp’s coal-fueled generation plants.

Cindy joined PacifiCorp in 1990 and served in a variety of positions, including director of business systems integration, managing director of the company’s regional transmission project and managing director of the major issues program. She also managed the company’s integration following its acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway Energy. Cindy then served as vice president of strategy and division services for PacifiCorp Energy, where she provided leadership in the development of the company’s coal supply and renewable energy strategies, including the completion of five Wyoming wind projects.

Prior to PacifiCorp, Crane worked at NERCO Inc., which was 82 percent owned by PacifiCorp. Crane joined NERCO while doing due diligence efforts for holdings of Union Texas Petroleum.

Cindy currently serves on the Wyoming Energy Resources Council, the Utah Sports Commission Board, EDCUtah, the National Mining Association, the Utah Mining Association and is a member of the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She dedicates her time to others within the company through both formal and informal mentoring. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband Don.

Richard A. Horner, Director, Special Projects, School of Energy Resources, University of Wyoming

Richard joined the University of Wyoming in March 2014, as Engineering Tier-1 Program Coordinator, working with the Wyoming Governor’s Energy, Engineering, STEM Integration Task Force, implementing strategies to elevate the prominence and prestige of the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS).

In June 2015, Richard moved to the School of Energy Resources to lead a newly formed Special Projects and Technology Directorate, notably spearheading the creation of a distinguished carbon engineering and applied science program focusing upon transforming coal and its derivatives into non-energy and fuel products.

Before joining UW, Richard was Technology Consultant for Saudi Aramco – the National oil company of Saudi Arabia, where he advised Corporate Executives, General Managers and business leaders. He was the first appointed Downstream and Strategic Research Director for Saudi Aramco.

Prior to this, Richard worked for BP for 23 years in various technology management and business development position in UK, Scandinavia. Middle East and North America, covering upstream and downstream business. He is a Sloan Fellow from London Business School, U.K.

Simon Irish, CEO, Terrestrial Energy

Simon Irish is Chief Executive Officer of Terrestrial Energy Inc. He has 20 years of global investment banking and investment management experience in New York and London. He has a formal education in the quantitative sciences and quantitative finance, and has established and managed multi-billion-dollar alternative investment businesses in North America.

Mr. Irish is the former Head of Man Global Strategies (MGS) in North America, the strategic investment division of Man Group Plc, a leading global investment management business. During his tenure at Man, Mr. Irish was responsible for building and managing the largest and most active strategic investment and managed account business in North America. Mr. Irish was a member of the Investment Committee and responsible for corporate acquisition opportunities in North America for Man Group Plc. Mr. Irish began his banking career at Credit Suisse in London, and in 2001 moved to New York as Director of FRM, the London based investment firm, to establish its U.S. business.

Mr. Irish holds an MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and an MSc in Finance from the London Business School.

Dan James, Deputy Administrator, Bonneville Power Administration

As deputy administrator, James is responsible for leadership, strategic planning, financial management, and regulatory affairs as well as intergovernmental and public affairs oversight. He oversees and provides direction and guidance for program execution and administration to executive vice presidents, vice presidents and managers of Corporate Strategy, Finance, Communications, Intergovernmental Affairs, the Ombudsman, and Compliance, Audit and Risk.

Prior to joining BPA, James had served as vice president of public affairs and marketing for PNGC Power since 2007.

Prior to his PNGC experience, James worked as a federal affairs representative at Pacific Northwest Waterways Association in Vancouver, Wash., and as a senior government relations specialist at Ball Janik LLP in Portland and Washington, D.C.

James is also a member of the National Preference Customer Committee of the National Electric Cooperative Association and is a senior fellow of the Oregon chapter of the American Leadership Forum.

James grew up in western Montana near Flathead Lake. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., in 1987 and remains a faithful follower of the university’s football team to this day. He also earned a utility management certificate from Willamette University in Portland in 2015. He has served on boards for such community organizations as United Way of Columbia-Willamette, Pacific University, Oregon Wave Energy Trust and the Pacific Youth Choir. He lives in Northeast Portland with his spouse and two teenage daughters.

Mark Peres, Executive Project Director, Fluor Nuclear Power Group

Mark Peres is an Executive Project Director in Fluor’s Nuclear Power Group and Fluor’s Project Manager for the NuScale Small Module Reactor (SMR) Project. Peres has led Fluor’s support to the NuScale SMR from design development to the industry’s first design certification application for an SMR that was submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission earlier this year. He has been responsible for the reactor plant design, including the reactor module, structures, balance-of-plant, safety analyses, and fuel and core design.

With 36 years’ experience in the nuclear industry, Peres has successfully managed several challenging Fluor projects, not the least of which was Hanford’s K Basins. As Vice President for the $2.5 billion K Basins Closure Project, he was responsible for removing 2,100 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel and more than 50 cubic yards of radioactive sludge from the two, million-gallon cold-war-era storage basins. Earlier in his career, Peres supported other major projects at Hanford including the Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF), tank waste retrieval, the waste treatment plant, the 200 Area Effluent Treatment Facility, and the Plutonium Finishing Plant.

A licensed professional engineer and certified project management professional, Peres holds M.S. and B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University and Montana State University, respectively.

Dr. Mark Peters, Director, Idaho National Laboratory

Dr. Mark Peters is the director of Idaho National Laboratory with responsibilities for management and integration of a large, multipurpose laboratory whose mission focuses on nuclear energy, national and homeland security, and energy and environmental science and technology. He manages this U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory of more than 4,000 scientists, engineers and support staff in multiple nuclear and non-nuclear experimental facilities, with an annual budget of over $900 million. Peters also serves as a senior adviser to the Department of Energy on nuclear energy technologies, research and development programs, and nuclear waste policy. As a recognized expert in nuclear fuel cycle technologies and nuclear waste management, he is called upon frequently to provide expert testimony to Congress and to advise in formulation of policies for nuclear fuel cycles, nonproliferation and nuclear waste disposal. Peters was honored in 2015 as a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) for outstanding accomplishments in the area of nuclear science and technology.

Previously, Peters was the associate laboratory director for Energy and Global Security at Argonne National Laboratory. He was responsible for the management and integration of the laboratory’s energy and global security programs. As the associate laboratory director, he managed an organization of more than 800 staff with an annual budget of more than $250 million. Prior to that, in his position as deputy laboratory director for Programs at Argonne, he was responsible for the management and integration of the laboratory’s science and technology portfolio, strategic planning, Laboratory Directed Research and Development program, and technology development and commercialization. In an earlier role as a deputy associate laboratory director for Energy Sciences and Engineering, he was responsible for the development of new program opportunities at the laboratory, particularly in the area of energy storage, nuclear storage, nuclear energy, nuclear safety and waste management. He serves as an expert adviser to the DOE Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI) and as the AFCI National Campaign director for Waste Forms and Used Fuel Disposition.

Peters earned his doctorate in geophysical sciences from the University of Chicago and his bachelor’s in geology from Auburn University. He has undertaken extensive management and leadership education and training, including completion of the Strategic Laboratory Leadership Program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Sagatom Saha, Council on Foreign Relations

Sagatom Saha is the research associate for energy and U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations where he helps manage the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change. He has published widely on national security and energy in Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, Defense One, and World Politics Review. He is also the author of a chapter in an upcoming edited volume on the geopolitics of clean energy. Sagatom holds a bachelors in international studies and business from American University.

Douglas Sayer, Chief Business Officer, Premier Technology

Douglas Sayer is the Chief Business Officer at Premier Technology, Inc. Doug co-founded the company in 1996, with a pick-up truck and one employee. As CBO, Doug is heavily involved in the vision and future of the company. Doug offers over twenty-seven years of experience in the manufacturing industry, and he has a unique ability to create solutions to problems, which is an important aspect to Premier’s success. Doug’s combined innate engineering mind blended with his entrepreneurial spirit makes him perfect for his role in the history of Premier, as well as the future.

Doug also serves as President of the company’s Board of Directors. Doug currently volunteers his time serving as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Wild Sheep Foundation and The Idaho Governor’s Cup Scholarship Fund. He is also involved with local committees dedicated to Eastern Idaho economic development and is an advocate for higher education.

Doug enjoys restoring old cars, wildlife conservation, hunting, traveling, and being active in his local politics and community. He also has two daughters and five grandchildren.

Zachary Tudor, Association Laboratory Director, National and Homeland Security, Idaho National Laboratory

Zachary (Zach) Tudor is the Associate Laboratory Director of Idaho National Laboratory’s (INL) National and Homeland Security’s (N&HS) organization. INL’s N&HS is a major center for national security technology development and demonstration, employing 550 scientists and engineers across $300M in programs. N&HS is responsible for INL’s Nuclear Nonproliferation, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Defense Systems, and Homeland Security missions. These missions include safeguarding and securing vulnerable nuclear material, enhancing the overall security and resilience of the nation’s infrastructure, and providing protective system solutions and heavy manufacturing of armor for national defense. N&HS supports major programs for the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Intelligence Community.

Zach was previously a Program Director in the Computer Science Laboratory at SRI International, where he served as a management and technical resource for operational and research and development cybersecurity programs for government, intelligence, and commercial projects. He supported DHS’s Cyber Security Division on projects including the Linking the Oil and Gas Industry to Improve Cybersecurity consortium, and the Industrial Control System Joint Working Group R&D working group. He has served as a member of (ISC)2’s Application Security Advisory Board and the NRC’s Nuclear Cyber Security Working Group, as well as the Vice Chair of the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection at George Washington University.

Prior to SRI, Zach led a team of cybersecurity engineers and analysts directly supporting the Control Systems Security Program at DHS, whose mission is to reduce the cybersecurity risk to critical infrastructure systems. Past assignments include on-site deputy program manager for the National Reconnaissance Office’s world-wide operational network, information security manager for the Secretary of Defense’s Chief Information Officer’s Enterprise Operations Support Team; security management support for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; and several senior-level consulting positions including Vice President of SAIC’s Enabling Technology Division, and Senior Manager for DOD programs at BearingPoint’s Security Practice.

A retired U.S. Navy Submarine Limited Duty Officer Electronics Officer and Chief Data Systems Technician, Zach holds an M.S. in Information Systems from George Mason University concentrating in cybersecurity, where he was also an adjunct professor teaching graduate courses in information security.

His professional credentials include the Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Certified Information Security Manager, and Certified Computer Professional.