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Leadership

We have a dedicated and passionate team of professionals, each with diverse skills, experiences and backgrounds. We'd love to introduce you.

Board of Directors

Chris Green

Chris Green

President,  PNWH2

Chris Green is the President of the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association, where he is responsible for executing on PNWH2’s vision to create a clean hydrogen ecosystem in partnership with labor, Tribal Nations, and public and private sectors in the Pacific Northwest. Chris comes from the Washington State Department of Commerce, where he served as Director for the Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness from 2015 to 2024. Before assuming the role of President, he served as PNWH2’s Board Chair from its inception in 2022 to June 2024.

Prior to that, Chris was Vice President for Business Retention and Expansion for the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County, and Co-Chair of the Tacoma-Pierce Aerospace Partners, a group focused on growing and improving the local aerospace industry. Green previously worked in government relations and on the staff of several elected officials, including former Congressman Norm Dicks and current Congressman Derek Kilmer.

Janine Benner

Janine Benner

Vice Chair, PNWH2 / Oregon Dept. of Energy (State of Oregon)

Janine Benner serves as the Director of the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE). Janine joined ODOE in 2017 as Assistant Director for Planning and Innovation and was confirmed by the Oregon Senate as ODOE’s Director in February 2018.

Janine came to ODOE from the U.S. Department of Energy, where she served as Associate Assistant Secretary in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Janine also spent 12 years working for Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) as Energy and Environmental Policy Advisor, Legislative Director, and Deputy Chief of Staff. She grew up in Portland, OR and has a degree in history from Princeton University.

April Sims

April Sims

Washington State Labor Council (Labor)

April Sims (she/her) was elected President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, in October 2022 and was sworn in to begin her four-year term in January 2023. She is the first woman to be elected WSLC president and the first Black woman elected to the presidency of an AFL-CIO state federation. As President, April is the chief executive officer of the council, supervises all of its activities and staff, and leads Washington’s largest union organization representing more than half a million union members.

In 2002, April joined the staff of her union, Washington Federation of State Employees, AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE), eventually serving as Legislative and Political Action Field Coordinator. She joined the WSLC staff in 2015 as Field Mobilization Director before becoming the WSLC’s Political and Strategic Campaign Director in 2017.

In 2018, the unions that comprise the WSLC elected April as Secretary-Treasurer of the council, the first person of color elected as a WSLC executive officer. She served in that office, as the council’s Chief Financial Officer, from 2019 to 2022.

Kent Caputo

Kent Caputo

Cowlitz Indian Tribe (Tribal)

Kent Caputo is an executive and attorney with over 30 years of public and private sector experience emphasizing tribal governments and interests. He has gained a depth of understanding and expertise across industries and issues, addressing a wide variety of governmental, commercial, legal, regulatory, policy, and political topics. 

Aside from his years as an attorney in private practice, Kent was counsel with the House of Representatives and Legal Counsel to the Governor of Washington state. He has served as Chief Operating Officer for different tribes, overseeing enterprises and government operations, and as Chief Commercial Officer and General Counsel for an international development corporation focusing on transitional energy and manufacturing.

Erin Childs

Erin Childs

Renewable Hydrogen Alliance (Industry Association)

Erin Childs serves as the Executive Director for RHA, bringing a background in energy planning and policy, clean technology acceleration, and stakeholder engagement. Prior to RHA, Erin worked at a clean energy consultancy, where she supported clients in navigating the energy transition and advancing novel energy technologies. Before moving to the Northwest, Erin worked at Southern California Edison on policy, strategy, and planning for the implementation of California’s energy and environmental goals. Erin joined RHA in 2024. 

Aaron Feaver

Aaron Feaver

JCDREAM (Academic / Research)

As Director of The Joint Center for Deployment and Research in Earth Abundant Materials (JCDREAM), Aaron Feaver aims to bring together researchers and industry throughout Washington to focus on sustainable material supply chains for clean energy and transportation.

Under the umbrella of JCDREAM, Aaron has led the development of the Consortium for Hydrogen and Renewably Generated E-Fuels (CHARGE), which supports the growth of the hydrogen economy in Washington state.

Prior to JCDREAM, Aaron specialized in energy storage, nanotechnology, and ultracapacitors. He co-founded EnerG2 and Group14 Technologies, two successful startups in the Seattle area focused on the synthesis and processing of high-performance carbon materials. Aaron received a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Washington.

Alan Krause

Alan Krause

Fortescue Future Industries

Alan Krause currently serves as a Global Director for Renewable Energy for Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and provides senior and executive guidance on renewable energy opportunities globally. He has 45 years of experience in energy and water infrastructure development, serving as Chairman, CEO and President of MWH Global and, after merging with Stantec, as Global President. During his career, Alan has focused on the natural resource and water infrastructure sector and has extensive experience with global projects involving hydropower, pumped storage, geothermal and wind generation+baseload on a global basis.

He holds an MS in Geological Engineering (Geotechnical) from the Mackay School of Mines and completed the three-year (1996-98) Owners – Presidents Program at Harvard Business School.

Bruce Leonard

Bruce Leonard

AltaGas

Bruce Leonard is a passionate energy executive with a proven track record of commercializing and deploying disruptive energy solutions across global markets. Over the last 20 years, Bruce has led corporate and business development teams that have constructed over $2 billion in waste to energy, biofuels, renewable power and green hydrogen projects. His depth and breadth of experience has given him a deep working knowledge that spans from technology and solution development through to strategic partnerships, project development and sales. Bruce is currently the Sr. Director of Emerging ecosystems at AltaGas where he’s focused on the origination and development of strategic energy transition initiatives.

Kaustav Chaudhuri

Kaustav Chaudhuri

Atlas Agro

Kaustav Chaudhuri serves as Atlas Agro’s Head of Project Development for North America. He has extensive experience in executing several FEED, PMC and EPC projects around the globe. He was with Fluor Corporation for 15 years, 10 of which were in Energy and Chemicals working on Sour Gas, Carbon Capture and LNG Projects and 5 years building Infrastructure such as Transit, Multi Lane Highway Interchanges and Airports. Most recently, he was engaged in the development of new Machine Learning data center hubs for Amazon Web Services. He is passionate about safety and sustainability and strives to incorporate them on all phases of project execution. Kaustav earned his Mechanical Engineering degree from the Birla Institute of Technology and has a Masters in Engineering Management from the University Of Southern California.

Scott Neumeister

Scott Neumeister

Mitsubishi Power

Scott Neumeister is a senior business development professional currently working for MHI Hydrogen Infrastructure LLC, a Mitsubishi Power Americas company. Scott has extensive development, EPC, engineering services, and OEM experience leading cross-functional teams to meet end-use needs ranging from small developers to large utilities. His commercial skills are backed by a broad technical foundation in both traditional and alternative energy technologies. Scott earned his BSME from Bucknell University and a dual MS in Engineering Management and Environmental Engineering from Drexel University.

Joe Clark

Joe Clark

Lewis County Transit

With over 25 years of experience in the transportation industry, focusing on innovative and emerging technologies, along with a strong professional leadership and consulting career in both government and transportation, Joe Clark’s background has led to vast knowledge of various renewable and traditional energy solutions. He has an extensive work history developing capital facility master plans, operational systems development, grant writing, and organizational reviews.

Joe spent twenty years traveling the nation and the world, consulting within the public sector, working to improve the leadership of underperforming organizations. In his current position as the Executive Director of Transit Services at Lewis County Transit, Joe has charted the course to be one of the first fully renewable transportation fleets in Washington state, using renewable energy electrification and hydrogen generation and fueling.

Jason Harris

Jason Harris

NovoHydrogen

Jason Harris serves as the Senior Director of Project Development at NovoHydrogen. He spearheads development for approximately 900 MW of behind-the-meter solar and wind green hydrogen projects across Texas, California, and Oregon, including Express Ranch Hydrogen, a project chosen for negotiation as part of the DOE Pacific Northwest Clean Hydrogen Hub Program.

Previously, Jason developed utility-scale wind projects in Minnesota and California while at NextEra Energy Resources and sPower, respectively, and led the market strategy team during his tenure at AES Clean Energy. Jason holds a B.A. in Political Science (2009) and an MBA with a focus in finance and marketing (2016) from the University of Connecticut.

Observers

  • Alex Augustine, AirLiquide
  • Ken Alston, Amazon
  • Melissa McKinnon, BASc, HTEC
  • Bill Messner, Portland General Electric
  • George Bailey, St. Regis Solar Hydrogen

Additional Staff

Jaclyn Perez

Jaclyn Perez

Operations Director

With a proven track record of managing budgets, developing policies and procedures, coordinating with governmental bodies, and driving successful public-private partnerships, Jaclyn Perez is a seasoned professional in management and government liaison roles. Her background includes expertise in accounts management, policy development, procurement, legislative analysis, and program, project & contract management. Additionally, her experience in tribal coordination and community engagement has allowed her to navigate complex situations effectively.

Jaci has successfully managed multi-million-dollar budgets, stood up significant workgroups, boards, public-private partnerships, and played a key role in securing substantial DOE awards. In her current role as PNWH2 Operations Director, she oversees various responsibilities such as board management, budget development, contractor coordination, and policy implementation to ensure federal and state compliance. Jaci previously served as the Managing Director, Budget at the Washington State Department of Commerce and has a history of preparing and delivering testimony before legislative bodies, developing policies and procedures, and managing grants and contracts efficiently.

Board of Directors: Frequently Asked Questions

How were the board members selected?

The Washington State Department of Commerce spearheaded a call for interest for Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association board members. Representatives from public, private and tribal organizations were encouraged to submit a letter of interest, resume and references. The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association’s goal was a board that included representatives from state and tribal governments, public and private project developers, manufacturers, end users, research institutions, labor unions, academia, and communities around the state.

Does your board include representatives from broad regional stakeholders?

The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association’s Board of Directors includes representatives from Tribal Nations, labor, business and industry, higher education, government, and the environmental community spanning the region. We will also have representation from these groups on our planned Community Benefits Plan governing board.

What demographics will be served by the board?

The PNWH2 Hub will create economic opportunity across all demographics, creating or supporting more than 10,000 good-paying jobs, improving energy security and resilience, and decreasing environmental burdens in disadvantaged communities to improve the lives and futures of people throughout the region. The PNWH2 Hub includes representation from unions, environmental groups and tribal representatives on our Board of Directors and will have representatives from those groups on our planned Community Benefits Plan governing board.

What commitment to union labor will be made?

Our proposed projects plan to hire local union labor whenever possible. Each project has committed to having Community Workforce Agreements (CWAs) and Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) in place that include labor standards. The PLAs will be with one or more labor organizations, which is a pre-hire collective-bargaining agreement establishing the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project.

Workforce commitments include investing in joint labor-management/state-registered apprenticeship programs, priority hiring programs for former coal industry workers and investing more than $4 million in the Centralia College training center to provide worker training.

What type of training and development programs are planned?

These programs will vary, and more information will be shared following our award negotiations with DOE – anticipated to conclude in summer 2024 – as some aspects of the Hub’s planned scope and scale may be modified during negotiations with DOE.

We aim to provide employment and training to workers in the fossil fuel and related sectors, with a focus on training and transitioning to clean energy jobs that utilize similar, transferable skills.

Some examples of the programs we proposed include apprenticeships, training opportunities to help retain already experienced workers through the clean energy transition, and enable science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education program pathways to support the hydrogen workforce.

How will you engage with schools and community organizations?

Our proposed projects will work in their local communities to help enable science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education program pathways to support the hydrogen workforce and engage with K-12 schools, higher education and community organizations to learn about hydrogen safety and technology, and how to be a part of the hydrogen future.

For example, Centralia College helps host an annual STEM Career Academy for high school students. Students attending the 2023 Academy participated in tours, career planning and hands-on activities like building hydrogen-powered model cars.