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TREM12 Speakers

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We are grateful for the knowledge and time our speakers are willing to lend to TREM12 delegates. Our speakers this year are:


His Excellency Ichiro Fujisaki - Ambassador Extraodinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the USA


Ambassador Fujisaki started his duties as the Ambassador of Japan to the United States in June 2008. Prior to his current post, he served as Ambassador to the UN and to the WTO in Geneva. While there, he served as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees). He previously served as the political minister of the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC, from 1995-99. As a diplomat, he has also served in Jakarta, Paris (OECD), and London.

In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo, he has held such posts as Deputy Director-General for Asian Affairs and Director-General for North American Affairs before being appointed as the Deputy Foreign Minister. He has also served as the Sherpa, or the personal representative, of the Prime Minister to G8 Summit meetings.

His wife Yoriko attended kindergarten at Ben Murch in Washington, DC. Their two daughters also attended school in the Washington area. The elder daughter Mari graduated from Stone Ridge High School in Bethesda, MD. The younger daughter Emi studied at the same school as well as at Somerset Elementary School in Montgomery County, MD. Both daughters now work as journalists in Japan.


The Honorable Lisa Murkowski - United States Senator from the State of Alaska

Senator Lisa Murkowski is the first Alaskan-born Senator and only the sixth United States Senator to serve the state. Since joining the Senate in 2002, Senator Murkowski has been a strong advocate for Alaska on the important issues facing the state, including energy, health care, education, military/veterans’ affairs and infrastructure development.

Senator Murkowski is the senior Republican member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and also serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, where she is the ranking Republican of the Interior and Environment Subcommittee.  Senator Murkowski is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee – the first Alaskan to serve on that panel – and also is a senior member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

She earned a B.A. in economics from Georgetown University in 1980 and a law degree from Willamette University in 1985.  Prior to her appointment to the United States Senate, Senator Murkowski practiced commercial law in Anchorage and served three terms in the Alaska State House of Representatives.  She was elected to a full six-year U.S. Senate term in 2004, and was re-elected in 2010 in a historic write-in campaign, the first successful write-in effort to the Senate since 1954. Senator Murkowski is married to Verne Martell and they have two sons. She enjoys spending time with her family in the Alaska outdoors.


The Honorable David Sandalow, Assistant Secretary of Energy

As Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, David Sandalow helps coordinate policy and manage international activities at the Energy Department. Prior to being confirmed as Assistant Secretary, Mr. Sandalow was Energy and Environment Scholar and a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program of the Brookings Institution, as well as Energy and Climate Change Working Group Chair at the Clinton Global Initiative. He is the author of Freedom from Oil (McGraw-Hill, 2008) and editor of Plug-In Electric Vehicles: What Role for Washington? (Brookings Press, 2009). Mr. Sandalow has written widely on energy and environmental policy, including op-eds in the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times and other publications. Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment & Science; Senior Director for Environmental Affairs, National Security Council; Associate Director for the Global Environment, White House Council on Environmental Quality; and Executive Vice President, World Wildlife Fund - U.S. Mr. Sandalow is a graduate of Yale College (BA Philosophy) and the University of Michigan Law School (JD).

Robert F. Cekuta, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

The Energy Resources Bureau’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and working to ensure U.S. global energy security, Bob Cekuta also has direct oversight over the Bureau’s work on transparency and access to energy. Bob comes to the Bureau having most recently been Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy, Sanctions, and Commodities in the State Department’s Bureau for Energy and Business Affairs.Recent overseas assignments include Tokyo (2007 – 2009) and Berlin (2003 – 2007) where he led the USG’s engagement on the full range of economic issues with two of the world’s top economies. Bob’s work as Economic Minister Counselor in Germany included counter-terrorism and efforts to combat international criminal activities. He was also Senior Advisor for Food Security in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and Senior Deputy Coordinating Director at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan for all development and economic affairs. Having been assigned overseas in Albania, Austria, Iraq, South Africa, and Yemen, Bob has also worked in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (1999 – 2000). He has held positions in Washington at the State Department responsible for energy, trade, and economic development, including Director for Economic Policy Analysis and Public Diplomacy, Special Negotiator for Biotechnology, and Director of the Iraq Economic Task Force.Bob is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds Masters Degrees from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and the National War College



Dr. Gal Luft - Executive Director, IAGS

Gal Luft is executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) a Washington based think tank focused on energy security and co-founder of the Set America Free Coalition, an alliance of national security, environmental, labor and religious groups promoting ways to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. He specializes in strategy, geopolitics, terrorism, energy security, natural resources and economic warfare. Newsweek Magazine called him a "tireless and independent advocate of energy security," the business magazine Poder called him "one of the most recognizable figures in modern energy and security issues," and Esquire Magazine included him in its 2007 list of America's Best and Brightest. Dr. Luft has published numerous studies and articles on security and energy issues in various newspapers and publications such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, Commentary Magazine, Middle East Quarterly, LA Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. He is co-author of Energy Security Challenges for the 21st Century  (2009) and Turning Oil into Salt: Energy Independence Through Fuel Choice (2009.) He is author of Beer, Bacon and Bullets: Culture in Coalition Warfare from Gallipoli to Iraq. He appears frequently in the media and consults to various think tanks and news organizations worldwide. Dr. Luft testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including Senate Foreign Relations, House International Relations, House Science and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He is a founding member of the Institute for Renewable Energy Policy, The International Lithium Alliance, OurEnergyPolicy.org and Citizens for Energy Freedom as well as a member of the Society of Industry Leaders, the Committee on the Present Danger and other non-profit groups. He holds degrees in international relations, international economics, Middle East studies and strategic studies and a doctorate in strategic studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS,) Johns Hopkins University.

Yaron Vorona - Executive Director - Technology and Rare Earth Metals (TREM) Center at IAGS

Yaron Vorona is Executive Director of the IAGS TREM Center. He specializes in building the capabilities of entrepreneurial ventures and assisting organizations in reaching new levels of success.

His previous experience includes strategy and finance consulting for technology startups, and corporate social responsibility and sustainability consulting in China and South Africa. He has held roles as a supply chain management specialist in the electronics manufacturing industry, and a competitive intelligence analyst in the telecommunications sector. Yaron has lived, studied and worked in the US, Canada, England, China, South Africa, and the Middle East. He holds an MBA from the London Business School and a B.Sc. in Physics and Business. He is married and the father of one son.

Dr. Tracy Albers - Manager, External Interactions and Technology Roadmapping, GrafTech International Holdings, Inc.

Dr. Tracy Albers joined GrafTech in February 2006 and is currently responsible for External Interactions and Technology Roadmapping. In this role, Dr. Albers is key to interfacing with the Local, Political and Technical communities for GrafTech. In addition, Dr. Albers leads GrafTech’s Technology Roadmapping effort, driving a collaborative multifunctional team to define and promote emerging technologies where GrafTech products have value. In previous roles, Tracy has been responsible for supporting GrafTech’s growing specialty graphite business, primarily in the areas of nuclear graphite, specialty product applications, raw materials, and product safety. Tracy continues to serve the role as GrafTech’s Nuclear Graphite Expert.

Tracy received her Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 2006 and two BS degrees in Chemistry and Exercise Physiology from Baldwin-Wallace College. Her graduate research focused on new catalysts for environmental remediation. Tracy has over 15 technical publications, 2 patents and is involved in various professional groups, including the American Nuclear Society, ASTM International, and the American Chemical Society. She has served as the Secretary to the D02.F Committee on Graphite and Nuclear Graphite applications for ASTM International since 2009.

Anthony Alfidi - CEO Alfidi Capital

Anthony J. Alfidi, founded Alfidi Capital LLC created this firm to share his investment ideas with all and sundry.  The firm exists to educate, enlighten, and entertain the investing public.  Alfidi Capital has nothing for sale to investors; all of its publications are available free of charge. Tony has been investing in the stock market since college, and after many successes (and a few failures), considers himself to be a competent investor.  Tony holds a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from the University of Notre Dame, and an MBA in finance from University of San Francisco. He writes excellent Haikus.

Dr. Michael Berry - Discovery Investing

Dr. Michael Berry served as a professor of investments at the Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia from 1982-1990, during which time he published a book, Managing Investments: A Case Approach. He has managed small- and mid-cap value portfolios for Heartland Advisors and Kemper Scudder. His publication, Morning Notes, analyzes emerging geopolitical, technological and economic trends. He travels the world with his son, Chris, looking for discovery opportunities for his readers.

Peter Cashin - President & CEO, Quest Rare Minerals

Over 30 years of experience in all facets of the mines and minerals industry. Peter graduated from McGill University with a Masters of Science degree in 1985. Mr. Cashin has worked for Major and Junior mining exploration companies in Québec, Ontario, the Maritimes, the United States and overseas. Peter also worked for a period with the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines in the area of mineral resource promotion and marketing.

Erin Chutter - President & CEO, Global Cobalt

Prior to founding Puget in 2007, Erin worked for Platinum Group Metals, Mag Silver, West Timmins Mining out of their Vancouver office in strategic planning and communications.  From 1992-2001, she held various positions for federal and provincial government officials, including the Leader of the Opposition, Minister of Indian Affairs and Minister of Defense.  In addition, Erin provided business consulting services to a wide variety of public and private companies in the natural resources sector.  Erin studied business and geography and sits on the Boards of the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation and the MacDonald Laurier Foundation, as well as the Boards of two other listed companies.

Charles Cogar - Legislative Assistant to Congressman Mike Coffman (Colorado)

Charles Cogar is Legislative Director for Representative Mike Coffman, (Colorado 6th). Before starting with the congressman in January 2009, he held the same position for Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colo). He has also worked for Representative Don Young (R-Alaska). Besides rare earth issues, Mr. Cogar works extensively on budget, natural resources, and defense issue.

Daniel Cordier - Mineral Commodity Specialist, USGS

Daniel J. Cordier is the mineral commodity specialist for rare earths and thorium at the United States Geological Survey's National Mineral Information Center located in Reston, Virginia.

Gary Economo - President & CEO, Focus Metals

Mr. Economo has a distinguished business leadership career, serving as CEO for a number of public and private high technology companies during the last 20 years. A former President and CEO of Dynasty Components Inc., Mr. Economo enjoys a long history of graphite marketing and sales for high-tech applications. Immediately prior to joining Focus Metals Inc., a company he founded with Jeffrey York, he served as Director, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations for Everton Resources Inc.

Over the span of his business career, Mr. Economo provided strategic consulting and representation services to technology companies in North America and Asia. In particular, he has a track record of success and expertise in building shareholder value when tasked with bringing discovery companies to market. Born in Greece and raised in Montreal, Mr. Economo is tri-lingual and lives with his family in Ottawa.

Adam Falkoff - RARE, The Association for Rare Earths

Over 20 years experience in government affairs, international relations, and business. Mr. Falkoff has internally advised Presidents, Prime Ministers, Cabinet Ministers and Ambassadors. He has represented leading companies, associations, non-profit organizations, and foundations including Anglo American, BHP Billiton, United Mines Corporation, the Consumer Electronics Association, Intel Corporation, General Electric Corporation, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft Corporation, Qualcomm, Sony Corporation, and the Trust for Public Land.Mr. Falkoff participated in the Postgraduate Programme of the School of Mining Engineering at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa known as the world's preeminent institution in the field of international mining and mineral studies. While there, Mr. Falkoff gained hands-on experiences in the area of hard rock mining.Mr. Falkoff received a B.A. from Duke University and both an M.B.A. and M.I.M. (Master of International Management) from the Thunderbird School of Global Management on an academic scholarship.

Joshua Freed - VP Clean Energy, The Third Way

Joshua Freed directs the Clean Energy Program at Third Way. He focuses on the policies and strategies needed to bring about clean energy reform and to address climate change. Prior to joining Third Way, Mr. Freed served for more than a decade as a political strategist for national, federal and local campaigns and was a senior staffer on Capitol Hill. Most recently, he was a Vice President at GMMB, where he was part of the media team for Obama for America and advised the senior leadership of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Mr. Freed also was the communications director for the Obama Colorado caucus campaign and advised the Obama for Colorado campaign in the general election. Previously, Mr. Freed ran the Washington, D.C. office and served as the chief policy advisor for Representative Rob Andrews, and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Representative Diana DeGette, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Mr. Freed graduated from Brandeis University and received a Master’s Degree from the University of Maryland-College Park. He has been featured in the media including The Washington Post, National Journal, Politico, The Los Angeles Times, Denver Post, Market Watch and Fox Business News.

Seifi Ghasemi - Chairman and CEO, Rockwood Holdings

Seifi Ghasemi has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rockwood Holdings, Inc. and Rockwood Specialties Group, Inc. since November 2001. From 1997 to 2001 he was with GKN, plc, a $6.0 billion per year global industrial company. He served as a Director of the Main Board of GKN, plc and was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GKN Sinter Metals, Inc and Hoeganes Corporation. Before that, for 18 years, Mr. Ghasemi was with the BOC Group, plc, a $7 billion per year global industrial gas company. He was a Director of the Main Board of the BOC Group, plc; President, BOC Gases Americas and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BOC Process Plants, LTD and Cryostar. Mr. Ghasemi has a Masters of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

Jeff Green - JA Green & Co

Jeffery A. Green formed J.A. Green & Company to assist clients in meeting their government relations, business development and strategic planning goals. Jeff most recently served as Staff Director to the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness. He also served as Counsel to the full committee’s policy staff. In that role, he was primarily responsible for all matters related to acquisition policy, industrial base issues, defense trade, and a $156 billion operation & maintenance budget. Prior to his service on Capitol Hill, Jeff served as Legislative Director for the Coalition Provisional Authority Office of Legislative Affairs, working directly with senior CPA, Department of Defense, Department of State, Office of Management and Budget and White House officials. In 2012, he founded and currently serves on the Strategic Materials Advisory Council. He also serves as a member of the U.S. Magnetic Materials Association and the REE World Advisory Board.Prior to his extensive legislative branch and Pentagon experience, Jeff served in the Air Force as a Missile Combat Crew Commander and continues to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve.A graduate of George Washington University, the University of Miami and Cornell University, Jeff holds both a Masters of Law in Government Procurement and a Juris Doctor and is admitted to the practice of law in the District of Columbia, Florida and New Jersey. He is currently Vice-Chair of the ABA Public Contract Law Section’s Legislative Coordinating Committee.


Dr Gareth P Hatch – President, Innovation Metals Corp. & Founding Principal, Technology Metals Research, LLC

Gareth Hatch is a co-founder of Innovation Metals Corp, a company focused on the creation of independent, centralized rare-earth separation facilities outside of China. He also co-founded Technology Metals Research, LLC, a provider of market intelligence and analysis on critical materials such as the rare earths and other technology metals. Gareth is based in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, USA.

For several years Gareth was Director of Technology at Dexter Magnetic Technologies, where he focused on the design & application of innovative magnetic devices and systems. He led a stellar team of engineers who helped clients in the aerospace, defense, medical, data storage, oil & gas, renewables and industrial sectors. He holds five US patents on a variety of magnetic devices.

A two-time graduate of the UK’s University of Birmingham, Gareth has a BEng with Honours in Materials Science & Technology and a PhD in Metallurgy & Materials, focused on rare-earth permanent-magnet materials. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology, a Chartered Engineer and a Senior Member of the IEEE. Gareth is also a member of the Strategic Materials Advisory Council.


Robert L. Jaffe,  Morningstar Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Robert L. Jaffe is the Jane and Otto Morningstar Professor of Physics at MIT.  A world renowned researcher and teacher, Professor Jaffe is best known for his research on the quark substructure of matter and on the quantum structure of the vacuum.  He is a Fellow of the AAAS and the American Physical Society (APS), where he chairs the Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA).  In 2010 – 2011 Professor Jaffe chaired a study Energy Critical Elements:  Securing Materials for Emerging Technologies, jointly sponsored by the APS and the Materials Research Society.

At MIT Jaffe has served as Chair of the Faculty and as Director of the Center for Theoretical Physics.  Professor Jaffe has led many university and laboratory advisory committees including the Science and Technology Steering Committee of Brookhaven National Laboratory, which he chaired from 2005 to 2008, the Advisory Council of the Physics Department at Princeton University, which he chaired for many years and, most recently, the Lahore (Pakistan) University of Management Science School of Science and Engineering External Advisory Committee, which he chaired during the school's formative years.

Professor Jaffe received his undergraduate education at Princeton, where he graduated summa cum laude and Valedictorian of the Class of 1968.  He received his MS and PhD in physics from Stanford in 1972 and joined the MIT Faculty in 1974.  Recently Professor Jaffe and his colleague, Professor Washington Taylor, have developed a new course at MIT on the Physics of Energy, which explores the fundamental laws governing the origins, harvesting, use, and storage of energy.  They are hard at work on a book based on their course.

Daniel Jammer - CEO, Nation-E

Entrepeneur, Investor and Philanthropist. 3 words commonly used to describe German born and current CEO of Nation-E Ag, Daniel Jammer. At the tender age of 20, Daniels passion of the real estate market turned into fruition as he purchased the first of many properties under his belt. Daniel followed suit in the Aerospace Industry creating strategic alliances with most well established Blue Chip companies such as Airbus, Boeing, GE, Rolls Royce etc. Daniel played a large role in designing and manufacturing largest titanium forging to date for the AirBus A-380 aircraft. Presently, Daniel is concerned with the health of our environment and our addiction to foreign oil. His mission is not only to lower carbon emissions, but to curb our dependency on oil. To tackle this issue, Daniel and his team of experts have developed new inventions within the arena of Energy Storage and Energy Efficient Management Industries. Daniel preaches “the key to a green and bright future are the children of today”. Therefore, he actively supports childrens education, sports and art programs. Children on the playing field keeps children off the street.

Anne Korin - Co-Director, Institute for the Analysis of Global Security

Anne Korin is co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). She is an adviser to the United States Energy Security Council and chairs the Set America Free Coalition, an alliance of national security, environmental, labor and religious groups promoting ways to reduce America's dependence on oil. Korin also chairs the Mobility Choice for a Secure America Coalition, an alliance promoting fiscally responsible, free market oriented approach to expanding competition among transportation modes for the purpose of reducing oil's strategic value. She appears in the media frequently and has written articles for Foreign Affairs, The American Interest, The National Review, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary Magazine, and the Journal of International Security Affairs. She is co-author of Energy Security Challenges for the 21st Century (2009) and Turning Oil into Salt: Energy Independence through Fuel Choice (2009.) Ms. Korin appears frequently on Capitol Hill and her advice is sought by members of Congress. Her education includes engineering degree in computer science from Johns Hopkins University and work towards a doctorate at Stanford University.

Ron MacDonald - Executive Chairman and Director, American Vanadium

Mr. Ron MacDonald graduate of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He spent two years as Senior Assistant to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister and two years as Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Government in the Senate of Canada. From 1988 to 1997, Mr. Macdonald was the Member of Parliament for Halifax, Nova Scotia, during which time he was appointed by the Prime Minister of Canada as Parliamentary Secretary of International Trade. In 1997-2002, Mr. Macdonald was President and CEO of The Council of Forest Industries, the largest lumber manufacturing, grading and marketing group, during which time he became a founding member and director of "Canada Wood", which developed wood markets in China, Korea, India and Japan. From 2003 to 2006, he was Senior Advisor, International Market Development to the President and CEO of Canfor Ltd., Canada`s largest lumber manufacturer. In 2006, Ron Macdonald became President and CEO of Cansource International, a natural resource-focused international marketing and strategic management consultancy. He currently acts in the capacity of Vice Chairman of American Vanadium and Senior Council Global Markets for Commerce Resources Ltd., as well as strategic political advisor to Western Potash. Mr. Macdonald has been a contributing member of the OECD Committee developing international guidelines for tantalum end-users, as well as a member of the EICC committee developing guidelines for their global tantalum smelter verification program. Mr. Macdonald has also been a contributor to the EU Commission Framework 7 policy paper on "Scarcity of Strategic Minerals" and a presenter at conferences in USA, Canada and Asia on critical, strategic and rare earth markets. He is currently serves on the Board of Directors for American Vanadium, Critical Elements Corp. and George Mobile.

Admiral Dennis McGinn - President of the American Council on Renewable Energy

In 2011, Retired Vice Admiral Dennis V. McGinn took the helm as President of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). For more than a decade Admiral McGinn has highlighted the close link between energy, climate and national security. He is a strong advocate for innovative government policy, public and private partnerships, and investments that will promote clean energy growth and innovation. Admiral McGinn serves as co-chairman of the CNA Military Advisory Board advising policy makers on the nexus of energy and national security, and as an international security senior fellow at the Rocky Mountain Institute. He is also a director of the National Conference on Citizenship. Admiral McGinn also serves as Chairman and CEO of RemoteReality, a high technology optical and software research firm. He was previously a corporate officer with Battelle Memorial Institute

His continued commitment to bettering the nation follows a 35 year career with the U.S. Navy where he served as a naval aviator, test pilot, aircraft carrier commanding officer, and national security strategist. His capstone assignment with the Navy was Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Requirements and Programs at the Pentagon, where he oversaw the development of future U.S. Navy capabilities. In a previous operational leadership role, he commanded the U.S. Third Fleet, responsible for some 50 million square miles of the eastern and northern Pacific Ocean. Admiral McGinn earned a B.S. degree in naval engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, attended the national security program at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and was a Chief of Naval Operations strategic studies fellow at the U.S. Naval War College. He lives just outside of Washington DC

Jim McKenzie - CEO, Ucore Rare Metals

Mr. McKenzie is an entrepreneur with over 25 years experience managing, owning and operating companies within the Canadian private and public equity sectors. From 2002 until 2006, he was the President and principal shareholder of Worldmax Inc., Canada’s largest independent partner of MTS Allstream Corp. Between 1999 and 2002 he variously served as Vice President, President and CEO of a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T Canada and US-based AT&T Corp, helming a voice and data network spanning from Vancouver to Halifax. From 1988 until 1999, he was the President and sole shareholder of Mediapro Inc, a voice and data enterprise with offices in major centres Canada-wide, until the company was bought by AT&T Canada in early 2000. Between 1992 and 1998, he was a director of Tagcom Canada Inc, an interconnect provisioner operating across western Canada. He has spearheaded multiple business and technical initiatives for major organizations such as the Dept. of National Defense (DND/MARCOM), Lucent Canada, BCE and AT&T Global Solutions. Mr. McKenzie served as Chair of the 2008 Canadian Uranium Symposium under the direction of The Canadian Institute. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Peter Oliver - Managing Director, Talison Lithium

Mr. Oliver has substantial experience in the resources industry, particularly focused on process improvements and optimising operational performance. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree from the Western Australia Institute of Technology (now Curtin University). Prior to being appointed Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Talison Lithium in January 2010, Mr. Oliver was Chief Operations Officer of Talison Minerals. Mr. Oliver previously held the position of General Manager Operational Planning at Talison, as well as General Manager at the Talison Minerals Wodgina mine site. Mr. Oliver joined Sons of Gwalia in May 2003 and held a number of roles in the company, including Acting General Manager at Greenbushes. Mr. Oliver previously ran his own consultancy business servicing the minerals industry in Western Australia.

Jonathan Ossoff, Sr. Legislative Assistant, Office of U.S. Representative Hank Johnson

Jonathan Ossoff serves as Senior Legislative Assistant to Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA), who sits on the House Armed Services Committee and co-chairs the Rare Earth Caucus. Jonathan's policy portfolio includes defense, foreign affairs, intelligence, financial services, and telecommunications. He has served on Congressman Johnson's staff since 2007 and took leave from his official duties in 2010 to manage Johnson's re-election campaign. A native of Atlanta, GA, Jonathan is a graduate of Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Carol Raulston - SVP Communications, National Mining Association

Carol Raulston is the senior vice president for communications at the National Mining Association in Washington, D. C. The association represents approximately 400 U. S. producers of coal and minerals and the equipment manufacturers that supply the industry. Carol joined NMA in January 2002, following more than 25 years of public affairs and communications experience in the forest products industry and with the international consulting and ballot measure firm, Winner/Wagner & Associates and Winner/Mandabach Campaigns. Over the course of her career, Carol has worked with a wide range of American and international companies and associations.

Since joining NMA, she has been responsible for the association’s web site and its media relations, crisis communications, statistical services, survey research and advertising efforts. Carol grew up in southwest Missouri and has an MA degree in political science from the University of Missouri. She lives in Alexandria,Virginia.

Bill Reinert - National Manager of Advanced Technology for Toyota Motor Sales, USA

Bill Reinert is National Manager of Advanced Technology for Toyota Motor Sales, USA . His primary function is to coordinate Toyota’s various research, development and marketing activities related to alternative-fueled vehicles and emerging technologies. He is currently working on several advanced hybrid electric products, direct hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, reformed fuel approaches for hydrogen, full-featured electric vehicles, city electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid concepts, ethanol fuels and sustainable transportation systems.Bill and his team launched the first hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles in commercial operation in the United States. Successful completion of this effort required careful collaboration with all levels of federal, state and local officials. Bill also helped develop the I-4 program (based around a team comprising Air Products, BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota) to respond to the Department of Energy’s Hydrogen Validation Program RFP.Before taking over Toyota’s North American Fuel Cell efforts, Bill and his team were responsible for Product Planning of the current generation Prius. Prior to joining Toyota, Bill spent several years developing advanced neural network applications and advanced energy systems for Hewlett Packard. In addition, Bill developed alternative energy solutions under contract to Bell Labs.

Stephen Riddle - CEO, Asbury Carbons

Mr. Riddle joined Asbury Graphite in June of 1979. Mr. Riddle is currently the CEO since January 1st 2011. Prior to being CEO, Mr. Riddle was President (1995 – 2010), Sales & Export Marketing Manager (1986 – 1995), Assistant Sales Manager (1984 – 1986), and Territory Sales Manager (1979 – 1984). Mr. Riddle is the 4th generation of the Riddle family  to manage Asbury Graphite that was established in 1895. Asbury Graphite is a privately owned Processor, Supplier of all types of granular and powder natural and Synthetic Graphite, Petroleum and Metallurgical Cokes, Anthracite coal, Carbon Black, Carbon Fibers and other inert materials.

Mr. Riddle attended Lafayette College and Deerfield Academy and he is also a member of the following associations:


  • Electrochemical Society
  • ASM International
  • Casting Industry Supplier Association
  • American Foundry Society
  • American Powder Metal Institute


Mr. Riddle has been a requested speaker worldwide on the graphite & carbon industry and is regarded as an expert in this field.

Randall Scott - CEO, Rare Element Resources

Mr. Scott is a metallurgical engineer with over 30 years of experience in the industry. His experience includes leading performance teams in operations, administration, project development, program management, business development, and major improvement initiatives. Most recently, Mr. Scott was Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Strategy, with Thompson Creek Metals Company. His prior experience includes Senior Vice President and Vice President of Cyprus Amax Coal Company with responsibilities ranging from Western Operations, including mines in the Gillette area of Wyoming, Appalachian Operations, and process management. He also worked for Cyprus Metals Company as Vice President and General Manager of the Bagdad Mine and also of the Sierrita Mine, both in Arizona. Earlier he worked for Pincock Allen & Holt as Executive Vice President.Mr. Scott holds a Bachelor of Science degree in metallurgical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA degree from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Si Jinsong, Second Secretary of the Economic Affairs Office, Embassy of China

Si Jinsong is the Second Secretary of the Economic Affairs Office at the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC. Previously, Dr. Si was the Deputy Director of the Development and Planning Department in the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The NDRC is a macroeconomic management agency under the Chinese State Council, which has broad administrative and planning control over the Chinese economy.

The NDRC's functions are to study and formulate policies for economic and social development, maintain the balance of economic development, and to guide restructuring of China's economic system. The NDRC has twenty-six functional departments/bureaus/offices with an authorized staff size of 890 civil servants.

Michael Silver - CEO, American Elements

Michael N. Silver is CEO of American Elements (www.americanelements.com), a global manufacturer and distributor of engineered and advanced materials. He is an expert on the current and future demand for rare earths and many other critical metals such as lithium, indium, and tellurium. Mr. Silver’s expertise also includes firsthand knowledge of the corporate supply chain from mine to finished goods, the industrial and scientific applications that make these elements important and their commodity value to the investment community. He is considered a pioneer in the fields of nanotechnology, materials science and alternative energy. Mr. Silver was one of the first Americans to establish a direct production and distribution supply chain from the rare earth mines in Inner Mongolia, China to North America and Europe. The company has operations in Los Angeles, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; Monterrey, Mexico; Baotou, China; Manchester, UK and a global distribution network. Over the last twelve months alone, American Elements has co-sponsored 74 industry and academic conferences.

Mark Smith - CEO, Molycorp Minerals

Mark A. Smith serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Molycorp, Inc., and is a member of the Board of Directors and a shareholder. He has been involved in the operation and development of the Mountain Pass, California Rare Earth Facility for more than 24 years, and has more than 29 years of experience in the mining industry. Mr. Smith is one of the rare earth industry's leading global spokesmen, and is a frequent speaker and lecturer at conferences around the world, on national and international news media programs, and before U.S. government agencies and the U.S. Congress. Prior to leading Molycorp, Mr. Smith was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Chevron Mining Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chevron Corporation. Appointed to that position in April 2006, Mr. Smith oversaw all operations of Chevron Mining's five mines, including the Mountain Pass Rare Earth Facility.

Prior to this appointment, Mr. Smith was a Vice President for Unocal Corporation, where he was responsible for managing the real estate, remediation, mining, and carbon divisions.  Mr. Smith worked for Unocal for over 22 years. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural engineering from Colorado State University in 1981 and his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Western State University, College of Law, in 1990. He is a registered professional engineer and an active member of the State Bar of California and Colorado.  Mr. Smith and his wife live in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. James Thomason - Assistant Director for the Strategy Forces and Resources Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses

SF&RD focuses upon interrelating strategy, forces and resources for the Department of Defense. He has degrees from Harvard University (BA) and Northwestern University (PhD) in international relations, political science, and quantitative social science. Dr. Thomason has taught at several major universities – Northwestern and the University of Hawaii. He served for three years as a senior advisory group member of a four-star level study commissioned to develop a new National Security Strategy for the United States.

Dr. Thomason has more than 30 years of experience leading classified and unclassified studies for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (OJCS), and for DLA-Strategic Materials.  He has written over 50 professional reports and studies on national security strategies (including articles in Joint Forces Quarterly, Parameters, Armed Forces and Society and the Military Operations Research Society Journal).  His particular area of emphasis is strengthening linkages among strategy, capabilities and resources for the DOD and other U.S. national security organizations by developing coherent risk assessment and mitigation methodologies. In the strategic materials area, Dr. Thomason leads the IDA team providing analytic support to DLA-Strategic Materials. He has testified as an independent witness before the Congress (HASC) concerning how to reconfigure the National Defense Stockpile into a Strategic Materials Security Program (SMSP).  He currently leads the design and implementation efforts for the Risk Assessment and Mitigation Framework for Strategic Materials (RAMF-SM) for DOD/DLA.

Mark Winterhoff - Patner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants

Marc Winterhoff has been a management consultant in the automotive industry for 15 years now. He's been a member of the Management Team in the Automotive Competence Center at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants since 2011. Prior to joining Roland Berger he led the European automotive activities at a large management consulting firm from 2007. Since 2010 he was also responsible of the consulting firm's global automotive business. Before becoming a consultant, he spent three years in the software industry in the US.

Marc consults companies in Germany and abroad. His project topics range from operational process and organizational issues to innovation and overall strategic alignment. He is an expert in marketing and sales strategies, customer relationship management, future mobility and business model innovation. In addition to his consulting activities, Marc has written and lectured on current topics in the automotive

Marc holds a degree in business and engineering from TU Darmstadt (Diplom-Wirtschaftsingenieur) and works in Europe, the USA and China.