USNIC Board of Directors

Jeffrey Merrifield, Chair


Jeffrey Merrifield is a partner in the Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s energy practice. Mr. Merrifield was appointed by President Clinton and reappointed by President Bush to serve on the five-member, Senate-confirmed, independent United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. During his tenure, which was from October 1998 to June 2002 and from August 2002 to June 2007, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission had a staff of 3,250 employees with a budget of $900 million and set all policies and rules that govern the safe and secure use of nuclear materials at the 104 U.S. nuclear power plants operating at that time.

Prior to joining Pillsbury, Mr. Merrifield served as President of The Merrifield Group, LLC where he provided energy and environmental consulting, advocacy and strategic advice for companies, organizations and individuals. Specific areas of focus included management, energy market analysis, nuclear, fossil and alternative energy policy and deployment, radioactive and hazardous waste disposal strategies, safety and regulatory assessment and analysis, as well as public and government engagement. Before working with the Merrifield Group, Mr. Merrifield was the Senior Vice President of Global Business Development with CB&I’s Power Business Unit. While there, he led a team of twenty-five sales and proposal staff to develop and win over $1.5 billion in annual sales, including the first competitive, EPC combined cycle gas unit in over six years. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President for The Shaw Group, Inc.’s Power Group. As a member of the Power Group's executive team, he was responsible for overseeing the group's external relationships including nuclear business development, customer relations, strategic planning, marketing and communications, as well as government and regulatory affairs.

Mr. Merrifield also served on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Ecology Corporation, which is one of the largest U.S. operators of both hazardous and low-level radioactive waste disposal facilities. He served as the Lead Director and Chairman of the Governance Committee and was a member of the Compensation and Audit Committees. Currently, Mr. Merrifield serves on the Board of the U.S. Nuclear Industry Council and is also the Chairman of its Advanced Nuclear Working Group. Composed of more than 90 companies, the Council is the leading business consortium advocate for new nuclear energy and the promotion of the American supply chain globally.

Ron Faibish, Vice-Chair

General Atomics

Dr. Ron S. Faibish has nearly 23 years of combined experience in the government and industry energy sectors, including extensive work with and within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory complex and other government functions.​

Dr. Faibish leads strategic development for General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Group (GA-EMS) in the area of nuclear technologies and materials, leading strategic planning and programmtic growth for fission-related technology development and products, such as high temperature gas-cooled fast reactor technologies, space nuclear thermal propulsion and power systems, advanced nuclear fuels, and various applications of advanced ceramic composite materials, such as GA-EMS’ SiGA®-silicon carbide  technologies-related applications.​

Prior to joining General Atomics, Dr. Faibish worked at Argonne National Laboratory for nearly 14 years, most recently leading Argonne’s Energy Systems initiatives and associated program development. He managed several DOE international engagements on nuclear safety and technology. Dr. Faibish also spent time in Washington as an Argonne detailee, serving as the Senior Advisor to the Director of the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy. In this role, he advised the Director on policy, technology and strategic planning.​

Dr. Faibish also served as the Science Fellow with the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, where he worked on major legislation, led the authorship of one of five whitepapers for Senator Lisa Murkowski on the energy-water nexus, worked closely with numerous external stakeholders, and negotiated complex issues related to bilateral international energy legislation, among other accomplishments.​

Prior to joining Argonne, Dr. Faibish worked as a Research Development Manager at the International Atomic Energy Agency, managing multinational scientific research proposals and projects related to peaceful, non-electrical applications of nuclear energy.​

Dr. Faibish received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. He also completed a certificate program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Mary Neumayr, Secretary


Mary Neumayr is Director of Government Affairs for Urenco USA Inc.  Before joining Urenco, she served in a variety of positions in the Federal government, including as Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality; Deputy Chief Counsel, Energy and Environment and other counsel roles with the Energy and Commerce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives; Deputy General Counsel for Environment and Nuclear Programs at the U.S. Department of Energy; and as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Prior to her government service, she was in private commercial litigation and regulatory practice in New York and San Francisco. She received her B.A. from Thomas Aquinas College and J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Ed Davis, Treasurer

Pegasus Group

Edward Davis is a senior nuclear industry consultant with over 40 years of nuclear industry experience in a number of senior management roles, including engineering, business development, project finance, marketing, strategic planning as well as governmental affairs.

In his long career, Mr. Davis has developed a wide range of knowledge on energy and environmental issues both domestic and internationally and has a keen understanding of governmental policymaking, regulatory compliance, state rate making, as well as legislative and political affairs.

Currently, Mr. Davis serves as President and Managing Director of the Pegasus Group where he is responsible for providing strategic consulting services to a wide range of clients in the energy and electric utility industries as well as Federal agencies in a number of strategic areas. Mr. Davis is a subject matter expert in his field and has testified before Congress and State Public Utility Commissions on nuclear energy issues.

Scott Kopple, Governance Committee Chair

BWX Technologies

Scott Kopple is the senior director of government relations at BWX Technologies,Inc. (BWXT). Mr. Kopple represents the Company’s interests on Capitol Hill andwithin the administration with a focus on the Department of Energy’s national security programs and contracts, fuel cycle programs and commercial nuclear energy issues. He is also deeply engaged in BWXT’s Naval Reactors business and the Department of Defense’s shipbuilding programs.

Mr. Kopple has extensive experience on Capitol Hill and within the nation’s nuclear weapons complex. Prior to joining BWXT in 2012, he served as a congressional liaison for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), representing the laboratory’s interests before Congress. He was also responsible for facilitating meetings and briefings between members of Congress and LLNL leadership on issues including stockpile stewardship, conventional munitions, greenhouse gas verification and fusion energy.

Before joining LLNL, Mr. Kopple was appointed by President George W. Bush as director of congressional affairs for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) from 2006 until he joined LLNL in 2009. In this role, he served as the senior advisor to the organization’s executive leadership on legislative and political strategy to meet the agency’s goals. He served as NNSA’s primary liaison to the Appropriations and Armed Services Committees.

Mr. Kopple also brings congressional experience to BWXT. He served as a professional staff member and as deputy communications director for the U.S. House Government Reform Committee. He also served in the office of U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) as a legislative assistant.

Mr. Kopple also served as the Iowa executive director for President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign. He successfully led the Iowa campaign to a victory, which had not been accomplished by the Republican nominee since 1984.

Mr. Kopple earned a bachelor’s degree in government and politics from George Mason University. In 2019, the Governor of Virginia appointed Mr. Kopple to serve on the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority. He also serves on the U.S. Nuclear Industry Council board of directors.

Rita Baranwal


Dr. Rita Baranwal was appointed as Westinghouse's Chief Technology Officer in January 2022, to lead Westinghouse's global research and development investments and spearhead a technology strategy to advance the company’s innovative nuclear solutions. ​Dr. Baranwal’s appointment marks a return to Westinghouse where she worked for nearly a decade in leadership positions in the Global Technology Development, Fuel Engineering, and Product Engineering groups. In this new, strategic role, Dr. Baranwal will drive next-generation solutions for existing and new markets that align with Westinghouse’s forward-looking strategy.

​Prior to rejoining Westinghouse, Dr. Baranwal served as the Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy where she directed the R&D portfolio across current and advanced nuclear technologies while collaborating across nuclear utilities, national labs, reactor developers, academia and government stakeholders. She has also held senior leadership roles with the Idaho National Laboratory as Director of the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN), where she was responsible for providing the nuclear industry and other stakeholders access to DOE's state-of-the-art R&D expertise, capabilities, and infrastructure to achieve faster and cost-effective development, demonstration, and ultimate deployment of innovative nuclear energy technologies. Under her leadership, GAIN positively impacted over 120 companies.​

Dr. Baranwal most recently was the Chief Nuclear Officer and Vice President of Nuclear for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Dr. Baranwal is a past Chairman of the Executive Committee of the American Nuclear Society's (ANS) Materials Science and Technology Division and is distinguished as an American Nuclear Society Fellow.

Dr. Baranwal has a bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in materials science and engineering and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in the same discipline from the University of Michigan. She has also served on the Boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters-Pittsburgh and North Hills Community Outreach.

Sean Sexstone

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

Sean has nearly 20 years of energy industry experience with a passion to lead the energy transition and decarbonize the power sector while delivering dependable, reliable, and affordable power to the world’s economy. His experience ranges from Domestic and International Operations, Project Execution, Sales/M&A, Supply Chain Management, Business Development, and Commercial Management. Most of Sean's experience has been in the in the Nuclear, Fossil, & Renewables Industry. Sean has demonstrated a history of producing excellent results, spanning a wide range of businesses across the power industry including working for: OEM’s, Utilities, & EPC firms.

Jeremy Harrell


Jeremy Harrell is the Chief Strategy Officer at ClearPath, a research and advocacy organization focused on policies to accelerate breakthrough innovations that reduce emissions in the energy and industrial sectors.  As CSO, he leads the development, management, and execution of the organization’s strategic plan.  This includes overseeing the organization’s public policy development, government affairs, research, and strategic partnerships, including philanthropic initiatives.

Jeremy also serves in a handful of leadership roles within the clean energy industry.  In addition to chairing the U.S. Nuclear Industry Council Board of Directors, he is a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (REEAC) and is on the executive committee of the largest association for geothermal energy professionals, Geothermal Rising.  He is a frequent commentator on clean energy innovation, export financing, and regulatory reforms that accelerate the development of cutting-edge technologies at industry convenings and trade shows. He has testified before both U.S. House and Senate committees on these issues and is frequently featured in national publications including The Washington Post, Politico, Bloomberg, The Hill, GreenBiz, and S&P Global.

Before joining ClearPath, Jeremy advised Congressional leaders, across multiple roles in the House and Senate, on energy, environmental, natural resources, tax, and transportation policy for a decade. He received his B.A. in Political Science and History from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and an M.B.A. from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

James Fornof

Lightbridge Corporation

James Fornof is Vice President of Program Management at Lightbridge Corporation, providing leadership, management and oversight of projects, and assisting the company with the implementation of corporate goals and strategic initiatives. Prior to joining the company in 2018, Mr. Fornof held several senior roles in nuclear projects, operations, and power services. He was Director of International Nuclear Operations at Fluor Power Group, where he was responsible for nuclear projects globally, including new-build EPC, operating plant capital improvements, and decommissioning. He led nuclear development pursuits in the United Kingdom, Argentina, Poland, and Saudi Arabia, including client interface, technology partnering, and supply chain development.

Previously, Jim served as Director of Commercial Operations at BHI Energy - Power Services, a private equity-owned provider of maintenance and modification services to the nuclear, fossil, renewable, petrochemical and government sectors. He led the integration of the commercial process for multiple acquired product lines including maintenance and modification services, rotating equipment maintenance, valve services, I&C-E, steam and combustion turbines, and renewables. This included bid/no-bid determinations, pricing, proposal development and corporate governance. He was also Director of Strategic Investment, and Manager of Business Development for Nuclear Power Plants at Westinghouse Electric Company and has held marketing, project management, business development, and investment positions at WesDyne International, DQE, OnDemand Energy Solutions, Allegheny Development Corporation, and Duquesne Light.

Jim holds a BSME from the Ohio State University and an MBA in finance from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School. He also conducted post-graduate studies at the Otto Beisheim Graduate School of Management (WHU) in Koblenz, Germany. He is a registered Professional Engineer and a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Keyes Niemer


Dr. Niemer is an accomplished power and energy executive with a history of increasing responsibility and extensive innovative experience in leadership, engineering, project management, operations, and business management for several multi-billion dollar companies, including EPC megaprojects, equipment design and fabrication, and first-of-a-kind (FOAK) engineering. Wide ranging experience in engineering and project management; proven ability to lead multi-cultural and multi-discipline technical and support staff; and the ability to lead organizational and cultural changes necessary to increase efficiency and productivity in the pursuit of realizing organizational goals. Has successfully worked in both the government and commercial segments of the power and energy industry, including utilities, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), architect/engineers (AEs), constructors, national laboratories, and within the U.S. Department of Energy complex.

Peter Hastings

Kairos Power

Mr. Peter Hastings is the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs & Quality at Kairos Power and leads teams responsible for licensing and permitting activities, safety analysis and probabilistic risk assessment, quality assurance, and government affairs with a focus on establishing the regulatory basis for Kairos Power's reactor technology. Mr. Hastings previously ran a successful management and regulatory consulting firm and held prior positions as Director of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for Generation Power, Licensing Manager for Duke Energy’s Nuclear Plant Development Division, and licensing and design-center lead NuStart Energy Development, LLC.

Mr. Hastings’ background includes work as a reactor engineer responsible for startup testing and fuel performance monitoring, design engineer on the Monitored Retrievable Storage facility, manager in safety assurance and performance assessment for the Yucca Mountain repository, and licensing manager responsible for receipt of construction authorization for the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility. Mr. Hastings earned his B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from North Carolina State University. He is a registered professional engineer in North and South Carolina.

Charles "Chip" Pardee

Terrestrial Energy USA

Mr. Pardee has more than three and a half decades of electric utility leadership experience, including past operational responsibilities at a dozen U.S. nuclear power stations. From 2013 to 2017, he was executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Tennessee Valley Authority. TVA is the largest public power provider in the United States, and the sixth-largest electric utility in the country, with approximately 35 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity. Forty percent of its capacity is nuclear generation provided by eight reactors operated at three nuclear generating stations.

Prior to TVA, Mr. Pardee was chief operating officer of Exelon Generation, where he led more than 10,000 employees, and managed 30,000 megawatts of diverse generation, including the nation’s largest nuclear fleet. Mr. Pardee also served as president and chief nuclear officer of Exelon Nuclear and chairman of Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, an Exelon subsidiary. Mr. Pardee is currently a member of the Nuclear Safety Advisory Board of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), and a member of the Committee for Nuclear Power of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) in the United Arab Emirates.

During his long career, he has also held leadership positions at General Electric and the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations (INPO). Mr. Pardee has served as chair of the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Nuclear Strategic Issue Advisory Committee and chaired the National Academy of Nuclear Training Accrediting Board. He also led the nuclear industry’s Fukushima Response Steering Committee and served as a director of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

Dorothy Davidson

Orano Federal Services

Dorothy Davidson is the President and CEO of Orano Federal Services. She is an accomplished and innovative senior executive well known for her success in developing and implementing successful growth strategies in the U.S. nuclear energy industry.

Dr. Davidson excels in working effectively with a diverse set of Government agencies, national laboratories, research universities, industry partners, and stakeholders on large, complex nuclear energy programs and projects at DOE operations and cleanup sites. She has skillfully led large organizations that develop and/or apply state-of-the-art nuclear science and technologies while adapting quickly to evolving industry, economic, and policy requirements and challenges. She establishes a positive, transparent working environment, sets clear goals, develops talented science and technology teams, and directs and continuously improves both company-wide and project-by-project performance.

James Schafer

Guggenheim Partners

Mr. James Schaefer serves as Senior Managing Director at Guggenheim Partners. He is based in New York, previously headed the power and renewable energy group at UBS AG.

Before that, Mr. Schaefer worked in the power groups at Lehman Brothers Holdings, Salomon Brothers and J.P. Morgan Chase & Company. Mr. Schaefer most recently served as the Global Head of the Power and Renewable Energy Group at UBS.

Pamela Gorman Prochaska

Xcel Energy

Pamela Gorman Prochaska is the Director of Nuclear Policy and Strategy for Xcel Energy. Pam began her career with Xcel Energy almost 30 years ago in the operations department at the Prairie Island nuclear plant.

During the first half of her career she spent time in various plant positions including project management, regulatory, communications and training. In 2008 she moved to the operations side of the company and was the Community and Government Relations Manager for Southeast Minnesota.

Two years ago Pam came back to nuclear in her current role where she interfaces with governmental and industry organizations at all levels that enact, implement or influence policies that impact Xcel Energy’s nuclear power plants and used fuel storage.

Pam is a graduate of the University of Minnesota- Duluth where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Secondary Math Education.