USNIC Update: U.S. Nuclear Industry Council's Board of Directors Elects Jeff Merrifield as Chair

February 8, 2024

USNIC Update: U.S. Nuclear Industry Council's Board of Directors Elects Jeff Merrifield as Chair

February 8, 2024

February 8th, 2024:  The U.S. Nuclear Industry Council (USNIC) has elected Jeff Merrifield to serve as Chair of its Board of Directors. Merrifield is the Nuclear Energy practice leader at Pillsbury.

The USNIC is the leading U.S. business advocate for advanced nuclear energy and the global promotion of the American supply chain. The council represents approximately 80 companies engaged in nuclear innovation and supply chain development. In an effort to bring together bipartisan federal and state legislatures, the organization offers educational programs, industry insights and market intelligence.

In 2023, Merrifield served as Vice-Chair under Chairman Jeremy Harrell, who is the Chief Strategy Officer of the DC-based conservative clean energy organization, ClearPath. Harrell served as the Chair of the Board of Directors from 2020-2023 and remains on the board in 2024 to fulfill his three-year term.

“In my five years with USNIC, I could not be more proud of the work that we have done to advance new nuclear technology throughout the world,” Harrell said. “I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations to my colleague, friend and successor, Jeff Merrifield, who I trust will carry out the council’s mission to support the nuclear industry’s continued advancement and growth.”

USNIC’s President and CEO, Todd Abrajano, extended his congratulations to Chair Merrifield, stating, “Jeff Merrifield has an incredible passion for the technology developers and other supply chain vendors that make up the U.S. advanced nuclear industry. I congratulate him on his new role as Chair of the Council and look forward to working closely with him as he continues to serve our organization.”

During his three decades in the energy industry, Merrifield has developed wide-ranging relationships throughout the international nuclear community that allows him to identify strategic and legal solutions for major energy and environmental projects. As a former presidential appointee to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1998-2007), Merrifield is well-regarded as a leader in advanced nuclear and fusion deployment. He has assisted large and emerging nuclear developers, utilities, suppliers and governments in effectively meeting their regulatory requirements and strategic objectives through the deployment of complex energy systems.

“It is essential that we continue to strengthen and promote the U.S. as the worldwide leader in the next generation of advanced nuclear energy,” Merrifield said. “As Chair, I will diligently work with our developer and supplier companies to achieve USNIC’s mission and vision to solidify nuclear energy as a fundamental emissions free, reliable and clean energy source. For all of us concerned about the climate, nuclear energy is a vital element to reducing emissions worldwide.”

Additionally, Ron Faibish of General Atomics, who previously served as the board’s Secretary, will serve as Vice-Chair, and Mary Neumayer of URENCO USA will take Faibish’s place as Secretary. Pegasus Group senior nuclear industry consultant Ed Davis will continue to serve as Treasurer and Scott Kopple, who is the senior director of government relations at BWX Technologies, Inc. will remain as the Governance Committee Chair.

Rita Baranwal (Westinghouse), Sean Sexstone (GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy), Peter Hastings (Kairos Power), Charles “Chip” Pardee (Terrestrial Energy USA), Dorothy Davidson (Orano Federal Services), James Schafer (Guggenheim Partners), Pamela Gorman Prochaska (Xcel Energy), James Fornof (Lightbridge) and Keyes Niemer (Worley) will also serve with Merrifield as existing board members.

To learn more about the USNIC, click here.