Heather has been Chair of National Clean Energy Week since 2017. She is a Western Caucus Foundation advisory board member and serves on the board of directors for the American Conservative Coalition. She is a frequent commentator on the politics and policy of clean energy and the environment having been featured on MSNBC, NPR, and Newsmax TV, and in The Washington Post, Washington Examiner, Politico, Newsweek, Time, Roll Call, The Hill, Morning Consult, and The Atlantic, among others. She is a regular contributor to Real Clear Energy.
Heather has nearly three decades of experience in public affairs and advocacy and has held a number of senior nonprofit positions. Prior to her non-profit work, she spent a decade at several top D.C.-based public affairs firms. She started her career as a staffer in the offices of Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) and Congressman Gerald Weller (R-IL11), and earlier as an intern for Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA) while pursuing her degree. A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Political Science, Heather is active in Republican local and state affairs in her home state of Virginia, where she resides with her husband, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, and their two school-aged children.
Charles Hernick is the Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum in Washington, DC.
Charles leads CRES Forum’s policy work and executes strategies to advance clean energy solutions and innovative approaches to reducing carbon emissions.
Charles is an energy expert who understands emerging clean technologies, market barriers, and policies and regulations. For over a decade he has worked at the crossroads of economic development, energy, and natural resource management across the U.S. and on the ground in over a dozen countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Before joining CRES, he advised executive-level decision-makers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Agency for International Development on energy and environmental issues, and identified project-level opportunities for clean energy expansion.
He is also a climate change expert who has integrated climate change considerations into U.S. government programs and policies and has authored climate mitigation and adaptation best practice guidelines for over a dozen development sectors.
Charles was the Republican candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District in the November 2016 election. He routinely advises candidates seeking public office on energy and economic growth.
In 2019, Charles was appointed to the Maryland Clean Energy Council’s 2019 Advisory Council. He is a frequent guest on radio shows and webcasts, in university classrooms, and at international workshops to discuss clean energy and associated economic, national security, and environmental issues. He conducts interviews in English or Spanish. Charles is a proud appointed member of the Maryland Clean Energy Center Advisory Council.
Charles as an M.A. in International Relations and Environmental Policy from Boston University and a B.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from the University of Minnesota.
Since 2011, Shawn worked for U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND). In this capacity, Shawn helped advance key energy priorities including infrastructure policies, public-private research partnerships, advanced energy technology initiatives, and federal permitting reform. His work primary focused on the Senate Energy and Appropriations Committees, where he helped manage oversight and budget hearings, legislative mark-ups, agency nominations, and funding requests.
Mr. Affolter is a native of North Dakota and graduate of North Dakota State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and political science.
For more than twenty years Ross has helped transformative science and technology organizations communicate more powerfully, personally, and meaningfully. The majority of his career has been in the private sector, leading messaging, branding, strategy development, and public relations programs for some of the world’s most innovative Fortune 500 companies, startups, nonprofits, R&D institutions, and regulatory agencies.
Most recently he served at the White House as the Director of Strategic Communications for the Office of Science and Technology Policy, then as Senior Tech Policy Advisor to the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and as a Senior Advisor for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget.
A native of Illinois, before moving to Washington DC Ross lived in San Francisco for over a decade, managing consultant teams as a Vice President for OgilvyPR, a top ten global public relations agency. After Ogilvy, he cofounded Torch Communications, a boutique public relations firm serving technology, advanced energy, and life science clients. At Torch he led the startup portfolio, advising tech founders and venture investors on PR initiatives and crisis communications strategy.
He previously served as a press secretary and digital director for U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who was the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee along with the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. As the press secretary, Evan helped develop a press strategy and organized messaging, videos, graphics, and digital campaigns for major legislative accomplishments including the Opioid Crisis Response Act, Music Modernization Act, the FUTURE Act, and the Great American Outdoors Act.
While in the U.S. Senate, Evan was elected by his peers to serve as president and an executive officer of the U.S. Senate Press Secretaries Association (SPSA).
Before his time in the U.S. Senate, Evan worked as a booking producer for Chuck Todd, moderator of Meet the Press, MTP Daily and NBC News’ political director. In that role he arranged a wide variety of interviews with lawmakers, journalists and newsmakers. Evan also worked in NBC News’ Washington Bureau as the weekend White House producer and the White House travel pool producer—traveling with President Obama to report for all major television news networks.
In 2012, Evan served as Deputy Communications Director for then U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson’s (R-N.M.) campaign for U.S. Senate in New Mexico. He grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and graduated from Texas Tech University, where he studied journalism and business administration.
Matthew Del Carlo
Prior to his work in the private sector, Matthew Del Carlo served as Chief of Staff for Assemblyman Guy Houston (California AD-15) and as his Campaign Manager for Houston’s successful campaign for re-election to the California Assembly in 2006 – considered to be one of the most competitive legislative seats in California.
In 2006, the East Bay Business Times recognized Matthew for his accomplishments by selecting him as one of its “40 Under 40,” an award that recognizes forty individuals under the age of forty for their leadership in the community.
Matthew has been involved in variety of community service projects since the time he joined the Boy Scouts, where he earned his Eagle Scout Award. Matthew holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Davis, and was selected for the University of California’s Washington, D.C., Honors Program. Matthew is a third generation San Franciscan.
Lori comes from The Ferguson Group (TFG), based in D.C., where she was head of their energy practice, drawing on her 25 years of government relations experience in federal energy, environment and tax policy, including clean energy policy impacting electric utilities. She has a record of success in achieving goals on behalf of a nationwide client base through bipartisan advocacy before Congress, the White House, executive branch departments, and various government agencies.
Before joining TFG, Lori worked for 16 years on energy and tax policy issues impacting the electric utility sector at Morgan Meguire, LLC, advocating on behalf of public power systems and rural electric cooperatives.
Prior to working at Morgan Meguire, Lori worked for eight years, specializing in energy, electricity markets, new energy technologies, nuclear power, and federal tax policy at the American Public Power Association where she acquired a comprehensive understanding of the public power industry and its mission.
Lori began her career with the Washington office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (1984-1992), a nationally recognized law firm, where she worked with senior energy and tax partners to represent clients before Congress and the Executive Branch.
Lori earned a Master’s degree in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University and a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Old Dominion University.
CRES Forum Policy Fellow
George David Banks
As the inaugural CRES Forum Policy Fellow, Banks advises the organization on federal policy, communications, and external stakeholder relationships. The CRES Forum Policy Fellowship was created to feature individuals who have demonstrated expertise in public policy, climate science, and strategic communications for conservative issues.
A native southeast Missourian, Banks was most recently Chief Strategist for the Republican side of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. Previously, he was Executive Vice President at the DC-based American Council on Capital Formation. He was also President Donald Trump’s Special Assistant for International Energy and Environment at the National Economic and National Security Councils, Republican deputy staff director of the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, Senior Advisor on International Affairs and Climate Change for President George W. Bush, a State Department foreign service officer, and CIA economic analyst.
During his government tenure, Banks received multiple meritorious awards, including the EPA Climate Protection Award for Diplomacy, a Department of State Superior Honor Award for promoting U.S. diplomatic objectives for the environment, and a Commendable Service Award from the Central Intelligence Agency. He holds a JD from George Mason University and a MA in economics and baccalaureate degrees in history, economics, and political science from the University of Missouri at St. Louis.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte
James Dozier is president of the CRES Forum board. James brings a wealth of Republican grassroots organizing, advocacy, and political experience to CRES Forum. He has focused on growing conservative support for clean energy solutions to enhance our nation’s economic, energy, and environmental security. This work has included building out robust political and advocacy operations that have supported Republican clean energy champions in the House and Senate.
With more than thirty years experience in finance and energy, Mr. King has completed more than $25 billion of equity and debt investments across six continents acting both in a proprietary capacity and for many of the world’s most prominent energy and infrastructure companies. He has provided path-finding leadership in structured debt financings leading to solar energy ABS and was an early investor in and proponent of PACE financing. Mr. King recently launched and serves as President of the Borincana Foundation (www.fundacionborincana.org), an energy infrastructure non-profit and think tank for Puerto Rico. Mr. King is also Managing Partner of CrossRiver Capital and was a Founding Partner of US Renewables Group.
Carla Tully is CEO and Co-Founder of Earthrise Energy, which unlocks the value of existing infrastructure to accelerate the transformation of the US electricity sector. Carla is a 20-year energy executive and business leader who brings the diverse perspectives of a sponsor, lender, operator, developer, and investor to the challenges of decarbonizing the grid. Carla’s previous roles include Executive Vice President of MAP Energy, a private energy investment firm with over $2B under management and President of AES UK & Ireland, with responsibility for 2GW of generating capacity and new business growth, including the introduction of utility-scale energy storage.
Ms. Rorke has been recognized by E&E News, The Hill, and National Journal as an energy policy leader, and serves on the boards of several policy-focused organizations. Ms. Rorke served as a Presidential Management Fellow at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, as well as a Legislative Assistant for former U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC), helping him craft the first Republican-sponsored carbon tax bill.
Ms. Rorke received her Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina and Master of Public Administration from Columbia