Speaker and Moderator Biographies

Innovation Day 2011

Monty Alger

Monty Alger joined Air Products in 2007 as vice president and chief technology officer. In this position, he has oversight responsibility for the company’s R&D activities as well as human resource planning for the entire research community.  Prior to joining Air Products, Alger spent 23 years with General Electric, where he most recently was general manager for technology for GE Advanced Materials.  He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Jim Alder

Jim Alder is the senior vice president of operations and technical at Celanese Corporation. Alder oversees the company’s global-manufacturing; supply-chain; environment, health, and safety; and technology operations, as well as the overall productivity efforts, including Six Sigma and operational excellence.

He previously held various roles within Celanese in manufacturing, research and development, and business management. He joined the company in 1974 and has a B.S. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Stacey A. Balderson

Stacey A. Balderson is global strategy leader, DuPont Building Innovations. After receiving a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, Balderson began her career at DuPont as a chemist at Marshall Laboratory, with a focus on polymer synthesis and paint formulation. Her resume encompasses research and development, product management, marketing and new business development, and strategic planning.  She is currently the CEO of Building Media Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of DuPont, as well as the global strategy leader for the Building Innovations business.

Lynn L. Bergeson

Lynn L. Bergeson is managing director of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C), a Washington, D.C., law firm focusing on conventional and nanoscale industrial, agricultural, and specialty-chemical product regulation and approval matters; environmental health and safety law; chemical-product litigation; and associated business counseling and litigation issues. She is principal of the Acta Group, L.L.C., and the Acta Group EU, Ltd., with offices in Washington, D.C., and Manchester, U.K.; she is also president of B&C Consortia Management, L.L.C. (BCCM), with offices in Washington, D.C.

BCCM is an affiliate of B&C, which has strong institutional experience in consortia management. BCCM provides cost-effective administrative and management services to consortia to ensure their interests are protected and their voices heard on issues of concern. BCCM works with industry groups to develop or expand advocacy and product stewardship programs; to develop and conduct communications outreach to local, state, federal, or international government entities; to formulate and initiate research programs—whether voluntary or in response to regulatory requirements; and many other activities.

Bergeson counsels clients on a wide range of issues pertaining to chemical hazard, exposure and risk assessment, risk communication, and related legal and regulatory aspects of conventional and nanoscale chemical regulatory programs under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA); the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation; and on issues pertinent to nanotechnology and other emerging transformative technologies.

Bergeson is listed in the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers (2006–2011); U.S. News—Best Law Firms first-tier ranking for environmental law in Washington, D.C. (2010); Law360’s Five Most Admired Environmental Attorneys (2010); Washingtonian’s List of Top Lawyers (2009), and The Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2005–2010).

Bergeson is a graduate of Michigan State University (B.A., magna cum laude) and the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, where she was a member of the Law Review. She is admitted to the bar of the District of Columbia and several federal circuit courts.

Carl Bilgrien

Carl Bilgrien is chief technology officer for Arizona Chemicals, a biorefiner and producer of pine-based chemicals. He has over 25 years of experience in R&D and technology management involving a range of specialty materials and industries. Bilgrien joined Arizona Chemical in 2010.

Previously, Bilgrien was vice president of R&D, Materials and Packaging Technologies, at W. R. Grace. Before that he was vice president of R&D for Aspen Aerogels, a developer and manufacturer of nanoporous silicate materials.

Bilgrien started his industrial career with Dow Corning as a research chemist and spent the next 20 years in research, development, new business development, and R&D leadership roles. He has contributed to innovations in silicone elastomers and coatings for the sealant, automotive, electronic, adhesive, and paper industries. With the formation of Dow Corning’s New Ventures business unit in 2000, Bilgrien took on the role of new-business development manager to expand early-stage opportunities in nanotechnology, thermoplastics, and flexible-display applications.

Bilgrien earned his B.S. from the Honors, Lyman Briggs, and Natural Sciences colleges of Michigan State University and his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Florida. He has been a leader in Boy Scouts of America for many years.

Connie Deford

Connie Deford, a 27-year Dow employee, is the director of Global Product Stewardship and Hazard Communication, based in Midland, Michigan. In this role she is responsible for leading Dow’s global product stewardship organization and program, as well as the organization responsible for generation of safety data sheets. Deford is also responsible for development and implementation of Dow’s strategy on the U.S. Chemicals Management Policy. This work includes advocating for Dow positions within the federal and state legislative and regulatory arenas, and promoting Dow’s leadership in chemical management as part of the company’s 2015 sustainability goals. Before taking her current position she was the director of Dow’s Global Environmental, Health, and Safety (EH&S) Regulatory organization (experts in chemicals management and environmental regulations), where she oversaw development of Dow’s European REACH Program Management Organization. In the previous 15 years she served various businesses as a Global EH&S Product Leader, where she was responsible for product regulatory compliance and product stewardship, and for providing EH&S input into development of business strategies. She also represented Dow in many chemical-specific trade associations. Her earliest years at Dow were spent in the biocides technical service and development arena, where she was involved in new product development. Deford holds a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Oklahoma State University.

Abhay K. Deshpande

Abhay K. Deshpande is the technology manager for resins at Arizona Chemical Company in Savannah, Georgia.  He started at Arizona Chemical in 1996 as a product development chemist working in the area of terpene resins. His technical specialization is in adhesive resins (tackifiers), especially terpene resins. Before beginning work at Arizona Chemical, Deshpande received a Ph. D. in organic chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned a B.Sc. degree in chemistry and an M.Sc. degree in organic chemistry from the University of Bombay (now Mumbai).

Ivan J. Dmochowski

Ivan J. Dmochowski is associate professor of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. His research group is developing chemical and biophysical tools to study and manipulate complex biological systems. Their particular interest is imaging and fabricating functional bio-nanomaterials. Dmochowski holds a B.A. from Harvard College and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology.

Jon Fobes

Jon Fobes is currently vice president of research and regulatory affairs at the AgroFresh Division of Dow AgroSciences. Prior to joining AgroFresh in 2004, he headed up the worldwide wheat business of Monsanto and was previously vice president of R&D for Novartis Seeds (now known as Syngenta Seeds). Fobes has a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of California, Davis, and a B.S. in horticulture from Pennsylvania State University.

Paul Freedman

Paul Freedman is cofounder,  president, and CEO of LimnoTech, a science and engineering consulting firm that has specialized in water issues for over 35 years. He has worked on hundreds of watershed projects for clients, including state, provincial, and federal agencies; municipalities; industries; foundations; and nongovernmental organizations. He has taught, presented, and lectured throughout the United States and in several other countries, with topics ranging from modeling and watershed management to wet-weather issues, stream and lake restoration, and sustainability. He has over 250 presentations and papers. Freedman has chaired numerous conferences, professional task forces, committees, expert panels, and work groups affecting national and global policy issues.  

In the last few years Freedman has been involved in helping develop, critically analyze, and apply new protocols for quantifying water-use practices and in developing stewardship programs that enhance sustainability for companies and the environment. He is currently the past president of  the Water Environment Federation. Freedman is a licensed professional engineer, a board-certified environmental engineer, and a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Water Environment Federation.

Val Giddings

Val Giddings is president and CEO of PrometheusAB, which provides consulting services in regulatory compliance and strategic planning to governments, multilateral organizations, and industry clients around the world. He is also a senior fellow for innovation and R&D at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Previously, Giddings was vice president for food and agriculture at the Biotechnology Industry Foundation, and before that he worked in the biotech products regulatory division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

T. Alan Hatton

T. Alan Hatton

T. Alan Hatton is the Ralph Landau Professor and Director of the David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in chemical engineering at the University of Natal, in Durban, South Africa, and worked at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria for three years before attending the University of Wisconsin, Madison, to obtain his Ph.D. His research interests encompass self-assembly of surfactants and block copolymers; synthesis and functionalization of magnetic nanoparticles and metal-organic frameworks for chemical, biological, and environmental separations and catalysis; and the exploitation of stimuli-responsive materials for chemical and pharmaceutical processing applications, with a particular current emphasis on electrochemically mediated operations.

Pam Henderson

After receiving a Ph.D. in market strategy from the University of Texas, Pam Henderson joined the Carnegie Faculty. While helping the U.S. National Laboratory identify products and markets for early-stage technology platforms, she developed “disruptive market research.” This marketing technique led to the establishment of NewEdge, an innovation and business-strategy consultancy. Henderson has published in the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal, and speaks regularly at international innovation conferences as well as Fortune 500 events.

Michael Hightower

Michael Hightower is a distinguished member of the technical staff in the Energy Security Center at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a civil and environmental engineer with over 30 years’ experience in research and development. His current efforts include research and evaluation of innovative environmental and energy technologies and the reliability, security, and protection of critical water and energy infrastructures. One of his current activities is as project leader for a Science and Technology Roadmap for the Department of Energy for energy-water research and development. He recently helped write a Report to Congress on current and emerging energy and water interdependencies and challenges. Another current effort is helping federal facilities improve their ability to meet their critical-mission energy needs safely, securely, and reliably through risk-based design and implementation of energy-surety microgrids.

Hightower holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from New Mexico State University. He serves on the board of directors for Citizens for Responsible Energy, is past-chair of the Waste Management Education and Research Consortium Industrial Advisory Board, and past-chair of ASME’s environmental engineering division.

Robert O. Kenworthy

Robert O. Kenworthy headshot

Bob Kenworthy has been retained by the Chemical Heritage Foundation as manager of affiliate relations since January 2007. Kenworthy left DuPont in 1993, after 28 years of employment, and worked for the Rollins Environmental Services Company until November 1997, when he started a small post-retirement consulting practice.

At CHF Kenworthy maintains and encourages relationships between CHF and its more than 35 affiliates, most of which are trade associations in the chemical and related sciences. He also provides support for the Joseph Priestley Society and is responsible for building CHF's presence outside the Philadelphia area. He supports regional organizations for CHF in California's Bay Area, North Carolina's Research Triangle Area, and New York.

Kenworthy received a B.A. in chemistry from the College of Wooster in 1964.

Michael C. Kerby

Michael C. Kerby is the global chemical research manager for ExxonMobil Chemical. He joined ExxonMobil’s Process Development Laboratories in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1989. Over the last 21 years he has held a number of technical and management positions within ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Company, and ExxonMobil Chemical Company.

He holds 29 U.S. patents and was recently part of a team that was recognized with the American Chemical Society’s Heroes of Chemistry award for the development and commercialization of the Nebula catalyst used for producing cleaner diesel fuel.

Kerby received his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Texas, Austin, and performed postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley.

Brian Mullen

Brian Mullen holds a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Southern Indiana and a Ph.D. in polymer science and engineering from the University of Southern Mississippi. After receiving his Ph.D., Mullen worked for GE Plastics for five years as a platform chemist and product developer in the Lexan polycarbonate business. While at GE, Mullen invented and commercialized products for flame-retardant and high-heat-resistant thermoplastic applications. In late 2007 he joined a start-up company in the Twin Cities named Segetis. Mullen is currently principal scientist and R&D leader. At Segetis he has aided in the invention and commercialization of the company’s new levulinic ketal product platform. Mullen has 70 publications. He is an inventor or coinventor on 25 issued U.S. patents, and has filed more than 50 U.S. and international patents.

Daniel G. Nocera

Daniel G. Nocera headshot

Daniel G. Nocera is the Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy, director of the Eni Solar Frontiers Center, and director of the Solar Revolutions Project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His group pioneered studies of the basic mechanisms of energy conversion in biology and chemistry, with primary focus in recent years on the generation of solar fuels.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He was named as one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Nocera is a frequent guest expert on TV and radio programs and is regularly featured in print publications. His PBS NOVA show on fuels cells was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2006. He worked with Robert Krulwich of ABC News to develop the pilot that was used to launch the PBS NOVA show “ScienceNow.” He also worked with Krulwich and the Web designer OddTodd to develop the five part-series “The Lifestyle of Carbon.” In 2008 he founded Sun Catalytix, a company committed to bringing personalized energy to the non-legacy world.

Nocera holds a B.Sc. from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology.

Elizabeth Papish

Elizabeth Papish is an assistant professor of chemistry at Drexel University, where her research seeks to mimic the structure and function of important metalloenzymes. These structures could provide catalysts for green chemistry applications. She holds a B.A. in chemistry from Cornell and a Ph.D. from Columbia.  

Mike Parker

Mike Parker is a technical adviser for ExxonMobil Production Company’s Upstream Safety, Health, and Environment organization. He provides technical support and guidance to ExxonMobil affiliates worldwide on a range of issues, including drilling and production discharges, underground injection control, spill prevention and control, facility decommissioning, artificial-reef programs, marine environmental issues, and carbon capture and storage.

Currently, Parker is assigned to XTO Energy, an ExxonMobil subsidiary, as the hydraulic fracturing–issues manager, and he chairs the American Petroleum Institute’s Hydraulic Fracturing Workgroup.

Parker is a graduate of the University of Texas and Texas A&M University and is a registered professional engineer in Texas and Louisiana. He also serves on the board of directors of the Armand Bayou Nature Center.

Wayne Ranbom

Wayne Ranbom headshot

Wayne Ranbom is the director of research and development for the functional additives business of Arkema. In this position he leads worldwide research in polymers and materials with an emphasis on polymer initiation and crosslinking, improving the impact and processing of polymers, organometallic chemistry, and chemical-vapor deposition and transparent conducting oxides. He earned a B.S. in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Minnesota.

Ron Reynolds

Ron Reynolds headshot

Ron Reynolds is a senior advisor to the president of CHF, where he works with the president on strategic issues. He is also a member of CHF’s leadership team. Before joining CHF, Reynolds worked for Sunoco, Inc., where his most recent position was director of acquisitions and business development for the chemicals division. In his career at Sunoco he also had responsibility for various financial, manufacturing, and research functions. He holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Lafayette College, an M.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, and an M.S. in environmental engineering from Drexel University.

Jody A. Roberts

Jody A. Roberts headshot

Jody A. Roberts is the director of the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at CHF. His own work explores the intersections of emerging molecular sciences and public policy and the ways in which tensions brought about between the two get resolved. He  received advanced degrees in science and technology studies from Virginia Tech, where he cultivated an interest in the practice of the molecular sciences and the ways in which they are shaped by internal architecture and design (e.g.,  technologies of the laboratory) and the politics of the broader world (e.g., chemical regulations). He has taken those interests as the basis for the projects that form CHF's Environmental History and Policy Program, which explores social, technical, and policy innovations for governing molecules. Before becoming the first manager of the Environmental History and Policy Program, he was the Charles C. Price Fellow and Gordon Cain Fellow at CHF. He also holds an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Saint Vincent College.

Mike Sanford

Mike Sanford is a research manager in DuPont’s Central Research and Development organization. Since 2006 he has been leading DuPont’s efforts to develop technology to convert lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol.  

Sanford began his professional career as a petrochemicals process-design engineer for CE Lummus before pursuing his Ph.D. He has worked for DuPont since 1987 in research and management roles in a variety of areas, including fibers, composite materials, polymers, biomedical applications, and digital printing.

Sanford received a B.S.E. in chemical engineering from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware.

Ian Shankland

Ian Shankland is vice president and chief technology officer of Honeywell Specialty Materials, a global leader in high-performance specialty materials. These products include fluorocarbons, advanced fibers and composites, specialty additives and films, customized research chemicals, electronic materials and chemicals, and technology and materials for petrochemicals, refining, and renewable fuels.

Shankland, who joined Honeywell 29 years ago, has held a number of positions in R&D and business development. Before taking his current position in June 2009, he was director of technology for Specialty Materials’ Fluorine Products business, a leader in the manufacture and supply of non-ozone-depleting refrigerants, blowing agents for energy-efficient foam insulation, hydrofluoric acid, and precursors for nuclear fuel. While with Fluorine Products, he led technology programs for successful commercialization of a number of environmentally improved fluorocarbon products. In 2008 he was awarded the Perkin Medal by the Society of Chemical Industry for these accomplishments.

In his current role Shankland is responsible for R&D, new product development, and piloting for Honeywell’s Specialty Materials business.

Shankland earned his doctorate in physical chemistry from Adelaide University in Australia and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University, where he worked for three years with Joseph Kestin before joining Honeywell. He is named as an inventor on 50 patents and has published numerous technical and scientific papers.

James M. Tour

James Tour headshot

James M. Tour, a synthetic organic chemist, received a B.S. in chemistry from Syracuse University, a Ph.D. in synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry from Purdue University, and postdoctoral training in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University. After an 11-year stint with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina, he joined the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University in 1999, where he is currently the T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, a professor of computer science, and a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science. Tour’s scientific research interests include nanoelectronics, graphene electronics, carbon nanovectors for medical applications, “green carbon research” for enhanced oil recovery and environmentally friendly oil and gas extraction, graphene photovoltaics, chemical self-assembly, flame-retarding polymer additives, carbon composites, synthesis of single-molecule nanomachines, and methods for retarding chemical terrorist attacks. He has over 400 research publications and 50 patents.

In 2009 Tour was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was ranked one of the top 10 chemists in the world over the past decade by a Thomson Reuters citations-per-publication index survey. In 2008 he won the Feynman Prize in Experimental Nanotechnology as well as the NASA Space Act Award for his development of carbon nanotube–reinforced elastomers.

Tour is a cofounder of NanoComposites, Inc., which specializes in nanotube-based composites and a cofounder of RJAC-10, makers of the JAC line of corrosion-inhibitor coatings. He also is the founder and principal of NanoJtech Consultants, which performs technology assessments for prospective investors. He serves on the board of directors of Ariel Ministries.

Baskut Tuncak

Baskut Tuncak is a staff attorney with the Chemicals Program at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), where he focuses on U.S. and international law and policy. Before attending law school Baskut spent several years working as a synthetic chemist for small- to medium-sized biopharmaceutical and synthetic biology companies, specializing in DNA synthesis. He has represented CIEL in international negotiations on chemicals management and intellectual property. Baskut has spoken on technology transfer, human rights, and climate change at various meetings and conferences of the United Nations, including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the World Intellectual Property Organization. He is participating in multi-stakeholder dialogue on climate change and intellectual property, and serves on the international advisory committee for Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors.


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