Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

3/30: The Future of Transportation

Date and Time
Monday, March 30, 2020 - 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Virtual via Zoom conferencing software


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What are the most daunting roadblocks for decarbonizing the transportation sector in the United States—and how can we get around them? The Duke University Energy Initiative will host a lively virtual conversation on the future of transportation. 

A panel of industry experts will discuss topics like charging infrastructure, regulatory issues, supply chains, and more. Panelists will also offer advice to students on preparing for transportation sector careers. There will be plenty of opportunity for audience Q&A, too.  

This event is open to all, including students, faculty, and staff at Duke and other universities; Duke alumni; and others who are interested. Advance registration is required; registrants will receive a URL and instructions prior to the event. 

Speakers include: 

Husein Cumber (T'97) (Moderator) 

Husein Cumber is the Chief Strategy Officer for Florida East Coast Industries, LLC (FECI). He is responsible for guiding major capital projects from conception through development, which includes Brightline. Brightline is the first privately owned and operated intercity passenger rail system in the U.S. in over 100 years. Brightline started passenger service from Miami to West Palm Beach in 2018 and will expand service to Orlando in the next few years. A second passenger rail system, XpressWest, is now in development and will connect southern California to Las Vegas.

Husein supports Fortress Transportation & Infrastructure, where he is involved with several development efforts at Repauno Port & Rail Terminal (New Jersey), Jefferson Energy Terminal (Texas) and the Long Ridge Energy Terminal (Ohio). Specific projects include the construction of new facilities on the Delaware River for natural gas liquids, a pipeline-rail transloading facility in the Marcellus and Utica Shale region, and a new crude oil dock on the Neches River, Texas.

At New Fortress Energy, Husein works with the business development team focused on the delivery of liquid natural gas to domestic and foreign markets. He led the pre-development activities for the first liquefaction plant in Florida and for the conversion of FEC Railway's locomotives from diesel to natural gas.

From 2005 to 2009, Husein served as an Assistant to the Secretary for Policy and as Deputy Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).

He has been involved in the community throughout his career. He served as Vice Chair of JEA, the eighth largest community-owned electric utility company in the United States and the largest in Florida. Husein is a graduate of Duke University and holds a bachelor of arts degree in U.S. national security.

Nathan Hsieh (T'14) 

Nathan Hsieh serves as a Project Lead for The Mobility House, where he has built valuation and pricing models for 2nd-life EV batteries in stationary storage applications, and implemented new revenue-generating products. Having graduated from Duke University with a degree in mathematics, and studied religion and energy/environment, he first got engaged with global energy issues as a Princeton in Asia Fellow in Mongolia, where he assisted in the financing, development, and operation of nationally strategic energy resources and related infrastructure. He also started up a social enterprise called Smart Air Mongolia, which educates on and provides the most affordable solutions to indoor air pollution.

Daniel Ketyer (T'16) 

Daniel Ketyer currently manages corporate development and strategy initiatives at d.light, an off-grid solar energy firm in Nairobi. He was most recently a consultant in Deloitte's M&A strategy practice in New York City, where he advised strategic and private equity investors on acquisition and organic growth opportunities in energy, automotive, and other industries. He also led Deloitte's Future of Mobility Community. Daniel graduated from Duke University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in public policy studies; as a student, Daniel founded the Duke Energy Club.


Lisa Poger 

Lisa Poger joined Duke Energy in 2018 as Electric Transportation Manager for North Carolina to assist electric vehicle program implementation and outreach and education efforts for the advancement of transportation electrification across Duke Energy's North Carolina service territories.

She formerly worked at Advanced Energy North Carolina where she managed electric transportation projects and led the North Carolina statewide electric vehicle collaborative, Plug-in NC, which brought together industry supporters and stakeholders to identify and address barriers affecting electric transportation market-transformation. In her role at Advanced Energy she worked closely with electric utilities and other industry stakeholders to support electric vehicle growth, deployment of electric vehicle fueling infrastructure, and the creation of utility programs to manage new EV charging loads.

Prior to joining Advanced Energy, Lisa worked at Pacific Gas & Electric Company in northern California, where she managed emergency demand-side curtailment programs and enrollment for large commercial and industrial accounts.

Ben Rogers 

Ben Rogers is a Venture Partner at Braemar Energy Ventures, as well as an energy and environmental entrepreneur who advises, raises capital, invests in or takes part as active management in a broad range of energy companies and technologies. Ben's investment and business experience ranges from energy efficiency, electrification of transportation, demand response, DER management, power asset management, energy storage, power plant development, solar and wind asset development. Ben's broad and deep set of experiences and relationships come from regulated utilities, merchant power development and power trading, electricity and natural gas origination, investment banking, private equity and venture capital. Ben holds degrees from both the University of Chicago (MBA) and The Catholic University of America (BA-Economics).