Marie C. Donnelly B.Sc. Pharm., M.P.S.I., M.B.A.
Director of Renewables, Research and Innovation and Energy Efficiency, European Commission’s DG Energy

Throughout her thirty year career in the European Commission, Marie has been a leading advocate of future oriented policies and strategies – most recently to accelerate the energy transition.

As the Director for Renewables, Energy Efficiency and Innovation, at DG Energy in the European Commission, she formulated key elements of the ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package designed to put energy efficiency first, achieve global leadership in renewable energies and provide a fair deal for consumers.

Earlier roles involved framing an overarching policy for the Pharmaceutical industry including Good Clinical Practice and the establishment of the European Medicines Agency, currently located in London; and policy responses particularly for business and employee adaptation to change stemming from globalisation and technological innovation.

Marie is currently a member of the Governance Committee of MaREI, the marine and renewable energy research, development and innovation Centre supported by Science Foundation Ireland and coordinated by the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at University College Cork. She is also serving on the Steering Committee of the International Energy Research Centre (IERC), a state of the art facility established to implement new science in the energy space and hosted at the Tyndall Institute.

As a European Advisory Board Member of the Hawthorn Club, the only International Network for professional women in the energy industry, Marie advances the appointment of women to senior positions and mainstreams gender equality, with an emphasis that equality is for both women and men.

Cynthia S. Dubin
Board Director of Babcock & Wilcox

Cynthia has been active in the energy sector for more than 25 years. She is currently a board director of Babcock & Wilcox, a NYSE listed company established in 1867 who is a global leader in advanced energy and environmental technologies and services for the power and industrial markets, with operations, subsidiaries and joint ventures worldwide. Revenues $1.6 billion, Assets $1.5 billion, 5,000 employees plus 2,500 joint venture employees for the year-end 31 December 2016.

She was the Finance Director for JKX Oil & Gas plc from the end of 2011 to early 2016. JKX is a Main Board Premium Listed London Stock Exchange oil and gas exploration, development and production company who is the most experienced western operator in Ukraine and an early mover into the independent gas sector in Russia. For the year ended 2015, it had assets of $263 million, revenues of $88.5 million and 764 employees.

Between 2006 and 2011, Cynthia was a co-founder and the CFO of a start-up oil and gas company called Canamens. She and her co-founders raised significant funds, evaluated over 200 opportunities, created a portfolio of assets operating out of offices in the UK, Norway and Kazakhstan, and implemented a monetization strategy for the private equity backers in 2010.

Cynthia started her career as a banker in New York specializing in advising and lending to large energy projects. She moved to London in January 1992 where she was hired by California-based Edison Mission Energy, one of the largest global independent power developers, to finance the growth of their portfolio of energy investments in Europe. Cynthia became Vice President and Finance Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa and at the time of the sale of this business she had raised and managed over $6.5 billion of financing.

Cynthia graduated from Georgetown University and completed additional studies at Brasenose College, Oxford and Vanderbilt University. She spent two three-year terms on the Georgetown University Board of Regents, completed Harvard Business School’s course Making Corporate Boards More Effective, has a Certificate in Company Directorship from the UK Institute of Directors, and has lectured at Warwick Business School.

Pernille Holtedahl
Founder, Blue Maia, London

Ph.D economist with 20 years of project and policy experience in energy and climate change. Pernille has recently set up Blue Maia as an independent consultancy offering advisory services to private and public-sector clients. Her areas of expertise are:

  • Financial and economic due diligence of energy projects
  • Green Bonds
  • The financing and economics of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and biomass energy projects
  • Assessment of energy investment programmes in developing countries
  • Public-private finance of environmental conservation initiatives
Bernardine Maloney
Head of Corporate Affairs at ESB

With over 25 years experience in the energy business Bernardine has held a number of Senior positions in ESB including Manager, Clean Coal Strategy and Manager Moneypoint Power Station, Irelands largest Coal Fired Generating Plant. ESB is Irelands foremost energy provider and owns the Transmission and Distribution Electricity Network, 48% share of electricity generation and a 38% share of the customer retail market across the Island of Ireland. In the UK ESB’s electricity generation activities include windfarms, and thermal plants including Carrington a 860 MW CCGT Power Station outside Manchester and is currently constructing a 40MW Biomass Plant at Tilbury a joint project with the Green Invest Bank. ESB has also just launched its retail business in the UK, ESB Energy, a Smart Energy Services Business and is currently installing Taxi EV Charge Points for Transport for London.

ESB International is ESB’s engineering and consultancy business which has completed projects in over 115 countries worldwide.

Victoria Merton
Director of Corporate Affairs, The Peel Group

Victoria is responsible for delivery of the corporate strategy for The Peel Group, one of the most diverse private infrastructure investment companies in the UK with assets owned and operated of over £5Bn.

The Peel Group has been at forefront of developing and delivering low carbon energy for the UK through a portfolio of wind, marine, biomass, solar, energy-from-waste and gas and oil projects. At the heart of its portfolio is PROTOS, an energy, innovation and industry exemplar which is part of the Cheshire Energy Hub’s Energy Innovation District.

Prior to joining Peel in 2007, Victoria worked for private and public entities in the UK and Asia. Her experience includes co-ordination of strategic asset divestment, commercial development of emerging markets and energy infrastructure trading.

Tania Songini
Finance Director, Siemens UK

Tania is half-Italian, half-English, grew up in Africa, has lived her adult life in Italy, Germany and the UK and traveled extensively in Latin America and Asia.

Tania worked with Siemens from 1997 until 2015 where, after joining the company as a commercial bid and project manager, she progressed to hold a number of Finance Director roles in Siemens Postal Automation, Siemens Healthcare and Siemens Energy. Between 2011 and 2015 Tania was the Group Finance Director of Siemens Energy in the UK and the Controller for Siemens Energy Region North West Europe (4 billion EUR business).

Since leaving Siemens, together with working as a consultant for her previous employer, Tania has built a portfolio of Non-Executive Director roles including Thrive Renewables plc (a renewable energy developer and operator), LondonEnergy (operator of a large waste to energy plant), BOND (the association of British NGOs working in international development) and more recently the Private Infrastructure Development Group (a multi-donor organisation fostering infrastructure investment in developing countries).

Since 2003 Tania has also been active as a Board Member of ViaNinos Germany and UK, a charity that supports projects helping street and working children in Ecuador.