Center for Strategic Communication

Panel Three: What is to be Done? Public and Private Sector Solutions


Date: February 4, 2015
Time: 3:15pm – 4:30pm
Location: 1100 New York Avenue, NW 7th Floor, West Tower


Join ASP and our panelists in a discussion about energy security issues in the Caribbean.

The future of the Caribbean can be bright, thanks largely to plans being implemented now to increase energy security. Donors and multilateral finance institutions are working to put in place new solar, wind, and smart grids. The US Departments of Energy and State are intensively working on a new Caribbean Energy Security Initiative that partners directly with Caribbean governments. Meanwhile, businesses are finding immediate solutions to the urgent economic challenge of costs by replacing oil with natural gas and its derivatives.


Panelist: Natasha Vidangos

Natasha Vidangos

A scientist by training, Dr. Vidangos is the Senior Western Hemisphere Energy Officer at the U.S. Department of State, in the Bureau of Energy Resources.  As the regional officer for the Bureau’s Energy Diplomacy pillar, she is a lead on bilateral and regional initiatives in all energy forms, from global oil markets to incentivizing of renewable energy development.   She was part of the core team that supported the recent Caribbean Energy Security Summit, led by Vice President Biden, on January 26.  Dr. Vidangos holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and entered the State Department as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Policy Fellow.  Her dissertation elucidated the protein structure and DNA-binding of bacterial transcription factors from the hyperthermophilic bacterium, Aquifex aeolicus, using biochemical techniques, X-ray crystallography, and NMR spectroscopy.  She performed biochemical research in Buenos Aires as a Fulbright fellow, and received her B.S. in Chemistry from Yale University.


Panelist: Christopher Burgess

Chris BurgessChristopher Burgess is the Operations Manager for Smart Island Economies at the Carbon War Room. He has over 15 years of experience as an environmental professional and project manager with practice in a variety of multi-disciplinary energy and infrastructure projects. Chris brings a wealth of environmental, renewable energy and project management experience to his current role.

Before joining the Carbon War Room, Chris was the Chief Operating Officer at Alpha Energy, a renewable energy development company in Annapolis, Maryland.  At Alpha Energy, Chris was responsible for the company’s feasibility studies and overall project management for commercial and utility scale wind and solar installations.  He regularly managed multi-million dollar projects both domestically and internationally.

Chris also has previous experience as an environmental planner for new and reclaimed commercial site development, as well as a program analyst and team leader with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.  At the EPA, Chris provided operations support and technical assistance for environmental emergencies nationwide. He was instrumental to operations during EPA’s high profile responses, including Sept. 11th, Columbia Shuttle and the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

He earned his master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in Coastal and Environmental Planning from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.

Chris has been active in Maryland’s renewable energy policy progression through advocacy organizations such as the American Wind Energy Association, the Solar Energy Industry’s Association and the Business Network for Maryland Offshore Wind.  He has written and testified on several provisions for Maryland’s current renewable energy laws, including interconnection, aggregate net-metering and Maryland’s recently enacted Offshore Wind Energy policy.


Panelist: Luis Humberto Berrios

Luis Humberto Berrios serves as the Vice President of Tropigas de Puerto Rico, a leading supplier of LPG and related products and services.  Tropigas excels in commercial power generation, complex projects, energy efficiency and redundancy in Puerto Rico and neighboring islands.  With more than 13 years in the energy field, Mr. Berrios has most recently spearheaded initiatives to develop island-wide power generation projects leveraging alternative fuel sources.

Mr. Berrios has a degree in business administration from Bryant University and a JD from Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, School of Law where he was admitted to the Puerto Rico Bar Association in 1998.



Conference Details: Energy Security in the Caribbean: Unique Challenges

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