The ESP management team is comprised of individuals who bring a diverse history of energy project development experience from successful careers advising or directly supporting some of the world’s largest and most respected corporations, law firms, governments, and financial institutions, as well as entrepreneurial and start-up companies that grew into substantial enterprises. These individuals have joined ESP not only for professional and financial reasons, but for the opportunity to create an enduring legacy for future generations.
General Wesley K. Clark (Ret.)
Non-Executive Chairman and Co-Founder
Gen. Wesley K. Clark is a businessman, educator, writer and commentator who is skilled in global military and peacekeeping matters as well as international energy and resource development issues. He was a candidate for President of the United States in 2003.
Gen. Clark serves as Chairman and CEO of Wesley K. Clark & Associates, a strategic consulting firm; Chairman of investment bank, United Global Resources; Senior Adviser for Energy, Blackstone Energy Partners; Co-Chairman of Growth Energy; and is a senior fellow at UCLA’s Burkle Center for International Relations. He is also Chairman of Clean Terra, Inc.; Director of International Crisis Group; and serves on numerous corporate boards. He has authored three books and serves as a member of the Advisory Boards for the Clinton Global Initiative’s Energy & Climate Change and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).
Gen. Clark retired as a four star general after 38 years’ service in the United States Army. He graduated first in his class at West Point (B.S.) and completed degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University (M.A.) as a Rhodes Scholar. While serving in Vietnam, he commanded an infantry company in combat, where he was severely wounded and evacuated home on a stretcher. He later commanded at the battalion, brigade and division level, and served in a number of significant staff positions, including service as the Director Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5). In his last assignment as Supreme Allied Commander Europe, he led NATO forces to victory in Operation Allied Force, saving 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing.
Gen. Clark’s awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Defense Distinguished Service Medal (five awards), Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, honorary knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments, and numerous other awards from other governments, including award of Commander of the Legion of Honor (France).
Gen. Wesley K. Clark
Rodney E. Slater
Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater helps clients integrate their interests in the overall vision for the transportation system of the 21st Century—a vision he set as Transportation Secretary to promote a safer, more efficient, environmentally sound and sustainable worldwide transportation infrastructure. Mr. Slater also helps state and local government clients address the vexing challenge of closing the gap between transportation demand and capacity, by employing public/private strategies and innovative financing solutions. Mr. Slater’s practice focuses on many of the policy and transportation objectives that were set under his leadership, including aviation competition and congestion mitigation, maritime initiatives, high-speed rail corridor development, and overall transportation safety and funding. He continues to embrace the framework he established as Secretary to lead visionary and vigilant Department of Transportation professionals in making transportation decisions that called for more open, collaborative and flexible decision-making across the transportation enterprise here and abroad.
Mr. Slater’s bipartisan and inclusive approach to problem solving has earned him tremendous respect and admiration on both sides of the aisle, enabling him to have one of the best relationships with the White House, Congress, and business, labor and political leaders worldwide in the history of the Department of Transportation (DOT). His work at DOT forever altered America’s and the world’s appreciation of transportation as more than just concrete, asphalt and steel. Mr. Slater brings the same strategic, results-oriented and collaborative approach to the practice of law.
As Secretary of Transportation under President Bill Clinton, Mr. Slater spearheaded several historic legislative measures over his tenure, including the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), which guaranteed a record $200 billion in surface transportation investment though 2003, and the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21), which provided a record $46 billion to improve the safety and security of the nation’s aviation system. Under his leadership, the federal transportation budget doubled and, in the Department’s “best in government” strategic and performance plans, the scope and definition of transportation was expanded to include a focus on safety, mobility and access, economic development and trade, the environment and national security.
Further, Secretary Slater oversaw the designation of the eleven proposed High Speed Rail Corridors across America and the institution of the Acela service by Amtrak along the Northeast Corridor. He played a leadership role in the Clinton Administration’s Partnership for a New Generation Vehicle Initiative, headed by Vice President Al Gore, along with other green economy initiatives championed by the Administration. Mr. Slater also helped shepherd the completion of the multi-modal Alameda Corridor in Southern California, the near completion of the Central Artery Third Harbor Tunnel in Boston and he encouraged varied intelligent transportation system projects and exploration of the promise of nanotechnology as relates to infrastructure improvements. Secretary Slater advocated and the DOT lead an effort to address the transportation access challenges faced by Americans with disabilities as well as mothers moving from welfare to work; and he promoted a renewed push to liberalize aviation relations between the United States and countries around the globe that resulted in a record forty (40) “open skies” agreements, including the first ever multi-lateral agreement among the U.S. and four APEC economies (Chile, Brunei, New Zealand and Singapore).
Previous to his tenure as Transportation Secretary, Mr. Slater served as Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, where—as the Agency’s first African-American Administrator in its century-long history—he oversaw the development of an innovative financing program that resulted in hundreds of transportation projects being completed two to three years ahead of schedule with greater cost efficiencies. Over that time, the federal highway budget increased an unprecedented 104 percent.
Secretary Slater is a past Senior Fellow with the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University; a fellow with the National Academy of Public Administration and a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and a NCAA Silver Anniversary Award recipient. He also is a member of a number of corporate and non-profit boards. The corporate boards include Atkins Global, Kansas City Southern Railroad, Southern Bancorp, Transurban, Inc and Verizon. Non-profit boards include the United Way of America (former Chairman), and the United Way Worldwide Board, the National Smithsonian Board and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History Board, as well as the National Urban League, Africare Inc., the Leon Sullivan Foundation, and the Arkansas World Trade Center.
Secretary Slater is married to Cassandra F. Wilkins, an attorney, and they are the proud parents of a daughter, Bridgette Josette.
• Chair of the Toyota North American Quality and Safety Advisory Panel
• Vice Chair of the Congressional Award Foundation
• Founding Partner, Washington Nationals Baseball Team
• Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation
• Former Administrator of the U.S. Federal Highway Administration
• Former Director of Government Relations, Arkansas State University
• Former Special Assistant for Economic and Community Programs to then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton
• Former Executive Assistant for Community and Minority Affairs to then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton
• Former Assistant Attorney General, Litigation Division of the Arkansas State Attorney General’s Office
• Former Secretary-Treasurer, Arkansas Bar Association
• Former Vice-Chairman and Senior Advisor of James Lee Witt Associates
University of Arkansas, J.D., 1980
Eastern Michigan University, B.S., 1977
Rodney E. Slater
Andrew Card has enjoyed a distinguished career, beginning in the mid-70s when he was elected to the Massachusetts State Legislature. A few years later he was tapped by President Ronald Reagan to serve as deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs. Card later served in President George H. W. Bush’s administration as assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff, where he managed the daily operations of the White House. He would go on to become the 11th U.S. Secretary of Transportation before being selected by then President-elect George W. Bush to be White House Chief of Staff, a position he held for nearly six years, making him the second longest serving Chief of Staff in modern history.
Mr. Card most recently served as President of Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire. Prior to this appointment, Card was acting dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, a position he held for several years. He was also executive director in the Office of the Provost.
On November 26, 2000, Andrew H. Card, Jr., was appointed to be Chief of Staff in the presidential administration of Texas Governor George W. Bush. Mr. Card was chosen because of his impressive service record in the public and private sector, including serving in the administrations of two former presidents.
From 1992 until 1993, Mr. Card served as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Transportation under President George Bush. In August 1992, at the request of President Bush, Secretary Card coordinated the Administration’s disaster relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Andrew. Later that year, Secretary Card directed President Bush’s transition office during the transition from the Bush Administration to the Clinton Administration.
From 1988 to 1992, Mr. Card served in President Bush’s administration as Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff. He managed the daily operations of the White House staff and participated in the full range of economic, foreign, and domestic policy development.
Mr. Card served in President Reagan’s administration as Special Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and subsequently as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, where he was liaison to governors, statewide elected officials, state legislators, mayors and other elected officials.
Prior to being named Chief of Staff for the presidential administration of Governor Bush, Mr. Card was General Motors’ Vice President of Government Relations since 1999. Mr. Card directed the company’s international, national, state and local government affairs activities and represented GM on matters of public policy before Congress and the Administration.
From 1993 to 1998, Mr. Card was President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Automobile Manufacturers Association (AAMA), the trade association whose members were Chrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation. The AAMA dissolved in December 1998.
He served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 19751983. In 1982, Mr. Card was named Legislator of the Year by the National Republican Legislators Association and received the Distinguished Legislator Award from the Massachusetts Municipal Association.
Mr. Card graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering. He attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and has received numerous honorary degrees and awards.
A native of Holbrook, Massachusetts, Andy, and his wife Kathleene, have three children and four grandchildren.
David Issroff is a principal at New York based City Hall Capital LLC, which was established initially to manage his family interests. CHC has subsequently expanded its operations to develop a capability to invest in and manage a wide range of asset classes including a growing property portfolio focused on the multi-family housing sector.
Born in South Africa, David was educated in the United Kingdom and the United States, where he graduated from Wesleyan University. Prior to moving to New York City in 2006, David was a Partner with Glencore International AG of Switzerland, where he was responsible for the global Ferro Alloys and Nickel Division of one of the world’s largest suppliers of a wide range of commodities to industrial consumers. In this capacity, David served as a non-executive Director of various public corporations in South Africa, Switzerland and the U.K., including Xstrata Plc from 2002-2006. David has over twenty years of commodity experience and continues to invest in the sector via private equity, structured financing transactions and public instruments.
Together with his wife Lisa, David founded the Issroff Family Foundation, whose primary mission is to provide support for youth primarily in Southern Africa in a tangible and sustainable way that will give them a basis for uplifting their lives and realizing their potential. David serves actively on the boards of various private portfolio investment companies and several non-profit organizations.
CEO, Director and Co-Founder of ESP; Chairman of GTLA Holdings, LP
Roger Williams is a highly accomplished international businessman and attorney, having started his career as a chemical and petroleum engineer, rising through the ranks of industry giant, Exxon. He brings a unique blend of business, legal and engineering strengths to the company.
Prior to joining Energy Security Partners, Mr. Williams founded and led International Biofuel Partners, a biofuels project development company, which merged into Vertichem Corporation in 2007. He spent the next five years building the green chemicals and biofuels development company as COO, and managing Vertichem’s R&D and project development staff in Singapore, New Zealand and Canada. Under his leadership Vertichem obtained nine different patents while advancing its technologies to the commercial demonstration stage.
For the preceding 16 years, Mr. Williams practiced law in Washington, DC, Singapore and Hong Kong, representing clients developing energy and petrochemical infrastructure projects, leading mergers and acquisitions, and handling complex energy litigation cases.
Mr. Williams led the Asia-Pacific practice of international law firm Troutman Sanders LLP, as Managing Partner of its Hong Kong office for four years. In addition to building a vibrant practice and managing an international team of legal professionals, he represented clients in the development and financing of power, energy and petrochemical infrastructure projects, and in resolving major contract disputes. Mr. Williams served as lead counsel to a major energy company in its U.S. $8 billion natural gas contract negotiations to fuel 1500 MW of power stations in the Philippines in order to anchor the overall exploitation of the giant offshore Malampaya gas field.
During his tenure with leading international law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Mr. Williams was resident in Singapore, Hong Kong and Washington, D.C., representing top-tier energy clients in M&A deals and infrastructure project development and project finance. He served as lead outside counsel to British Gas in the upstream development of the massive Tangguh LNG Project in Indonesia. He also acted as project counsel for gas, coal and liquid fuel-fired power stations developed in China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Brazil, Nicaragua and the United States.
Mr. Williams spent the first nine years of his professional career developing multimillion- and billion-dollar upstream oil and gas projects for Exxon. He led the reservoir development and financial modeling for Exxon’s U.S. $1.5 billion Mobile Bay natural gas project in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, he served as lead engineer for production and processing of more than 100,000 barrels per day of sour crude oil and associated sour natural gas, with stewardship responsibility for a U.S. $500 million capital budget.
Mr. Williams is a Solicitor of the High Court of Hong Kong, and Member of the District of Columbia and Alabama State Bars. He received his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law (1991, Alabama Law Review, Order of the Coif), M.E. in Petroleum Engineering from Tulane University (1991, Tau Beta Pi), and B.E. in Chemical Engineering from Vanderbilt University (1979).
President of GTL Americas, LP; Chief Development Officer and Director of ESP
Mr. Leon Codron is an extremely accomplished international oil and gas executive, formerly the President of ARCO Indonesia in Southeast Asia, and formerly CEO of Singapore Petroleum Company.
Mr. Codron is an entrepreneur and business leader with documented successes in producing strong financial performance, strategic positioning, and focusing and motivating organizations. He has led negotiations globally and maintains key relationships within host governments and industry. Mr. Codron is a builder and manager of multinational, world-class executive teams and work forces.
During his tenure at ARCO (now BP) from 1981-2000, Mr. Codron managed exploration and production activities in Asia, developed U.S. and international natural gas markets, expanded international oil marketing, and coordinated new country entry and business development.
As President of ARCO Indonesia, ARCO’s largest overseas subsidiary, he led the commercial negotiations and exploration phase of massive 24 Tcf Tangguh Project, the second largest (after Alaska) discovery in ARCO’s history. In addition, he was responsible for strategic planning to achieve financial and growth targets and developing the technical, managerial, and professional skills of a multiethnic/international workforce.
In 2000, Mr. Codron assumed the role of CEO & Director of Singapore Petroleum Company (“SPC”), where he repositioned this publicly listed refining and marketing company into an integrated oil and gas company. SPC achieved its third best operating results since listing when Mr. Codron returned the company to profitability in two years, despite a sharp downturn in the Asian downstream sector.
He has also successfully started a supply and logistics supply company and an oil lubrication distribution business in Angola in 2004.
Most recently, Mr. Codron served in the position of CEO for Asia Pacific Exploration Consolidated (2006-2010), an oil and gas exploration company funded by private equity and focused on Southeast Asia.
Mr. Codron holds an M.B.A., Marketing and Management and B.S., Business Administration (Magna Cum Laude), both from U.S. International University, San Diego, California.
Jeffrey M. Bigger
Chief Operating Officer of GTL Americas, LP; Chief Engineering Officer of ESP
Jeffrey Bigger brings 38 years’ experience in process engineering, technology development, engineering management and construction management in the oil & gas and petrochemical industries.
Most recently, he was Sr. Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, and Business Development Manager of Syntroleum Corporation (2000-2014) developing proprietary improvements to Fisher-Tropsch technology. He was responsible for forming Dynamic Fuels, a joint venture between Syntroleum and Tyson Foods, which built a $150 million facility to process animal fats, greases and vegetable oils into diesel using Syntroleum’s technologies.
Prior to Syntroleum, Mr. Bigger was Technology Manager and Facility Engineering Manager of ARCO (1978-2000), rising through the ranks and achieving a sterling track record of delivering process engineering solutions and constructing new facilities safely, on time and on budget.
From 1997-2000, he founded and led ARCO’s GTL team; designing, constructing and operating a world-class GTL technology demonstration facility to prove the technology.
Mr. Bigger holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Jeffrey M. Bigger
Sr. Vice President, Project Finance
Ashok Gupta has over 40 years’ experience in development and financing of energy infrastructure projects worldwide. His broad-based experience includes investment banking, corporate finance, management consultancy and project management.
Prior to ESP, Mr. Gupta formed Marlin Strategics, LLC in 2013, as a platform to provide advisory services for development and financing of energy infrastructure projects. Previously, he represented Mizuho Corporate Bank in Houston, as Sr. VP Project & International Finance, and led coordination with PE funds for investments in energy and infrastructure assets. He also held executive corporate finance positions at Stone Bridge Energy Partners, LLC, El Paso Corporation and Enron International.
Mr. Gupta has significant experience in non-recourse financing for large-cap projects, and successfully led cross-functional teams to close dozens of complex transactions, for an aggregate amount of over $50 billion. He also has a strong background in construction and project management of energy and infrastructure projects for major oil companies and local government authorities in India, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
Mr. Gupta earned an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin; an MS in Accounting from Cameron School of Business at the University of St. Thomas in Houston; and a BE degree in Civil Engineering from Jadavpur University in Calcutta, India.
Dr. William L. Davey
Chief Technology Officer of GTL Americas, LP; Senior Vice President, Technology of ESP
Dr. William L. Davey joins ESP with over 40 years of career experience in the areas of GTL, CTL, syngas generation systems and process engineering. He is considered to be an industry expert with vast engineering design and gas processing expertise advising sponsors and contractors for major energy infrastructure projects around the world.
Dr. Davey’s career history includes successful tenures with recognized firms such as Babcock Engineering, Fluor and AECI Engineering. He was responsible for the design, start-up and commissioning of PetroSA’s oil refinery and GTL facility in Mossel Bay, South Africa–the world’s first major GTL plant. Following this project, Dr. Davey joined the Sasol team to work on expansion of Sasol’s giant Secunda CTL and GTL facilities also in South Africa.
Dr. Davey served six years as Technology Director for Air Liquide/Lurgi on gasification and FT, including work on the Lurgi-PetroSA FT project (GTL.F1), developing a 1,000 bbl/day GTL facility using cobalt catalysts. He has served as Director of Gasification and CTL for Hatch, leading CTL and GTL feasibility studies.
Dr. Davey’s most recent post was senior technology officer at Casale AG of Switzerland where he worked to integrate Casale’s patented gasification technologies with FT synthesis processes to promote the development of new GTL business opportunities.
Dr. Davy holds a B.Sci., M.Sci. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa. He is the author of 15 patents and 21 technical papers on gasification and industrial processes.
Dr. William L. Davey
James M. (“Jim”) Wimberly
Sr. Vice President, Engineering and Economics of ESP
Jim Wimberly is a senior project development professional with more than 35 years of experience developing energy, infrastructure, biomass and agricultural projects around the world. He has managed all aspects of projects from inception to start-up, to commercial operations, including project development, engineering design, construction, operations, and business management. Mr. Wimberly is a specialist in energy systems (conventional and renewable), economic and financial analyses, energy and natural resources management, project start-ups, and technology development and commercialization. He has worked closely with the private sector, government agencies, academia, nonprofit organizations, and the environmental community.
Previously, Mr. Wimberly was Founder and President of BioEnergy Systems LLC, a renewable energy consulting firm and project development company. During his career he has managed more than 60 feasibility studies, designed comprehensive feedstock supply chains for utility-scale power plants and commercial-scale biorefineries, participated in the development, evaluation and commercialization of thermochemical conversion technologies (utilizing combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, and Fischer-Tropsch technologies and systems), and constructed numerous processing facilities worldwide. Mr. Wimberly’s international experiences includes North America, Central America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania.
Mr. Wimberly earned a Masters degrees in Business Administration/Engineering and a Bachelors degree in Engineering from Louisiana State University. He serves as Adjunct Professor for the University of Arkansas.
James M. (Jim) Wimberly
Gerardo P. (“GP”) Manalac
Consultant, Gas Supply, Product Sales & Risk Management
GP Manalac is a senior energy executive and entrepreneur with a track record of building energy trading companies and managing major energy infrastructure assets. He has extensive experience in trading natural gas, emissions, carbon and electricity and using derivatives and commodity hedging agreements to mitigate forward pricing risks for energy contracts. Mr. Manalac is also a skilled project developer and deal negotiator, as well as an experienced capital fundraiser using structured equity and debt financings.
Mr. Manalac founded and served for 10 years as President of Fulcrum Power Services, an energy management company servicing approximately 250,000 retail customers in Texas and managing 3,000 MW of power generation assets. He was also the Founder and President of Fulcrum Energy and CEO of Amigo Energy. In 2011, Mr. Manalac merged Fulcrum Power into Just Energy, a Toronto-based, TSX-listed retail electricity and natural gas trading and marketing company. As Executive VP of Just Energy, he led the full line of Fulcrum retail businesses as well as overseeing the company’s online marketing and carbon management and offset business. Prior to founding Fulcrum, Mr. Manalac served for many years as VP, Asset Management, with Dynegy.
Mr. Manalac earned his MBA from Rice University and holds a B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California.
Gerardo P. Manalac
Dr. Mahmoud El-Halwagi
GTL Technology Consultant and Chief Technology Advisor
Dr. Mahmoud El-Halwagi is an internationally recognized expert and consultant on GTL technology, known for his pioneering contributions in the fields of sustainable design and process integration. His research activities and consulting work focus on chemical processing efficiency improvements and optimization for cost-effective operations.
Dr. El-Halwagi currently holds the McFerrin Professorship in Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for excellence in teaching, research and service, including the American Institue of Chemical Engineers Sustainable Engineering Forum (AIChE SEF) Research Excellence Award and the National Science Foundation’s National Young Investigator Award.
A prolific writer as well as researcher, Dr. El-Halwagi is the author or co-author of four books and more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles, with particular emphasis on creative strategies that lead to productivity enhancement, yield improvement, debottlenecking, pollution prevention and energy conservation in GTL facilities, petroleum refineries, natural gas processing, and petrochemical facilities.
Professor El-Halwagi holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from UCLA, and M.S. and B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Cairo University.