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Meet the Board of Advisors

Morgan Bazilian

Morgan D. Bazilian is Executive Director of the Payne Institute and Professor of Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines. Previously, he was Lead Energy Specialist at the World Bank. He has over two decades of experience in the energy, natural resources, and environmental policy and international affairs. He holds a Ph.D. in energy analysis and was a Fulbright Fellow. He is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations

Gwen Farnsworth

Gwen Farnsworth is the Deputy Director of Clean Energy State Advocacy for Western Resource Advocates. She was previously an associate research director at E Source in Boulder, Colorado, where she led a research team focused on energy efficiency and distributed energy program design, marketing, implementation, evaluation and regulatory policy. Farnsworth also previously worked as a research fellow at the RAND Corporation in California and as an intern at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria. She has a BA in Political Science and a BA in Russian Civilization from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MPh in Public Policy Analysis from the RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, California.


Baba Freeman

Baba Freeman is an ESG Researcher at the Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines. His current focus is on energy and development topics and policy interventions to boost investments in natural resource endowments in the context of geopolitics, political economy, and the ongoing energy transition.

He worked previously in the oil industry (Cobalt International Energy, Equinor) where he focused on business unit controllership, capital projects management, risk management, planning, budgeting, forecasting, and commercial due diligence. As a management consultant (Accenture, Booz, KPMG), he led sector reform, industry analysis, policy development, and business process improvement engagements in West Africa, the United States, and the Middle East. Over the years he developed a deep understanding of global macro trends and how they can impact business decisions and company performance.

Baba’s education covers a broad spectrum of areas pertinent to the energy and natural resources industry, with a bachelor’s degree in Geophysics, and master’s degrees in Mineral Economics and Natural Resources and Energy Policy from the Colorado School of Mines.

“Natural resources are still essential for economic growth and sustained national competitiveness in today’s world. The NREP program effectively introduces critical issues and perspectives to budding technical and business leaders to facilitate better stewardship of corporate and public assets for both current and future generations.”

Dan Haley

Dan Haley serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association. Previously, he was Vice President of Communications, Development and Strategy at EIS Solutions, a public affairs firm where he served as a consultant for numerous corporate and political clients, including oil and gas interests. Prior to that, Haley spent more than 20 years in the communications field, including 13 years at The Denver Post, where was the Editorial Page Editor. He also was Director of Corporate Communications for CoBank. A Colorado native, Haley has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Wyoming and sits on the Advisory Council to the USO Denver as well as the Colorado Advisory Committee for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.

Chris Hansen

Senator Chris Hansen represents Senate District 31 in the Colorado State Senate. He specializes in environment and energy economics, with 20+ years of experience in the global energy industry, and seven years in the Colorado General Assembly. He currently serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Prior to his work as an elected official, he was Senior Director at IHS Markit where he led a global portfolio of energy products, events and partnerships. Dr. Hansen holds a BSc in Nuclear Engineering from Kansas State University; a Graduate Diploma of Civil Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; a Master of Science in Engineering Systems from MIT; and a PhD in Economic Geography from Oxford University.  He is also the Co-Founder and Director at the Colorado Energy & Water Institute, and Founder of the Colorado Science and Engineering Policy Fellowship.

Mike King

Mike King is a principal manager at the 76 Group, a public affairs firm headed in Denver. Previously, he was the Chief of External Affairs at Denver Water, where he had also held the title of Chief Planning Officer. Before Denver Water, he was the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. He earned a J.D. Law degree from the University of Denver, a M.P.A in Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver, and a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Madelene McDonald

Madelene McDonald is a Watershed Scientist at Denver Water where she manages the utility’s wildfire preparedness programs. She works to protect Denver Water’s water supply and infrastructure from direct wildfire impacts and post-fire water quality contamination within a 2.5 million acre raw water collection system. Madelene serves on the national congressional Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission, the Jefferson County Wildfire Commission, and on the Board of Directors of Coalitions and Collaboratives. She is also involved in several forest health collaborative groups in Colorado, including the Front Range Roundtable, the Upper South Platte Partnership, the Watershed Wildfire Protection Group, and county wildfire councils. Madelene is a Colorado School of Mines alumni and holds a MS in Natural Resources and Energy Policy and a BA from Loyola University Maryland.

Lauren Poole

Lauren Poole is the Sustainability Coordinator at the Colorado School of Mines. Before Mines, Poole was the Executive Director of the Energy Efficiency Business Coalition, a nonprofit based in Golden that advocates for energy efficiency policy and utility financial incentives for homes and commercial buildings. Prior to EEBC, she wrote sustainability reports for companies and worked at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for their energy efficient buildings and solar/wind energy research programs. She has a Master of Business Administration and Sustainability from Marylhurst University in Oregon and a BA in Journalism and Political Science from the University of New Mexico.

“The NREP Program is important because it educates students about how science and engineering affect people and the environment and how policy will affect their work as future engineers and scientists.”

Kathleen Staks

Kathleen Staks is the Executive Director at Western Freedom, an organization that is working to enable the delivery of low-cost electricity and energy freedom to the West through an efficient and integrated grid system. Kathleen has extensive experience in policy and strategic engagement on a broad spectrum of bipartisan energy issues in the public and private sectors. She has worked in house and as a consultant on government and public affairs for a variety of energy and natural resources companies. Kathleen served as the Executive Director of the Colorado Energy Office under Governor Hickenlooper where she worked to broaden the influence and impact of the office by developing and securing bipartisan support for long-term funding while expanding wide-reaching relationships across the energy spectrum. Prior to that, Kathleen was the assistant director for energy and minerals at the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, where she developed and implemented oil and gas and mining policy across Colorado in coordination with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety, and the Governor’s Office.