Judi Greenwald
Executive Director

Judi Greenwald is the Executive Director of the Nuclear Innovation Alliance.

Ms. Greenwald has over 35 years of energy and environmental policy leadership experience in the public and nonprofit sectors, including the U.S. Congress, the White House, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES, formerly the Pew Center on Global Climate Change). Highlights of her distinguished career include working on the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments as congressional committee staff; overseeing energy and environmental programs at C2ES and DOE; co-founding the Carbon Capture Coalition; advising U.S. state and regional greenhouse gas initaitives; and collaborating with stakeholders to advance both economic and environmental goals.

She has focused extensively on deep decarbonization through the interplay of public policy, technology innovation, human behavior, and markets. She served as Deputy Director for Climate, Environment, and Energy Efficiency at US DOE's Energy Policy and Systems Analysis Office, and the Senior Climate Advisor to the Energy Secretary. She is a fellow at Princeton University's Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. Ms. Greenwald received a B.S. in Engineering, cum laude, from Princeton University, and an M.A. in Science, Technology, and Public Policy from George Washington University.

Dr. Patrick White
Patrick White, PhD
Research Director

Patrick White is the Research Director of the Nuclear Innovation Alliance where he leads NIA’s research as well as analysis-based stakeholder and policymaker engagement and education. His technical background includes expertise in advanced reactor licensing strategies, regulatory modernization at the NRC, nuclear fuel cycles, and nuclear system safety.

Patrick has completed his PhD in Nuclear Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with his doctoral thesis on licensing methods and regulatory frameworks for commercial fusion technology. He was a graduate researcher on the 2018 MIT "Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World” study, co-authoring report sections on licensing issues related to advanced nuclear reactor deployment. He subsequently received his M.S. in Nuclear Science and Engineering from MIT in 2019 with his thesis research on advanced reactor regulatory pathways.

Patrick has worked in the commercial nuclear sector as an engineer with MPR Associates in Alexandria, VA. His nuclear experience includes safety assessments of modifications at existing nuclear power plants, design evaluations of components at new nuclear power plants, and co-authoring an ERPI report on transitioning existing baseload nuclear power plants to flexible power (or load following) operations. Prior to working at MPR Associates, Patrick received his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012.

Brittany Lutz
Policy Program Manager

Brittany Lutz is a Policy Program Manager at the Nuclear Innovation Alliance, where she manages a portfolio of research projects, stakeholder engagement and advocacy, with an emphasis on regulatory modernization at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Her background includes both technical research and policy work in nuclear technology and radiological sciences. 

Brittany has extensive experience in technical and programmatic aspects of nuclear weapons effects modeling. During her tenure at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, she developed and led new initiatives to enhance technical capabilities of nuclear modeling software. Brittany's work included leading briefings and analyses during high-profile military exercises and engaging with senior military leaders to inform real-time decisions. 

Brittany holds a Master of Science in Materials & Nuclear Engineering from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She is currently pursuing further graduate studies in Medical Physics at Virginia Commonwealth University in collaboration with Los Alamos National Laboratory. 

Erik Cothron
Erik Cothron
Senior Nuclear Analyst

Erik Cothron is a senior analyst for the Nuclear Innovation Alliance where he helps create the conditions for advanced nuclear reactor success through research projects, stakeholder engagement, and policy advocacy.

Prior to joining the Nuclear Innovation Alliance, Mr. Cothron was an energy consultant for Guidehouse, working with the U.S. Department of Energy on its energy efficiency program. He has experience developing federal regulations, performing engineering and market analysis, interacting with stakeholders, and ensuring compliance with DOE regulations for commercial equipment. He also volunteers for the Nuclear Alternative Project, a non-profit organization aiming to bring advanced nuclear energy to the island of Puerto Rico.

He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in material science and engineering from Virginia Tech, along with a graduate certificate in nuclear engineering and a concentration in nuclear materials. 

Zach Koshgarian

Zach Koshgarian is an analyst for the Nuclear Innovation Alliance.  His research, stakeholder engagement and advocacy focus on state policy, project finance, and advanced nuclear energy policy more broadly, to help NIA achieve its mission. 

Zach completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas, where his thesis provided a political framework for commercializing the Integral Fast Reactor, an advanced nuclear reactor technology. He completed his M.Sc. at The New School, earning a degree in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management with a minor in Design and Urban Justice. Throughout his graduate work, he continued his research in the nuclear arena, frequently writing papers that interrogated the nuclear energy supply chain and outlined the externalities of various stages of nuclear energy generation. His thesis analyzed high-level nuclear waste management practices in leading nuclear power nations, mapping best practices for safe and environmentally just nuclear waste management. 

Devin Watts
Devin L. Watts
Operations Manager

Devin L. Watts is the Operations Manager for the Nuclear Innovation Alliance and Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp.  She focuses on planning, program implementation, and operations. 

Ms. Watts comes to NIA with over twenty years of diverse experience including recruiting, business development, program management, training, process development and delivery for effective and efficient workflow, management of multi-functional groups, customer service, and liaison with internal and external stakeholders. She has managed services and operations for many organizations, with a focus on early-stage and entrepreneurial small businesses and nonprofits with passionate and purposeful people. Her professional style is based on problem solving through excellent interpersonal communications and development and implementation of best practices.

Mya Zepp
Mya Zepp
Innovation Coordinator

Mya Zepp is the Innovation Coordinator for the Nuclear Innovation Alliance.  She plays a key role in ensuring the overall effectiveness and efficiency of NIA’s mission-driven initiatives. Her multifaceted position involves assisting with various NIA communication and operations efforts and providing comprehensive support to the NIA team’s tasks and projects.   

Mya graduated from the University of Maryland in December of 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Government and Politics. In the future she plans to go back to school to pursue a Ph.D. in political science to explore research into voting, the environment and more.  

 Mya was one of the first Danielle Emche 2023 Summer Interns for NIA, where she worked on a variety of projects. Prior to joining NIA, she worked as a journalist at organizations like The International Center for Journalists, NewsBreak and News Not Noise. She enjoys working with nonprofit organizations and is always striving to help our planet in any way possible. 

Marc Chupka
Marc Chupka
Senior Fellow

Marc Chupka is a Senior Fellow for the Nuclear Innovation Alliance.

Marc founded Trailhead Energy Consulting in 2022 to assist clients in analyzing emerging technology, dynamic markets and shifting regulations. Prior to founding Trailhead, Marc was the Vice President of Research and Programs at the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA). He managed the Association’s educational materials, industry data, and analytical resources to support ESA’s policy priorities, and led ESA’s Corporate Responsibility Initiative Task Force.

Marc has over 35 years of experience analyzing the market impacts of both domestic and international energy and environmental policy, including serving as the acting Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs for the U.S. Department of Energy and as chief economist at the White House Office on Environmental Policy.  Marc consulted on a broad range of energy issues for utilities, trade associations, and investors as a principal at The Brattle Group, focusing on issues related to grid resilience, clean energy, and climate policy.

Stephen Greene
Stephen Greene
Senior Fellow
Stephen Greene is a Senior Fellow at the Nuclear Innovation Alliance, and an energy and finance executive with extensive experience in commercial and policy issues related to energy.
In addition to his role at the Nuclear Innovation Alliance, Mr. Greene is consultant on energy and finance issues and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center. Through 2019, he held senior finance roles including Chief Financial Officer and head of Corporate Development and Strategy for Centrus Energy, a public company engaged in the sale of nuclear fuel and the development of nuclear enrichment technology. He led strategy for Progress Energy, an investor-owned electric utility, and served as practice-area leader for the consultant Pace Global Energy focused on energy markets and risk management. He arranged project financing for PG&E National Energy Group (U.S. Generating Company), a leading independent-power developer and energy trader, and subsequently developed the company’s power-market outlook to support project development. Early in his career he worked at USEPA on air-pollution rules.
Rama Ponangi
Rama T. Ponangi
Rama T. Ponangi is a Fellow at the Nuclear Innovation Alliance, and is an India-trained lawyer specializing in nuclear law and policy. Prior to joining to NIA, Rama worked as a Research Assistant under Professor Donna Attanasio, Director, Energy Laws, The George Washington University Law School, where he organized a 4-day conference titled “Investable Nuclear Energy” covering topics of Environment, Social and Governance aspects of nuclear energy, supply chain for the advanced nuclear reactors, future of the nuclear technology, garnering public support and role of academia in shaping next generation of nuclear law and policy experts. 
In the past, Rama interned at the Office of Legal Affairs, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, Austria, where he primarily assisted its Legislative Assistance activities such as reviewing the draft nuclear legislation of Member States and assisted in conducting bilateral and multilateral meetings such as Role of a Legal Advisor in a Regulatory Body and International Nuclear Liability Expert (INLEX). Rama also undertook research on the topic of safety, security and liability aspects of Transportable Nuclear Power Plants (TNPPs).
Rama has completed his Bachelors in Law - B.A.,LL.B. (Specializing in Energy Laws) from University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun, India. He has completed a diploma in International Nuclear Law from the International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL), University of Montpelier, France organized by Nuclear Energy Agency, OECD. Rama has completed his Masters in Law - LL.M. in Energy and Environmental Laws from The George Washington University Law School as GW Merit Scholar and Randolph C. Shaw Environmental Graduate Environmental Fellow. Rama has completed several other niche certifications in nuclear energy and law. 
Rama is also a Research Associate at the Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University.
In Memoriam: Danielle Emche
In Memoriam
Danielle Emche, Project Manager

Danielle Emche was a project manager at the Nuclear Innovation Alliance. Danielle passed away unexpectedly in August 2022. She was a wonderful colleague - nice, smart, and a person you could depend on. Her work on federal policy, especially on Nuclear Regulatory Commission reform and Department of Energy innovation, helped enable advanced nuclear energy as a climate solution. We at the NIA mourn her loss.

In honor of her tremendous contribution to our mission, NIA has established the Danielle Emche Memorial Internship and Fellowship Fund. Emche interns and fellows will pursue nuclear innovation policy project at NIA and will be selected based on their potential to make major contributions to enabling advanced nuclear energy as a climate solution. You can donate to the Fund by selecting the "Danielle Emche Memorial Internship and Fellowship Fund" option on the NIA donation page here.