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Opening Plenary Speakers

Closing Plenary Speakers

Speaker Biographies

Phil Wirdzek, President and Executive Director, I2SL

Photo of Phil WirdzekA career employee of 27 years with EPA, Mr.Wirdzek began laying the foundation of the Labs21 program in the early 1990s, working as the national energy and pollution prevention coordinator for EPA's own laboratories. In 2004, Mr. Wirdzek formed I2SL, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation with a mission to promote the education and exchange of design, engineering, and operational practices for high-performance facilities.

President Rachid Benmokhtar Benabdellah, President of the Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco

Rachid Benmokhtar Benabdellah is president of Al Akhawayn University, Morocco, a position to which he was appointed by Late King Hassan II in June 1998. Benmokhtar started his career with IBM France in 1967. In 1973 he co-founded the first Moroccan consulting company for computer science and management. In 1978, he founded a Moroccan subsidiary of Parsons Brinckerhoff. He served as Moroccan Minister of Education from February 1995 to March 1998. Benmokhtar is a member of the Hassan II Academy of Science and Techniques, Chairman of the Scientific Committee in Charge of the Human Development of the 50th anniversary of Moroccan independence. He is a member of the committee of experts on Public Administration of the United Nations and President of the Moroccan Foundation for Nature and Mankind.

Richard Kidd IV, Program Manager, Federal Energy Management Program, U.S. Department of Energy

Photo of Richard KiddRichard Kidd joined FEMP in July 2008, bringing with him a diverse set of management, leadership, and diplomatic skills gained through work experience in over 70 countries and service in a variety of public and international organizations. After receiving a Masters Degree in Public and Private Management from Yale University, Richard joined the United Nations in 1993 and served in a variety of international assignments. He twice served as the UN World Food Programme's senior most representative within a country, and played a key leadership role in the supply chain re-engineering efforts at two UN organizations. Returning to the United States in 1999, Richard led a unique consortium of non-governmental organizations in a pioneering effort to conduct comprehensive socio-economic surveys of the impact of dangerous munitions and weapons in post-conflict countries. Following the events of 9/11, he was recruited by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Political Military Affairs. In 2003 he assumed the duties of Office Director in the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement. As office director he twice served as Head of Delegation to two major UN multilateral negotiations and managed a program budget in excess of $126 million with activities in more than 30 countries. In June 2007, he was selected to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs (acting) where he oversaw the functions of four separate offices the activities of which included treaty negotiations, operational coordination with the Department of Defense, and post-conflict response. Additionally he was Bureau's senior executive responsible for business administration and budget activities. During this entire period Richard remained current on developments in the field of alternative energy, renewable energy and energy security, collaborating, where appropriate, with organizations active in these areas.

Luis A. Luna, Assistant Administrator
Office of Administration and Resources Management, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Photo of Luis A. Luna, Assistant Administrator, Office of Administration and Resources Management, U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyLuis A. Luna is the Assistant Administrator responsible for Administration and Resources Management at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He serves as the Agency's chief human capital officer, chief acquisition officer, chief environmental officer, and chief energy and transportation management officer. He is responsible for overseeing 17,000 employees, 10 million square feet of office and laboratory space, $4 billion a year in grants, and $1.2 billion in annual purchases of goods and services. Luis was nominated for the post by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Prior to joining EPA, Luis was head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of Community Development in its Rural Development program. He also served for 10 years as executive director of the Greater Salisbury Committee, a nonprofit organization that acts as a catalyst for community improvement on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Luis worked for 11 years on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant and counsel for members of both the Senate and House of Representatives. During the Reagan Administration, he served as a policy advisor at the Consumer Product Safety Commission and as an attorney-advisor in the Department of Justice. Luis has a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and a law degree from Georgetown University.

Closing Plenary Speakers

Joe Phillips, Phillips Collaborative, LLC

Photo of Joe PhillipsJoe Phillips is president of Phillips Collaborative, LLC. He serves the science and technology community through the design and management of mission-critical facilities, integrating infrastructure with operations. Joe has worked in management and project delivery for leading architectural
and engineering design firms on projects worldwide for 20 years and has been a scientist and operations manager for the prior 15. He started Phillips Collaborative, a specialized
professional services firm, in 2004 to more directly and accurately represent the unique demands of research and operations in complex capital facility planning and management.


Julie Higginbotham, Laboratory Design Newsletter

Photo of Julie HigginbothamJulie S. Higginbotham has been editor of Laboratory Design newsletter, an Advantage Business Media (ABM) publication, since 1997. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois University and has been a business journalist for more than two decades, with a concentration on architecture/engineering/construction topics. Before joining ABM, Julie was managing editor of School and College Planning and Management magazine. She is the recipient of multiple awards for journalism, including the prestigious Jesse H. Neal Award, known as the "Pulitzer Prize of the business media."

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