TheChallenge

The vulnerability of global oil supply lines and infrastructure has saddled the United States with the burden of securing the world’s oil supply – threatening our economic and national security. Similarly, American diplomacy is distorted by the need to minimize disruptions to the flow of oil. Too often, oil dependence requires us to accommodate hostile governments that share neither our interests nor our values, putting both the United States and its allies at risk. In addition, our dependence creates substantial economic risks. Every American recession over the past four decades has been preceded by—or occurred concurrently with—an oil price spike.

TheSolution

The key to eliminating dependence on oil is through the transportation sector, which accounts for more than 70 percent of our oil consumption and is 92 percent reliant on petroleum fuels. An electrified transportation system is powered by a wide variety of domestic sources: natural gas, nuclear, coal, hydroelectric, wind, solar, and geothermal. Additionally, electricity rates are low and stable, insulating consumers and commercial or public fleets from volatile oil markets.

OurStaff

Our staff is comprised of experts in transportation planning, the electric vehicle technology sectors, communications, policy, advocacy campaigns, consumer engagement, private sector engagement, and other strategies, all giving the EC the ability to support the mission of ending our oil dependency by electrifying the U.S. transportation sector.
Robbie Diamond
Robbie Diamond

Founder, President, and CEO

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Robbie Diamond

Robbie Diamond is the Founder, President and CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE). In 2006, he came together with Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, and General P.X. Kelley, USMC (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the Marine Corps, to form SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of prominent business leaders and retired senior military officers dedicated to combating the nation’s dangerous dependence on oil. Since then, SAFE and the ESLC have been at the forefront of the energy policy debate, successfully helping to shape legislation in 2007 and shepherd a new, comprehensive energy bill through the Senate Energy Committee in 2009.

Diamond is also the President and CEO of the Electrification Coalition, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit group working to accelerate the adoption of plugin electric vehicles to improve our national and economic security. The Coalition was launched in November 2009, and as its first official act, released the Electrification Roadmap, a sweeping report outlining a vision for the deployment of a fully integrated electric drive network.

Prior to his roles with SAFE and the Electrification Coalition, Diamond served as Deputy Director of Community Outreach on Senator Joe Lieberman’s 2004 presidential campaign. Before that, Diamond was a Director at the Washington firm Fontheim International LLC, working in all practice areas of the firm. Prior to coming to Washington, he worked with senior executives at Seagram Spirits and Wine Group on special projects.

Diamond earned an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in Peace and Conflict Studies and Political Science, as well as a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School.

Ben Prochazka
Ben Prochazka

National Director

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Ben Prochazka

Ben joined the EC as the Director of Strategic Initiatives, developing all EC programs outside of the beltway. Since 2013 Ben has continued to lead these efforts, now as the organization’s National Director. Ben has spent more than a decade working on environmental, human rights, and voter engagement efforts. His experience includes leadership roles as the Campaign Director for the Save Darfur Coalition, the Legislative Director for the Colorado Environmental Coalition, the Colorado State Director for the New Voters Project, and numerous public interest campaign efforts as the Western States Field Organizer for U.S.PIRG.

Prior to his experience at SAFE and the Electrification Coalition, Ben served in the role of Vice President at FieldWorks, a national political consulting firm. While at FieldWorks he led projects for a diverse group of corporate, non-profit, academic, and political clients. This included programs with SolarCity, the Environmental Defense Action Fund, and a recent joint pilot with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of California at Berkeley – Haas School of Business – to test encouragement models for federally funded low income weatherization.

Before joining FieldWorks, Ben served as the lobbyist for the Colorado Environmental Coalition (CEC) a statewide group representing more than 100 environmental, public health, and religious organizations. As lobbyist Ben was responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of the conservation community agenda at the legislature. During Ben’s two years with CEC, the conservation community passed over 100 “pro-conservation” bills including several first-in-the-nation efforts.

Ben also directed successful field and fundraising programs for national campaigns on behalf of The Save Darfur Coalition, The Genocide Prevention Project, the Human Rights Campaign, Dream for Darfur and many other national organizations. Ben also led numerous large scale rallies, grassroots advocacy campaigns, volunteer activities, and visibility events involving as many as 100,000 people.

Natalia Swalnick
Natalia Swalnick

Senior Director, EV Programs

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Natalia Swalnick

Ms. Swalnick has a decade of experience and knowledge in public policy issues related to transportation and energy. She manages the planning and execution of projects that support the accelerated adoption of plug in electric vehicles (EVs) and smart mobility for the Electrification Coalition. This work includes EV accelerator communities in northern Colorado, Orlando and Rochester as well as supporting the Smart Columbus program in Ohio. Natalia has expertise in consumer adoption tactics and workplace charging in the EV market, and manages national fleet electrification efforts.

She has worked as a private sector consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), spent 6 years as a DOE Clean Cities Coordinator, and served on the policy team in the office of former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. Under Natalia’s leadership with Clean Cities, the coalition displaced more than 22 million gallons of petroleum. Furthermore, Natalia has been appointed to several State of Colorado steering committees, such as the Regional Air Quality Council and the Colorado Technical Advisory Committee for DC Fast Charging, to share her expertise of the EV market.

Natalia is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute. She is also a professionally trained facilitator. She earned her Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Colorado at Denver. Natalia is a past recipient of the “Clear Skies Award” by the American Lung Association in Colorado for recognition of excellence in promoting air quality and environmental health, and was honored with the 2012 Award for Outstanding Community Leadership and Achievement for a Cleaner Environment from the Colorado Renewable Energy Society.

Sue Gander
Sue Gander

Managing Director, Electric Vehicle Policy

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Sue Gander

Sue Gander serves as Managing Director of Electric Vehicle Policy for the Electrification Coalition. She leads the planning and execution of policy work, accelerating the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles on a mass scale across local, state and federal levels. Prior to joining EC, Sue directed the Energy, Infrastructure and Environment Division at the National Governors Association for over a decade, spearheading policy support for the transformation of the energy and transportation sectors. Sue also served at the U.S. EPA, first as Outreach Director for the State and Local Climate Change Program and then as a Program Manager for the Clean Energy and Environment Partnership Program, and at the Center for Clean Air Policy, as Manager of Government Relations and Public Affairs and as a Senior Policy Analyst, where she led initiatives on ozone and climate change.

Alyssa Siddiqui
Alyssa Siddiqui

Managing Director, Corporate Relations

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Alyssa Siddiqui

Alyssa Siddiqui is Managing Director of Corporate Relations at Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE). She is responsible for identifying and implementing innovative strategies to enhance SAFE’s profile, expand its donor base, and develop new opportunities for engagement and growth.

Alyssa joined SAFE after over a decade at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, most recently as the Senior Director of Corporate Relations, where she led the strategy and execution of an integrated fundraising plan to achieve an annual revenue goal of over $9 million. She managed high-level corporate recruitment of new members, expanded relationships with existing clients and key stakeholders and launched the Let’s Rebuild America infrastructure initiative. Alyssa also oversaw the U.S. Chamber’s largest signature event, The Aviation Summit, held annually in Washington, DC which attracted over 900 attendees and participants, including top CEOs and industry leaders.

Alyssa began her career at the National Park Foundation working on the capital campaign for the Flight 93 National Memorial Fund. She graduated from Colby College with a Bachelors of Science in Government. She is a member of the Advisory Council, German American Aviation Heritage Foundation.

Jackie Burman
Jackie Burman

Director, Operations and Finance

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Jackie Burman

As the Director of Operations and Finance, Jackie works closely with the CEO and Vice President of Development to oversee the day-to-day business operations and financial health of SAFE.

Prior to joining SAFE, Ms. Burman spent more than 4 years in Cape Town, South Africa where she assisted a wide range of non-profit organizations in reaching their funding goals. During her time abroad, she also helped create a fundraising academy to provide young adults with the skills necessary to begin careers in development. She worked in both marketing and fundraising in DC before this.

Ms. Burman holds a Bachelor of Art’s Degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and Masters’ degrees in business administration and Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University.

Adam Snider
Adam Snider

Communications Specialist

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Adam Snider

Adam Snider joins the Electrification Coalition as the Communications Specialist, where he will focus on sharing the organization’s story and promoting media coverage of the mission to electrify the U.S. transportation sector. He has worked in various aspects of transportation policy since 2008, with experience in communications, advocacy, and journalism.

Prior to joining the EC, Adam served as director of public affairs for the American Association of Airport Executives. Before that, he reported on congressional and regulatory action on motor vehicle, highway, transit, aviation and port issues at Politico, where he was an original founding author of the Morning Transportation newsletter. Adam’s reporting at Politico was cited by the Nieman Journalism Lab and the Washington Post. He began his career at BNA, where he was a transportation reporter and congressional calendar editor. Adam has a B.A. in English from Clemson University.

Andrew Linhardt
Andrew Linhardt

EV Program Manager – Policy

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Andrew Linhardt

Andrew Linhardt joins the EC as the EV Program Manager – Policy. In this role, Andrew is responsible for implementing the Coalition’s EV policy program in select states around the country. Prior to joining the team, Andrew spent 6.5 years at the Sierra Club, most recently as the Deputy Director of the Clean Transportation for All campaign. In this role he led the transportation team in defense of the CAFE and GHG standards for cars, as well as worked to advance EV policies at both the state and national levels. In addition he has worked on international finance issues related to clean energy. Before joining the Sierra Club, Andrew worked for a Member of Congress from NY handling a portfolio consisting of energy, environment, and transportation issues. He has a BA from SUNY Albany in political science, and an MPP in Climate and Energy from George Mason University.

Sarah Reed
Sarah Reed

Program Manager

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Sarah Reed

Sarah Reed is an outreach and engagement organizer at the Electrification Coalition. She is responsible for guiding public and private fleets through the transition to electric vehicles and specifically supports the EC’s Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative. Sarah was previously a program coordinator for the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), where she managed NARC’s largest federal grant, Fleets for the Future. Sarah coordinated the project which made alternative fuel vehicle procurement more affordable and streamlined for public fleets. She also tracked legislative issues that matter to NARC’s members, including transportation and economic development.

Prior to NARC, Sarah completed an environmental planning internship with a consulting firm working on large public infrastructure projects. Ms. Reed also worked at the National Center for Sustainable Transportation organizing research releases and information sharing between researchers and policy makers. She has a B.S. in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from the University of California, Davis.

Matt Stephens-Rich
Matt Stephens-Rich

Program Manager

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Matt Stephens-Rich

Matt has worked in transportation, energy, and alternative fuels since 2012 at the local, state, and federal level. Matt works as Electric Vehicle Specialist for the Smart Columbus program, and coordinates various electric vehicle fleet deployments and charging initiatives, while also providing insight to consumer adoption. Collectively, these efforts help Columbus achieve a Smart City status that has reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector through electrification and decarbonization.

Prior to joining the Electrification Coalition, Matt served as Project Manager at Clean Fuels Ohio, the nation’s largest U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Clean Cities Coalition.  In this role, Matt helped hundreds of fleets across Ohio cut their dependency on petroleum through deployment of alternative fuel and fuel efficient technologies, helping secure over $25 million in state and federal grant funding through the process. Matt was also a lead grant writer for the City of Columbus’ Smart City Challenge Grant Application. Matt holds a Masters in Public Administration from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University with a focus in Energy Policy, and a B.A. in Communication with Public Relations Certification from the University of Cincinnati.

Matt currently serves as Vice Chair for the Energy and Air Quality Working Group at the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Founding Chair of the Young Professionals in Energy Columbus Chapter, and was recognized as “Person to Know in Energy” by Columbus Business First in 2017.

Alissa Burger
Alissa Burger

Program Manager

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Alissa Burger

Alissa joined the Electrification Coalition in March 2020. She will serve as a Program Manager supporting the work of both the Policy Team and a project focused on freight electrification.

Prior to joining the EC, Alissa was the Senior Policy Advisor, Energy & Climate for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC). In that role she was responsible for the implementation of PEC’s ongoing decarbonization initiative, working with state and national stakeholders to achieve deep carbon and greenhouse gas emission reductions in Pennsylvania.

While with the Center for Sustainable Energy, based in Los Angeles, Alissa, Policy Manager for Distributed Energy Resources, led engagement with the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by participating in various proceedings related to energy efficiency, building performance, and distributed energy resources.

Alissa joined the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) in July 2014. Based in Washington, DC, she was a Senior Associate working within the Building Energy Performance Policy Program to advance the role of energy data in shaping current and next generation energy efficiency policies and practices. She worked to support policy and practices that advance access to building energy information. Via a range of IMT’s programming, Alissa collaborated with policymakers, utilities and leaders from the clean energy sector to determine how data can inform new approaches and solutions to energy efficiency.

Prior to joining IMT, Alissa worked for The German Marshall Fund of the United States overseeing the successful execution of the Energy Transition Forum, an initiative aimed to advance transatlantic leadership on scalable and innovative policy and business solutions to achieve a secure, affordable, and low-carbon energy future.

Alissa has had the opportunity to work intimately on both city and state policy; focusing on transformative market mechanisms, clean energy investment, urban innovations, and climate resiliency. She finished an energy fellowship with the Clean Energy Leadership Institute in Spring 2014, an organization devoted to elevating the next generation of clean energy leaders.

Alissa is originally from Pittsburgh. She holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Knox College and a M.S. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Aaron Viles
Aaron Viles

Program Manager

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Aaron Viles

Aaron Viles is a program manager for the Electrification Coalition, focused on helping accelerate community efforts to increase adoption of EVs. He is based in Lexington, KY.  With over 20 years of experience in advocacy, Aaron comes to the EC from a stint in electoral politics, recently working with the Kentucky Democratic Party. Aaron brings experience with environmental, energy, and online advocacy to the EC team. He is currently the volunteer chair of the board of directors of Healthy Gulf, a New Orleans-based regional environmental group.

Will Drier
Will Drier

Policy Analyst

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Will Drier

Will is a Policy Analyst for the EC Policy Program. His work is focused on conducting research and analysis to help leaders and decision makers create ambitious policy opportunities to advance the EV market.

Before joining the Electrification Coalition, Will worked as an EV Research Analyst with Navigant Research, a market research and consulting firm. While there, he led the Commercial Transportation Electrification research suite, providing qualitative and quantitative market analysis and technical insights. Prior to his work at Navigant, Will served as a Program Manager for Smart Commute Metro North, working with local stakeholders to drive behavior changes and reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips.

Will holds a Master of Public Administration from the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences from the University of Idaho.

Bradley Nelson
Bradley Nelson

Policy Analyst

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Bradley Nelson

Brad is a Policy Analyst for the ACCC and State EV Policy programs at the EC where he is responsible for providing technical research and analytical support for the EC’s city and state policy work to accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles. Brad has extensive experience supporting numerous organizations in the energy, sustainable transportation, and climate field while also completing a Graduate Capstone Project on EVs & US Energy Security. Prior to joining the EC full time, Brad worked as an intern for the EC supporting the organization’s efforts to transition US fleets to electrified vehicles. He also worked as an intern at SAFE where he analyzed policies and market trends in the sectors of EV’s, petroleum, and autonomous transportation. Additionally, he served as a Summer Scholar with the National Governors Association’s Department of Energy, Environment, and Transportation and previously interned with both The American Security Project, focused on US energy security & economic competitiveness, and the Center for the National Interest, focused on climate security and US Middle East Policy.

Brad is based in Denver, CO and has an MA in Security Policy Studies, focused on energy and technology policy, from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University, a BA in Political Science from Denver University, and recently received a Graduate Certificate in Global Energy Finance from The University of Colorado Denver Business School.

Cher Griffith Taylor
Cher Griffith Taylor

Outreach and Engagement Organizer

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Cher Griffith Taylor

Cher Griffith Taylor joins the EC with over 7 years of experience in the energy sector, particularly on enhancing access, affordability, and the transition to a sustainable energy economy. She previously led grid modernization advocacy in Maryland for a national nonprofit, leveraging the collective power of the state’s public-interest, community-based, and environmental action organizations to influence regulators on grid investments that support distributed energy solutions — including transportation electrification. Her advocacy has increasingly focused on ensuring equitable access to the benefits of investments in emissions-free transportation.

Prior to that, Cher spent several years living in Jamaica, where she co-founded a consulting firm to support international development projects in the island’s energy sector. Her work in the Caribbean similarly focused on the transition to clean energy, reducing illegal resource abstraction, and enhancing energy access and affordability. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Middlebury College in Vermont.

Travis Buholtz
Travis Buholtz

Electric Vehicle Technical Advisor

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Travis Buholtz

Travis is an Electric Vehicle Technical Advisor for the Electrification Coalition. His current work is focused on advising specific American Cities Climate Challenge (ACCC) cities on vehicle electrification strategies. Travis’s previously held a fellowship with the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Resilience, where he worked as Electric Vehicle Technical Advisor to expand the city’s EV fleet, EV charging infrastructure, and support initiatives that accelerated regional EV market growth. Before that, Travis was an intern on the Rochester Electric Vehicle Accelerator Program in Rochester, NY. His duties there included EV consumer education through presentations and Ride and Drive events, cultivating an extensive volunteer group for event staffing, and designing programmatic marketing materials and website content. Travis is based in Atlanta, GA and holds a BS in Environmental Studies from SUNY Binghamton.

Jared Walker
Jared Walker

Technical Lead, Fleet Electrification

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Jared Walker

Jared Walker is the Technical Lead of Fleet Electrification at the EC where he is responsible for providing technical fleet management and operational support to the team. With 10+ years in fleet management at LeasePlan, a global leader in mobility, he is well equipped to support the effort to electrify private and public fleets. Having held multiple positions at LeasePlan, Jared’s experience is varied and diverse. From providing lease services to large industrial corporations to single-vehicle leases for small businesses, he provides creative solutions that fit the needs of the customer. Jared is based in Atlanta, GA and has a BA in Corporate Communications from Duquesne University.

Torin Spencer
Torin Spencer

Electric Vehicle Specialist

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Torin Spencer

Torin Spencer is an Electric Vehicle Specialist for the Electrification Coalition. His work is focused on supporting the American Cities Climate Challenge in Orlando as well as working directly with Orlando Utilities Commission on customer electric vehicle adoption.

Torin has been in the automotive sector for the last few years. He has been a sales representative at two Orlando area auto dealerships and worked directly with the public. In years prior, he assisted with conservation projects as a zoologist with the Walt Disney Company. Torin is a native Floridian originally from Tampa. He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science.

Sarah Fischer
Sarah Fischer

Electric Vehicle Specialist

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Sarah Fischer

Sarah Fischer is an Electric Vehicle Specialist for the Electrification Coalition. Her work is focused on supporting the Climate Mayor’s EV Purchasing Collaborative in facilitating fleet electrification across the country. 

She has worked in energy and alternative fuels since 2015, most recently completing an AmeriCorps term serving at the City of Cincinnati’s Office of Environment and Sustainability.  At OES, she helped implement an energy management system for 400+ municipal utility accounts and assisted in the creation of an electric vehicle educational program called EV Cincy. Prior to that, Sarah also worked in LEED for Homes consulting, nonprofit communications and event planning, and energy efficiency program management. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Sustainability Economics & Business and a minor in Nonprofit Management from the Ohio State University. 

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Contact the Electrification Coalition’s expert staff to learn more about our programs, our approach, opportunities to get involved, and more.

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