Joel H. Moser is the Chief Executive Officer of First Ammonia, a Climate Tech company that is a leader in the production of green ammonia (ammonia produced from water and renewable power) which is critical to achieving a carbon emissions free future as a carbon-free transportation fuel, a solution to the intermittency challenge of renewable power and as a pathway to the decarbonization of agriculture. Moser is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a founding and executive committee member of the Advisory Board of the Columbia University Global Energy Policy Center. Moser is an infrastructure expert for the Global Future Council of the World Economic Forum, he served as a member of the Expert Committee for the World Bank Group’s 2018 Procuring Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships Report and is serving as a member of the Expert Committee for the World Bank Group’s Benchmarking Infrastructure 2020 study. He served on the Council on Foreign Relations’ study group on transatlantic relations and as a member of the Brookings Institution Governance Studies’ working group on inbound US foreign direct investment by sovereign wealth funds. Moser’s career has spanned multiple aspects of the energy industry and infrastructure development. Prior to the formation of First Ammonia, Moser led Aquamarine Investment Partners, an investor and developer focused on the energy transition and decarbonization. Prior to his work at Aquamarine, Moser practiced law at global law firms, recognized as a leading individual lawyer in Projects by Chambers and served as a Senior Partner and practice leader in international energy and infrastructure. Moser was lead issues advisor for H. Carl McCall’s 1993 election as New York Comptroller and then served as counsel and advisor to the transition team. Following the tragedies of 9/11, he was appointed as pro bono infrastructure counsel to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the umbrella agency charged with rebuilding at the Ground Zero site. He served as lead counsel to the NY Mets in the development and award-winning financing of the team’s new stadium. Moser is a contributor to the public discussion of energy and infrastructure investment issues. His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Columbia FDI Perspectives, Brookings Institution Governance Studies, World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda, and Columbia Political Review, among others. He has served as a columnist for Forbes on investment in energy and infrastructure. Moser has served as a trustee of many institutions including Bank Street College, Children’s Museum of the East End, Citizens Budget Commission, Red Cross of Greater New York, NYSCI (New York Hall of Science), and Alliance for Downtown New York. Moser served for over a decade as a member of the Advisory Council of the New York State and Local Retirement System. A native New Yorker and father of four, Moser resides in New York City and Los Angeles with his wife, Dr. Wednesday Martin, an author and cultural anthropologist.
Kevin Barnes has more than 10 years experience in projects ranging from waste to energy to 2nd Generation Bioethanol, eMethanol, Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), pyrolysis, biogas and more. Barnes headed the process engineering department for two specialty lube refineries in Germany, and has technology, permitting, operations, and project development and execution experience establishing new products in existing refineries in Asia and the US, to building new brown field plants in Germany and Asia, handling internal and external technologies and patents. Barnes worked for Ørsted’s Green Waste Solution team, with roles of Project Director for the Malaysian Renescience waste recycling technology pipeline and the upgrade of the first commercial scale Renescience plant in the UK and heading the EPC department within Green Waste Solutions. He was most recently part of New Power Partners’ green transition effort where he directed the development of green transition projects includingproject development and maturation, managing technical due diligence processes for renewable and advanced fuel projects on behalf of large institutional investors. Barnes holds a BS in Environmental Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg.
Joanna Basilio joined Aquamarine Investment Partners in 2019 to manage internal operations and worked across teams to implement various internal systems for project management before pivoting to a commercial role. Basilio liaised with transactional teams and outside advisors to negotiate favorable terms for successful financing and led efforts to source and apply for global grant and federal loan programs. Prior to that, Basilio had over a decade of experience in training and operations at Inditex, the world’s largest retailer. There, she managed a tri-state region for three Inditex brands, supervised the deployment of RFID technology across US locations, oversaw about 100 direct reports, and managed teams for fifteen branch openings. She holds a BA double major in History and Political Science from CUNY-Hunter College.
Elizabeth Dahl worked at Aquamarine Investment Partners from 2014 to 2021 with First Ammonia CEO Joel Moser. She worked on developing large scale chemical and energy projects including a $5bn clean methanol facility in the U.S. Gulf Coast. At Aquamarine, she led and established all corporate infrastructure including fund management, banking, and compliance upon Aquamarine's seed investment of $250 million. She managed Aquamarine’s transactional team through diligence of various energy and infrastructure investments including a $167 million social infrastructure project with contingent approval of a federal loan program and managed execution of Aquamarine’s maiden investment in the U.S. Dahl is a member of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy Women in Energy Program and holds a BA in Economics and Business from New York University.
Colin Flemming has over 30 years of experience in finance, account control and compliance. He previously worked for Christofferson Robb & Company as the Chief Financial & Compliance Officer, and held other roles including financial account control, administration and compliance. Prior to CRC, he was Chief Financial Officer at Benedetto Gartland & Company a boutique investment bank focusing on capital raising for buyout funds and providing advisory services on M&A, financial restructuring, and private placement.
Ann-Kathrin Merz brings a deep understanding on the future of the hydrogen economy from research experience at the Center for Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and on the ICEF Low-Carbon Ammonia Roadmap for the Japanese government. She also worked on climate policy and hydrogen at the European Parliament and the Boston Consulting Group. Merz studied energy politics while completing her BS in International Politics at Georgetown University. She further studied the political, technical, and financial dimensions of the energy transition through a Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University.
Fariaz Rabbani joined First Ammonia in 2022. He coordinates and anticipates company needs to effectively support the growth of the global team. His previous background and experience are in sales and client-facing roles, which is crucial to managing external relationships to maximize efficiency of the team. He is passionate about the company’s mission and is also a trained actor. He has a BS in Psychology with a concentration in counseling, from CUNY Queens College.
Lee Raymond has over 20 years of project management experience. He spent the last 10 years planning and managing project development of methanol and ammonia facilities, including identifying sites, defining project scope, risk assessment and mitigation plans, and coordinating with authorities for various environmental studies and other permitting requirements. From 2013 to 2020, Raymond led project development on a Topsoe joint venture in the US. Raymond holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences from Anglia Ruskin University.
Chris Rogers has over a decade of research & analytics experience in the areas of neuro-/behavioral economics, capital markets, commodities, corporate investment banking and institutional portfolio management. He has worked in and led teams at leading financial companies such as Fisher Investments, BNY Mellon and BNP Paribas. Chris graduated from the University of Oregon with Honors in Economics and as a Centurion Award recipient – the highest academic recognition at the university.
Ralf Schaaf has has 40 years of experience in engineering, permitting and developing chemical projects around the world. He started his career with the German Federal Environmental Protection Agency in Air Pollution Control and Industrial Safety, developing legal standards, as well as evaluating and assessing environmental technologies. He was the Head of the Environmental Technology Department at Kinetics Technology International and became Managing Director for Mannesmann KTI GmbH (acquired by Technip), a company specializing in gas fired boilers and furnaces for the hydrocarbon processing and chemical industry. Based in Berlin, Schaaf has been essential during the diligence process for First Ammonia’s Germany projects. He was involved in site visits, permitting applications, and liaising with government bodies and utility companies.
Matthew Wittman previously worked at Christofferson Robb & Company, where he spearheaded the fund's investments in renewable energy, beginning in 2006 with the acquisition of 338MW of onshore wind, which was financed by the first securitization of wind energy: CRC Breeze Finance. In 2007, the fund acquired Thanet Offshore Wind, a 300MW project in the UK, which they developed and sold to Vattenfall AB in 2008. Since then, CRC has invested in credit protection on €3 bn of bank loans to renewable energy projects. Wittman has a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Columbia University, and a BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge.
Leon De Graaf heads the Energy and Climate practice since November 2020 at #SustainablePublicAffairs, a Brussels-based public affairs agency that helps sustainable frontrunners to advocate for more ambitious EU environment and climate policy to make sure their practices become the market norm. In that capacity, he focuses on heavy industry and power decarbonization, most recently on the EU’s 2040 climate target, the reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and Carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), critical raw materials act (CRMA), net zero industry act (NZIA), and many EU policies related to boosting the market for renewable hydrogen and ammonia.
Before joining #SustainablePublicAffairs, Leon worked at the association BusinessEurope for 5 years, where he was responsible for getting the entire European industry behind the ambition of climate neutrality in early 2019. He was also the main coordinator on circular economy and led BusinessEurope’s annual delegations to the international climate negotiations (COP22-25).
Robert Eckels has the professional and legal experience of bringing large projects to completion on budget and on schedule. He is a practicing attorney and of counsel to the national law firm of Husch Blackwell, LLP. Having served on the boards of publicly traded and private companies as well as governmental agencies, Robert Eckels is well-versed in corporate governance, stakeholder, and shareholder issues.
Robert’s professional career is built on a foundation of public service, He served six terms in the Texas state legislature before being elected County Judge of Harris County (Houston) and served on advisory committees to President George W. Bush and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. As county judge, Robert Eckels earned a reputation as a national leader in issues of transportation, public finance/public private partnerships (P3), crisis management, disaster preparation, response and recovery, homeland security, and the environment.
Sofie Ja'afar is the Chief Financial Officer of the BellAziz Group. She oversees and manages portfolio investments across energy, infrastructure, and telecom. From 2014-2022, she held the same role at Aquamarine Investment Partners as anchor investor focused on US energy transition investments managed by CEO Joel Moser.
Prior to joining BellAziz, Ms. Jaafar oversaw various business finance operations at Brunei Shell Petroleum related to drilling, wire-line services and offshore production operation including capital deployment, project implementation and management and oversight on audit and controls.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from the University of Huddersfield.
Juan Carlos Jobet is Chile’s former Minister of Energy and Mining and was recently appointed as Dean of the School of Business & Economics at Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez.
He led Chile’s successful energy transition, including a thorough carbon neutrality plan for the energy sector, a phase out plan for all coal power plants, the accelerated deployment of solar and wind capacity, the development of key transmission infrastructure, Chile’s first energy efficiency law, and an ambitious green hydrogen strategy to position Chile as a top global producer and exporter. In the mining sector, he developed Chile’s first comprehensive mining policy: a long-term strategy built with participation of all relevant stakeholders, that sets a vision for a sustainable, competitive and green mining.
As energy minister, he played leadership roles in several international organizations and initiatives, including as chair of the Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation 2021, and as co-chair of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition.
Hunter Johnston has a leading practice focused on renewable energy and decarbonization policy as well as carbon capture and sequestration policy. Hunter's legal experience over a 35-year career includes representation of clients on matters involving legislative, regulatory, and transactional practice areas with a particular focus in public policy and project finance regarding energy, tax, and decarbonization practice areas.
His deep experience working with the Congress, the Department of Energy, the Department of Treasury, and other agencies provides expertise to guide his clients through a wide range of regulatory and legislative matters. Hunter also retains substantive experience representing clients in his native state of Louisiana, and he has a broad knowledge of gulf coast business and politics.
He is focused on opportunities for the transition to a blue and green economy through policies to support decarbonization.
Andres Rojo’s career in finance spans over 35 years at global banks - JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and HSBC (New York, Madrid and London) - in asset management, trading and strategic advisory, with a focus in sustainable projects and energy. Rojo held roles of Managing Director since 2001, and Vice Chairman (Latin America) for HSBC Securities, NY.
Rojo provided strategic net worth advisory to Latin American family groups and conglomerates, as well as financial advice to early companies with leading clean and transition technologies.