Full Name

Executive Committee

Mr. Paul Doucette, GE Oil & Gas

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Paul Doucette was appointed as a RPSEA Board Member in Fall 2013.

Paul Doucette is a Global Public Policy leader for GE’s O&G business. In this position, Paul is responsible for the development and execution of growth strategies with regard to monitoring, influencing, and responding to government policy and for establishing collaborative research relationships with governments, universities and customers.

Prior to joining GE in 2007, Paul’s career includes roles with Cornell Companies, Inc. as Vice President of Public Affairs and Business Development; serving as Vice President of Ward Creative Communications; Director of Public and Government Affairs with Star Enterprise; and with Texaco in roles ranging from Sales to Director of Public and Government Affairs.

Paul served with the 2nd Bomb Wing, 2nd Air Force of the Strategic Air Command. He holds his Masters in Business Administration from Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, Louisiana and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Louisiana Tech University. He is a graduate of the Advanced Executive Development Program of the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University.

Paul is an avid long distance cyclist, logging thousands of miles each year. He enjoys spending time with his wife the 1991 National Teacher of the Year, Rae McKee and their five children and eight grandchildren.


Dr. Richard Bajura, West Virginia University

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Richard Bajura has served as a RPSEA Board member for several years.

Bajura has served as the Director of the WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy since 1994. He oversees programs of the NRCCE that average $10 million annually in awards in coal utilization, oil and gas extraction, alternative fuels, energy efficiency, and environmental impacts of coal and petroleum extraction and use and in drinking water and waste water services to small and rural communities. He established or led seven major interdisciplinary - inter-institutional research programs and multiple WVU campus-wide interdisciplinary programs addressing a wide range of energy applications from resource extraction to alternative fuels. His work in the area of coal utilization includes a focus on coal-to-liquids/coal-to-chemicals technology and geological storage of carbon dioxide. He established a research consortium for evaluating oil and natural gas resources in the Appalachian Region in cooperation with state geological surveys.

Bajura has served for 31 years at West Virginia University in various roles facilitating, leading, and managing energy and environment programs in research and technical outreach.

Bajura received his BS (1962) and Masters (1964) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and his PhD in Fluids Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1967.

He is a member of the National Coal Council, and the Coal Utilization Research Council, and a coordination team member for the US-China Clean Energy Research Center Advanced Coal Technology Consortium. He is a past vice-president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Basic Engineering Technical Group and previously served as Associate Provost for Research and the Research Integrity Officer for West Virginia University.


Mr. Herve Coutrix, Total E&P Research & Technology USA 

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Herve Coutrix was appointed as a RPSEA Board Member in Fall 2013.

Coutrix is the President and CEO of Total E&P Research & Technology USA, LLC, in Houston, TX.

He has held this role since August 2013. His responsibilities include: Identifying, constructing and leading R&D activities in the US, in line with Total’s strategy, as well as fostering a spirit of innovation and lateral thinking in addressing E&P operational challenges. 

Prior positions with Total include: Geophysicist in the Seismic Processing Department; Pre-salt 2G Asset manager in Gabon; Offshore Asset manager in Netherlands; Geosciences manager in Argentina; Head of Structural and Sedimentology Interpretation department and Deputy Vice President of the Exploration Technologies Division.

He holds an engineer degree in geology from Ecole Nationnale Supérieure de Géologie (ENSG engineering school) and an engineer degree in geophysics from École Nationale Supérieure du Pétrole et des Moteurs (ENSPM graduate engineering school). 


Mr. Jeff Harvard, Harvard Petroleum Company, LLC

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Jeff Harvard was appointed as a RPSEA Board Member in Fall 2010.

Harvard is the President of Harvard Petroleum Company, LLC., in Roswell, NM. He has held this role for 11 years. Harvard is responsible for company growth through optimization of existing properties, identification of new drilling and production property acquisitions for reserve replacement.

Prior positions with Harvard Petroleum Company include: Drilling and Operations Engineer and Vice President.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.


Dr. Richard C. Haut, Houston Advanced Research Center
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Rich Haut was appointed as a RPSEA Board Member in Summer 2006.

Haut is the Program Director of Energy Production for Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) in The Woodlands, TX. Haut has held this role for 11 years. He is responsible for providing unbiased science to address environmental issues associated with oil and gas development, as the Director for the Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems (EFD) Program as well as the Coastal Impacts Technology Program.

Before joining HARC, Haut was instrumental in establishing joint ventures and other joint industry programs, including the start-up of Enventure Global Technology where he was the Chief Operating Officer. He has over 35 years of industry technical and management experience.

He holds three degrees in engineering; a bachelor’s degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee and a doctorate from Old Dominion University.



Mr. Edward Johnston, Gas Technology Institute

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Eddie Johnston was appointed as a RPSEA Board Member in Fall 2012.

Johnston is the Vice President of Research Operations at Gas Technology Institute (GTI), in Des Plaines, IL.

He has held this role for one year. Johnston leads a staff of 180 researchers that focuses on applied R&D from downhole to the burner tip.

Prior to his current position, he was their Managing Director in the Infrastructure Sector.

Before joining GTI, Johnston worked for Atmos Energy Corporation for 15 years and Rowan Companies, in the Gulf of Mexico offshore oil industry for eight years.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Mississippi State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.



Charles D. McConnell, Rice University
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Charles D. McConnell is Executive Director of Rice University's Energy and Environment Initiative, a university-wide effort to address the diverse issues associated with energy and the environment. The Initiative is designed to partner with industry and external stakeholders to position Rice as an impartial broker that combines technology and policy to create a sustainable energy platform in resource utilization and environmental stewardship.

A 35-year veteran of the energy industry, McConnell joined Rice in August 2013 after serving two years as the Assistant Secretary of Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. At DOE, McConnell was responsible for the strategic policy leadership, budgets, project management, and research and development of the department's coal, oil and gas, and advanced technologies programs, as well as for the operations and management of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the National Energy Technologies Laboratories.

Prior to joining DOE, McConnell served as Vice President of Carbon Management at Battelle Energy Technology in Columbus, Ohio and also spent 31 years with Praxair, Inc.
McConnell has held a number of board positions including chairmanships of the Gasification Technologies Council and the Clean Carbon Technology Foundation of Texas. McConnell holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University (1977) and an MBA in finance from Cleveland State University (1984).


Mr. Roy D. Hartstein, Southwestern Energy
Bio Coming Soon.


Dr. Fersheed Mody, Apache Exploration and Production Technology
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Fersheed Mody was appointed as a RPSEA Board Member in Spring 2015.

Mody is the Manager of Global Research and Technology at Apache E&P in Houston, TX. He has over thirty years of diversified research, applied technology and project management experience in drilling and production.

Prior to his current position with Apache Corp. he worked for Shell International E&P and Halliburton. He has been very active in the Society of Petroleum Engineering, having served on committees, chaired workshops and been the invited key note Speaker at several international meetings. He was previously the Technical Editor of SPE Drilling and Completions. He has published over 60 technical papers and received 28 patents.

Mody holds a doctorate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He has received a number of leadership awards from the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He has served on the board or chaired several professional organizations including; Energy Forum, SPE Technical Committee on Drilling and Completions, Houston Chapter of American Association of Drilling Engineers, and The University of Oklahoma Industry Advisory Board.


Mr. John O'Brien, CVX

Bio coming soon.


Dr. Van Romero, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
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Van earned his bachelor’s in physics at New Mexico Tech in 1977 and then earned his master’s from Tech in 1979. He then earned his Ph.D. in 1991 from State University of New York.

In addition to being a professor and a published researcher, Dr. Romero advocates for New Mexico at the national level.

Having worked at Los Alamos, Sandia and New Mexico Tech, he is uniquely positioned as a spokesman and advocate for the development and promotion of technology and research in New Mexico.

Because of his lobbying acumen, he was named by Influence Magazine as one of the top six outsiders “that made an impact” in Washington D.C.

Over the past twenty years he has been responsible for landing over $500 million in sponsored programs for the University, which have benefited 15 departments on campus. His successes range from astronomy ($125 million for the Magdalena Ridge Observatory, which will be the world’s premier optical interferometry telescope) and seismology (he helped Tech land the nation’s only seismology instrument center) to Department of Homeland Security (he is a founding member of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium) and the Department of Energy (he was part of the team that helped establish section 999 of the Energy Act of 2005)

In addition to his administrative duties, Van has always found the time to teach class and supervise students. Currently he teaches two freshmen classes: “Origins of the Universe” a social science class and “Introduction to Explosives” an engineering class. Student evaluations of his courses include comments such as “fascinating & at times inspiring” and “charismatic and very enthusiastic”.

He has also served on several boards, including the White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, the New Mexico Consortium, New Mexico EPSCoR, the Center of Excellence for Hazardous Materials Management and the National Center for Genome Resources in Santa Fe. Recently, he has also led the State of New Mexico’s independent review of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant accident.


Mr. C. Michael Smith, Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission
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Carl Michael Smith was appointed as a RPSEA Board Member in Spring 2009.

Smith is the Executive Director of Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission in Oklahoma City, OK.

He has held this role for five years. He is responsible for the head of government commission.

Before joining Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, Smith worked for the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) for two years.

He holds a doctorate of law degree from the University of Oklahoma. 


Dr. John Warren, Jr., Petrobras America Inc.
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John Warren, Jr. was appointed as a RPSEA Board Member in Fall 2009.

Warren is the Legal Area Manager of Petrobras America Inc., in Houston, TX.

Warren has held this role for five years. His responsibilities are legal and corporate support.

Prior to his current role with Petrobras, he was their Corporate Secretary. Before joining Petrobras, Warren worked as Associate General Counsel for the University of Houston System, for nearly nine years.

He holds a doctorate of law degree from Stetson University College of Law.

Warren has numerous certifications, admissions, and honors.




Mr. Tom Williams, RPSEA

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Tom Williams became President of RPSEA August 1, 2016. He has served as Senior Advisor to the Environmentally Friendly Drilling (EFD) Program, an organization he co-founded in 2005 while working as a Vice President of Technology at Noble Corporation. The EFD program is managed by HARC, Texas A&M and Tom’s company LEID, LLC.   He has been in the energy business for over 35 years as an operator and later in his career in the management and commercialization of new energy technologies. He held senior executive positions at the U.S. Departments of Energy and Department of Interior. He has continued to be involved in a variety of organizations and activities developing and applying technologies for the oil and gas industry and research though fostering cooperation between the government and private sector.   He has authored numerous energy publications, presentations and articles and has served on a number of energy organizations, associations, public and privately held corporations.  Tom is the chairman of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission Energy, Environment, Research and Technology Committee and the IADC Drilling Engineering Association Board.