Dr. Jennifer Holmgren
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Jennifer Holmgren is the Chief Executive Officer of LanzaTech. Jennifer has over 20 years of experience in the energy sector including a proven track record in the development and commercialization of fuels and chemicals technologies. Prior to joining LanzaTech, she was Vice President and General Manager of the Renewable Energy and Chemicals business unit at UOP LLC, a Honeywell Company. In that role, she led UOP’s renewable business from its inception through to the achievement of significant revenues from the commercialization of multiple novel biofuels technologies.
Dr. Jennifer Holmgren is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and holds a B.Sc. degree from Harvey Mudd College, a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the University of Chicago. She currently serves on multiple external advisory boards. She is the author or co-author of 50 US patents, 20 scientific publications and is the 2003 recipient of the Council for Chemical Research’s (CCR) Malcolm E. Pruitt Award.
In 2010, she was the recipient of the Leadership Award from the Civil Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) for her work in establishing the technical and commercial viability of sustainable aviation biofuels. In 2015 Dr. Holmgren and her team at LanzaTech were awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Presidential Green Chemistry Award and she was awarded the BIO Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology. Sustainability magazine, Salt, named Dr. Holmgren as the world’s most compassionate business woman in 2015. In October 2015, Dr. Holmgren was awarded the Outstanding Leader Award in Corporate Social Innovation from the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. Dr. Holmgren was named as #1 of the 100 most influential leaders in the Bioeconomy and LanzaTech was named the Hottest Company in the Bioeconomy by Biofuels Digest for 2016-2017. A TEDx Chicago speaker, Jennifer is also the 2018 recipient of the AIChE Fuels & Petrochemicals Division Award as well as the Biofuels Digest Global Bioenergy Leadership Award.
Dr. Sean Simpson
Chief Scientific Officer
Sean is the Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of LanzaTech. Sean spent the first 12 years of his life living in various countries around the world, including Mauritius, Zambia and Gibraltar, before his family returned to England. He now lives with his family in Chicago, USA. Sean and his wife Silvia have two young children, a daughter Cecilia and a son Liam. Sean is an enthusiastic (if not skillful!) soccer player when time permits; he is also an avid supporter of Middlesborough “Boro” Football Club. He dreams of one day having the time to sail with his gorgeous family around the Pacific…but first he needs to learn to sail… and help LanzaTech to commercial success!
Mark Burton is LanzaTech’s General Counsel and joined LanzaTech in August 2014. Before LanzaTech, Mark was in private practice in London and in Auckland, New Zealand.
Most recently based in London, he worked at international firm Ashurst, where he predominantly advised multi-jurisdictional institutional investors and fund managers in the establishment, operation and dissolution of their private investment funds.
Before that he practised corporate law in Auckland with Chapman Tripp, advising among others LanzaTech New Zealand. His other clients included institutional investment funds, significant public and private companies, as well as emerging companies and companies preparing for IPO. He has particular experience of the setting up and operation of corporate joint ventures, specifically in the energy generation, aquaculture and property sectors, in the setting up of corporate asset backed contribution arrangements for pension scheme trustees, and in the governance of public, private and charitable organisations.
He has also worked with law firms Andersen Legal and Dundas & Wilson, based in London, advising on all aspects of corporate law, and in particular mergers and acquisitions.
Originally from Scotland, Mark gained his law degree from Gonville & Caius College at Cambridge University and he has lectured various commercial law topics at Auckland University.
Vice President Engineering
Julie comes to LanzaTech from Merichem Gas Technologies, where she was Director of Process Technology, managing all of the technical groups (Engineering, Technical and Field Services, technical sales support, R&D initiatives). Julie has over 25 years of experience providing technical solutions to clients worldwide, including extensive work in the construction, pre-commissioning, startup and guarantee testing phases of plants. Previously employed at UOP, a Honeywell Company, she led the Field Operating Services Department where she was responsible for the direct management of over 50 engineers based in the U.S., India, China, Russia, and the U.K. She also supervised field assignments in the Far East, the Americas, and the Caribbean.
Chief Sustainability and People Officer
Freya joined LanzaTech in 2007 and has worked in various roles throughout the company. She holds an MA from Cambridge University.
Freya is deeply committed to LanzaTech’s mission of creating a carbon smart future. She is a board member of the Low Carbon Fuels Coalition and with LanzaTech is a founding member of Below50, the low carbon fuels initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Freya oversees Government Relations, Communications and HR at LanzaTech.
Fluent in German, French and Spanish, Freya enjoys working with the diversity of nationalities at LanzaTech and is now based in Chicago. She regularly visits Europe and works with LanzaTech’s European team and partners.
Dr. Laurel Harmon
Dr. Harmon joined LanzaTech from Striatus Inc, where she consulted on proposal and project development in advanced technologies, including energy and renewable fuels. After receiving her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Michigan, Dr Harmon joined ERIM, a non-profit research organization, to conduct applied R&D for a variety of defense and other government customers. Later she was a technical co-founder of Nonlinear Dynamics, a company specializing in applied pattern recognition. Dr Harmon provides policy direction and leadership on international legislative and regulatory matters and develops collaborative research and demonstration projects.
Vice President Business Development Asia
Prabhakar joined Lanzatech from UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, where he was marketing director for its Renewable Energy and Chemicals business unit. In that role, he was responsible for creating linkages and alliances with feedstock suppliers and end users of fuel technologies in the aviation and automotive sectors, tracking global biofuels legislation, and developing the business unit’s strategic plan.
From 1999-2005, Prabhakar served as General Manager of UOP’s India operations. Prior to that he held a variety of Sales, Technical Service and Marketing positions in UOP’s other Asian offices as well as at UOP’s headquarters in the USA. He holds a BChE from City University of NY, a MChE from Illinois Institute of Technology, an MBA from Northwestern University and he is conversant in several Asian languages.
Ken C. Lai
Vice President Asia Pacific
Ken C. Lai is Vice President of LanzaTech’s Asia Pacific operations. Based in Shanghai, he oversees the development and commercialization of the company’s gas-to-advanced biofuels facilities as well as continued development of LanzaTech’s value chain partners in the region. Prior to joining LanzaTech, he was General Manager of Licensing and Sales for the Asia Pacific region for Shell Global Solutions International B.V. Including his 5+ years at Shell, Global Solutions, he has more than 30 years of experience in technology licensing, sales, account management and business development in the petroleum refining and petrochemicals industry.
Dr. SSV Ramakumar
Dr. SSV Ramakumar is Director Research and Development at IndianOil and heads the Bio Energy Centre of IndianOil-DBT Collaboration.
He has a doctorate in Chemistry from IIT-Roorkee. He has three decades of uninterrupted R&D experience in downstream hydrocarbons sector, specifically in the areas of lubricant technology, refinery process research streams, catalyst development, and marketing coordination of automotive lubricants. He has played a key role in catapulting SERVO, IndianOil’s lubricant brand, into the select league of five MNCs possessing marine oil technology.
Dr. Ramakumar has to his credit 45 patents and 135 research publications in world-renowned journals. He is also presently on the Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB) and presides over the activities of the India Energy Forum and the Society for Petroleum Laboratories. Currently, he is a member of professional bodies, viz. Executive Council of PCRA; National Apex Council of Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship Scheme for doctoral programmes; Nano Applications and Technology Advisory Group (NATAG), besides being the Convener of Methanol Utilization taskforce of NITI Aayog.
He also presides over several national scientific societies, viz. International Council of Internal Combustion Engines-India Chapter (CIMAC-INDIA), Indian Society of Fuels and Lubricants (ISFL), Tribology Society of India (TSI), etc. In recognition of various technologies/products developed at IndianOil, Dr. Ramakumar has received many prestigious awards including the recent World Petroleum Congress (WPC) Excellence award.
Dr. Ramakumar is a governing member of the International Centre of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) and a Board Member of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of the Government of India.
Datuk Dr. Abd Hapiz
Datuk Abd Hapiz is an accomplished leader with more than 30 years of management, technical, marketing and business development experience in the chemical industry. He retired from his last executive role as the President/CEO of Petronas Chemicals Group Berhad (PCG). PCG was then a newly listed downstream chemicals company that had consolidated 20 of Petronas’ fully owned and JV downstream manufacturing and marketing companies. Prior to joining PCG, he spent over 26 years working with multi-national chemical companies, specifically Dupont and Dow Chemicals, where his responsibilities evolved from technical, manufacturing, marketing and sales to managing a regional business, during which time he held offices in the USA and Hong Kong. He brings with him to LanzaTech a wealth of chemical industry experience with strong business networks, especially in the Asia Pacific region. He Datuk Hapiz currently sits on several boards, namely Petronas Chemical Marketing Labuan Limited (PCMLL), P2 Science Inc., Perdana Petroleum Berhad, AmcomCropCare Sdn Bhd, Bioeconomy Corp Malaysia and Malaysian Bio-Xcell Sdn Bhd. He is also the Chairman of the Chemical Industry Council of Malaysia (CICM), an association that comprises most of the chemical companies in Malaysia (over 200 companies). Datuk Abd Hapiz holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Utah State University, USA.
Dr. Shahidah is currently the Head of Technology Research & CEO PETRONAS Research. She has 30 years’ experience in Oil & Gas industry, managing & leading various technology projects.
She has been in various positions ranging from chemist, process technologist, lead of technology management and till recent one. In 2017, she has been selected as the American Chemical Society International Fellow for Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Division. She is the only Malaysian & first women in Asia that has ever received this honor.
She obtained her degree in Australia and PhD in UK and in 2018 received a Doctor of Engineering (High distinction) by Queens University, Belfast.
Nigel Gormly is Head of Direct Investment for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. This role has responsibility for the Fund’s direct investments both in New Zealand and offshore, including its holdings in Datacom, Z Energy, Kaingaroa and Transurban. Prior to New Zealand Superannuation Fund Mr Gormly worked for 10 years with Fonterra, where he held various strategic development and commercial leadership roles, including General Manager Commercial, Global Portfolio Optimisation. A Chartered Financial Analyst, he has a BSc/BCom and a Graduate Diploma in Finance from the University of Auckland.
Kaoru Umehara, began his career in Mitsui & Co., Ltd. in 1991 shortly after graduating from Keio University (Faculty of Law). Throughout his career at Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Mr. Umehara has held a number of management level posts across a variety of sectors including Minerals, Metals and Energy.
Mr. Umehara was General Manager of Mitsui & Co Europe PLC in London in 2004, leading the Energy Department and continued in as a General Manager in 2009 by for the Advanced Material Department, leading the New Metals Division & Mineral & Metal Resources Business Unit.
In 2011, Mr. Umehara moved into the Global Gas Trading Department at Mitsui, as General Manager of LNG Projects and then in 2012 as a General Manager in the Natural Gas Development Department. In 2014, Mr. Umehara moved into the Strategic Planning Department as a General Manager leading Energy Business for the Company. From 2016-2018, Mr. Umehara led the Business Innovation Department of the Corporate Planning & Strategy Division as a General Manager. Today, Mr. Umehara is General Manager of the Energy & Innovation Division
Jim Messina is the President and CEO of The Messina Group, a firm that provides strategic consulting to political campaigns, advocacy organizations and businesses who want to build movements, services and products that succeed by being data driven, digitally-savvy and grassroots focused.
Mr. Messina was the campaign manager for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, which revolutionized the way that political campaigns reach voters and transformed how politics, technology and innovation influence each other. A pioneer in this field, his advice is sought by organizations adopting groundbreaking approaches and innovative strategies, whether in business or politics.
Mr. Messina served as Deputy Chief of Staff to President Obama from 2009 to 2011. In that role, he was integral to the passage of the landmark health care and economic stimulus bills. Mr. Messina has overseen and consulted on political campaigns across the country.
Mr. Messina is a graduate of the University of Montana where he earned a B.A. in political science.
Gary has been a member of the LanzaTech Board since 2010. He was a senior executive at Intel, Sequent Computer, Cisco Systems, and Softbank Corporation. As a senior operating executive, Mr. Rieschel created or helped structure several of the most successful joint ventures in the history of the technology industry. These included Cisco Systems’ Japanese JV (with Fujitsu, NEC, Toshiba, Hitachi, NTT, and Softbank, among others), Sequent Japan (with Panasonic), Yahoo Japan (with Softbank) and ETrade Japan (with SBI).
Mr. Rieschel has funded 10 companies which grew to over $1B USD in market capitalization, and has been recognized by Forbes Magazine consistently over the past 10 years among their “Midas List” of venture capitalists. Gary participated in the creation of the venture capital industry in China, through the sponsorship and founding of several of China’s leading VC firms, including SOFTBANK China Ventures (1999), SAIF Partners (2001), Ceyuan Ventures (2004), and Qiming Venture Partners (2006). Mr. Rieschel’s personal investment area is Cleantech. He has sponsored investments in fuel cells (Bloom Energy – while in the US), industrial waste water treatment (Dalian Water), clean coal technologies (LP Amina), and biofuels (Lanzatech).
Mr. Rieschel helped found both JUCCCE (Joint US China Cooperation Clean Energy), and the China Greentech Initiative, and actively supports the US China Clean Energy Forum, the Asia Society, One Heart Foundation, and many other philanthropic institutions.
Gary holds a BA in Biology from Reed College in Portland, OR, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Dr. Roger Wyse is Co-Chairman of the $162M Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund and serves on the International Advisory Panel for Biotechnology (BioIAP) and The Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council (GSIAC) for the Prime Minister of Malaysia. He is also a member of the International Advisory Board of the EU based Knowledge Economy Network (KEN). He serves on the Board of the Industrial & Environmental Section of BIO.
Dr Wyse chairs or serves on numerous boards of private companies.
Dr. Wyse is a sought after speaker on biotechnology applications and policy in food, agriculture and bio-cleantech. He is an international advisor to countries seeking to access global innovation as a means to accelerate economic development.