What does the road ahead look like for energy storage as Congress moves forward with a divided House and Senate, a significant public health crisis, economic recovery priorities, and democratic process crises? Former and current Congressional staff discuss their perspectives on the year ahead, the opportunities for legislative action and how industry leaders can help move the agenda forward.
Panel: Where Storage Plugs into the 117th Congress’ Agenda
Bobby (Robert) Andres is a Senior Policy Adviser for Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) on the Senate Finance Committee, covering domestic and international business incentives and infrastructure policy. Since joining the Committee under then-Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) in 2013, Bobby has led policy initiatives on climate and energy tax, infrastructure, economic development incentives, and international tax. Bobby graduated with a degree in Political Science, with honors, from the University of Georgia, and has a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University.
When he was appointed Chief of Staff to Speaker Paul Ryan in 2015, Dave Hoppe became the only person to have served as Chief of Staff to both the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader.
As Chief of Staff to Speaker Ryan, Hoppe directed the transition of Ryan’s Congressional office into a Speaker’s office. He was part of the senior staff that developed the Better Way agenda, and was also the liaison to the Member caucuses that represent House Republicans. He served as the link to the Obama White House and was a critical player in the negotiations that resulted in the passage of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act of 2016.
He led the Senate Majority Leader’s office during the Clinton and Bush 43 administrations. In this job he oversaw and coordinated the flow of legislation through Congress, which required working with political personalities on both sides of the aisle as well as the White House. A signal achievement was the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 1997.
While working for Congressman and then Senator Trent Lott, Hoppe directed Whip offices in both the House and Senate, where Lott developed the modern whip process still in use today. In 1981 as the House Republican Whip, Lott reinvented the whip organization in order to secure the votes President Reagan needed to pass the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, key elements of the first Reagan administration agenda. This modern whip structure replaced an outmoded, ineffective and largely ceremonial role with an aggressive and hard-nosed vote counting system which could be relied upon to advance the agenda. Later, as Senate Republican Whip, Lott revamped the Whip office there, making it a critical component in the passage of welfare reform and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 during the Clinton presidency.
Other Hill positions held by Hoppe include Chief of Staff to Rep. Jack Kemp during his presidential bid. During his 4-year tenure with Rep. Kemp, the Tax Reform Act of 1986 was passed and signed into law. He also served as Chief of Staff to Sen. Dan Coats after he was appointed to replace former Senator Dan Quayle in 1988. Early in his Hill career, Hoppe served as energy and environmental policy analyst for the Republican Study Committee.
In 2003, Hoppe left the Hill to work for the public affairs firm Quinn Gillespie & Associates, serving as President of QGA 2007-2011, when he returned briefly to the Senate to direct the Whip office for Sen. Kyl. He served as a Senior Advisor to the Bipartisan Policy Center. He holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Notre Dame, and an M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Jake McCurdy currently works on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as a Professional Staff Member. He advises the Ranking Member on energy sector cyber security, grid resilience, and electricity policy. He previously served three years at the Department of Energy (DOE), where he worked in the Office of Electricity as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor. McCurdy previously served in DOE’s Office of Congressional Affairs and as a staff assistant in the U.S. Senate. McCurdy hails from Alabama and is a graduate of the University of Alabama.
Katherine Mongé serves as Senior Counsel to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. She advises the Speaker on tax, trade, social security, and pension issues. Prior to joining the Speaker’s staff, she was Tax and Trade Counsel to Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee.
Before joining Senator Cardin’s staff, Katherine was an Associate in the Tax Department at Mayer Brown LLP in New York. Her practice focused primarily on structured finance transactions and financial products. She also advised clients on financing renewable energy projects, structuring business combination transactions, complying with U.S. tax obligations, and obtaining and complying with tax-exempt status.
Prior to law school, Katherine was an Associate at The Albright Group LLC. There, she developed and implemented strategies to assist Fortune 500 clients to enter markets, reduce political and reputational risk, and build strategic relationships. Katherine also acted as a policy adviser to former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol M. Browner.
Katherine holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Boston College Law School.
Brie Van Cleve is staff to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources serving Ranking Member Senator Joe Manchin in his Washington, DC office. In that role, Brie leads the Committee’s energy team and advises Senator Manchin and the members of the Committee on energy policy issues relating to the electric grid, energy research and innovation, and clean energy. Prior to joining the Committee staff, Brie worked at the Department of Energy and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, one of DOE’s 17 national labs.
Originally from rural Washington state, Brie began her career working for her home state Senator on marine and environmental policy followed by a stint working for county government and another working for Washington State Department of State Fish and Wildlife.
Brie holds a Master’s degree from the University of Washington in marine policy and a Bachelor’s degree from Smith College in biological sciences. Brie, her husband, and their 2 year old daughter live in Washington, DC.