Energy Modernization


Meet the Team

Zach Bartscherer Senior Officer

Zach Bartscherer focuses on connecting state and federal policymaking processes on disaster resilience, energy modernization, and climate adaptation. In this role, he engages policymakers and stakeholders to secure commitments for clean energy and mitigation funding and to help states develop comprehensive resilience plans and strategies to transition to renewable energy. Before joining Pew, Bartscherer worked with corporate and nonprofit clients to build advocacy and business development strategies around international technology, environmental, and health care priorities. Earlier in his career, he developed policy advocacy and communications campaigns in multiple industry sectors. Bartscherer holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from American University.

John Begala Officer

John Begala is an officer on Pew’s energy modernization project, advancing state and federal research and policy that supports the responsible development of offshore wind as a vital component of the future energy mix. Before joining Pew, Begala worked at the Oceantic Network as the vice president for federal and state policy. There he focused on building an offshore wind domestic supply chain and connected with federal and state lawmakers to advance economic and job benefits. Begala also served as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Trade in the office of former Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam. He holds a bachelor's degree in government from the College of William & Mary.

Courtney Durham Shane Senior Officer

Courtney Durham Shane leads Pew’s engagement in the United Nations negotiations on climate change and supports efforts to incorporate and strengthen climate considerations in Pew’s conservation projects.

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Leah Ford Senior Associate

Leah Ford works on the state policy and campaigns portfolio of Pew’s energy modernization project. She focuses on accelerating the U.S. clean energy transition through the advancement of electric vehicles, offshore wind, and a reliable and modern grid. Prior to this, Leah was a policy advisor at E3G, a global climate think tank, where she created a network of leaders and stakeholders in legacy coal states to promote economic diversification and a transition toward clean energy. She also previously worked as a researcher at Food & Water Watch. Leah has bachelor’s degrees in public policy and in global studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Carter Harms Officer

Carter Harms helps lead Pew’s energy modernization project, working with states to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, develop a clean and reliable electric grid, and increase renewable energy solutions, such as offshore wind.

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Laura Lightbody Director

Laura Lightbody directs Pew’s energy modernization project, which advances the transition to electric vehicles and a clean, reliable electric grid and the expansion of renewable energy solutions such as offshore wind.

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Yaron Miller Senior Manager

Yaron Miller leads the state policy and campaigns portfolio of Pew's energy modernization project, which advances the transition to electric vehicles and a clean, reliable electric grid and the expansion of renewable energy solutions such as offshore wind.

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Maureen Quinlan Senior Officer

Maureen Quinlan leads Pew’s work to decarbonize the grid, including research on the economic and social impacts of carbon reduction policies. She also serves as a subject matter expert with policymakers and stakeholders. Quinlan’s efforts inform clean power and transportation policy and regulatory development and strategy at the federal and state levels to bring more renewable energy to the U.S. grid.

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Brian Watts Principal Associate

Brian Watts works on Pew’s efforts to improve community resilience to natural disasters and accelerate the transition to renewable energy by advocating for federal and state policy change. Watts has expertise in researching the impacts that poor planning, natural disasters, and climate change have on disadvantaged communities. He previously worked as a consultant for the Department of Homeland Security on policies supporting U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He has also taught English in South Korea as a Fulbright scholar and interned at George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication. Watts holds a bachelor’s degree in ecology from the University of Georgia and master’s degrees in public affairs and environmental science from Indiana University.