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Panelists

8:30 am Panel:

The Changing Energy Landscape of the Western Interconnection

  • Emily Her headshot

    Emily Her

    Energy Program Manager, Idaho Office of Energy and Mineral Resources (OEMR)

    Emily Her is the Energy Program Manager at the Idaho Office of Energy and Mineral Resources (OEMR) and works across the agency’s policy, planning, and programming efforts. OEMR is responsible for coordinating energy and mineral resource planning and policy development for the State and serves as a resource on energy and mineral matters. Prior to her role at OEMR, Emily worked in higher education and the non-profit sector on sustainability and conservation initiatives. She has a degree in global studies and sustainability from Boise State University.

    Emily Her is the Energy Program Manager at the Idaho Office of Energy and Mineral Resources (OEMR) and works across the agency’s policy, planning, and programming efforts. OEMR is responsible for coordinating energy and mineral resource planning and policy development for the State and serves as a resource on energy and mineral matters. Prior to her role at OEMR, Emily worked in higher education and the non-profit sector on sustainability and conservation initiatives. She has a degree in global studies and sustainability from Boise State University.

  • Nancy Hirsh

    Nancy Hirsh

    Executive Director, Northwest Energy Coalition

    Nancy directs the Coalition’s efforts to enhance investments in energy efficiency, renewable resources, and low-income energy services through work with utilities, commissioners, regulators, and legislators. She serves on the board of Renewable Northwest and the Centralia Coal Transition Board.  She is also on the advisory committee for the Institute for Energy Studies at Western Washington University. From 1996 through 2014 she served as the Coalition’s policy director.  Before joining the Coalition, she spent twelve years in Washington, DC working on national energy policy issues for the Environmental Action Foundation and the National Wildlife Federation. She lives in Seattle with her husband, children and dog.  When not advocating clean energy solutions, she is an avid backpacker and hiker.

    Nancy directs the Coalition’s efforts to enhance investments in energy efficiency, renewable resources, and low-income energy services through work with utilities, commissioners, regulators, and legislators. She serves on the board of Renewable Northwest and the Centralia Coal Transition Board.  She is also on the advisory committee for the Institute for Energy Studies at Western Washington University. From 1996 through 2014 she served as the Coalition’s policy director.  Before joining the Coalition, she spent twelve years in Washington, DC working on national energy policy issues for the Environmental Action Foundation and the National Wildlife Federation. She lives in Seattle with her husband, children and dog.  When not advocating clean energy solutions, she is an avid backpacker and hiker.

  • Stephanie Lenhart headshot

    Stephanie Lenhart

    Senior Research Associate, Energy Policy Institute, Associate Research Professor, Boise State University

    Stephanie Lenhart is a Senior Research Associate at the Energy Policy Institute affiliated with the Center for Advanced Energy Research and an Associate Research Professor in the School of Public Service at Boise State University. Dr. Lenhart examines institutional design, stakeholder participation, policy implementation, and the negotiation of authority. Recent work explores the governance of electricity systems with a focus on regional power grid organizations, integration of renewable resources, storage, and community ownership of energy infrastructure.

    Stephanie Lenhart is a Senior Research Associate at the Energy Policy Institute affiliated with the Center for Advanced Energy Research and an Associate Research Professor in the School of Public Service at Boise State University. Dr. Lenhart examines institutional design, stakeholder participation, policy implementation, and the negotiation of authority. Recent work explores the governance of electricity systems with a focus on regional power grid organizations, integration of renewable resources, storage, and community ownership of energy infrastructure.

10:30 am Panel:

Toward Energy Security and Shared Benefits

  • Alana Edmo

    Energy Resource Coordinator, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes

    Alana Edmo is an “Agai Dika” (Lemhi Shoshone), Bannock and Miwok, born and raised on the Fort Hall Indian reservation. 

    Alana Edmo has been working as Energy Resource Coordinator for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes since June 2019 and is responsible for accessing, developing and to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency project on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation located in Fort Hall, ID. Her long-term goal is to fulfill the Tribes vision for the future of creating green energy solutions that are environmentally responsible and aligned with our cultural values, by establishing energy sovereignty we can create a future where our community is self-sufficient, resilient, and empowered through thoughtful development for our entire community

    Alana Edmo is an “Agai Dika” (Lemhi Shoshone), Bannock and Miwok, born and raised on the Fort Hall Indian reservation. 

    Alana Edmo has been working as Energy Resource Coordinator for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes since June 2019 and is responsible for accessing, developing and to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency project on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation located in Fort Hall, ID. Her long-term goal is to fulfill the Tribes vision for the future of creating green energy solutions that are environmentally responsible and aligned with our cultural values, by establishing energy sovereignty we can create a future where our community is self-sufficient, resilient, and empowered through thoughtful development for our entire community

  • Wyatt Petersen

    Director of the Department of Energy, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes

    Wyatt Petersen is the Director of the Department of Energy for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, residing on the Fort Hall Reservation in southeast Idaho. With a robust background in earth and environmental systems, specifically in geospatial technologies, Wyatt began his career in 2011 with the Tribes Fish and Wildlife Department. His work initially focused on anadromous fish studies, including Chinook and Sockeye Salmon and Steelhead Trout, in Central Idaho rivers. Transitioning to a pursuit of higher education, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Systems, with an emphasis on Geospatial Technologies, followed by a Master of Science in GIS. Wyatt’s journey continued in the Tribes Land Use Department, where he served as a GIS Specialist, GIS Database Manager, and later as the Interim Director. In January 2024, he assumed the role of Director of the Department of Energy, where he leverages his expertise to guide the tribe and community towards a sustainable future, focusing on the opportunities and challenges presented by the energy transition on public lands. Wyatt’s work exemplifies a commitment to fostering energy affordability, driving innovation, and ensuring the development of equitable and place-based solutions for the benefit of the region.

    Wyatt Petersen is the Director of the Department of Energy for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, residing on the Fort Hall Reservation in southeast Idaho. With a robust background in earth and environmental systems, specifically in geospatial technologies, Wyatt began his career in 2011 with the Tribes Fish and Wildlife Department. His work initially focused on anadromous fish studies, including Chinook and Sockeye Salmon and Steelhead Trout, in Central Idaho rivers. Transitioning to a pursuit of higher education, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Systems, with an emphasis on Geospatial Technologies, followed by a Master of Science in GIS. Wyatt’s journey continued in the Tribes Land Use Department, where he served as a GIS Specialist, GIS Database Manager, and later as the Interim Director. In January 2024, he assumed the role of Director of the Department of Energy, where he leverages his expertise to guide the tribe and community towards a sustainable future, focusing on the opportunities and challenges presented by the energy transition on public lands. Wyatt’s work exemplifies a commitment to fostering energy affordability, driving innovation, and ensuring the development of equitable and place-based solutions for the benefit of the region.

  • Kris Raper

    Vice President of Strategic Engagement & External Affairs, Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC)

    Kris Raper, Vice President of Strategic Engagement & External Affairs, coordinates and oversees engagement with WECC’s strategic partners and stakeholders. Kris works both regionally and nationally to coordinate efforts, facilitate conversations, and educate others on matters critical to the reliability and security of the Western Interconnection. 

    Prior to joining WECC, Kris served as an appointed commissioner for the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for seven years. During her time as a commissioner, Kris not only adjudicated matters in the public interest related to regulated utilities in Idaho, but was also involved in regional collaborations regarding markets and transmission. 

    Before being appointed Commissioner, Kris served as deputy attorney general to the Idaho Commission for seven years. She holds an undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Boise State University and completed her Juris Doctor at the University of Idaho College of Law.

    Kris Raper, Vice President of Strategic Engagement & External Affairs, coordinates and oversees engagement with WECC’s strategic partners and stakeholders. Kris works both regionally and nationally to coordinate efforts, facilitate conversations, and educate others on matters critical to the reliability and security of the Western Interconnection. 

    Prior to joining WECC, Kris served as an appointed commissioner for the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for seven years. During her time as a commissioner, Kris not only adjudicated matters in the public interest related to regulated utilities in Idaho, but was also involved in regional collaborations regarding markets and transmission. 

    Before being appointed Commissioner, Kris served as deputy attorney general to the Idaho Commission for seven years. She holds an undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Boise State University and completed her Juris Doctor at the University of Idaho College of Law.

  • Rebecca Wood headshot

    Rebecca Wood

    Commissioner, District 2 of Lincoln County

    Commissioner Rebecca Wood is Lincoln County Commissioner District 2 of Lincoln County, Elected in 2014. She is currently the chairman of the board for Lincoln County Commissioners and serves as the vice-chair for the Lincoln County Youth Commission. Wood is the  founder for the Lincoln County Youth Center and Director of the  21st Century Community Learning Center program and LCYC Preschool.. She is heavily engaged as a volunteer serving on the NACO Committee for Public Lands, SIRCOMM and multiple local boards. Additionally, she has worked extensively with AmeriCorps as a program sponsor. Wood was a RAC Sub committee member for the BLM in the Lava Ridge application. 

    Commissioner Rebecca Wood is Lincoln County Commissioner District 2 of Lincoln County, Elected in 2014. She is currently the chairman of the board for Lincoln County Commissioners and serves as the vice-chair for the Lincoln County Youth Commission. Wood is the  founder for the Lincoln County Youth Center and Director of the  21st Century Community Learning Center program and LCYC Preschool.. She is heavily engaged as a volunteer serving on the NACO Committee for Public Lands, SIRCOMM and multiple local boards. Additionally, she has worked extensively with AmeriCorps as a program sponsor. Wood was a RAC Sub committee member for the BLM in the Lava Ridge application. 

1:30 PM Panel

Panel: Optimizing Siting and Transmission

  • Peter Gower headshot

    Peter Gower

    Climate and Renewable Energy Program Director, The Nature Conservancy

    Peter Gower is the Climate and Renewable Energy Program Director for The Nature Conservancy’s Western US and Canada Division. In this role, he works across 11 western states and in Canada on renewable energy, transmission, critical minerals, and other climate solutions that are balanced with natural resources and community values. Before joining TNC, Peter was an environmental consultant working primarily with the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service on land use planning and project-level NEPA compliance projects. He holds a master’s degree in land use planning and is a certified environmental planner. Peter lives with his family in Reno, Nevada.

    Peter Gower is the Climate and Renewable Energy Program Director for The Nature Conservancy’s Western US and Canada Division. In this role, he works across 11 western states and in Canada on renewable energy, transmission, critical minerals, and other climate solutions that are balanced with natural resources and community values. Before joining TNC, Peter was an environmental consultant working primarily with the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service on land use planning and project-level NEPA compliance projects. He holds a master’s degree in land use planning and is a certified environmental planner. Peter lives with his family in Reno, Nevada.

  • June Shoemaker headshot

    June Shoemaker

    Idaho Associate State Director, Bureau of Land Management 

    June Shoemaker, an esteemed U.S. Air Force veteran, currently serves as the Bureau of Land Management Idaho Associate State Director. June boasts an impressive career spanning public lands management at various levels since her official tenure with BLM in 2008. With a background in weather forecasting and experience with the U.S. Interior Secretary’s office, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho, June brings a wealth of expertise to her role. 

    Her portfolio includes numerous high-profile projects in renewable energy, recreation strategy, cultural resource preservation, and wildfire management across the western states. June’s collaborative approach and dedication to finding solutions have earned her a reputation for effective partnership-building with BLM’s diverse public land stakeholders. She continues to lead initiatives that balance conservation and responsible land use, ensuring the sustainable management of Idaho’s natural resources.

    June Shoemaker, an esteemed U.S. Air Force veteran, currently serves as the Bureau of Land Management Idaho Associate State Director. June boasts an impressive career spanning public lands management at various levels since her official tenure with BLM in 2008. With a background in weather forecasting and experience with the U.S. Interior Secretary’s office, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho, June brings a wealth of expertise to her role. 

    Her portfolio includes numerous high-profile projects in renewable energy, recreation strategy, cultural resource preservation, and wildfire management across the western states. June’s collaborative approach and dedication to finding solutions have earned her a reputation for effective partnership-building with BLM’s diverse public land stakeholders. She continues to lead initiatives that balance conservation and responsible land use, ensuring the sustainable management of Idaho’s natural resources.