Executive Director, NextGen Highways
Randy is helping to lead the NextGen Highways initiative, working with stakeholders to re-examine the use of existing rights-of-way for co-location of transmission and communications infrastructure. He has more than 20 years of energy industry experience, including helping to site and permit hundreds of miles of transmission lines. Randy helps organizations build sustainable growth, solve problems and deliver results for their stakeholders. As a strategic leader, he’s led diverse teams to position organizations for success. Randy also works with clients to deliver clean energy and decarbonization solutions.
Senior Policy Manager, Energy Systems, Great Plains Institute
Matt helps lead the NextGen Highways initiative. His work at Great Plains Institute focuses on the development of electric transmission infrastructure and market mechanisms to enhance the development of low-carbon energy technologies in the Midcontinent region. In addition, Matt contributes to GPI’s research and analysis work and is a facilitator for the Midwestern Governors Association’s Grid Security & Modernization initiative. As part of his work at GPI, he also served on the steering and policy committees of the Minnesota Energy Storage Alliance.
Matt has a background in engineering and sustainability. He obtained his BS in mechanical engineering from Penn State with a minor in earth systems and an MS in science, technology, and environmental policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. His work at the University of Minnesota focused on assessment of greenhouse gas emissions attributable to electric vehicle charging in Minnesota based on policy incentives intended to direct charging to specific hours of the day.
Founder and Advisor, NextGen Highways
Principal Consultant, DNV
Dr. Morgan Putnam is an experienced renewable energy leader focused on grid transformation and new product development. He has raised over $15 million of funding, launched Product Management and Business Development departments, and managed groups of stakeholders with conflicting interests. Morgan founded the NextGen Highways initiative to accelerate grid decarbonization and enable transportation electrification. He is currently a Principal Consultant in the Power System Advisory team at DNV.
Policy Associate, Energy Systems, Great Plains Institute
Conor McKenzie joined the Great Plains Institute in 2023 as an Energy Systems Policy Associate. His work focuses on the development and deployment of electric transmission infrastructure to support grid interconnectivity.
Prior to joining GPI, Conor worked for the Illinois State Legislature in Policy Research. Conor is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with an MS in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy, where he worked with utilities to improve energy efficiency spending for low-income populations.
Bridget Williams joined the Great Plains Institute in 2023 as a policy associate for the Energy Systems team. Bridget supports NextGen Highways and other projects that focus on the roles transmission and wholesale electricity markets play in achieving a decarbonized, resilient, and equitable energy future.
Prior to joining GPI, Bridget worked with municipalities to establish community-wide climate action goals, created disaster response programs for low-income residents, and built cross-sector partnerships to facilitate collaborative and comprehensive community programming in her hometown of Cedar Rapids, IA.
Bridget has a Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University and lives in Milwaukee, WI.
Meeting and Administrative Manager, Great Plains Institute
Alissa provides administrative support for the NextGen Highways initiative. Joining Great Plains Institute in 2020, she supports the Energy Systems program. Alissa plays a vital role in ensuring that meeting planning, administrative, and communication duties are carried out to enable the Energy Systems program staff to focus on meeting facilitation, engagement with external parties, and energy policy development.