Team of government relations, communications, and community outreach professionals will lead on-the-ground stakeholder engagement
August 25, 2022 – Equinor announced today members of the company’s newly formed Equinor Renewables US Public Affairs Team. The team is responsible for strategic communications and stakeholder, community, and government relations for Equinor’s growing portfolio of offshore wind projects in the U.S. Together, these projects, known as Empire Wind 1, Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind 1, will produce enough electricity to power approximately two million homes in New York State and will help generate more than $1 billion in economic output in the region.
“Equinor has created a team of professionals that are not only skilled and experienced practitioners, but who also possess a deep understanding of the communities and regions in which we operate,” said David Marks, Head of Government and Public Affairs for Equinor Renewables US. “The priority of every team member is to ensure that, as we work tirelessly to help realize the region’s long-awaited energy transition, we fulfill our commitments to our stakeholders, partners, and communities every single day.”
The Equinor Renewables US Public Affairs Team includes:
David Marks – Head of Government and Public Affairs: David leads all communications, state government relations, and stakeholder management for Equinor’s US offshore wind energy business. He began his career working on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC where he worked for the U.S. Senate Energy Committee. David has worked in the energy industry for nearly two decades leading policy, media relations, and government affairs for companies in the renewable energy space.
Tom Cunningham – Senior Public Affairs Manager: Tom leads stakeholder engagement for the Beacon Wind project and supports strategic engagement across the United States. Prior to joining Equinor, Tom was Deputy Director of the Global Energy Center at the Atlantic Council. He previously worked at the US Department of State in a variety of roles, including Energy Diplomacy Team Lead for Europe.
Harrison Feuer – New York Director of Public Affairs: Harrison leads public affairs and community engagement efforts across New York state for Equinor’s offshore wind portfolio and is the main point of contact for the Empire Wind project. Harrison has extensive experience in Albany and in New York politics with more than 10 years of experience in federal, state, and local government, serving on the staffs of former Congressman Steve Israel and New York State Assemblyman Charles Lavine. Harrison also served as the director of programming and communications at separate global policy institutes at Cornell University and Long Island University.
Jennifer Edwards – Community & Environmental Investment Manager: Jennifer manages Equinor’s community benefit commitments and environmental mitigation funds. She joined Equinor more than a decade ago, working in roles that include Procurement Lead for the early stages of the Beacon Wind Project, and providing strategic support for the company’s Legal Services, Permitting, and Business Consulting groups.
Amanda Schoen – Director of Industry Relations: Amanda leads all coordination within the offshore wind industry including outreach and engagement with suppliers, associations, NGOs, and community groups. She began her career working on Capitol Hill in Washington DC and most recently was the US Offshore Policy Director for Vestas, where she engaged directly with federal and state lawmakers to promote certainty and growth for offshore wind development and manufacturing.
Ana Fisyak, AICP – Community Engagement Manager: Ana is responsible for external relations and engaging stakeholders and communities in New York across Long Island and Queens for the Beacon Wind project. She is a trained urban planner with over a decade of experience collaborating with environmental justice and frontline communities. Ana helped launch The RISE Center, a Rockaway-based community hub for climate change education. Her work in recent years has focused on planning and community engagement to prioritize biodiversity, community-led conservation, jobs, and youth leadership.
Kristin Kelleher – Stakeholder Engagement Manager: Kristin is responsible for stakeholder engagement in New England for the Beacon Wind Project where she works to raise awareness, identify local opportunities, and maintain communication with stakeholders. She previously served as the Vice Consul for Prosperity, Energy & Climate Policy at the British Consulate in Boston. Kristin has also led policy and programming for a clean energy business association and served as a legislative aide in the Massachusetts State Legislature. She serves on the Board of the Connecticut Power and Energy Society and on the selection committee as a mentor for UMass Amherst’s Offshore Wind Access Scholarship.
Alba Peña – Community Engagement Manager: Alba manages external relations in New York City for Empire Wind, engaging with communities and stakeholders. She previously worked for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America supporting the development of programs and initiatives for at-risk youth. Alba also worked at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, creating educational opportunities for youth and families from historically marginalized communities.
Susan Lienau- Community Engagement Manager: Susan manages external relations for the Empire and Beacon Wind projects, engaging with communities and stakeholders on Long Island. Susan has over 15 years experience working with communities, elected officials, and stakeholders across Long Island with extensive experience in the Capital Region and throughout New York. She previously worked for Discover Long Islandwhere she developed community partnerships and engaged with the local communities and elected officials.
Lauren Shane – Senior Communications Manager: Lauren leads internal and external communications, including media and digital communications, for Equinor Renewables US. She has worked at Equinor for more than a decade, most recently as communications manager for Equinor’s upstream business in the United Kingdom. Previously, Lauren worked on communications for the company’s US onshore business in Houston, Texas, as well as communications for strategy and business development in London.
Brian Young- Senior Communications Consultant: Brian works on internal and external communications, including media and digital communications, for Equinor Renewables US. Before joining Equinor, he previously worked as strategic communications consultant for labor unions throughout the Northeast. He also previously worked as a community organizer on Long Island focused on economic justice issues in low-income communities.
“Our reputation defines us as an organization and is essential to realizing everything we hope to achieve,” said Lauren Shane, Senior Communications Manager. “Open, consistent and transparent communications with communities in which we operate is a priority for Equinor. We look forward to partnering with community members and key stakeholders in moving this industry forward – and we will get there, together.”
ABOUT EQUINOR RENEWABLES US
- Equinor is one of the largest offshore wind developers in the United States, where it is developing two lease areas, Empire Wind and Beacon Wind.
- Equinor is actively developing three projects: Empire Wind 1, Empire Wind 2, and Beacon Wind 1. Once completed, these projects will produce enough electricity to power about 2 million New York homes, and will help generate more than $1 billion in economic output to New York State.
- The United States is an attractive growth market for Equinor, a leader in offshore wind, with an ambition to install 12-16 GW of renewables capacity globally by 2030.
About Empire Wind and Beacon Wind
- Empire Wind and Beacon Wind are being developed by Equinor and bp through their 50-50 strategic partnership in the U.S.
- Empire Wind is located 15-30 miles southeast of Long Island and spans 80,000 acres, with water depths of between 65 and 131 feet. The lease was acquired in 2017.The projects two phases, Empire Wind 1 and 2, have a total installed capacity of more than 2 GW (816 + 1,260 MW).
- Beacon Wind is located more than 60 miles east of Montauk Point and 20 miles south of Nantucket and covers 128,000 acres. The lease was acquired in 2019 and has the potential to be developed with a total capacity of more than 2 GW. This first phase, Beacon Wind 1, is currently under development; it will have an installed capacity of 1,230 MW.
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