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Henrik Stiesdal

Tuesday Opening Plenary Speaker: Ms Leslie Kass

Title: Executive Vice-President, Technical Centre

Biography: As Executive Vice-President, Technical Centre reporting to Francois Poirier, Ms. Kass has responsibility for all central technical functions including engineering, construction management systems and processes, safety, quality and compliance, security, supply chain, emergency management and resource capability management.

Prior to joining TC Energy, Ms. Kass has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises Inc. (B&W). She has also held progressively senior positions with B&W and in the energy sector for over 25 years.

Ms. Kass is a results-oriented leader with extensive experience that includes engineering, finance, operations, project management, business development and regulatory affairs. Having led significant acquisition integrations, divestitures and enterprise initiatives, Leslie brings a wealth of knowledge that spans North American and international markets.

Ms. Kass holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Duke University Fuqua School of Business in Durham, North Carolina and a Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Henrik Stiesdal

Thursday Luncheon Speaker
Wednesday Executive Panel Participant
Curriculum Vitae:
Ms Maria van der Hoeven

Biography: Ms Maria van der Hoeven is a Dutch professional with broad political and managerial expertise.
She started her professional career as a teacher. Later on she became director of a Vocational Training Centre for Adults and director of Technology Centre Limburg.

In these jobs she demonstrated  great competence in managing change and transition.

Her political career started in 1974 when she was elected as member of the City Council of Maastricht, her home town.
In 1991 she became Member of Parliament. In this capacity she fulfilled several functions within her caucus. She was vice-president of the House of Parliament for several years.

From July  2002 to February  2007 Ms van der Hoeven served as Minister of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands and from February 2007 to October 2010 as Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy. In both capacities she demonstrated leadership at national, regional and EU level.

Ms van der Hoeven took over as Executive Director of the IEA on 1 September 2011 and has led the Agency during a period of exceptional change in the global energy economy, as rapidly shifting supply/demand balances for oil and other major fuels transform the IEA’s traditional mandate. He mandate ended on 31 August 2015.

Ms van der Hoeven responded by enhancing IEA engagement with key non-member countries including Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa. Under her leadership, the IEA admitted its 29th member, Estonia, and increased its co-operation with OPEC and the International Energy Forum (IEF) as well as signed a partnership accord with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), APEC and other multi-lateral institutions.

Ms. Van der Hoeven has repeatedly emphasised the close link between climate and energy policy. A member of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate led by former President Felipe Calderón of Mexico, she has initiated discussions  between policy makers and industry representatives on the impact of climate change on energy security, and sought to raise awareness among young people around the world of the problem of climate change and the need to get informed and take action. She has also promoted renewables and energy efficiency as part of the critical role she believes innovation and technology play in contributing to energy security while supporting climate goals.

These and her other initiatives reflect her overall focus on energy security in all forms, for all people. That includes the hundreds of millions around the world who lack access to modern energy services, and in recognition of her efforts in this area, she was invited to serve on the Advisory Board for the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative and to be a member of the international jury of the UN DESA grant.

Since September 2015 Ms van der Hoeven is member of the Board of Trustees of Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado (US) and senior fellow at Clingendael International Energy Program (CIEP)

Since 2016  Ms van der Hoeven is Member of the Supervisory Board of INNOGY SE (Germany) and Non-executive director of TOTAL SA (France).

Ms van der Hoeven is a recognised speaker on energy issues at international fora and symposia.