Conference Organizers


Luka Powanga

Dr. Luka Powanga is a professor in the Anderson College of Business at Regis University and the Executive Director of the Global Commerce Forum.  He is also the Managing Editor of the Journal of Global Commerce Research and the Journal of Current Research in Global Business.  He is currently the US correspondent for CargoNews Asia a trade magazine based in Hong Kong.

He holds a BSC degree in Metallurgy and Mineral Processing, Masters and PhD degrees in Mineral Economics from Colorado School of Mines with a minor in Finance from the Graduate School at Denver University.  He also holds a Masters degree in Computer Information Technology and Graduate Level Certificate in Object Oriented Programming from Regis University.  His industry and academic experience spans over thirty years at middle and senior management levels.  He consults in mining and international business management. He taught at Colorado School of Mines before transitioning to Regis University.

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Dr. Robert Stoner

After earning his Ph.D. in condensed matter physics at Brown University in 1992, Dr. Stoner joined the Microprocessor Development Group at Intel Corporation. In 1995, he formed Cooper Mountain Corporation, which developed the first commercial instruments to incorporate ultrafast pulsed lasers. These instruments, based on the picosecond ultrasonic method which he co-invented, are now extensively used to characterize computer chips during production. He subsequently founded Vinestone Corporation, a UK-based peer-to-peer database and workflow software developer. Dr. Stoner later held a number of senior executive positions and served as Chairman of the Technical Advisory Board at Zygo Corporation, a developer of precision optical systems and instruments for the global consumer electronics, aerospace and semiconductor industries.

Dr. Stoner received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University, Canada. He was a National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada Scholar, and holds US patents in the fields of semiconductor devices, optical measurement and imaging systems, optical devices, network computing, and acoustics. His current technical interests include high resolution imaging techniques, distributed computing, and energy distribution and storage technology and policy for developing countries.

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Michael Allender

Michael Allender is a retired Hewlett Packard engineering manager with over 30 years combined engineering and management experience. He joined Hewlett Packard in 1973 in Loveland Colorado and began his career as an engineer in an Integrated Circuit manufacturing and R&D facility designing and building complex Integrated Circuit products used in instrumentation products for highly technical applications.

In 1986 he left HP and took a position as the Engineering Manager with Microlithics a subsidiary of the Coors Porcelain Company in Golden Colorado. At Microlithics Michael managed the development and production highly reliable products used in the Trident Submarine Project. In 1988 Michael returned to Hewlett Packard in Corvallis Oregon to work in HP’s fledgling Ink Jet facility. During his 18 years in Corvallis, Hewlett Packard’s ink jet group grew into a multi-billion dollar division of HP. While working in HP’s Ink Jet R&D group Michael managed numerous aspects of a variety of new and innovative HP Ink Jet products that were introduced into both the commercial and personal printing markets.

Michael received his BSEE with distinction at the University of Virginia and his MSEE from Colorado State University focusing on Physical Electronics and Solid State Physics at both institutions. He has a demonstrated competence in leading diverse teams to deliver on complex projects across a broad spectrum of disciplines.


Rocio Perez

Rocío Pérez is the Principal of Inventiva Consulting, LLC.  Ms. Pérez is an expert with more than 20 years in developing talent and energizing teams, designing and executing business & marketing strategies.  Ms. Pérez helps companies design a strategic and profitable future by saving them time, energy and money while increasing their productivity and profits.  She is the former President and CEO, Definitive Marketing, LLC, a multicultural marketing consulting firm.

Ms. Pérez’s core competency and experience includes:

  • Guiding leaders through change management process

  • Coaching leaders and individuals with their professional development needs

  • Assessing organizational needs and implementing innovative solutions

  • Creating strategic and congruent marketing strategies

Ms. Pérez holds the following degrees: a B.S. in International Business (University of Colorado), a Dual MBA in International Business and Marketing (Regis University), and a Certificate in International Entrepreneurship (University of Colorado).

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Lamine Savadogo

Mr. Lamine Savadogo has dedicated his entire professional career to developing ties between Africa, his continent of origin, and the United Sates his adopted home. Mr. Lamine Savadogo glides seamlessly between the cultures of his dual world, drawing on skills, knowledge and experience garnered throughout a career that encompasses positions in government, academia and business. He is the President and Founder of Marison Energy Systems Corporation, a Massachusetts-based international business development firm specialized in US-Africa trade and investment. Since its inception, the firm has established an impressive record of achievements and has a roster of past and current clients ranging from small firms to Fortune 100 companies, as well as Federal Government Agencies, Multilateral institutions and African Government entities.

Prior to founding Marison International, he worked for the Massachusetts Port Authority as Manager of International Trade Promotion Services for Europe of Africa. In that capacity, he assisted hundreds of New England companies in developing international markets for their products and services. In recognition of his effectiveness, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts awarded him a citation for “Outstanding Performance” in 1990.


With a keen interest in issues related to cross cultural interactions and the conduct of business transactions across national boundaries, he has taught African Languages at both Boston and Harvard Universities. He is a regular speaker at international business seminars and authored articles published in several magazines. In 1993, World Trade Magazine inducted him in the World Trade Hall of Fame as “One of 11 Americans changing the way the World does business”.
Mr. Savadogo has served on the boards of several institutions, including three terms as a member of the Sub Saharan Advisory Committee of the Export Import Bank, a body mandated by the US Congress to provide guidance to the bank in developing its lending activities in Africa.


In 2001, Mr. Savadogo was elevated to the rank of Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mali, by the President of the Republic of his native Mali (Knighted). Mr. Savadogo is also a Global Ambassador for the Edison Electric Institute.


He is a native of Mali and a graduate of the University of Massachusetts. He is fluent in Bambara, French, English, and Portuguese, with a working knowledge of German.


Irene Giner-Reichl

Irene Giner-Reichl has been a member of the Austrian Diplomatic Service since 1982. Her main areas of expertise are economic and social development, women’s rights’ issues, environment, energy, and development cooperation.

Irene Giner- Reichl has held numerous international bureau functions. From 1995 to 1998 she was director of the international department of the Austrian Ministry for the Environment. From 1998 to 2001 she was Austria’s permanent representative to the UN, IAEA, UNIDO and CTBTO in Vienna. From 2001 to 2004 she headed the UNIDO office in New York in the rank of assistant director general. From 2005 to 2012 she was director general in charge of Austria’s development policy and cooperation.

Since 2012, she held the position of Austrian ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and Mongolia until recently when she transitioned to her current position.

Irene Giner-Reichl is president of the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy (GFSE), which she founded in 1999 as a multi-stake-holder platform for dialogues on energy in the service of sustainable development, and vice-president of the REN21 steering committee.

She has published books and articles on international relations and global issues. She has lectured at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna for several years on human security and development policy.

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Philip Mshebila

Philip graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1990 with a degree in Human Medicine (MB,BS), and went on to work for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). In 1994 he left NNPC to work for National Oil & Chemical Marketing Plc (a Shell JV) as a Medical Officer. He further studied Occupational & Environmental Medicine at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and underwent training and attachments in various Shell refineries and petrochemical plants in the UK, France and The Netherlands, rising to the position of Chief Medical Officer and Corporate Health Safety and Environment Adviser. He also obtained a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the IESE Business School of the University of Navarra, Spain in 2000. Subsequently he joined Shell Nigeria Oil Products working for Shell Health Services as the Regional Health Adviser for Africa. In this position he oversaw the management of all health and related matters for Shell downstream (retail, marine, aviation, LPG, manufacturing, consumer & industrial) and chemicals businesses in 35 African countries.


In 2004 he left the medical practice to work as Regional (Business) Adviser for Africa in the International Directorate of Royal Dutch Shell in The Hague, The Netherlands. In this position he provided cross-business and country advice to the Regional Managing Directors of Shell on African matters. He also served briefly as the Private Assistant to the Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell.


He subsequently moved to the Gas & Power business where he worked in LNG Business Development as the Planning & Integration Manager, and subsequently as a Commercial Manager. Subsequently he worked as the Project Development Manager on various Gas & Power projects. In 2009 he joined an industry team to evaluate the Nigerian Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), as the gas subject matter expert. In 2010 Philip was appointed as the Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Gas Ltd, a natural gas distribution company that builds and operates pipeline networks in Lagos, Aba and Port Harcourt areas of Nigeria, supplying natural gas to over 60 industrial and commercial customers.


Philip became the General Manager for Sustainable Development and Community Relations in the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria from January 2012, overseeing social performance, sustainable development, social investment, community relations and relations with the state governments in the Niger Delta. Most recently he was appointed as the Regional Communications Manager for West Africa.

Paul Ndione

Paul Ndione

Paul Ndione joined the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in 2010. Since then, he
has been leading research activities associated with the development of transparent conducting
oxides for photovoltaics (PV), high temperature solar selective absorbers for concentrated solar
thermal power (CSP), new absorbers for solar water splitting, and wide band gap semiconductors
for power electronics. His tasks have also included mentoring graduate students and postdocs.
Dr. Ndione is currently a project lead in the Cell and Module Performance Group, the premier
U.S. Department of Energy research laboratory for testing performance of commercial,
developmental, and research PV devices, and one of only four laboratories worldwide certified in
accordance with the IEC standard for calibrating terrestrial primary reference PV cells. He assists
the manager in overseeing and coordinating the activities of the Group and manages projects
related to the development and improvement of certification, calibration, and test of PV devices
of any size, shape, or technology from around the world.

Dr. Ndione is active in several international organizations, including IEC Standards Committees
that prepare International Standards for systems of photovoltaic energy production and
distribution. He is also associated with the Clean Energy Solution Center where he has been
moderating webinars designed to help African governments to implement policies and programs
that support the deployment of clean energy technologies. Through the Climate Technology
Centre & Network, he has participated in the training of African Scientists to establish accredited laboratory in Africa for testing PV modules. He aims to adapt solar technology to the realities of Africa, and promote collaboration between the USA and Africa in the field of renewable energy.


Dr. Ndione holds a Ph.D. in Energy and Materials Science from the University of Quebec.


Victor Ngoma

Mr. Victor Ngoma is a seasoned Strategic Marketing and Business Development
Professional in the Oil and Gas/ Energy and Manufacturing sectors. He has spent 16
years in the oil and gas industry as an Engineer, Technical Sales Executive, and in
Strategic Marketing, Business Development & Project Management for major US corporations including Halliburton Energy Services, BJ Services
Company, Baker Hughes Inc., a GE Company, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, and Emerson Electric. He has a vast knowledge of the upstream phase of the industry having worked in various basins in North America, Alaska, and other locations around the world in conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources. 


Mr. Ngoma is a Senior Partner and Co-Founder of North American Development Group ( and is on the organizing committee of the Energy Africa Conference.


He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining and Mineral Engineering from The
University of Arizona, a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Accounting from Regis University, an Executive Certificate in Global Marketing
from Thunderbird School of Global Management, and a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business Strategy from Harvard Business School.


He consults in the oil and gas/energy industry.

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James Chisenga

James Chisenga was appointed Counsellor – Economic, at the Embassy of Zambia in 2012. Handles issues of development cooperation and investment.

Prior to his appointment as counsellor economic, James worked as Assistant Registrar at the University of Zambia, in Lusaka. Mr. Chisenga holds a bachelor of Arts degree in Public administration and development studies.

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Eboni Graham

Eboni Graham believes the Energy Africa conference is an amazing opportunity to change many people’s lives permanently and positively. I know It will truly impact the lives of people not on the continent but worldwide and I am grateful to be a part of the change project. Eboni is pursuing a Bachelors in business administration to work in the Foster Care industry. She previously interned as a Marketer during summer. Eboni is passionate about making a difference in her community and in the society. She is involved in multiple non-profit organizations such as Y.A.S.S.P.A (Youth Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism) which focuses on helping youths identify their passions and define their career paths before going to College.

David Owens

David Owens

Retired Executive Vice President, Edison Electric Institute
President of Da’Vas LLC

David K. Owens is an accomplished executive with extensive experience in public policies surrounding utility operations, strategic planning, technology development, rate making and regulation. 


He is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on electric utility issues, industry restructuring and transformation.  His experience in the electricity sector includes leading the Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI’s) efforts over a broad set of issues that affect the future structure of the electric industry, and new rules in evolving competitive markets.


He was responsible over the strategic areas of energy supply and finance, environment, energy delivery, energy services, state regulatory issues, and international affairs. He also spearheaded efforts to enhance the public policy climate for investments in America’s electric infrastructure with emphasis on the role of new electrification technologies to address climate change, and to enhance energy efficiency through smart buildings, smart appliances, smart meters, and smart electric grids.


Mr. Owens retired from EEI in June 2017 with four decades of utility experience.  He remains an advisor to EEI and serves on the Board of Xcel Energy.  He also chairs the Transformation Advisory Council providing insights in the new design of the Puerto Rico electric systems.


Akilah Murrell

Known for her global marketing experience in both B2B and B2C organizations, Akilah helps leading tech companies realize their unique positioning in the marketplace. With 18 years in the IT industry, she has provided software solution marketers with the tools and insight required to develop targeted, relevant, and timely campaigns; including the creation of successful Channel strategies for Vendors and Partners at CenturyLink. Driven by challenge, overcoming obstacles, and being part of a team that focuses on moving the needle from good to great. Upon attending the Energy Africa Conference, Akilah has discovered a newfound passion for being a part of strategic activities to help connect key individuals and companies to the people of Africa. Akilah strives to keep a well-balanced life with her husband and two kids. Traveling the world with her family is always a welcome adventure and provides a refreshing point of view on life and a business.