October 11 – A Discussion on the Fusion Energy Policy and Regulation Landscape

On October 11, 2023 from 12 P.M. – 1:30 P.M., join us for a special lunch event in conjunction with Fusion Week and learn how your community will benefit from fusion energy and fusion jobs!

The emergence of fusion energy represents a new frontier in the cleantech sector. This new source of clean energy could be ready to commercialize within the decade, but is the policy and regulatory landscape prepared? Register to learn about the unique federal and state policy needs of fusion energy and to discuss how fusion should be regulated differently than other technologies.

Learn More About 2023 Fusion Week. (Please note that tickets are still available for Day 2 programming on Thursday, Oct. 12 at WSU-Everett).

11:30AM – 12:00 PM PT – Special Pre-Event In-Person Networking Opportunity:

Senator Maria Cantwell, United States Senator for the State of Washington, United States Senate

Maria Cantwell currently serves as a United States Senator for the State of Washington. As a respected leader – both in public service and in the private sector – Maria has always embraced the values she first learned growing up in a strong working-class family. With the help of Pell Grants, Maria was the first member of her family to graduate college. Later, a successful businesswoman in Washington’s hi-tech industry, she helped build a company that created hundreds of high-paying jobs from the ground up.

Maria was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000, 2006, 2012, and again in 2018, pledging to honor the hard work, aspirations and faith of the people of Washington state. She is working to create affordable opportunities for consumers, businesses and families, to make our nation more secure today, to foster innovation for tomorrow, and to stand with parents as they educate and care for their children.

Maria gets results. She cut taxes for the middle-class by ensuring that Washington taxpayers can deduct state and local taxes from their federal returns. She fought attempts by the Bush Administration to raise local electricity rates. When bankrupt Enron officials tried to charge Washington ratepayers for millions of dollars in undelivered electricity, Maria led the effort that successfully stopped them. Maria has protected countless jobs in Washington’s aerospace industry by cracking down on foreign companies’ unfair trade practices and has worked to create still more well-paying jobs through effective investments in new technology and valuable job training. Maria is leading efforts in the Senate to make America more energy independent. She has been a proud advocate for better educational opportunities for our children and less expensive, more accessible health care for our families. Maria continues to build new growth and strong partnerships, insisting on responsibility and making life more affordable for all of Washington ‘s families.

12:00PM – 1:30 PM PT Official Lunch Programming

Introductory Speaker:

Stacey Bosshardt, Senior Counsel, Perkins Coie

Stacey Bosshardt litigates environmental and administrative law cases. She represents mining, transmission, renewable energy, real estate, and other business and governmental clients in environmental and natural resources litigation throughout the country. Stacey’s substantial experience includes positions as assistant section chief and senior trial attorney in the Natural Resources Section of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Environment and Natural Resources Division, where she litigated

and supervised dozens of cases brought in U.S. district courts. Her experience with cases involving public lands includes litigation under the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Clean Water Act, Federal Lands Policy Management Act, Mineral Leasing Act, National Forest Management Act, and Administrative Procedure Act.

In her positions at DOJ, Stacey supervised a team of 10 trial attorneys representing the federal government in lawsuits related to its management of public lands and natural resources. She was selected as lead attorney to defend federal agency high-profile decisions in U.S. district courts throughout the country, including loan guarantees, proposed land management decisions, and rights of way and special use permits for renewable energy facilities, transmission line upgrades, a groundwater development project, and cleanup of contaminated sites. Her client agencies in those challenges to federal approvals included the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. National Park Service U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Export-Import Bank, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. General Services Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Stacey has also worked either as trial counsel or supervisor on the defense of challenges to multiple DOT-funded projects, including highways, interchanges, trail conversions, bridges, light rail, high-speed rail, and bus rapid transit projects.

Stacey served as ethics advisor to the White House Counsel’s office during the Obama administration. She was also recruited as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs’ special investigation into the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, which focused on the intersection of climate-driven events and disaster preparedness. Before focusing on environmental and administrative law, Stacey was a trial attorney in DOJ’s Civil Division in the Torts Branch, where she defended the government in 16 cases arising out of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Boston Field Office’s handling of confidential informants over a 40-year period.


Senator Joe Nguyễn, Senator for Washington’s 34th Legislative District, Washington State Legislature

Born and raised in the 34th Legislative District, Sen. Joe Nguyễn has deep roots in the community. His experiences and his involvement with community makes him an ardent champion for investing in Washington families and residents, expanding economic opportunities, and marks him a bold leader in our fight against the climate crisis.

Joe is the Chair of the Environment, Energy & Technology Committee. He is also serves on the Ways & Means Committee, Human Services Committee, and is the Senate Democratic Assistant Floor Leader. Elected to the state Senate in 2019, he has spent his tenure advocating for working families and community members who historically have been left out of the political process. His priorities mirror the committees he serves on.

Joe has been a thoughtful and innovative leader in his efforts to mitigate the climate crisis. He knows only too well how marginalized communities experience environmental harm disproportionately, and that to ensure that our communities thrive as a whole, we need to act urgently. His sponsored legislation has increased availability of zero emissions vehicles and expanded the Clean Buildings Act.


Dr. Aditi Verma, Assistant Professor, Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan

Dr. Aditi Verma joined NERS in the Fall of 2021 as an Assistant Research Scientist and became an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2022. She supports and interacts with the Fastest Path team as a Faculty Associate. Verma is a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’s Project on Managing the Atom, and former Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Belfer Center where she was jointly appointed by the Project on Managing the Atom and the International Security Program. At MIT, she was a Burchard Scholar and a Kelly-Douglas Fellow.

Andrew Sowder, Senior Technical Executive, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) 

Andrew has over two decades of experience in advanced nuclear energy policy and research. He joined EPRI in 2007 as a Technical Executive after working for the U.S. Department of State as a Physical Scientist and Foreign Affairs Officer. He received a B.S. in Optics from the University of Rochester in 1990 and a Ph.D. in environmental nuclear engineering from Clemson University in 1998. He is currently working on a research focus area on advanced nuclear technology energy systems to promote alignment of public sector investment in national R&D programs and private sector innovation efforts with the needs of the technology customer. 

John Edwards, Senior Advisor, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)

John Edwards is a Senior Advisor at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).  John received his PhD in plasma physics from Imperial College London and has over 35 years experience in high energy density physics and inertial confinement fusion (ICF) with the majority of this time focused on national security applications.   John was the ICF Program Director at LLNL for much of the last decade until 2021 and oversaw the development of the integrated design that eventually went on to achieve ignition.  John is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, holds the Fusion Power Associates Leadership Award and is a co-winner of the American Physical Society’s 2022 Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research for the first laboratory demonstration of a burning deuterium-tritium plasma where alpha heating dominates the plasma energetics.