Leadership Class

The Institute for Energy Law’s Leadership Class is a new program in 2018 designed primarily for energy professionals who have been practicing in the energy field between three and ten years. The first class is made up of 35 individuals who were selected by a committee after completing an application process.

The Program

The program begins with a mandatory day and a half retreat in Houston on September 20-21, 2018.  The program will have monthly remote or live programs in October through January. The class will have a special event at IEL’s 70th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference in Houston on February 20-22, 2019. The program will conclude with a graduation at the National Young Energy Professionals’ Law Conference in March or April 2019 (conference site and dates still being confirmed, but most likely Austin or San Antonio, Texas).  Attendance is mandatory at the retreat and either the 70th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference or the National Young Energy Professionals’ Law Conference, but recommended at all three. The class will be expected to participate in a class project of its own design.

Retreat Schedule

Click here for information on the schedule for the retreat.

General Benefits

Program participants will be introduced to unique leaders within and outside the energy industry, including ExxonMobil’s General Counsel, Randy Ebner, and AT&T’s General Counsel, David McAtee.  Through participation, class members will learn more about the energy industry, leadership, communication, diversity, and careers in energy. Participants will also learn about their strengths and weaknesses, the traits of good leaders, and opportunities for success as energy professionals. In addition, participants will build bonds with other class members and energy leaders, including IEL leaders.


The 35 unique and accomplished individuals listed below make up IEL’s first Leadership Class.

  • Erich Almonte, King & Spalding LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Brian Anderson, Chevron North America Exploration & Production Company, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
  • Nadège Assalé, Bradley Murchison Kelly & Shea LLC, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Lisa Butler, Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Eric Camp, Decker Jones, P.C., Fort Worth, Texas
  • Aaron Friess, Stinson Leonard Street LLP, Bismark, North Dakota
  • Amanda Hanks, Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., Houston, Texas
  • Jackie Hickman, Liskow & Lewis, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Jeffrey Johnson, BHP Billiton Petroleum, Houston, Texas
  • Jennifer Johnson, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Benedict Kirchner, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, Meadville, Pennsylvania
  • Brad Knapp, Locke Lord LLP, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Lucas Liben, Reed Smith LLP, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Jesse Lotay, Jackson Walker LLP, San Antonio, Texas
  • Jillian Marullo, Liskow & Lewis, Houston, Texas
  • Luis Miranda, Miranda Law Firm, Houston, Texas
  • Nick Morrell, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Christopher L. Morrow, The Williams Companies, Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Cristina Mulcahy, Stein & Brockmann, P.A., Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Sarah Nealis, Shearman & Sterling LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Tina Nguyen, Baker Botts LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Kelly O'Bryan da Mota, Cimmaron Land, Inc., Bridgeville, Pennsylvania
  • Bryon Rice, Beck Redden LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Tracey Rice, Copeland & Rice LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Betty Richmond, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, Houston, Texas
  • Bianca Roberson, Shell Oil Company, Houston, Texas
  • Jay Rothrock, Vinson & Elkins LLP, Washington, D.C.
  • Brittany Salup, Chevron Upstream Law, Covington, Louisiana
  • Rachel Scarafia, Kelly Hart & Pitre, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Jessica Schmidt, Holland & Hart LLP, Denver, Colorado
  • Meghan Smith, Jones Walker, LLP, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Trevor Smith, The Williams Companies, Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Aditi Suresh, White & Case LLP, New York, New York
  • Justin Tschoepe, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, Houston, Texas
  • Lauren Woodard, Shell Oil Company, Houston, Texas

Costs and Direct Benefits

The program fee is $650 (due after selection to the program and no later than August 1st). This cost provides individuals with the following direct benefits:

  1. Associate Membership in IEL for the remainder of 2018 and all of 2019 (normally costs $650);
  2. Participation in All Leadership Class Events;
  3. Free Registration to the 70th Annual Oil and Gas Law Conference (free for Associate Members, otherwise usually $745);
  4. Free Registration to the National Young Energy Professionals’ Law Conference (usually $255 to $295); and
  5. Free Registration to Houston General Counsel Forum, as well as the General Counsel Forums in Denver and Pittsburgh (usually $40 each).

Class members are responsible for any and all travel costs.


Completion of the class is not the end. Instead, it is the beginning of what will hopefully be a long relationship with IEL and other class members.  Class members are encouraged to serve on committees, to write for publications, and to participate in IEL programs. Our plan is to also develop alumni programs as more leadership classes are completed and to host special events for leadership class alumni.


If you have questions regarding the Leadership Class, please contact:

Vickie Adams
IEL Associate Director