The Women Leading The Advanced Biofuel Industry
International Women’s Day is an important occasion to recognize and spotlight women around the world and the impact of their contributions on our lives. Women have had a profound impact on the energy sector since the early 1900s, with scientific pioneers like Dr. Lisa Meitner and Dr. Mária Telkes leading the way in the effort to develop low-carbon energy sources to power our lives. Today, the Advanced Biofuels Association (ABFA) seeks to honor the women leading companies striving to develop the next generation of advanced biofuels that will decarbonize transportation fuel, bridge the electrical gap, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
Dr. Jennifer Holmgren is a Board Member at LanzaJet and CEO of LanzaTech, a revolutionary carbon recycling company that uses bacteria to convert waste emissions into fuels – much like retrofitting a brewery onto a landfill or a steel mill. Under her stewardship, LanzaTech is working towards the development of a variety of platform chemicals and fuels, including the world’s first alternative jet fuel, from waste emissions.
In 2003, she was the first woman awarded the prestigious Malcolm E. Pruitt Award –given to a chemist who has contributed to the advancement of chemistry-related sciences and engineering through collaboration with industry, academia, and government – by the Council for Chemical Research. She and her LanzaTech team were also awarded the EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Award in recognition of their technologies incorporating green chemistry into chemical design, manufacture, and use.
Dr. Rebecca Boudreaux, President and CEO, Oberon
Dr. Rebecca Boudreaux is President and CEO of Oberon, which develops a synthetically produced alternative to diesel fuel called dimethyl ether (DME). DME is a powerful alternative that can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation sector, offering a 68-101% reduction in Greenhouse Gases. Dr. Boudreaux, with her unique blend of technical skills and business expertise, leads the company’s strategic partnership initiatives and the regulatory and legislative development for the use of DME as a fuel.
Helen Cornell, Chairman and CEO, Owensboro Grain
Helen Cornell is Chairman and CEO of Owensboro Grain Company, a Kentucky-based, family-owned soy processor that supplies 45 million gallons of renewable fuel per year to the nation’s energy supply. She shares the same entrepreneurial spirit as the company’s founder, Henry E. O’Bryan, who toured the country on a bicycle, and seeks to produce the highest quality biodiesel possible with minimal environmental impact or waste products.
Cynthia “CJ” J. Warner, President and CEO, Renewable Energy Group
Cynthia “CJ” Warner has been a leader in traditional and renewable energy sectors for more than 40 years and has held key roles in technology development, operations, business development strategy, environment, health and safety verticals. She now leads the Renewable Energy Group (RGE), America’s largest producer of biodiesel. Under Ms. Warner’s leadership, RGE produced 495 million gallons of renewable biodiesel that delivered over 4.2 million metric tons of carbon reduction.
The Advanced Biofuels Association is honored to work with and elevate women who are leading the way to a lower-emissions future. To learn more about the Advanced Biofuels Association and its members, we invite you to visit our Priorities and Members pages.