About Us

/About Us
About Us 2019-01-26T03:25:14+00:00
Matthew Schatzman
Matthew SchatzmanPresident and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Mr. Matthew Schatzman – President and Chief Executive Officer

Matthew (Matt) Schatzman was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of NextDecade Corporation (NASDAQ: NEXT) on February 1, 2018. He joined the company on September 18, 2017, as President and member of the Board of Directors. Schatzman has over 30 years of experience in the energy industry, including as Executive Vice President Global Energy Marketing and Shipping and member of the Group Executive Committee at BG Group where he was responsible for the company’s global marketing, trading and shipping activities for LNG, crude oil and natural gas. During his tenure at BG Group, Schatzman played a pivotal role in the success and growth of BG Group’s LNG business, transforming it into a global leader in flexible LNG supply and trading. Schatzman also held senior executive roles at Dynegy and started his career at Transco Pipeline, a subsidiary of Williams. In addition to managing an international portfolio of LNG, shipping and commodity trading positions, Schatzman’s expertise extends to hedging, risk management and process improvement across a diverse portfolio of development and operating assets. Schatzman graduated from Yale University with a BA in Political Science and is a member of the National Petroleum Council.

Ivan van der Walt
Ivan van der WaltProject Manager, Rio Grande LNG

Mr. Ivan van der Walt – Project Manager, Rio Grande LNG

Ivan van der Walt was appointed Project Manager in July 2018. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day development activities of the Rio Grande LNG facility and the associated Rio Bravo Pipeline. van der Walt has nearly 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, including senior roles with CB&I (now McDermott) and Chevron. He also previously served as chief executive of the Australasian division of the KNM Group. van der Walt has management experience on multiple LNG projects including Darwin LNG, Woodside LNG Train 5, Pluto LNG, and Gorgon LNG. He has provided dynamic and motivational leadership with a demonstrated ability to deliver results in diverse and challenging business environments and has successfully managed cross-country pipelines and compressor station projects in support of the LNG and power industries. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology.

Ben Atkins
Ben AtkinsChief Financial Officer (CFO)

Mr. Ben Atkins – Chief Financial Officer

Ben Atkins was appointed Chief Financial Officer of NextDecade in November 2015. He has implemented an array of financial management and accounting processes and oversaw these functions through the company’s public listing process in 2017. Atkins has nearly 20 years of experience in these areas, with a particular focus on the energy sector. Prior to joining NextDecade, Atkins was Senior Vice President at GE Capital, where he led more than $1 billion of debt and structured equity transactions and was selected to support the Chief Risk Officer with a review of sponsor finance transactions and the implementation of Board initiatives across a $400 billion portfolio. Prior to GE Capital, Atkins served financial services clients at McKinsey & Company and worked as a risk manager in State Street Corporation’s Securities Finance division. Atkins graduated as class valedictorian from the U.S. Naval Academy and proudly served in the U.S. Navy Submarine Force. He earned a Master of Arts degree from Oxford University. Atkins is a CFA® charter holder and a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Connecticut and Texas.

Erik Ludtke
Erik LudtkeChief Commercial Officer (CCO)

Mr. Erik Ludtke – Chief Commercial Officer

Erik Ludtke joined NextDecade as Chief Commercial Officer on November 1, 2018. As Chief Commercial Officer, Ludtke is responsible for developing commercial strategies for NextDecade’s customers, including leveraging NextDecade’s optimal location with unique LNG pricing options indexed to oil, as well as Waha and Henry Hub. Ludtke also oversees natural gas supply portfolio management and NextDecade’s midstream strategy – which involves NextDecade’s Rio Bravo Pipeline as well as engagement with third parties. Ludtke has nearly 25 years of experience in the energy industry. Prior to joining NextDecade, Ludtke led commercial and business development activities at NorthStar Midstream, a portfolio company of Oaktree Capital. From 2006 until 2011, Ludtke led Apache Corporation’s oil and gas marketing and trading group in the U.S. and Latin America. He has also previously held regional and project management roles for Duke Energy and BG Group, with assignments and leadership responsibilities in Argentina, India, Israel, and the United Kingdom. Ludtke holds an economics degree from Texas A&M University and completed executive development coursework at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Krysta De Lima
Krysta De LimaGeneral Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Ms. Krysta Lima – General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Krysta De Lima joined NextDecade as General Counsel in July 2015. De Lima was appointed to the additional role of Corporate Secretary upon the company’s public listing in July 2017. A practicing transactional lawyer for more than 20 years, De Lima is responsible for all legal and contractual matters affecting NextDecade. Prior to joining NextDecade, De Lima was Senior Counsel with Bechtel’s Oil, Gas and Chemicals business unit in Houston. She was previously with BG Group for twelve years, serving in a variety of roles supporting the development of BG Group’s LNG investments and projects. De Lima was Vice President, Legal, advising on matters affecting BG Group’s investment in Atlantic LNG, as well as the company’s major producing and development assets in Trinidad. De Lima was later appointed Chief of Staff of the Trinidad asset. She began her career in private practice with eight years at Arthur Andersen. De Lima is qualified to practice law in New York, France, England, the British Virgin Islands and Trinidad and Tobago.