About Us

/About Us
About Us 2017-08-04T15:26:58+00:00

It is a privilege to be leading the execution of a pioneering LNG development in the Rio Grande Valley supported by a team with unrivaled expertise. With its position on the Gulf of Mexico, access to abundant gas supplies, and existing infrastructure, the Rio Grande Valley presents a fantastic opportunity for our project and I’m excited to work closely with the South Texas community to bring this wonderful project to fruition.” – Kathleen Eisbrenner, Founder & CEO

Meet the team

Kathleen Eisbrenner
Kathleen EisbrennerFounder & CEO

An LNG industry icon and proven leader, Ms. Kathleen Eisbrenner is founder and CEO of NextDecade Corporation, parent company of Rio Grande LNG, LLC and Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, LLC. Prior to founding NextDecade, Ms. Eisbrenner served as Executive Vice President at Royal Dutch Shell, responsible for Shell’s Global LNG strategy. As CEO and Founder of Excelerate Energy, LNG importer and marketer, Ms. Eisbrenner drove the Energy Bridge strategy of creating an expedited and low cost LNG market entry that has been rapidly replicated all over the world. Ms. Eisbrenner also formerly served as a board member of Chesapeake Energy Corporation and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

René van Vliet
René van VlietChief Operating Officer

MR. RENÉ VAN VLIET serves as the Chief Operating Officer for NextDecade, responsible for developing midstream LNG solutions globally. Mr. van Vliet worked for nearly 32 years at Shell International. He has been involved in LNG developments since 1992, when Shell started developing Guangdong LNG in China as a new market for LNG, followed by India and South America. Mr. van Vliet has been involved in many of the LNG import developments in Asia, Europe, USA and South America.

Alfonso Puga
Alfonso PugaChief Commercial Officer

MR. ALFONSO PUGA is NextDecade’s Chief Commercial Officer. Alfonso has spent more than 15 years in the natural gas and LNG industry, involved in a variety of commercial and trading roles. He began his career with Spanish utility Gas Natural, working in a variety of roles related to the commercialization of natural gas to the industrial market. In addition, Alfonso has worked in natural gas and LNG portfolio management and trading at numerous firms including Essent Trading (today RWE) and Goldman Sachs among others. Alfonso holds a degree in Industrial Electrical Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and earned an Executive MBA from the IMD-Lausanne. He resides in Barcelona, Spain.

Ben Atkins
Ben AtkinsChief Financial Officer

MR. BEN ATKINS serves as NextDecade’s Chief Financial Officer. Ben brings the company substantial financial experience, particularly within the energy sector where he has managed debt and equity investments in power and midstream project companies. Before joining NextDecade, Atkins served as Senior Vice President at GE Capital, where he spent 10 years. Prior to his tenure at GE Capital, Atkins served New York and Boston financial services clients at McKinsey & Co. 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® charterholder and a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Connecticut and Texas.

Shaun Davison
Shaun DavisonSr. VP Development and Regulatory Affairs

MR. SHAUN DAVISON is NextDecade’s Sr. VP Development and Regulatory Affairs, in charge of Commercial Project Development for North America. An entrepreneurial professional with over 20 years in the energy industry, Shaun is a business development and infrastructure specialist with broad based expertise in all aspects of the natural gas and LNG industry. He has extensive knowledge of the energy/natural gas value chain: pipelines, storage, US and global markets, natural gas liquids, LNG terminals and LNG shipping including small scale LNG logistics.

Krysta De Lima
Krysta De LimaGeneral Counsel

MS. KRYSTA DE LIMA serves as NextDecade’s General Counsel and is responsible for all legal and contractual matters affecting NextDecade. After eight years in private practice with Arthur Andersen, Krysta spent 12 years developing BG Group plc’s investments in liquefied natural gas, acting as lead counsel on various aspects of the company’s upstream, midstream and downstream development projects as well as on matters affecting BG Group’s investment in all four trains at Atlantic LNG, in Trinidad. Most recently, she spent two years with Bechtel’s Oil, Gas and Chemicals business unit based in Houston, advising on major engineering, procurement and construction transactions in the US and overseas. Krysta is qualified to practice law in New York, France, England, the British Virgin Islands and Trinidad and Tobago.

Stephan Huisman
Stephan HuismanTechnical Director

MR. STEPHAN HUISMAN is the Technical Director for Rio Grande LNG. He is responsible for the technical development of the project, including the Pre-FEED and FEED stages up until Final Investment Decision (FID). Throughout his career, Mr. Huisman has been involved in all technical areas relating to the development and operation of LNG terminals, covering the stages of project development from screening, feasibility studies and Pre-FEED activities to construction, commissioning, and operations & maintenance.

Jee Yoon
Jee YoonManager of Business Development

MR. JEE YOON serves as business development manager for NextDecade. Jee has previously worked at for Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering’s (DSME) new business development division focusing on its LNG midstream business development activities. In addition, Jee has served as Legal Lead for Pangea LNG advising on Floating LNG projects in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Gulf of Mexico and Mozambique.

James Markham-Hill
James Markham-HillManager of Communications

MR. JAMES MARKHAM-HILL is the Manager of Communications at NextDecade. In this role, James is responsible for creating, managing and implementing all communication strategies at NextDecade as well as serving as the liaison between NextDecade and the media. James manages all communication activities for NextDecade’s projects, including Rio Grande LNG. James has lived, worked and studied in countries across the globe, including the U.K., Australia, France, the U.S.A., Hong Kong, and China.