About Us

/About Us
About Us 2018-05-12T09:49:16+00:00

Rio Grande LNG Senior Leadership

Matthew Schatzman
Matthew SchatzmanPresident & CEO

MR. MATTHEW SCHATZMAN – President & Chief Executive Officer

Matthew (Matt) Schatzman is President & CEO of NextDecade Corporation (NASDAQ: NEXT), a liquefied natural gas company focused on LNG export projects and associated pipelines in the State of Texas. NextDecade intends to develop a portfolio of LNG projects, including the 27 mtpa Rio Grande LNG export facility in Brownsville, Texas and the 4.5 Bcf/d Rio Bravo Pipeline that would transport natural gas from the Agua Dulce supply area to Rio Grande LNG.

As President and CEO, Schatzman is responsible for advancing the core business priorities of NextDecade, building critical organizational infrastructure and driving commercial delivery as the Company evolves from the development phases of its Rio Grande LNG and Rio Bravo Pipeline projects and into construction and operations.

Schatzman joined NextDecade in September 2017 with nearly 30 years’ experience in the energy industry, including in senior executive roles with BG Group and Dynegy.  Schatzman’s unique contributions to the transformative growth of BG Group’s global LNG business as well as his recognized expertise as a strategic thinker with a keen execution focus makes him uniquely suited to steer NextDecade through to its final investment decision. 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 has been an active member of several energy industry boards and associations.

René van Vliet
René van VlietChief Operating Officer (COO)

MR. RENÉ VAN VLIET – Chief Operating Officer

René van Vliet is Chief Operating Officer of NextDecade Corporation (NASDAQ: NEXT), a liquefied natural gas company focused on LNG export projects and associated pipelines in the State of Texas. NextDecade intends to develop a portfolio of LNG projects, including the 27 mtpa Rio Grande LNG export facility in Brownsville, Texas and the 4.5 Bcf/d Rio Bravo Pipeline that would transport natural gas from the Agua Dulce supply area to Rio Grande LNG.

As Chief Operating Officer, van Vliet is responsible for developing midstream LNG solutions globally. van Vliet worked at Shell International for nearly 32 years and 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. As Vice President, Global LNG, Shell Gas & Power, he was responsible for a global LNG project portfolio including floating LNG, regasification, and small-scale LNG, focusing on new market development, commercial and technical assessment across the value chain, and joint development / joint venture negotiations.

As the business sponsor for Shell Gas & Power’s R&D program, van Vliet was responsible for driving innovation and commercialization of new technology. In earlier roles, van Vliet was responsible for business development and project portfolio activities with NOC and IOC partners in Asia, including China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Thailand, and Indonesia. In the early part of his career, he was construction manager and project manager for a number of Shell’s refinery and gas projects.

van Vliet holds a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Technical University Eindhoven.

Ben Atkins
Ben AtkinsChief Financial Officer (CFO)

MR. BEN ATKINS – Chief Financial Officer

Ben Atkins is Chief Financial Officer of NextDecade Corporation (NASDAQ: NEXT), a liquefied natural gas company focused on LNG export projects and associated pipelines in the State of Texas. NextDecade intends to develop a portfolio of LNG projects, including the 27 mtpa Rio Grande LNG export facility in Brownsville, Texas and the 4.5 Bcf/d Rio Bravo Pipeline that would transport natural gas from the Agua Dulce supply area to Rio Grande LNG.

As CFO, Atkins is responsible for all finance functions, including strategy, growth, compliance, risk and performance management, capital allocation, and market positioning. Atkins 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 & 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® charterholder and a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Connecticut and Texas.

Krysta De Lima
Krysta De LimaGeneral Counsel

MS. KRYSTA DE LIMA – General Counsel

Krysta De Lima is the General Counsel of NextDecade Corporation (NASDAQ: NEXT), a liquefied natural gas company focused on LNG export projects and associated pipelines in the State of Texas. NextDecade intends to develop a portfolio of LNG projects, including the 27 mtpa Rio Grande LNG export facility in Brownsville, Texas and the 4.5 Bcf/d Rio Bravo Pipeline that would transport natural gas from the Agua Dulce supply area to Rio Grande LNG.

As General Counsel, De Lima is responsible for all legal and contractual matters affecting NextDecade. A practicing transactional lawyer for more than 20 years, she also acts as legal advisor to the CEO and Board of Directors.

After eight years in private practice with Arthur Andersen, De Lima spent twelve years developing BG Group plc’s investments in liquefied natural gas. First acting as lead counsel on various aspects of the company’s upstream, midstream and downstream development projects, De Lima went on to serve as Vice President, Legal, leading the legal team and advising on matters affecting BG Group’s investment in all four trains at Atlantic LNG, in Trinidad as well as its major producing and development assets in that country. De Lima was then appointed Chief of Staff, with direct responsibility for Government Relations, Contracts & Procurement and IT. Before joining NextDecade, De Lima spent two years as Senior Counsel with Bechtel’s Oil, Gas and Chemicals business unit based in Houston, advising on major engineering, procurement and construction transactions in the U.S. and overseas.

De Lima is qualified to practice law in New York, France, England, the British Virgin Islands and Trinidad and Tobago.

Shaun Davison
Shaun DavisonSenior Vice President, Development & Regulatory Affairs

MR. SHAUN DAVISON – Senior Vice President, Development & Regulatory Affairs

Shaun Davison is the Senior Vice President, Development & Regulatory Affairs of NextDecade Corporation (NASDAQ: NEXT), a liquefied natural gas company focused on LNG export projects and associated pipelines in the State of Texas. NextDecade intends to develop a portfolio of LNG projects, including the 27 mtpa Rio Grande LNG export facility in Brownsville, Texas and the 4.5 Bcf/d Rio Bravo Pipeline that would transport natural gas from the Agua Dulce supply area to Rio Grande LNG.

Davison leads the commercial project development for North America, specifically the Gulf of Mexico. An entrepreneurial professional with more than 20 years in the energy industry, Davison is a business development and infrastructure specialist with broad-based expertise in all aspects of the natural gas and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry and across the value chain.

Davison previously worked in the North American natural gas industry with Consolidated Natural Gas (CNG) and Dominion Resources, focused in the Financial, Corporate Strategy and Business Development & Marketing groups. Specific focal areas included major natural gas pipeline and storage projects, financial reporting of natural gas liquids, the financial modeling and market analysis for projects, market research and major M&A positions, including Dominion’s purchase of Cove Point LNG import terminal. Davison joined the LNG midstream marine industry with Teekay Corporation and then Excelerate Energy, leading global project development for LNG regasification opportunities in Israel, Puerto Rico, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Indonesia, The Philippines, Mexico and South Africa. He also managed the strategic analysis of small-scale LNG opportunities in the Caribbean markets and the Baltic region, and originated floating liquefaction programs in the US Gulf of Mexico.

A native of Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, Davison graduated cum laude from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Science & Economics, and from West Virginia University with a Master of Business Administration degree.