About Us

/About Us
About Us 2018-11-01T08:55:57+00:00
Matthew Schatzman
Matthew SchatzmanPresident and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Mr. Matthew Schatzman – President and Chief Executive Officer

Matthew (Matt) Schatzman is President and 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.

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 is Project Manager at 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.

In his role, Ivan is responsible for leadership and oversight of the Rio Grande LNG facility and associated Rio Bravo Pipeline.

Ivan joined NextDecade in 2018 and has over 23 years’ experience within the oil and gas industry, including senior roles with CB&I (now McDermott) and Chevron. He previously served as CEO for the Australasian division of the KNM Group (a publicly listed company on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange). Ivan has management experience on multiple LNG projects including, Darwin LNG, Woodside LNG Train 5, Pluto LNG, Gorgon LNG. He has provided dynamic & motivational leadership with a demonstrated ability to deliver results in diverse and challenging business environments. He has managed cross-country pipelines and compressor station projects in support of the LNG and power industries.

Ivan Van der Walt holds a bachelor of science degree in Engineering Technology.

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.

Erik Ludtke
Erik LudtkeChief Commercial Officer (CCO)

Mr. Erik Ludtke – Chief Commercial Officer

Erik Ludtke is Chief Commercial Officer of NextDecade Corporation (NASDAQ: NEXT), a liquefied natural gas company primarily 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.

In this role, Ludtke is responsible for developing and managing the natural gas supply portfolio, the midstream assets, and the commercial operations required to provide NextDecade’s customers with reliable liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) from NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG and Galveston Bay LNG projects.

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. Prior to 2006, Ludtke spent six years with Duke Energy, including three years as President of the company’s South America (Southern Cone) business unit and he worked at BG Group where he managed projects and regional business units, including assignments and leadership roles in Argentina, India, Israel, and the United Kingdom.

Ludtke holds an economics degree from Texas A&M University and completed executive development course work 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 is the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary 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.