Executive Committee

Mr. Paul Doucette, GE Oil & Gas
Paul Doucette was appointed as a RPSEA Board Member in Fall 2013.

Paul Doucette is a Global Public Policy leader for GE’s O&G business. In this position, Paul is responsible for the development and execution of growth strategies with regard to monitoring, influencing, and responding to government policy and for establishing collaborative research relationships with governments, universities and customers.

Prior to joining GE in 2007, Paul’s career includes roles with Cornell Companies, Inc. as Vice President of Public Affairs and Business Development; serving as Vice President of Ward Creative Communications; Director of Public and Government Affairs with Star Enterprise; and with Texaco in roles ranging from Sales to Director of Public and Government Affairs.

Paul served with the 2nd Bomb Wing, 2nd Air Force of the Strategic Air Command. He holds his Masters in Business Administration from Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, Louisiana and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Louisiana Tech University. He is a graduate of the Advanced Executive Development Program of the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University.

Paul is an avid long distance cyclist, logging thousands of miles each year. He enjoys spending time with his wife the 1991 National Teacher of the Year, Rae McKee and their five children and eight grandchildren.


Dr. Richard Bajura, West Virginia University
Richard Bajura has served as a RPSEA Board member for several years.

Bajura has served as the Director of the WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy since 1994. He oversees programs of the NRCCE that average $10 million annually in awards in coal utilization, oil and gas extraction, alternative fuels, energy efficiency, and environmental impacts of coal and petroleum extraction and use and in drinking water and waste water services to small and rural communities. He established or led seven major interdisciplinary - inter-institutional research programs and multiple WVU campus-wide interdisciplinary programs addressing a wide range of energy applications from resource extraction to alternative fuels. His work in the area of coal utilization includes a focus on coal-to-liquids/coal-to-chemicals technology and geological storage of carbon dioxide. He established a research consortium for evaluating oil and natural gas resources in the Appalachian Region in cooperation with state geological surveys.

Bajura has served for 31 years at West Virginia University in various roles facilitating, leading, and managing energy and environment programs in research and technical outreach.

Bajura received his BS (1962) and Masters (1964) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and his PhD in Fluids Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1967.

He is a member of the National Coal Council, and the Coal Utilization Research Council, and a coordination team member for the US-China Clean Energy Research Center Advanced Coal Technology Consortium. He is a past vice-president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Basic Engineering Technical Group and previously served as Associate Provost for Research and the Research Integrity Officer for West Virginia University.



Traci Gholson, Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America

Traci Gholson was appointed as a RPSEA Board Member in Spring 2015.

Gholson is the Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer for RPSEA in Sugar Land, TX since January 2014. She is responsible for all financial and accounting matters, and oversees maintenance of all accounting systems and functions, oversees preparation of monthly and annual financial statements, and coordinates audits and tax returns and all government cost submissions.

Prior to her appointment as RPSEA Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, Gholson was the RPSEA subcontracts specialist since July 2012. Prior to coming to RPSEA, Gholson was Vice-President Finance for DMI Defense Systems, Inc. from 2008-2012. She has over 30 years of experience in accounting.

Gholson holds a BBA in Accounting from Southwest Texas State University.


Mr. Jeff Harvard, Harvard Petroleum Company, LLC
Jeff Harvard was appointed as a RPSEA Board Member in Fall 2010.

Harvard is the President of Harvard Petroleum Company, LLC., in Roswell, NM. He has held this role for 11 years. Harvard is responsible for company growth through optimization of existing properties, identification of new drilling and production property acquisitions for reserve replacement.

Prior positions with Harvard Petroleum Company include: Drilling and Operations Engineer and Vice President.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.


Dr. Richard C. Haut, Houston Advanced Research Center
Rich Haut was appointed as a RPSEA Board Member in Summer 2006.

Haut is the Program Director of Energy Production for Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) in The Woodlands, TX. Haut has held this role for 11 years. He is responsible for providing unbiased science to address environmental issues associated with oil and gas development, as the Director for the Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems (EFD) Program as well as the Coastal Impacts Technology Program.

Before joining HARC, Haut was instrumental in establishing joint ventures and other joint industry programs, including the start-up of Enventure Global Technology where he was the Chief Operating Officer. He has over 35 years of industry technical and management experience.

He holds three degrees in engineering; a bachelor’s degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee and a doctorate from Old Dominion University.

Mr. Edward Johnston, Gas Technology Institute
Eddie Johnston was appointed as a RPSEA Board Member in Fall 2012.

Johnston is the Vice President of Research Operations at Gas Technology Institute (GTI), in Des Plaines, IL.

He has held this role for one year. Johnston leads a staff of 180 researchers that focuses on applied R&D from downhole to the burner tip.

Prior to his current position, he was their Managing Director in the Infrastructure Sector.

Before joining GTI, Johnston worked for Atmos Energy Corporation for 15 years and Rowan Companies, in the Gulf of Mexico offshore oil industry for eight years.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Mississippi State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.


Mr. Steven McKetta, Southwestern Energy Company
Steven McKetta was appointed as a RPSEA Board Member in Fall 2013.

McKetta is a Chief Reservoir Engineer working with team members at Southwestern Energy to unlock the gas reserves of the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas and the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. He has held this role for six years. 

Prior to his current role with Southwestern Energy, he worked for Mitchell Energy as part of a team exploring the potential of the Barnett Shale in the Ft. Worth Basin in Texas. He worked in this role for twenty years and helped develop this area into one of the largest gas producing areas in the country. 

Before joining Southwestern Energy, McKetta served as a Project Advisor for Gas Research Institute for 15 years; a Research Engineer for Columbia Gas for five years and a Field Engineer at Halliburton for two years. 

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Earth and Mineral Sciences from Pennsylvania State University. 


Mr. John O'Brien, CVX

Bio coming soon.



Dr. Van Romero, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Bio coming soon.



Mr. C. Michael Smith, Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission
Carl Michael Smith was appointed as a RPSEA Board Member in Spring 2009.

Smith is the Executive Director of Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission in Oklahoma City, OK.

He has held this role for five years. He is responsible for the head of government commission.

Before joining Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, Smith worked for the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) for two years.

He holds a doctorate of law degree from the University of Oklahoma. 



Dr. John Warren, Jr., Petrobras America Inc.
John Warren, Jr. was appointed as a RPSEA Board Member in Fall 2009.

Warren is the Legal Area Manager of Petrobras America Inc., in Houston, TX.

Warren has held this role for five years. His responsibilities are legal and corporate support.

Prior to his current role with Petrobras, he was their Corporate Secretary. Before joining Petrobras, Warren worked as Associate General Counsel for the University of Houston System, for nearly nine years.

He holds a doctorate of law degree from Stetson University College of Law.

Warren has numerous certifications, admissions, and honors.
Mr. Tom Williams, Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America

Bio coming soon.