Ben Gardner is President and co-founder of Northeast Group, LLC. His primary area of expertise is smart grid. Ben's first smart grid project was back in 2005, helping an investor-owned utility complete business cases for smart metering, distribution automation and other initiatives. In 2009, he helped a client secure more than $150m in stimulus funding under the smart grid investment grant (SGIG) program. Prior to founding Northeast Group, Ben spent over five years as a management consultant in the Global Energy Practice at PA Consulting Group, based in Washington, DC. Before joining PA, he worked at DiamondCluster (now Oliver Wyman) in its Barcelona, Spain office. Ben has also been a frequent contributor to The Economist Group and holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania (magna cum laude) and a master's degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) where he concentrated in International Finance and Energy Policy.
Chris Testa is Research Director at Northeast Group. He leads the firm’s research of smart grid and smart infrastructure. Chris manages the research and writing of Northeast Group’s country intelligence and thematic reports. He is a frequent speaker at smart grid conferences, including the Latin America Smart Grid Forum in São Paulo, Brazil (2011 and 2012), IEEE smart grid seminar in Cuernavaca, Mexico (2013), and Clean Energy Argentina in Buenos Aires (2012). Prior to joining Northeast Group, Chris worked as a consultant at Garten Rothkopf, LLC focusing on global green industrial policy and renewable energy financing. He has also served as an adjunct professor of environmental policy at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. Chris has also been a frequent contributor to The Economist Group and earned an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins SAIS where he specialized in Energy Policy and International Economics.
James Gale is a member of the advisory board of Northeast Group. A lawyer licensed in Illinois, New York, and the District of Columbia, Jim applies his legal background in advising the firm on overall strategic direction. Jim, a corporate lawyer and litigator in Washington, was a partner of Kirkland & Ellis in New York. Jim holds an undergraduate degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, a law degree from the University of Michigan, and a master's degree from Johns Hopkins (SAIS).
Jeremy Brown is a co-founder of Northeast Group. While he has stepped back from day-to-day operations, he still helps advise the firm in strategic matters. Prior to co-founding the firm, Jeremy worked as a field analyst for the NATO International Security Assistance Force in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. Prior to his time in Afghanistan, Jeremy was a contract analyst on the Afghanistan Policy desk in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Jeremy holds a master's degree from Johns Hopkins (SAIS) where he concentrated in Political Economy.