On November 9, panelists joined WITA to discuss green industrial policy; how the U.S. is positioned to compete in this critical global marketplace; and where the U.S. will likely need to find international partners.
Over the past 18 months, the United States has passed several major pieces of legislation that contain environmental provisions with trade implications, including the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the Infrastructure Act of 2021 and the CHIPS for America Act. How can U.S. industrial policies help the United States achieve its climate objectives? And how can such policies create opportunities for trade and other forms of international cooperation that could lead to greater and faster deployment of low-carbon technologies?
Sophie Beckham, Chief Sustainability Officer, International Paper
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Director of the Climate and Energy Program, Third Way
Vanessa Sciarra, Vice President, Trade & International Competitiveness, American Clean Power Association
Moderator: Maureen Hinman, Co-Founder, Chairman, Silverado Policy Accelerator
Sophie Beckham is Chief Sustainability Officer at International Paper, where she leads the development and execution of the company’s sustainability strategy and tactics to advance the International Paper vision of being among the most successful, sustainable and responsible companies in the world.
Prior to joining International Paper, Ms. Beckham applied her training as a forester to work in domestic and foreign contexts, holding positions with forest management organizations and home furnishings retailers. Sophie’s interest in the transformation of materials into products that people use every day stems from a lifetime spent exploring the ways in which people rely on natural resources, and in turn, the impact our decisions have on people and planet. Early formative experiences on trails, in tents, and in forests and foreign countries, contributed to a professional journey that has been dedicated to advancing sustainable business practices in consumer goods and manufacturing sectors for the past 18 years.
She holds a Master of Forestry degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is the Director of the Climate and Energy Program at Third Way. Growing up with two parents, a grandfather, three aunts, and two uncles in the real estate business, Ryan learned a lot while tagging along at open houses. Seeing his mom restructure a deal three times before getting it closed taught him to appreciate creative problem-solving. Watching his dad work with plumbers and exterminators to resolve last-minute emergencies showed him the value of resourcefulness and quick thinking. And observing business relationships lasting over a decade demonstrated the importance of getting to know your clients. After all, you can’t help them unless you truly understand their needs. These skills from the business world have served Ryan well on the campaign trail and on Capitol Hill, and they continue to guide his work in federal policy.
As Director of the Climate and Energy Program at Third Way, Ryan oversees the organization’s deep decarbonization efforts, including work on advanced nuclear technologies, carbon capture and storage, and alternative fuels and vehicles. Across this portfolio, Ryan’s efforts are focused on developing and promoting policy solutions that “thread the needle” to meet America’s climate and economic growth needs. By developing relationships with stakeholders in advocacy, industry, federal agencies and on Capitol Hill, Ryan builds a well-rounded understanding of complex energy issues beyond their talking points—and uses that understanding to help Third Way influence policy debates through written products, direct outreach to policymakers, coalition-building, and educational events.
Ryan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 with a degree in Spanish and International Studies. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Asheville, NC and began working as deputy finance director on the congressional campaign of first-time candidate Heath Shuler. Upon his victory in 2006, Shuler asked Ryan to join his Washington office to advise him on energy, transportation, and environmental policy. After four years serving a moderate Democrat who was highly engaged in forging creative and bipartisan policy initiatives, Ryan came to Third Way and quickly felt right at home.
Though he enjoys using the problem-solving skills he learned from his parents to advance clean energy policy, Ryan maintains his North Carolina real estate broker’s license and rarely passes by an open house without stopping to take a quick peek. It’s in the blood, you could say.
Vanessa P. Sciarra is the Vice President for Legal Affairs and Trade & Investment Policy at the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC). Vanessa previously served as Vice President of the Emergency Committee for American Trade (ECAT). Her additional experience includes working in the private sector, most recently with the law firm of Cassidy Levy Kent LLP in their Washington, D.C. office. Her law firm experience included a broad range of international trade matters representing a diverse group of clients in the manufacturing, pharmaceutical, medical devices, trucking, and shipping sectors.She advised these clients in the areas of customs, export controls, and economic sanctions compliance as well as antidumping and countervailing duty cases. She routinely appeared before the key U.S. trade agencies, including the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. International Trade Commission, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Prior to entering private practice, Vanessa served as an Assistant General Counsel with USTR in Washington, D.C. While in that position, she worked on the negotiation and implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), particularly with respect to services, investment and dispute settlement obligations. She also served as legal counsel during the negotiation of the General Agreement on Trade Services (GATS) and participated in the drafting of the Uruguay Round implementing bill.
Vanessa has also served as a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice in the Civil Division. In this position, she represented the U.S. government in cases involving the antidumping and countervailing duty laws, customs matters, and government contracts. She regularly briefed and argued cases before the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Vanessa is a member of the District of Columbia Bar. She earned her B.A., summa cum laude, in History from Yale College, her M.Sc., with distinction, in Economics (International Relations) from the London School of Economics, and her J.D. from the Yale Law School.
Maureen Hinman is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Silverado Policy Accelerator. Ms. Hinman, a leading policy expert on the intersection of energy, environment, and the economy, most recently served as Director for Environment and Natural Resources at the Office of the United States Trade Representative. At USTR she led a range of multilateral, regional, and bilateral trade policy initiatives focused on the environmental goods and services sector as well as natural resource conservation. Ms. Hinman previously served as the U.S. Department of Commerce’s senior industry trade specialist responsible for international policy development and interagency advocacy for the U.S. environmental technology industry. Prior to entering federal service Hinman consulted on regional integration and trade policy implementation at Nathan Associates, a Washington-based economic policy consultancy. Ms. Hinman serves as a policy advisor for the Center for Climate and Trade. She was named a “2022 Tech Titan” by Washingtonian Magazine.