Staff Bios

Paul G. Pinsky, Director

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Paul Pinsky was appointed by Governor Moore to be the Director of the Maryland Energy Administration and he took office on January 18, 2023. Prior to his appointment as director, he was elected to the Maryland state senate seven times. As a senator, he chaired the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. He has also served on the Maryland Commision on Climate Change since its inception. Pinsky has been a long-time champion in the fight to address climate change and clean up the Chesapeake Bay. He is the principal author of dozens of environmental laws that have helped shape most major state environmental policies in Maryland over the last two decades. Find out more about Director Pinsky on the Director's Page​.


Chris Rice, Chief of Staff

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Chris Rice currently serves as the MEA Chief of Staff​. He has also served as Director of Programs at MEA, leading a team which implements more than 20 state wide programs and initiatives involving energy conservation and production. He brings over a decade of experience in the energy sector impacting all areas of Maryland's economy.  Chris Rice was appointed to the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council and was a Clean Cities Coordinator for over 8 years.  He also sat on the North East Regional Biomass Steering Committee, ARC Energy Committee, Renewable Fuels Taskforce, LNG Taskforce and the Chesapeake Bay Commission’s study on cellulosic ethanol. Mr. Rice attended the University of Georgia, where he earned an undergraduate degree in Biology.  In 2017 Chris was awarded a certificate of completion for the Senior Executives in State & Local Government Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Connect with him on LinkedIn or email.  


 Eric R. Coffman, Director of Energy Programs

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Eric leads the Maryland Energy Administration’s (MEA) portfolio of energy programs, a broad portfolio of efforts funded by the Strategic Energy Investment Fund (SEIF). Th​is dynamic portfolio spans more than $40 million annually backed by a team of fifteen subject matter experts in the fields of resiliency, solar, wind energy, energy efficiency, energy finance, transportation electrification, infrastructure investment programs, biomass and other relevant topics.. His work includes grid modernization, clean energy deployment, energy efficiency, resiliency, smart cities technologies and more. Prior to joining MEA, Eric led the Office of Energy and Sustainability (OES) within Montgomery County’s Department of General Services (DGS). In his time with OES, he was responsible for the sustainability and energy performance of County operations as well as efforts before the Maryland Public Service Commision. In this capacity, Eric oversaw the procurement, financing, construction and commissioning of the County Government’s first microgrids. Before joining OES, Eric led the County’s climate and energy programs for the Department of Environmental Protection.  Eric is a Certified Public Manager, Certified Energy Manager, Certified Energy Procurement Professional among other qualifications. Connect with him on LinkedIn ​or email


Ryan Opsal, PhD., Director of Energy Policy
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Dr. Ryan Opsal is the Director of Energy Policy the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA). Dr. Opsal previously served as an Energy Policy Manager at MEA. Prior to working at MEA, Ryan was an Adjunct Professor in the Politics and International Relations Department at Florida International University, where he recently completed his doctorate in International Relations.  He taught and conducted research in many areas including energy and international political economy. Connect with him on LinkedIn or email​​.



Landon Fahrig, Assistant Division Director for Energy Policy

​Landon Fahrig is the Assistant Division Director fof Energy Policy at the Maryland Energy Administration, concentrating in legislative affairs. Landon works with industry professionals, individuals, and interested stakeholders to promote affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy for the benefit of all Marylanders. Prior to working at MEA, Landon was Research Director for a United States Senate campaign and a Policy Analyst at the General Assembly of Maryland. Landon received his B.A. in Political Science from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law. Connect with him on LinkedIn or email.​
 

Jenn Gallicchio, Assistant Director of Energy Programs 

Jenn Gallicchio is the Assistant Director of Energy Programs at the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA).  Prior to her current role, Jenn was an MEA energy efficiency program manager, primarily working with local governments and non-profit organizations.   Jenn is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) with an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park and a master's degree in Environmental Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.  In her spare time, Jenn enjoys reading and exploring outdoor spaces throughout Maryland. Connect with her on LinkedIn or email

Brandon Bowser, Section Chief, Clean Energy and Resilience
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Brandon Bowser is the Clea​n Energy and Resilience Section Chief for the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA). He leads a team of Energy Program Managers and Energy Specialists that design, implement, and evaluate MEA energy incentive programs focused on incenting Maryland organizations and residents to adopt clean energy and energy resilience technologies. Prior to his current role, Brandon was an Energy Program Manager with MEA that managed a suite of energy resilience-focused incentive programs that help Maryland organizations develop and install microgrids and other distributed energy resource (DER) systems. Specifically, these include the Resilient Maryland comprehensive DER design and construction program​, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Grant Program, and Jane E. Lawton Conservation Loan Program. Brandon also works with the Policy Team on DER ​and Nonwires Alternatives (NWA) items. Additionally, he serves as MEA’s ESF-12 Emergency Management Coordinator during natural disasters and other events that threaten the integrity of the State’s power grid and fuel supplies. Brandon previously worked for an energy consulting firm for commercial retail properties where he managed a team of energy analysts in utility redistribution and demand response. He has also served at MEA in a prior tenure, during which he managed several residential and commercial renewable and energy efficiency incentive programs. He hold’s a Master’s Degree in Finance and Bachelor’s Degree in Energy Business & Finance, both from Penn State University. In his spare time, you can find Brandon running, hiking, and reading. ​Connect with him on LinkedIn or email​. 


Abigail Antonini, Energy Program Manager
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Abigail "Abbi" (Peryea) Antonini​​ is an Energy Program Manager at the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) focused on our clean energy programs. She began supporing the the MEA legislative policy team in 2020 working on the Renewable Energy Development and Siting (REDS) Task Force and created data tables for a variety of MEA efforts. Previously, Abbi served as a grants administrator and and energy specialist and reviewed applications for Residential Clean Energy grants​ submitted by Marylanders who have made the choice to install renewable and energy-efficient systems in their homes. Abbi is also currently assiting  with several high level solar research projects. She has completed GIS training while at MEA and provides detailed reporting to aide in grant evaluations. Abbi has been doing a great deal of outreach for MEA at conferences year round and online with outreach content featuring our grantees and sharing general energy education information. She is a graduate of State University of New York College of Environmental Sciences & Forestrty​. Connect with her on LinkedIn.​

 
Samuel Beirne, Energy Program Team Lead, Wind & Water 
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Samuel Beirne is the Energy Program Team Lead for the Wind and Water Programs at the Maryland Energy Administration​. During his time at MEA, he developed Maryland's offshore wind programs and participated in offshore wind proceedings before the Maryland Public Service Commission. Sam manages MEA's national and regional research partnerships for offshore wind and was designated as one of Maryland's representatives to the Regional Wildlife Science Entity and the Responsible Offshore Science Alliance. Sam has a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in American History from Syracuse University. In his spare time, Sam gardens, cooks, and takes long walks with his fur-babies (and office interns), Bisbee and Kona. Connect with him on LinkedIn or email.


Briggs Cunningham, Energy Program Manager
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Briggs joined MEA as Energy Program Manager of the Maryland Smart Energy Communities (MSEC) program in Summer 2019. Prior to MEA, Briggs had taken a year in Ireland to earn a Master of Science degree in Environmental Sciences at Trinity College, Dublin. Before Ireland, Briggs oversaw energy programs at Washington College, assisting the College in managing its obligation to the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, as well as helping the Town of Chestertown meet its obligation to the U.S. Mayors Climate Agreement. He also managed the ShorePower Project, a program he designed to assist local governments prepare energy baselines, reduce energy consumption, develop renewable energy projects, and identify grant funding opportunities. Earlier in his career, Briggs had stints at the National Parks Conservation Association and the Smithsonian Institution, both in Washington, D.C. In addition to the M.S. from Trinity, Briggs holds an M.A. in History from Washington College and a B.A. from Yale University. He resides on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, enjoying all that the Bay region has to offer, along with his wife, their harlequin Great Dane, and their children and grandchildren. Connect with him on email.

Margaret Cefail, Energy Specialist
 
Meg Cefail is an Energy Specialist at the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA). In her role she evaluates applications for Residential Clean Energy Grants submitted by Marylanders who have made the choice to install renewable and energy-efficient systems in their homes. Meg also provides support for the MEA Combined Heat and Power (CHP) program. Meg also has a diverse background in
various business and environmental industries. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, gardening and
volunteering at the local SPCA. Connect with her on email.

 
David Comis, Senior Energy Program Manager

IMG_0126 rev 1.jpgDavid Comis serves as a Senior Energy Program Manager at the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA). Following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy, David served on surface ships, submarines and aircraft carriers, with assignments in the areas of operations, and engineering.  Following command of a nuclear submarine, he was assigned to the Office of Naval Research where he served as the Deputy and then (Acting) Head of the Engineering, Materials and Physicals Sciences S&T Department. He ended his 30-year naval career as a Captain, and the Commanding Officer of the Office of Naval Research – Global. David then served as a consultant, supporting work of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program and MEA. David joined MEA in 2016, focusing on solar, nuclear and grid reliability issues. A Fellow of the American Solar Energy Society, and a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners Photovoltaic Associate, David has earned a M.S. in Management from National-Louis University, and a M.S. in Energy Policy and Climate from The Johns Hopkins University. Connect with him on  email.​ 

Babatunde Idrisu, Energy Policy Manager 

Dr. Babatunde "Tunde" Idrisu is an Energy Policy Manager at Maryland Energy Administration (MEA). Before working at MEA, Tunde worked as a consultant at the World Bank Group. In 2017, Tunde was an Environmental Defence Fund (EDF) fellow and supported solar PVs installations at the New York City Department of Education's buildings. He has multidisciplinary experiences in energy policy research and teaching, financial consulting, engineering, and project management. Tunde recently completed his doctorate in energy and environmental policy at the University of Delaware. He also possesses a master's degree in energy management and policy from Penn State and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Connect with him on​ LinkedIn

 
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Mike Jones serves as the Transportation Program Team Lead for the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) and the State of Maryland Clean Cities Director. Mike manages several programs which aim to displace petroleum use and reduce emissions while stimulating economic growth. Prior to his time at the MEA, Mike interned at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he supported multiple projects which sought to help states use renewable energy and energy efficiency to meet air quality standards. Mike graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Policy, along with a minor in Sustainability Studies. While at the University of Maryland, he was a Fellow of the Federal Semester Program, a selective year-long program which aims to develop insight into federal energy and environmental policy. In his spare time, Mike enjoys watching and playing sports and relaxing with friends. Connect with him on LinkedIn or email.


Christopher Russell, Energy Program Manager 

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Christopher Russell is the Energy Program Manager, State Buildings, Building Codes at the Maryland Energy Administration. Christopher is the author of "Managing Energy from the Top Down" and "North American Energy Audit Program Best Practices." He holds an M.B.A. and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Maryland and a B.A. from McGill University. He is recognized by the Association of Energy Engineers as a Certified Energy Manager. He is an Advisory Board member for the Texas A&M Industrial Energy Technology Conference and for Brotman Financial Services. Connect with him on LinkedIn or email.​​


Emma Stoney, Energy Program Manager 
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Emma Stoney serves as a Wind and Water Program Manager with the Maryland Energy Administration. Emma received her M.S. in Sustainability Management from American University in Washington, DC. During this time, she worked with the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) where she focused on engaging corporations in renewable energy investments and increasing the share of affordable and accessible renewable energy for low and middle-income residents in the District. Emma is a Returned Peace Corps Zambia Volunteer and while with the Peace Corps, she worked with community leaders to create sustainable community development projects that focused on climate resiliency. Emma received her B.S. in Human Development with a concentration in Psychology from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. In her spare time, she ​enjoys painting, reading, and listening to good music. Connect with her on LinkedIn or email.​

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