CAAFI® activities are led by the Executive Committee of CAAFI, which is composed of:

Administrative Leadership Team

Steve Csonka

Steve Csonka
CAAFI Executive Director

Steve Csonka is a commercial aviation professional with 27 years of broad airline and aviation OEM experience. Steve's strong technical background, which spans the breadth of the commercial aircraft/engine life-cycle, from design through operations, has led to engagements in business development and in long-term strategic planning for the aviation enterprise. Such work has focused on the nexus of future product requirements, technology progression, and industry value propositions, including aspects of policy, advocacy, regulatory affairs, and environmental impact. Steve is a strong industry advocate who seeks pragmatic solutions to the challenges of aviation growth - resulting in his current focus on alternative fuels and the work of CAAFI.

Rich Altman

Richard L. Altman
CAAFI Executive Director, Emeritus

A 42 year aviation veteran, Rich spent 39 years with Pratt & Whitney initially as a propulsion engineer then in Advanced Technology Business Development. He is a founding member of the US Transportation Research Board Committee on Aviation effects on the Environment and a member of the PARTNER Center of Excellence Advisory Board.

Nate Brown

Nate Brown
FAA, Head Advisor for Strategy & Implementation

Nate is Head Advisor of CAAFI and provides management and strategy assistance to the Executive Director.  As a Policy Analyst with the FAA’s Office of Environment and Energy he also supports strategies and research to address aviation environmental impacts, energy needs and climate change impacts. He has previously worked on international climate change initiatives at the U.S. Department of State.

Dr. Kristin Lewis

Dr. Kristin C. Lewis
Volpe Center/U.S. DOT, Head Research and Technical Advisor

Kristin serves as the Head Research and Technical Advisor for CAAFI, providing technical and environmental coordination for the Executive Director. Kristin is an Environmental Biologist with the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. In addition to her work with CAAFI, Kristin participates in research on aviation impacts in the National Parks and the development of noise and emissions models for aviation.

Peter Herzig

Peter Herzig
Volpe Center/U.S. DOT, CAAFI Program Specialist

Peter serves as CAAFI's Program Specialist providing a variety of technical and coordination support. Peter is an Environmental Protection Specialist with the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. In addition to his work with CAAFI, Peter provides geospatial analyses for a variety of transportation infrastructure projects, including taxiway analyses and FAA's unstaffed infrastructure. Prior to joining Volpe, Peter worked on a number of projects aimed at the corporate adoption of responsible business practices for a more sustainable global economy.

Sar Forni

Sara Forni
DigitaliBiz/CORA, CAAFI Communications Manager

Sara serves as the communications manager for CAAFI, where she develops content for the CAAFI website, including information on notable alternative jet fuel news and funding opportunities for its production and deployment. She also works with CAAFI sponsor organizations to ensure cohesive and consistent messaging for the initiative and its stakeholders. From 2011 to 2015, Sara supported the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities program working to reduce the use of petroleum in on-road vehicles, with a focus on biofuel production and use.

Certification/Qualification Team

Mark Rumizen

Mark Rumizen
FAA, Certification Lead

Mark is the Aviation Fuels Specialist in the FAA’s Aircraft Certification Division and has been employed by the FAA since 1991. Prior to the FAA, Mark was employed by GE Aircraft Engines and Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in various engineering and marketing roles.

Environment Team

Dr. James Hileman

Dr. James Hileman
FAA, Environment Team Co-Lead

Dr. Jim Hileman is the Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor for Environment for the Federal Aviation Administration. Prior to this, he was the Associate Director of the Partnership for AiR Transportation Noise and Emissions Reduction (PARTNER). Within the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, his research focused on modeling the impacts of alternative jet fuels and innovative aircraft concepts on energy efficiency, noise, air quality and global climate change. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University. He was awarded the 2010 FAA Excellence in Aviation Research award for his team's work on alternative fuels and he was also the FAA Centers of Excellence Faculty of the Year Award recipient in 2010.

Nancy Young

Nancy Young
A4A, Environment Co-Lead

Ms. Young is the vice president, Environmental Affairs of Airlines for America (A4A). She directs A4A environmental programs, which includes climate change, the environmental aspects of fuel management, noise, emissions, land use, sustainability, waste management and other issues of significance to aviation. She has served for several years on key working groups of the International Civil Aviation Organization's environment committee and, when in private law practice, as co-chair of Beveridge & Diamond's climate change practice group.

Business Team

John Heimlich

John P. Heimlich
Vice President and Chief Economist, A4A

John Heimlich joined Airlines for America (A4A) in April 2001 and currently serves as Vice President and Chief Economist. Prior to A4A, John spent five years at United Airlines in financial planning, financial analysis, and international and regulatory affairs.

John is Chairman Emeritus of the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) board of directors and represents A4A in the MIT Airline Industry Consortium, the Air Transport Research International Forum (ATRIF) and the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI). In 2013-2014, John and colleague Nancy Young were voted #48 in the “Top 100 People in the Bioeconomy.” In December 2010, John received the Armbrust Aviation Group’s award for “Distinguished Achievement in Aviation.”

A native of Kent, Ohio, John holds a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Cornell University and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

R&D Team

Dr. Michael Lakeman

Dr. Michael Lakeman
Boeing, R&D Tri-Lead

Michael is Regional Director of Biofuels Strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes where he is responsible for helping to enable regional commercialization projects for sustainable aviation fuels, and performs due diligence on emerging biofuel feedstock technologies. Michael has over a decade of experience in plant and algae science and over four years of first-hand experience in the biofuel industry. He received his Ph.D from University of Washington.

Dr. Stephen Kramer

Dr. Stephen Kramer
Pratt & Whitney, R&D Tri-Lead

Dr. Stephen Kramer manages Combustor Technology at Pratt & Whitney. Dr. Kramer has over 21 years of experience at Pratt where he has been involved with the development of combustors for Pratt’s current military and commercial jet engines. His previous experience was as a consultant in the field of combustion and fuels. He has over 25 patents and has won several P&W leadership awards. He received his BS, MS, and PhD in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University.

Dr. M. Gurhan Andac

Dr. M. Gurhan Andac
GE Aviation, R&D Tri-Lead

Dr. Andac is the Engineering Leader for Aviation Fuels and Additives at GE Aviation. His past responsibilities have centered on gas turbine combustor aerodynamic design, fuels, and additives, encompassing the military, commercial, marine, and industrial platforms. He has extensive fuel testing and evaluation experience, and is deeply immersed in fuels certification, qualification, and specification development arenas. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California.

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