Our distinguished guests for this 7th science breakfast were Jim Turner from House Science Committee Chief Democratic Counsel and Dr. Kathryn Clay from Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. They presented a speech on an update from Capitol Hill experts on the current state of appropriations and energy bills.
The legislative year is winding down on Capitol Hill. Speaker Pelosi has said that no new legislative business will be considered after November 16. Yet none of the appropriations bills which fund the government are signed into law and this year’s energy legislation is a month into informal discussions between the House and the Senate. What is happening? Our next session is a chance to hear from two experienced Capitol Hill staff members. Dr. Kathryn Clay, a senior Republican professional staff member from the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Jim Turner, Chief Counsel of the Committee on Science and Technology, will be with us to review the year’s major legislative events from a science and technology perspective and to answer our questions on how the year might end.
Jim Turner joined the professional staff of the House Committee on Science in 1977 and returned in 1984 after three years in the private sector. He currently serves as the Science Committee’s Chief Counsel and works across the board on the Committee’s legislative agenda, which has jurisdiction over all non-defense federal scientific research and development. Jim was Chief Democratic Counsel when the Democrats were the minority party. From 1985 through 1994, Jim was the Committee’s senior staff member for technology policy and a subcommittee legal counsel, including four years service as the staff director for the Technology Subcommittee. At the end of the 1970s and early 1980s, Jim served the Committee as an energy counsel. Prior to his work with the Committee on Science, Jim worked for Wheelabrator-Frye, Congressman Gary Myers, NASA, and the FAA.
He is a recipient of the 2005 Melvin Green Codes and Standards Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Virginia Engineering Foundation (UVA) 2002 Service Award; the Federal Patent Lawyer Association, 2001 Distinguished Service Award; the William J. Cavanaugh Award from the American Society for Testing and Materials, the Howard Coonley Medal of the American National Standards Institute, and the Thomas Jefferson Award of the Technology Transfer Society.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Virginia School of Engineering, Dean’s Advisory Board, Heinz School, Carnegie Mellon University and the Board of Directors, American Society for Testing and Materials. He received a BS in Mathematics from Westminster College, an MDiv degree from Yale University, a JD from Georgetown University and attended the Senior Managers in Government Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Dr. Kathryn Clay is a member of the Republican professional staff of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. She is responsible for a broad range of science and technology issues relating to our nation’s energy future. In the 109th Congress, she focused her efforts on legislative efforts to ensure that the United States innovative and competitive in high technology and scientific enterprises. Her responsibilities in the 110th Congress have expanded to include issues relating to climate change, biofuels, and transportation energy use.
Prior to joining the Energy Committee, Kathryn served on the Energy Subcommittee of the House Science Committee. She has also worked at the Division of Energy Resources of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Center of Ford Motor Company. Kathryn received her Ph.D. in physics and her M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.