Archives: Management Profile

Laurie Fitzmaurice, President of Global BECCS

Laurie Fitzmaurice joined Drax on February 5, 2024 as President of our new carbon removals business, and as part of the Group’s Executive Committee. Prior to this, Laurie was the Business Development lead for Renewables and New Energies in the Americas at Amazon Web Services. She possesses nearly 30 years of experience in business development, specializing in energy infrastructure development around the world. She has extensive experience in building and managing organizations, including the development and implementation of strategic business plans and new market entry with companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500. She also has a deep knowledge of international energy markets and has been actively involved in USD $7.5 billion in energy infrastructure development. She has also held several roles in the private sector including senior management roles at EDF Renewables, Cielo Wind Chile, CE2 Capital Partners, among others.

Appointment to the Executive Committee:

  • February 2024

Andrea Bertone, Chair

Contribution and experience

Andrea is an experienced leader of large, listed businesses, having held both executive and non-executive roles at international energy companies. She has a deep understanding of global markets, including the US, and their underpinning regulation.

Andrea is the former President of Duke Energy’s international division (‘DEI’). She spent 15 years at Duke Energy, including seven years as President of DEI with executive responsibility for hydro and thermal assets across countries in Latin America. Prior to her role as President, Andrea held senior executive legal positions at DEI, including as associate General Counsel between 2003 and 2009. Andrea also served as Latin America counsel with Baker McKenzie.

Andrea has non-executive director appointments at Waste Connections, Inc., Amcor plc and Peabody Energy Corporation. Andrea was also previously a non-executive director at DMC Global Inc. and Yamana Gold Inc.

Andrea has dedicated her career to successfully leading international teams with diverse cultures and backgrounds including in challenging circumstances. One of her most deeply held views is that clear and transparent communications, coupled with healthy debate, are a powerful tool to bringing consensus and motivating a team to achieve its full potential.

Andrea is passionate about safety and is always committed to promoting and supporting a corporate culture where safety comes first.

Andrea earned a Bachelor of Law from the University of Sao Paulo Law School in Brazil and a Master of Law in International and Comparative Law from Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She is a member of the Brazilian Bar Association.

Appointment to the Board

24 August 2023

Appointment as Chair

1 January 2024

Board Committees

  • Member of the Nomination Committee
  • Member of the Remuneration Committee

External appointments

  • Waste Connections, Inc. (Non-Executive Director)
  • Amcor plc (Non-Executive Director)
  • Peabody Energy Corporation (Non-Executive Director)

Miguel Veiga-Pestana, Chief Sustainability Officer

Miguel is a seasoned leader of strategic sustainability and reputation building functions and he will use his extensive experience in major global corporations and ‘not-for-profit’ organisations to support Drax in delivering its purpose, strategic aims and ambition.

Prior to coming to Drax, Miguel most recently held the Executive Committee role of Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of Corporate Affairs at the British multinational consumer goods company, Reckitt Benckiser. He has also been Chief Communications Officer at the Executive Leadership level for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropic organisation, and worked for 11 years at Unilever where he was Vice President of Global External Affairs and Sustainability.

Appointment to the Executive Committee:

  • September 2023

Mr Robert Matthews

Robert Matthews has worked for Forest Research in the UK for over 35 years, where currently he serves as a Science Group Leader. He and his team have a track record of research into the core forestry subjects of mensuration, growth and yield, and have produced the standard guides on forest mensuration procedures and yield prediction that are widely used in the UK forest sector.

Robert’s team are also engaged in research into the carbon and greenhouse gas balances of forests and wood product supply chains, and the roles of forests, forest management and wood products in climate change mitigation. They have published numerous studies on the carbon impacts of managing forests to produce biomass and bioenergy, undertaken for stakeholders including the UK Government, European Commission, environmental NGOs and biomass industries. These have included several assessments of options for policy incentive frameworks and forest carbon accounting systems to support forest management for climate change mitigation and the sustainable use of forest biomass.

Robert has contributed to IPCC Good Practice Guidance on preparing greenhouse gas inventories, serving as a Lead Author (wood products) and Review Editor (representation of land). He is also a Lead Author of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (Working Group III, Mitigation Pathways Compatible with Long-Term Goals).

Shauna Matkovich

Shauna is the Founding Director at the consultancy The Forest Link. She is a Forester and sustainability expert with more than 15 years working in cross-continental sustainable forest management, global forest investment management, and agricultural development with an expertise in tropical developing countries. She has worked for one of the world’s leading forest investment companies, as well as with several forest industry companies.

Shauna first studied as a Forester at the University of British Columbia, and since has earned a double Master of Science in Agricultural Development from the University of Copenhagen, and Tropical Forest Management from the Technical University of Dresden, and advanced project management training from Implement Consulting Group.


Kim Keating, Independent Non-Executive Director

Contribution and experience

Kim is a Professional Engineer with 25 years of broad international experience in the oil and gas, nuclear, hydropower, and mining sectors. Most recently, Kim was the Chief Operating Officer of the Cahill Group, one of Canada’s largest multi-disciplinary construction companies.   Prior to joining the Cahill Group in 2013, Kim held a variety of progressive leadership roles from engineering design through to construction, commissioning, production operations and offshore field development with Petro-Canada (now Suncor Energy Inc.).  She is currently Board chair of Major Drilling International Inc. and a non-executive director of Pan American Silver Corp and Victoria Gold Corp.  Kim is also a founding member of Makwa-Cahill Limited Partnership, a nuclear qualified indigenous fabrication company.  Kim is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree and an MBA.  She also holds the Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) designation & Diligent Climate Leadership certification.  She is a graduate of the Rotman-Institute of Corporate Directors Education Program and was awarded her ICD.D designation.

Throughout her career, Kim has made significant engineering & project management contributions to complex major projects in the Canadian, Norwegian and UK energy sectors, bringing a wealth of strategy, operational leadership, and technical expertise to her roles.  She has a deep appreciation and insight into the value of community partnerships particularly with indigenous groups.

Appointment to the Board:

October 2021

Board Committees:

  • Member of the Nomination Committee
  • Member of the Remuneration Committee

External appointments:

  • Major Drilling International Inc (Non-Executive Director)
  • Pan American Silver Corp (Non-Executive Director)
  • Victoria Gold Corp (Non-Executive Director)

Erika Peterman, Independent Non-Executive Director

Contribution and experience

Erika’s extensive experience, gained from over 25 years working in global organisations, enables the delivery of change and growth in complex, world-leading businesses. Her broad knowledge has been built serving various parts of the chemicals industry, across a range of sectors from plastics, petrochemicals, agriculture and pharma.

Erika is currently serving as Senior Vice President of Global I&D Manufacturing & Oxyfuels at multi-national chemical company LyondellBasell. Most recently, Erika was Senior Vice President at BASF Corporation, where she led the North American Chemical Intermediates business. Erika held other senior executive roles with BASF, covering manufacturing and production, engineering, strategy, and commercial business management. Passionate about STEM and DEI, she actively supports community workforce development programs, as well as a range of diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Erika sits on a variety of College of Engineering Advisory Boards, including those for the University of Houston and the Georgia Institute of Technology. She serves as a Board Trustee for The Chatfield Edge, a scholarship foundation based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is also a member of the Executive Leadership Council, a non-profit organization whose mission is to globally accelerate the development of black executives over the lifecycle of their careers. Erika holds a BSc in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Houston.

Appointment to the Board:

October 2021

Board Committees:

  • Member of the Audit Committee
  • Member of the Nomination Committee

External appointments:

  • LyondellBasell (Senior Vice President)

Penny Small, Interim Chief Operating Officer

Penny Small, Group Generation Director

Penny joined Drax in 2018 as Chief Transformation Officer, ensuring best practice is applied across our transformation programmes and overseeing HR, Legal, Company Secretariat, Property and Facilities, Physical and Cyber Security as well as Strategy and M&A. In December 2023, Penny was appointed as the Group’s Interim Chief Operating Officer.

Penny has spent her entire 30+ year career in the energy industry in a variety of roles in a number of different companies, including time with Engie as Director of Asset Optimisation and Digital, GDF Suez as EVP Strategy & Communications and International Power Limited as Director of Global Resources.

She also held business development roles at National Power and BG Group, and financial and commercial roles with BP.  Penny has lived in both the United Arab Emirates and Thailand during her career.

Appointment to the Executive Committee:

  • November 2018

Karen McKeever, Chief HR Officer

Karen McKeever, Chief HR Officer

Karen leads Drax human resources (HR) to attract, retain and develop talented and capable people in a diverse, progressive and inclusive workplace spanning the US, Canada and the UK and across a wide range of operational and professional functions. She also has responsibility for the PMO (Programme Management Office) function, that supports the planning and execution of our major projects.

Karen joined Drax as Group HRD in March 2020, bringing strong people and change management skills, alongside substantial experience in the retail leisure, and technology sectors.

Since joining Drax, she has played a significant role in supporting the people aspects of Drax’s COVID19 responses, developing the organisation’s D&I strategy and driving operational excellence and efficiency through the People Function.

Karen was previously Chief People Officer for Buzz Bingo and has held several senior HR positions through her career at Samsung, CSR, and Dixons Stores Group, as well as having run her own people consultancy business.

Karen is responsible for the Programme Management Office, people development, reward and benefits, HR services and business partnering, resourcing and DEI, and employee engagement areas of the business.

Appointment to the Executive Committee:

October 2021