Archives: Management Profile

Alex Schott, VP Communications North America

Alex Schott is the Vice President, Head of North America Communications, where he drives and leads all communications activity across the company’s North America business. As a trusted communications advisor to senior leadership, Alex and his team oversee all aspects of external communications and strategy including earned media, owned media, crisis communications, public relations, digital media and stakeholder engagement.

Alex’s previous roles in his career have included: serving as Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing at ONE Gas (NYSE: OGS), one of the largest natural gas utilities in the U.S.; serving as Director of Communications at Lumen Technologies (previously known as CenturyLink) (NYSE: LUMN), formerly the second-largest U.S. communications provider to global enterprise customers; and at Entergy (NYSE: ETR), one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S, where Alex developed and led digital communications strategy and stakeholder engagement, which included the creation of their social media program, their online newsroom and their mobile app.

Alex holds a Master of Arts in Film & Media Studies from Chapman University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Louisiana State University.

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.


Vaughan Bassett, SVP Biomass Sales and Logistics

Vaughan Bassett is SVP Biomass Sales & Logistics at Drax, leading the sales of biomass to third parties and identifying opportunities for new markets and customers. He is also President of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada. Vaughan has an extensive career in international forest products businesses. Previously, he spent almost 20 years with Sappi, a global pulp and paper company. As the executive in charge of their world-wide pulp sales, he was stationed in Hong Kong for 10 years before moving to Canada in 2007. He joined Pinnacle in 2011.

Vaughan earned his BSc from the University of Natal and his MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand, both located in South Africa.

Ben Garnett, Vice President, Biomass Procurement and Sales

Ben Garnett

Ben is Vice President of Biomass Procurement and Sales for Drax Biomass. In this role, he is responsible for the origination, negotiation, execution and relationship management of medium-to-long term pellet procurement and sales contracts.

Ben joined Drax Biomass in 2012 shortly after the business was formed, helping to guide its growth from a development project into a successful operating entity.  He previously served as an International Biomass Buyer at Drax Power Limited in the UK, responsible for negotiating pellet procurement contracts to support Drax Power Station’s transformation into a predominately biomass-fueled facility. Prior to joining Drax, Ben held a variety of contracting, bulk shipping and logistics roles at Glencore, a multinational commodity marketing and trading company.

Ben holds a Bachelor of Science degree in in Agriculture and Business Management from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Dana Day, Director of Human Resources

Dana Day

Dana Day is Director of Human Resources for Drax Biomass. She is responsible for all aspects of Human Resources including recruiting and staffing, benefits, performance, change and safety management and employee coaching.

Dana joined Drax Biomass from Franke Kitchen Systems where she was an HR Business Partner supporting plant managers and management teams in all aspects of operations including Unions, employee engagement, performance management, safety, environmental compliance and employee growth and development.

She spent 13 years as Human Resources and Safety Manager for Graphic Packaging, Inc. and various management roles with Flint Ink and Progressive Ink Company.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business with a Concentration on Human Resources from the University of Phoenix. She earned a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) Certification and is a member of the North Louisiana Society of Human Resources Managers (SHRM).