The Romanian American Institute for Smart Energy is a non-profit organization registered in Washington, DC. 

In the new world context where energy prosperity becomes energy security, the Institute focuses on increasing the collaboration between Romanian and American energy players, stimulating investment, fostering new partnerships, and facilitating access to new technologies.

The Romanian American Institute for Smart Energy is a non-profit organization registered in Washington, DC. 

In the new world context where energy prosperity becomes energy security, the Institute focuses on increasing the collaboration between Romanian and American energy players, stimulating investment, fostering new partnerships, and facilitating access to new technologies.

RAISE can help you

Promote your energy business and access a targeted community

Connect with valuable partners and investors in the Romanian and American energy industry

Exchange ideas and business initiatives with people in your field

Participate in high-profile events in the United States and Romania

Place your business among the leading players in the industry and exchanges between Romania and America

Have an active role in shaping the strategic energy thinking in the industry

Have access to sector-specific research papers and projects

Shape the process of developing the human capital in the energy business in Romania

Contribute to the energy prosperity and security of Romania and the U.S.

Objectives and Activities

The institute focuses on five areas to promote the profile of the Romanian energy industry in the USA.

The Institute focuses on developing a network of contacts within the American energy industry and facilitating the direct exchange of ideas and business ventures. This includes connecting with major representatives of the American energy industry across all sectors, participation in relevant events in the United States, organizing

conferences, seminars, and meetings to stay informed of current energy discussions and developments, and organizing visits of Romanian companies to the USA and American ones to Romania to encourage direct contacts and develop a portfolio of concrete projects.

The Institute acts to establish and elevate the reputation of the Romanian energy industry as a capable and trustworthy partner in the American business, professional, and governmental environments. This includes supporting large-scale commercial projects, promoting the interests and policies of regional and Euro-Atlantic energy entities, and facilitating cooperation in the Romanian-American bilateral dynamics.

RAISE provides a platform for interaction, consultation, and discussion for key players in the energy field in the American, Romanian, and European public and private systems. It also supports efforts to promote the Romanian-American industry and partnership in American specialized media.

The Institute connects with the US centers for research and analysis to develop a strategic approach to energy. By initiating research in specific areas, the Institute is able to publish reports on the energy market, the impact of the energy transition, and the potential for Romanian-American cooperation in Southeast Europe and the Euro-Atlantic region.

The Institute explores partnerships with US government institutions and laboratories, and facilitates research scholarships for Romanian experts.

RAISE facilitates technology transfer and collaboration between Romanian and American energy companies. By fostering partnerships and promoting the exchange of ideas and expertise, RAISE promotes the development of clean technology innovations and advances in the sustainable energy sector in both countries.  RAISE encourages the growth of clean energy solutions and supports the transition towards sustainable energy practices.

The Institute works with partners in the government, private sector, and academic institutions to foster collaboration and drive the development of cutting-edge clean energy technologies. By promoting the advancement of clean-tech and clean energy solutions, RAISE helps reduce the negative impact of energy production on the environment, and contributes to a more sustainable future.

RAISE supports the education and training programs needed to advance the sustainable energy sector in Romania and the United States. The Institute facilitates various programs for students, researchers, and professionals, including workshops, seminars, and training sessions that cover a range of topics related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and smart energy systems. RAISE facilitates internships and fellowships to provide hands-on experience to energy professionals and students.

The Institute works with universities and research institutions to develop and deliver energy-related curricula and degree programs that prepare the next generation of energy leaders. Through these various education and training programs, RAISE supports building a highly-skilled workforce that can drive the growth of the smart energy industry in Romania and the United States.

Our Mission and Strategy

Enhance the energy prosperity and security of Romania and the United States.

Identify opportunities for cooperation between the energy industries in Romania and the United States.

Strengthen American trust and understanding of Romanian skills.

Raise the technological performance and sustainability of the Romanian industry regionally.

Our Mission is Guided by Clear Principles

Competence, quality, and
professional excellence

The Institute’s commitment to all its activities reflects its members’ investment in performance standards.
As a result, the Romanian energy industry presents itself as a partner capable of ensuring results at the highest level of quality.

Responsibility and
business ethics

Responsible conduct is the only way to build trust and performance. The Institute applies the highest standards of representativeness and compliance with the rules of business governance, meetings, events, and all professional activities.

Efficiency and

The Institute’s actions have a clearly defined purpose of contributing to the realization of successful projects in transparent conditions of efficiency. Furthermore, all members’ interests are to ensure the best conditions for the competitiveness of the operations carried out in partnership.

Meet our Board of Directors & CEO

Daniela Kammrath


Ms. Kammrath is a seasoned entrepreneur, with over 20 years of experience in advertising, communications, digital marketing strategy, and business development for Fortune 500 companies. She is an experienced leader of non-profit organizations.

Read more

She is an experienced leader of non-profit organizations. She held the position of Executive Director of Alianta in Washington, DC, and Romanian United Fund in Chicago, two non-profits in the U.S. Ms. Kammrath is a founding board member of FORA, the Federation of Romanian American Organizations, based in Washington, DC. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Romanian United Fund. She holds a Master of Science in Electronics & Telecommunications from Bucharest Polytechnic University.

Anca Harasim

For over two decades, Ms. Harasim has been the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania, the Founder and first President of Harvard Club Romania-Moldova, the Founder of Aspen Institute Romania, and serves as the Vice-President of The Margareta of Romania Royal Foundation.

Read more

She holds a Master of Public Administration Degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Master of Science in Power Engineering at Bucharest Polytechnic University. Ms. Harasim’s consultancy experience includes assignments at The World Bank and for the European Commission. With over 30 years of senior-level experience in managing & developing organizations, public policy & program strategic planning, management development & implementation of innovative reforms in Central & Eastern Europe, Ms. Harasim is currently serving on the Boards of several non-profit organizations.

Jacques Tohme

President of the Board

Mr. Tohme manages investments in energy and natural resources. He is a co-founder and Director of Tailwind Energy, an energy producer in the North Sea, which has successfully transacted with Exxon, Shell, ENI, BP, EOG Resources, and Oaktree.

Read more

He established Amerocap in 2012, a private investment firm focused on the energy, mining, and defense sectors in the US, Europe, Latin America, and Africa, managing over $1bn in assets. Mr. Tohme has experience in investment banking in New York, emphasizing energy and emerging markets, including investment coverage of Romania’s 2nd largest holding in ‘Fondul Proprietatea.’ Mr. Tohme holds a BS from Columbia University and sits on the Board of the Lebanon Program at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC.

Duane Butcher

Secretary of The Board

Mr. Butcher retired from the Senior Foreign Service of the United States with the rank of Minister-Counselor. He served as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires in Bucharest, Romania, and Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Before that, he was Principal Officer at the American Consulate General in Hamburg, Germany.

Read more

He was Management Counselor in Belgrade, Serbia, Bucharest, Romania, and Baku, Azerbaijan, as well as General Services Officer in Muscat, Oman. Mr. Butcher graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and the International School of Kenya. He holds the Star of Romania with the rank of Commander and an honorary doctorate from the National School of Political Science and Administration in Bucharest, Romania.

Advisory Board Members

Alexandru-Valeriu Binig

Valeriu is the Regulatory and Antitrust Director with ENEL Romania and has chaired the Energy Committee of AmCham Romania between 2012 and 2023. He has over 36 years of experience in the Romanian and European energy sector, having worked as a power plant operation engineer, designer, researcher, coordinator of EU assistance programs, top utility company executive and administrator, investment banking and corporate finance services provider, private equity officer, energy efficiency funds administrator, and management consultant.

Read more

He is also a member of various boards and groups, such as the Energy Policy Group, the Romanian National Committee for the World Energy Council, the Regulation and Network Customers Working Group of Eurelectric, and the Expert Group of the EU DSO Entity. He holds an MSc and a Ph.D. from Bucharest Technical University and has 12 years of experience as a lecturer in the same faculty. He has also held various leadership roles in private and public companies such as RENEL/CONEL, Electrica, Termoelectrica, and the Romanian Fund for Energy Efficiency (FRE). He has worked as a Director for Energy and Utilities with the Romanian American Enterprise Fund and as a Corporate Finance Director and Advisory Partner with Deloitte Romania and Ernst & Young Romania.

Steve Crout

Steve has a diverse background in public policy and business development, with expertise in technology, energy, infrastructure, resilience, workforce, and sustainability issues. He has held senior positions in the U.S. Congress, the Executive Branch, and the private sector, including as a Legislative Director, Senior Advisor for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs, and Associate Director of the Office of Policy at the U.S. Department of Energy, and in senior government affairs positions at the American Gas Association, Motorola, and Qualcomm.

Read more

He currently runs his consulting practice focused on strategic public-private partnerships in the 5G, IoT, and smart cities market. He is also promoting 5G/broadband workforce development in the states. He co-founded a non-profit organization called “CANVAS for Recovery and Resilience,” which focused on the needs of grassroots organizations dedicated to assisting communities impacted by natural disasters. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from Rollins College, and a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Johns Hopkins University.

Adrian Curaj

Adrian Curaj is a former minister of education, science and innovation. He is the head of the UNESCO Chair on Science and Innovation Policies and professor at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration. He had been working as a consultant for the World Bank, UNESCO, UNIDO, ETF and EC for studies in Tertiary Education, Science and Innovation and Foresight. Adrian CURAJ is fellow of the World Academy of Art & Science (WAAS).​

Radu Dudău

Radu Dudău is President and co-founder of the Energy Policy Group (EPG), an independent non-profit think-tank specializing in energy and climate policy. He is also an associate professor of International Relations at the University of Bucharest. He graduated in Physics and Philosophy from the University of Iași (Romania), received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Konstanz (Germany), and a Ph.D. in Political Science – International Relations from SNSPA (Bucharest). 

Read more

He had extensive research stays at the Universities of Oxford, Pittsburgh, and Harvard. In 2016, Radu coordinated the elaboration of Romania’s Energy Strategy for 2030. His research interests include EU energy policy, geopolitics, and clean energy technology.​

Sean Kennedy

Sean Kennedy is the founder of Megawatt Photovoltaic Development, Inc., where he leads strategic planning, business development, government relations, and partnership building in the energy sector. He has extensive experience in energy policy and natural resources, and has worked on renewable energy projects in Eastern Europe as the Managing Partner of Summit International Relations. He also served as a political appointee in the Clinton Administration at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Read more

Before founding Megawatt, he founded and directed a public relations firm that worked with elected officials and non-profit organizations. He has a background in geology and holds a Bachelors’s and Masters’s degree in Geology from the University of Iowa. He has also worked on several political campaigns, such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden.

Ioana Engstrom

Since moving to the United States from Romania at the age of twenty-one, Ioana Engstrom has dedicated her career to entrepreneurship, business development, and establishing enduring relationships across various industries in the global marketplace. Her impressive achievements include scaling a startup to achieve successful global sales and skillfully overseeing distributors on five continents while serving as VP of Business Development for a clean-tech company.

Read more

For the past six years, Ms. Engstrom has focused on consulting for companies in international market development, with a particular emphasis on clean-tech enterprises. Ms. Engstrom is the Honorary Consul of Romania to New Mexico.

Dr. Sara Vakhshouri

Dr. Sara Vakhshouri is an experienced energy expert with over 20 years of experience in the industry. She is the founder and president of SVB Energy International, a strategic consulting firm in Washington DC and Dubai, and also the founder of SVB Green Access, a non-profit organization that promotes affordable and inclusive energy programs in areas with energy poverty and poor water access.

Read more

Dr. Vakhshouri has extensive experience in energy market studies, energy strategy, energy security, and geopolitical risk, and has advised numerous governments, public and private entities, and international organizations like the IEA, IMF and World Bank. She is also a professor of Energy Security at the IWP graduate school of national security, statecraft, and international affairs, and a senior fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. Dr. Vakhshouri has published articles in prestigious journals and contributed to different energy research works and studies and is a keynote speaker at various energy conferences. She has a PhD in Energy Security and Middle Eastern Studies, and two MA degrees in Business Management and International Relations.

Christopher Lepadatu

Christopher Lepadatu is a civil and environmental engineer with experience in waste-to-energy, oil & gas midstream, and urban energy systems. With a Bachelors in Civil Engineering from Penn State University and a Masters in Environmental Engineering from Tsinghua University Beijing, his experience combined with his technical training have given him the ability to find practical solutions for today’s energy issues.


Subscribe to news and alerts:

    Contact Us

    We want to hear from you