Board of Directors
Mr. Matthew Schatzman
Committees: Operating (Chair), Finance
Matthew (Matt) Schatzman was appointed Chief Executive Officer of NextDecade Corporation (NASDAQ: NEXT) on February 1, 2018. Mr. Schatzman was subsequently elected Chairman of the Board of Directors effective June 4, 2019. He joined the company as President and member of the Board of Directors on September 18, 2017. Mr. Schatzman has over 30 years of experience in the energy industry, including as Executive Vice President Global Energy Marketing and Shipping and member of the Group Executive Committee at BG Group where he was responsible for the company’s global marketing, trading and shipping activities for LNG, crude oil and natural gas. During his tenure at BG Group, Mr. Schatzman played a pivotal role in the success and growth of BG Group’s LNG business, transforming it into a global leader in flexible LNG supply and trading. Mr. Schatzman also held senior executive roles at Dynegy and started his career at Transco Pipeline, a subsidiary of Williams. In addition to managing an international portfolio of LNG, shipping, and commodity trading positions, Mr. Schatzman’s expertise extends to hedging, risk management and process improvement across a diverse portfolio of development and operating assets. Mr. Schatzman graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and is a member of the National Petroleum Council.
Mr. Giovanni Oddo
Committees: Finance, Nominating & Governance
Giovanni Oddo was appointed as a Director of NextDecade in May 2022. Mr. Oddo is the Head of Americas of Mubadala Investment Company’s Traditional Infrastructure business unit. At Mubadala Investment Company, he has previously been responsible for investments in the oil and gas sector and related services, including Mubadala Petroleum LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company. Mr. Oddo has over 20 years of experience in infrastructure and energy investments, having been a manager at General Electric International, Oil & Gas division, responsible for internal investments and market development of Europe and North Africa prior to joining Mubadala Investment Company. Mr. Oddo’s prior experience also includes the Associates program at JPMorgan Natural Resources Investment Banking in London. Mr. Oddo holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florence (Italy) and an M.B.A. from London Business School (UK).
Mr. Seokwon Ha
Seokwon Ha was appointed as a Director of NextDecade in February 2022. Mr. Ha is the President of Hanwha Impact Partners, a holding company managing an investment portfolio in the U.S. covering a wide range of sectors such as clean energy, data science, and life science and developing new business for sustainable growth. From April 2017 until December 2021, Mr. Ha served as a Senior Vice President leading the New Business Development Team of Hanwha Impact in Seoul, Republic of Korea with an expertise related to cross border M&A. Hanwha Group is a business conglomerate with affiliates operating in various industries including chemicals, energy, petrochemicals, solar, aerospace, and defense as well as finance, asset management, and hotel and resorts. Prior to joining Hanwha, Mr. Ha held roles in several investment banks and financial advisory firms, including NH Investment & Securities and Ernst & Young. Mr. Ha received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Seoul National University and a Master of Business Administration from the Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business.
Mr. Avinash Kripalani
Committees: Operating, Compensation, Finance, Audit
Avinash Kripalani has served as a Director of NextDecade since April 2016. Mr. Kripalani is a Partner of Bardin Hill Investment Partners, where he has worked since 2008. Prior to Bardin Hill, Mr. Kripalani was a Consultant at IBM. Mr. Kripalani earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, a Bachelor of Science in Systems and Information Engineering and Master of Science in Systems and Information Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Mr. Drew Scoggins
Committees: Audit, Nominating & Governance, Compensation
Drew Scoggins was appointed as a director of NextDecade in April 2021. Mr. Scoggins is Founder and Managing Partner of Millennial Energy Partners, an energy asset management firm, where he has worked since July 2012. Prior to founding Millennial, Mr. Scoggins led the commercial and operations teams at BG Group, plc on upstream, midstream and liquefied natural gas investments in the United States, Canada, Chile, Equatorial Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago from July 2008 to July 2012. Prior to joining BG Group, Mr. Scoggins was Strategic Planning Manager and Community and Public Relations Manager with Marathon Oil from August 2005 until July 2008. Mr. Scoggins began his oil and gas career in 2004 with Bechtel Corporation as Project Controls Engineer residing in Equatorial Guinea, West Africa. Mr. Scoggins served as a member of the board of directors of Ultra Petroleum Corp. from October 2018 until August 2020. Mr. Scoggins also served as a member of the board of directors of Amplify Energy Corp., where he was Chairman of the Audit Committee, from April 2017 until its merger with Midstates Petroleum Company, Inc. in August 2019. Mr. Scoggins is a member of Vanderbilt University’s College of Arts & Sciences Campaign Cabinet and an Advisory Board member of Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program. Mr. Scoggins received his Bachelor of Science in Economics and History from Vanderbilt University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. He earned his Master of Science in Foreign Service with a focus on international business and development from Georgetown University.
Mr. Brian Belke
Committees: Compensation (Chair), Finance (Chair), Operating
Brian Belke has served as a Director of NextDecade since June 2015. Mr. Mr. Belke is the Managing Partner of Heights Point Management LP, the investment manager of an equity long-short hedge fund. Prior to founding Heights Point Management in 2021, Mr. Belke was a Partner at Valinor Management, L.P. and an Equity Research Associate at Fidelity Investments. He is a CFA® Charterholder and is a member of the CFA Institute and the New York Society of Securities Analysts. Mr. Belke earned a B.S. in Management with concentrations in Finance and Accounting, Summa Cum Laude, from Boston College, and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, where he graduated with High Distinction as a Baker Scholar.
Sir Frank Chapman
Committees: Nominating & Governance (Chair), Operating
Sir Frank Chapman was appointed to NextDecade’s Board of Directors (Board) as a non-executive, independent director effective November 1, 2019. Sir Frank graduated with first class honors in Mechanical Engineering from Queen Mary College, London University. He has spent 40 years in the oil and gas industry, beginning his career with BP plc before moving to Royal Dutch Shell plc, where he worked for 18 years. He then moved to British Gas as Managing Director Exploration and Production in 1996. Sir Frank was appointed Chief Executive of BG Group plc (previously British Gas) in 2000 and was a member of its Board of Directors for over 16 years. He retired from BG Group plc in June 2013. Sir Frank is currently a Vice Chairman of the Charity Myeloma UK and Independent Non-Executive Director of Zap Energy Inc. He was Chairman of Golar LNG Ltd from September 2014 to September 2015 and served on the Board of Directors of Rolls-Royce Holdings, plc from 2011 to 2021. He was named in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours List and knighted for services to the oil and gas industry.
Mr. William Vrattos
Committees: Nominating & Governance, Operating
William Vrattos was appointed Lead Independent Director effective April 29, 2020. He has served as a Director of NextDecade since July 2017. Mr. Vrattos joined York Capital Management in January 2002 and is the Co-Chief Investment Officer and a Managing Partner of York Capital Management. Mr. Vrattos is also a Co-Portfolio Manager of the York Credit Opportunities, York Distressed Asset, York Global Credit Income, York Insurance Dedicated, and York Tactical Energy funds and a member of York’s Executive Committee. Prior to joining York Capital Management, he worked at Georgica Advisors LLC as a Portfolio Manager specializing in media and communications equities and distressed securities and at Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc. as an investment banker. Mr. Vrattos is currently a member of the Board of Directors or Advisory Board, as applicable and in his capacity as a York Capital Management employee, of (i) Saddle Butte Partners III, (ii) all entities incorporated pursuant to York Capital Management’s partnerships with Costamare, Inc. and (iii) India 2020, and (iv) Generate Advisors. In addition, he is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of the City of New York, a member of the Board of Trustees of Groton School and a member of the Investment Committee of the Dartmouth College Endowment. Mr. Vrattos received a B.A. in English from Dartmouth College and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School.
Mr. Spencer Wells
Committees: Audit (Chair), Nominating & Governance
Spencer Wells co-founded Drivetrain Advisors, LLC, a firm providing fiduciary services to the alternate investment community, in December 2013, where he currently serves as a Partner. Mr. Wells was previously employed by TPG Special Situations Partners from 2010 to 2013, where he first served as Partner from September 2010 to January 2012, and then as a Senior Advisor from January 2012 to July 2013. Mr. Wells also served as a Partner/Portfolio Manager for Silverpoint Capital from September 2002 to July 2009. Prior to joining Silverpoint Capital, Mr. Wells served as a Director at the Union Bank of Switzerland from May 2001 to September 2002 and as a Vice President of Deutsche Bank AG from January 1999 to May 2001. Mr. Wells currently serves on the boards of directors of Aventine Property Group, Samson Resources II, LLC, Vantage Drilling International, Parker Drilling, and Advanced Emissions Solutions, Inc.
Mr. Thibaud de Préval
Thibaud de Préval was appointed to the Board in August 2023. Mr. de Préval started his career in the energy industry in 1997 and has since held various positions within TotalEnergies, a multi-energy company that produces and markets fuels, natural gas and electricity, both at TotalEnergies’ Paris headquarters and regional offices, across a wide range of disciplines including upstream operations, engineering, project management, corporate venturing, asset management and business development. Since July 2017, Mr. de Préval has served as Deputy VP LNG Assets at TotalEnergies, with various mandates as director or president of certain TotalEnergies affiliates. He graduated from French engineering school Ecole Polytechnique and subsequently obtained Master’s degrees from the French Petroleum Institute (IFP School) and Texas A&M University.