AOPL Staff

The staff of AOPL represents the industry in the nation’s capital and helps to coordinate the pipeline industry’s ongoing Joint Environmental Safety Initiative.

 

Andrew J. Black, President and CEO

Andy Black is President and CEO of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL), a trade association in Washington, D.C., whose membership is owners and operators of energy liquids pipelines. Liquids pipelines transport the crude oil, refined products and natural gas liquids that American consumers and workers use every day to lead their lives and fuel their jobs. AOPL promotes the safe, reliable, and efficient transportation of energy liquids by pipelines, educates the public about the vital role oil pipelines serve in the daily lives of Americans, and advocates for the interests of its members.

He leads outreach to Congress, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), other government agencies, trade associations, and key stakeholder groups. Andy has testified before Congressional committees and State Legislatures on behalf of AOPL and its members, and discusses pipeline issues regularly with members of the media. He participates in industry discussions about performance improvement, manages the talented AOPL staff, and reports to the AOPL Board of Directors.

Andy previously served as Director of Federal Government Relations for the El Paso Corporation, a natural gas pipeline, producer, and LNG terminal operator. Prior to that, he was Director of the Office of External Affairs for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). He spent a combined thirteen years on Capitol Hill as a staff member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and for Congressman Joe Barton. He also spent time directing an association of government relations firms in state and national capitols.

Andy has earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), and completed the Institute of Organization Management (IOM) program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Mr. Black has a B.S. in Economics from Texas Christian University and an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland. Raised in Texas, he lives in Brambleton, Virginia, with his wife and elementary school age daughter and son.

Contact: (202) 292-4500; ablack@aopl.org

 

Steven M. Kramer, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Steve Kramer joined AOPL as General Counsel and Secretary in October 2008. He is AOPL’s chief legal officer responsible for legal issues affecting AOPL and its members. He represents AOPL on a variety of legal, regulatory and policy matters before government agencies and courts, works on issues with AOPL committees and teams, makes presentations to and participates regularly in meetings with AOPL member executive leadership and the AOPL Board of Directors, and ensures that Association activities and operations comply with applicable law.

Mr. Kramer has more than 25 years of experience in the energy field, including in the oil pipeline, natural gas and electric power industries.  He has worked as an attorney-advisor at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and has represented clients on a wide range of energy regulatory, policy, strategic, and transactional matters. Prior to joining AOPL, Mr. Kramer was in private law practice with the international law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy LLP. During the course of his career, he has worked on such diverse matters as cost-based, market-based, index-based, formula and incentive rates, oil pipeline, natural gas pipeline and electric utility tariffs, restructuring of the natural gas and electric power industries, pipeline safety, legislative development and strategy, development and financing of natural gas and electric infrastructure projects, energy transactions, the formation of independent electric transmission companies, and domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Kramer earned an undergraduate degree in business from the University of Maryland and his law degree from the University of Richmond. He has served as an officer, on the Board of Directors and on various committees of the Energy Bar Association, as well as on the Board of Directors of the Charitable Foundation of the Energy Bar Association. Mr. Kramer has also published many articles and made numerous presentations on energy issues.

Contact: (202) 292-4502; skramer@aopl.org

 

John Stoody, Vice President, Government and Public Relations

John Stoody represents the interests of AOPL and its member companies on an industry-wide basis before Congress, its committees and individual members. Mr. Stoody leads pipeline safety improvement programs and U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration regulatory issues at AOPL. He also leads AOPL’s public relations efforts and serves as AOPL’s primary media relations contact. Mr. Stoody works with AOPL members and staff to develop and execute programmatic, legislative, regulatory, and communications strategies. Mr. Stoody joined AOPL as Director, Government Relations in January 2012, adding Public Relations duties later in 2012, and becoming Vice President, Government and Public Relations in 2014.

Mr. Stoody came to AOPL with 20 years of Washington legislative and policy experience. He spent 13 years as a U.S. Senate aide, serving as Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Counsel for U.S. Senator Kit Bond and Majority Staff Director of the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. Previously, he served 7 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including time as an attorney-advisor in EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. He began his federal government service as a Presidential Management Fellow at EPA and the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Mr. Stoody has a B.S. in Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an M.G.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law.

Contact: (202) 292-4509; jstoody@aopl.org

 

Nicole M. Given, Staff Attorney

Nicole Given joined AOPL in January 2015. Prior to joining AOPL, Ms. Given was an Associate Attorney for Secure Horizon Settlements, a specialty finance company where she was responsible for the legal questions arising from the Structured Settlement Protection Acts in each state. Ms. Given has previously interned at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission and the World Bank.

A Connecticut native, Ms. Given holds a J.D. from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law and a B.A. from The College of the Holy Cross.

Contact: (202) 292-4506; ngiven@aopl.org

 

Nia Elizabeth van der Velden, Manager, Digital Media Communications

Nia Elizabeth van der Velden  joined AOPL in January 2015. Prior to joining AOPL, Ms. van der Velden was a Client Service Director for Aqua Online developing strategies for business growth and market share gain for her major telecommunications company account. Previously, Ms. van der Velden was a Senior Manager for Crowdverb serving as a senior-level contact for clients and managing day-to-day operations of digital mobilization projects (including website, microsite, email and social campaigns) for clients.

Ms. van der Velden holds a B.A. from New York University.

Contact: (202) 292-4508; nvandervelden@aopl.org

 

Karen White, Executive Assistant and Events Coordinator

Karen White joined AOPL in August 2014. Prior to joining AOPL, Ms. White worked at BP America where she was a Senior Administrative Assistant in their Regulatory Affairs Group. Previously, she worked as an Executive Assistant in the Government Affairs Division at SC Johnson & Son, Inc.

Ms. White is currently pursuing her B.A. at the University of Phoenix.

Contact: (202) 292-4507; kwhite@aopl.org