Heather Richman

Heather Richman

Head of External Affairs & Government Relations
TerViva BioEnergy

Heather Richman heads up TerViva’s efforts in the areas of communications, government relations and external affairs. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, she focuses on federal, state and local relationships as well as communications from a business development perspective. TerViva has developed an ultra-low cost, environmentally-responsible feedstock for the production of biodiesel. At the heart of TerViva’s technology are elite strains of Pongamia, a leafy tree that produces non-edible vegetable oil. Their proprietary trees exhibit robust growth in marginal soil and use minimal quantities of water and fertilizer.

Heather concurrently serves as Managing Partner of GreenLight Strategies, LLC, where she advises venture capital funds and portfolio companies on political strategy and advocacy at all levels of government. Focused on federal funding, Heather has been successful at protecting niche federal funding programs such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biomass Crop Assistance Program, which provides significant funding for biofuels companies, and working with Department of Energy and Department of Defense programs to increase the development of alternative and renewable energy technologies. Heather works closely with influential members and staff on Capitol Hill to ensure that TerViva and others in the biofuels space are heard from on a regular basis.

At Cisco Systems, Inc., Heather oversaw U.S. state and local government affairs as part of Cisco’s Global Policy and Government Affairs team. Prior to Cisco, Heather served as the Associate Director of Government Relations for Stanford University. In addition, she served as the government affairs advisor for the Woods Institute for the Environment and worked in association with the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford.

During her time in Washington, D.C., Heather advised U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, as director of Appropriations, Budget and Tax, where she worked closely with the senator on all federal funding, budget and tax issues. She worked closely with the Senate Appropriations Committee on programmatic and discretionary funding issues and authored legislation to increase tax incentives to companies to aid in the rebuilding of lower Manhattan post-9/11, increase the funding for High Threat Urban Areas, and the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Service, or COPS, hiring program, among others. Prior to her service in New York, Heather worked for U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Heather served as president and co-founder of the Civic and Social Education Foundation, which works directly with multiple charter schools in Southeast Washington, DC, implementing mentoring, tutoring, intramural sports and service learning projects for Anacostia students.