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Algae Biomass Organization Announces Two New Board Members

Al Darzins, R&D Director at Gas Technology Institute and James Levine, CEO of Sapphire Energy join ABO leadership as industry continues to expand breadth of product offerings

WASHINGTON, DC (February 10, 2015) The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO), the trade association for the algae industry, today announced that Dr. Al Darzins, Research & Development Director at Gas Technology Institute (GTI) and James Levine, CEO of Sapphire Energy have been appointed to the ABO Board of Directors.

“As the algae industry continues to spawn new companies, new technologies and address new markets, Al and Jamie’s perspectives and experiences will be valuable additions to our board,” said Matt Carr, Executive Director of the Algae Biomass Organization. “Their combined deep experience in biotechnology, Fortune 100 companies, global finance, publicly traded companies and DOE national labs will add important perspectives and voices to our focus and execution.”
ABO’s board of directors guides the organization in its mission to educate the general public, policymakers, and industry about the benefits and potential of algae to provide sustainable solutions for commodity chemicals, fuels, food, and feed applications, as well as for high-value applications such as nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics, among others. In addition, ABO’s board works closely with its executive director to advocate for policies that can accelerate the development of key market segments and commercial-scale algae production facilities for the full range of products that can be made from algae.

ABO’s board is comprised of representatives from multiple sectors of an industry that is experiencing more investment and seeing new commercial facilities opening or being planned around the world. Board members come from industry sectors that include academia, research institutes, professional services, algae biomass producers, technology suppliers, project developers, and end-users.

Dr. Al Darzins is an R&D Director at the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), a leading not-for-profit research, development and training organization with a legacy of expertise in biomass conversion technology development and deployment, where he is responsible for biotechnology-based research efforts in alternative energy and renewable fuels development. He served as ABO’s Program Co-chair for the 2014 Algae Biomass Summit (ABS) and is currently the Program Chair for the 2015 Summit that will be held in Washington, DC, September 30-October 2.

Prior to joining GTI, Dr. Darzins was a Research Manager in DuPont’s Biofuels division where he led an enzyme engineering effort and managed an ARPA-e funded macroalgae to biobutanol project. He has also held a position at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), where he managed biofuel technology development, re-established the organization’s long-dormant microalgal biomass program, and played an instrumental role in helping to organize the DOE’s National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap workshop.

James Levine joined Sapphire Energy as Chief Executive Officer in July 2014. He was formerly president and CEO of Verenium Corp., a NASDAQ-listed industrial biotechnology company that develops commercial-scale enzyme solutions using proprietary and patented technologies for industries worldwide. At Verenium, he fostered and managed the company’s most critical partnerships, including BP, which acquired the company’s cellulosic ethanol unit in 2010, as well as DuPont, Royal DSM, Bunge North America, Cargill, Novus International Inc., Colgate-Palmolive Co. and Tate & Lyle PLC, among others. Each of these partnerships enabled the application of Verenium’s technology in global food, fuels and animal nutrition markets. He also he led the company through its acquisition by BASF Corp. in late 2013. Prior to Verenium, Levine was a managing director in the global energy group at Goldman Sachs & Co.

Products made from algae are the natural solution to the energy, food, economic, and climate challenges facing the world today. This tiny but powerful organism has the ability to simultaneously put fuels in vehicles, reuse CO2, provide nutrition for animals and people, and create jobs for millions of Americans. More information can be found at

About the Algae Biomass Organization

The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) is a 501 c(6) non-profit whose mission is to promote the development of viable commercial markets for renewable and sustainable commodities derived from algae. Its membership is comprised of people, companies, and organizations across the value chain. More information about ABO, including its leadership, membership, costs, benefits, and members and their affiliations, is available at the website:

Benefits of Membership

Put yourself at the forefront of the algae industry, where algae products, services, and research meet the challenges of our planet’s most pressing issues today.
Members also benefit from:
  • A voice on ABO policy initiatives.
  • Access to members-only resources.
  • Discounted pricing to ABO events, and more!
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