Officers & Directors
Officers & Directors
Amir Adnani President, Chief Executive Officer, Director
Amir Adnani is the President, Chief Executive Officer, a director and a founder of Uranium Energy Corp (UEC: NYSE American). Under his leadership, the company has become the fastest growing uranium company listed on the NYSE American with the largest resource base of fully permitted ISR projects of any U.S. based producer.
Mr. Adnani is the founder and Chairman of GoldMining Inc. (GOLD: TSX; GLDG: NYSE American), a gold-resources acquisition and development company that has grown to control a sizeable portfolio of gold projects across the Americas and is the Chairman of Uranium Royalty Corp. (UROY: Nasdaq; URC: TSX-V) a uranium royalty company. By background, he is an entrepreneur, and earlier started and expanded two private companies.
Mr. Adnani is frequently invited to speak at prominent industry gatherings, including the Milken Institute Global Conference, the International Economic Forum of the Americas, the World Nuclear Fuel Market and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He is often interviewed by major business media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNBC and Fox Business News.
Mr. Adnani was selected as one of “Mining’s Future Leaders” by Mining Journal, a UK-based global industry publication. Fortune magazine distinguished him on their 40 Under 40, ‘Ones to Watch’ list of North American executives. He was earlier a finalist for Ernst & Young’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ distinction. Mr. Adnani holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of British Columbia and was a director of the university’s Alumni Association from 2015 to 2021.
Spencer Abraham Chairman of the Board
Spencer Abraham served as the 10th U.S. secretary of energy from 2001 to 2005. Under his leadership the department made major advances in the development of new energy technologies, successfully implemented a variety of nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear security programs after the September 11 attacks, and launched initiatives to improve the nation’s energy security. He also had responsibility for U.S. national labs and energy research activities.
An honors graduate of Michigan State University and Harvard Law School, Mr. Abraham was the co-founder of The Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy and the Federalist Society. He was a law professor at the Thomas M. Cooley School of law before being elected chairman of the Michigan Republican Party in 1983. He later served as deputy chief of staff in the office of the vice president and as co-chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
In 1994, Mr. Abraham was elected to the United States Senate from Michigan. While in the Senate, he authored 22 pieces of legislation that were enacted into law and served on the Senate Judiciary, Commerce and Budget committees. He chaired the Senate subcommittees on Immigration and Manufacturing and Competitiveness. Much of his legislative focus was on advancing the emerging information technology/e-commerce revolution, including the now ubiquitous use of electronic signatures in commercial activities.
Mr. Abraham serves as the chairman of Uranium Energy Corp. He was previously a director of Occidental Petroleum and the non-executive chairman of AREVA’s U.S. board.
Pat Obara Secretary, Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Obara served as the Chief Financial Officer of UEC from August 2006 to January 2011 and as the Vice President Administration of UEC from January 2011 to October 2015. Previously, Mr. Obara worked as a consultant to several private companies in the areas of corporate management, finance and administration. Mr. Obara currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of a public company listed on the TSX and the NYSE American. Mr. Obara holds a degree in Building Technology, Land and Construction Economics from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Scott Melbye Executive Vice President
Mr. Melbye is a 38-year veteran of the nuclear energy industry having held leadership positions in major uranium mining companies and various industry organizations. He also currently serves as President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of Uranium Royalty Corp., and as Advisor to the Nuclear Engineering Program at the Colorado School of Mines. He recently served as Vice President Commercial for Uranium Participation Corporation (now Sprott Physical Uranium Trust), and Advisor to the CEO of Kazatomprom, the world’s largest uranium producer in Kazakhstan. Through to June 2014, Mr. Melbye was Executive Vice President, Marketing for Uranium One, responsible for global uranium sales activities. Prior to this, he spent 22 years with the Cameco Group of companies, both in the Saskatoon head office and with their U.S. subsidiaries. He most recently served as President of Cameco Inc., the subsidiary responsible for global marketing and trading activities achieving annual sales exceeding 30 million pounds U3O8. Mr. Melbye is President of the Uranium Producers of America and a past Chair of the Board of Governors of the World Nuclear Fuel Market. Mr. Melbye received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with specialization in International Business from Arizona State University in 1984.
Donna Wichers Vice President of Wyoming Operations
Ms. Wichers has served as our Vice President of Wyoming Operations since May 1, 2022. From 2007 to 2021, Ms. Wichers held various senior positions with Uranium One Inc., where she was responsible for exploration, licensing, development and operations for all of Uranium One Inc.’s ISR properties in the U.S. Ms. Wichers continues to serve as the Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and a director of Uranium One Americas, Inc. (now named UEC Wyoming Corp.), which was acquired by our Company on December 17, 2021. Ms. Wichers has over 40 years of experience in senior roles with ISR and conventional uranium mines in the U.S., including past positions with U.S. mining subsidiaries of Orano, Rio Algom, Arizona Public Service and Westinghouse and enCore Energy. She also has been employed by the International Atomic Energy Commission for annual consultancies over the past five years. Ms. Wichers holds a M.S. degree in Water Resources and a B.S. (Honors) degree in Microbiology, both from the University of Wyoming. Ms. Wichers is a past member of the Boards of Directors of the National Mining Association, the Wyoming Mining Association and the Uranium Producers of America, and is a past Chairman of the Society of Mining Engineers of AIME, Wyoming Mining and Metals Section.
Chris Hamel Vice President of Exploration, Canada
Christopher "Chris" Hamel joined UEC in August 2022 and serves as VP Exploration, Canada. Mr. Hamel has been exploring for uranium in the Athabasca since 2004. Prior to joining UEC he was most recently the VP Exploration for UEX Corporation where he was the technical lead for the company's exploration team. Prior to his 6 years with UEX Corporation, Mr. Hamel worked for Cameco Corporation for 12 years, ultimately serving there as District Geologist, Saskatchewan. Mr. Hamel has worked in Exploration since he graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2001 with a B.Sc. in Geology and has been involved with a number of Uranium, Cobalt & Nickel, and diamond discoveries over the course of his career.
James Hatley Vice President Production, Canada
James Hatley has 25-years of mining experience including uranium and base metals mine development, construction, and operations. Most recently he led the construction of three mines at one of Canada's largest mining projects, the Voisey's Bay Mine Expansion.
Prior to Vale, Mr. Hatley was the senior VP of project development at NexGen Energy and consulted overseas for Saudi Aramco.
He spent over 13 years with Cameco Corporation, including key leadership roles as project director and superintendent for the McArthur River Expansion, Millennium Project, chief mine engineer McArthur River, technical, and project management for the Cigar Lake Project. The development of McArthur River and Cigar Lake produced the world's top two highest grade, highest producing, and lowest quartile cost uranium assets; however, required specialized knowledge and technical approaches.
Mr. Hatley is a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.), Project Management Professional (PMP) and holds a Master of Business Administration from Athabasca University. James was a board member of the Saskatchewan Mining Association for three terms and in 2017 received a Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Fellowship for "over 20 Years of Technical Leadership".
Bruce Nicholson Vice-President of Corporate Development
Mr. Nicholson has spent 16 years as an industry specialist in the basic materials and metals and mining industries serving major U.S. and European banks, broker dealers, and investment funds. He has worked as a securities analyst for Bank of New York, BNP Paribas, and Citigroup. He also worked for four years in the investment field for DWS Investments, Deutsche Bank's asset management company, and an international resources-focused hedge fund. Mr. Nicholson was Chairman of the New York Section of the Society for Mining Exploration (SME) in 2007-08. With SME, he organized the annual NY nuclear renaissance meeting on uranium and nuclear issues with global experts from Cameco, Exelon, TradeTech and other industry-leading firms. At BNP Paribas, he advised the bank's New York commodity group on matters pertaining to the uranium sector and interfaced with a global team of in-house geologists and commodity traders. Mr. Nicholson is a member of the Minerals Economics and Management Society (MEMS), Minerals Industry Analyst Group (MRAG), and New York Society of Securities Analysts (NYSSA). He graduated with an MBA degree in Finance from Rutgers University in 1995 and is a CFA charterholder.
F. P. "Butch" Powell Vice President of Marketing and Sales
Mr. Powell has extensive experience in leadership roles in the nuclear fuel supply and financial industries spanning more than four decades. His nuclear fuel career began at Nuclear Assurance Corporation, working in nuclear fuel market analysis. He later joined Florida Power & Light with responsibilities in nuclear fuel supply management. In 1982, Mr. Powell was instrumental in the formation of UG U.S.A., and over a 12-year tenure his responsibilities included uranium marketing, sales, contract negotiations and business development. While serving as Vice President and heading up North American operations, he led UG U.S.A. to recognition as one of the top 100 international companies in Georgia. In the financial industry, Mr. Powell earned a Chartered Market Technician (CMT) designation and served as Senior Market Strategist for Neovest Trading for 10 years. During this time Mr. Powell also taught "Technical Analysis for Stocks" at Georgia Tech. In 2004, he established Technical Tactics, a research and consulting firm serving institutional fund managers through 2007. He also served as Senior Vice-President at Lowry Research Corp. 2008-2011 and joined UEC in 2012. He is also currently serving as Chair on the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Fuel Suppliers Committee. Mr. Powell holds a Bachelors of Business Administration in Management from Georgia State University.
Ganpat Mani Director
From 2009 to 2013 Mr. Mani was President and Chief Executive Officer of ConverDyn, a partnership between affiliates of Honeywell International Inc. and General Atomics, which specializes in the nuclear fuel conversion trade. During this time he also served as a director of the Nuclear Energy Institute and was a member of the U.S. Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee. He is a highly experienced negotiator of contracts with major private and state-owned corporations in Asia, Europe and the U.S. Notably, Mr. Mani negotiated the agreement for the return of uranium feed from the Metropolis conversion facility under the Megatons to Megawatts program between the U.S. and Russia. He also met with government and industry organizations as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce's multiple nuclear trade missions to India.
From 1994 to 2007, Mr. Mani held several senior marketing positions with ConverDyn, including having served as Senior Vice President. At ConverDyn, he was responsible for relations with major nuclear utilities in Asia, Europe and the U.S. and with enrichment companies in Europe and the U.S. He has prepared position papers and draft legislative language for, and represented ConverDyn in, meetings with the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Energy and State and with industry trade organizations. From 1973 to 1994, Mr. Mani worked at Honeywell International Inc. (formerly Allied-Signal Inc.), where his career spanned a variety of functional areas and product lines.
Mr. Mani holds an MBA from Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Loughborough University, UK.
Vincent Della Volpe Director
Mr. Della Volpe has a long and distinguished career. He has served as a professional money manager for 38 years including senior portfolio manager of pension funds for Honeywell Corporation and senior vice president of the YMCA Retirement Fund in New York with responsibilities for several billion dollars in assets. In his experience, Mr. Della Volpe has particularly focused on the management of energy and utility equities portfolios. His expertise includes management of significant venture capital investments. Mr. Della Volpe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and an MBA in Finance, both from Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ.
David Kong Lead Independent Director
Mr. Kong is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA). He most recently served as a partner of EY (formerly Ernst & Young LLP) from 2005 to 2010. He earlier served as a partner of Ellis Foster, Chartered Professional Accountants of Vancouver, British Columbia from 1981 to 2004. He is a certified director (ICD.D) of the Institute of Corporate Directors. He is a director of several mining companies.
Gloria Ballesta Director
Ms. Ballesta is the Chief Executive Officer of Content Mode SAS, based in Bogota, Colombia, since January 2016, and serves as a director of GoldMining Inc., a public company listed on the TSX and the NYSE American since August 2010. Ms. Ballesta has experience working in North American, European and Latin American business environments and has direct experience working with Canadian listed public companies holding interests in Latin America. Ms. Ballesta has experience managing administrative and compliance procedures for spin-offs, take-overs and financings of various public companies. Ms. Ballesta holds an LLB (Hons.) from the CEU Cardenal Herrera University in Spain and a Master's degree in Marketing and Business Management from ESIC School of Business in Spain.
Trecia Canty Director
Ms. Canty has over 25 years of experience in finance, strategic transactions, corporate governance, compliance, enterprise risk and ESG and has extensive energy industry experience, including exploration and production, public utilities, pipelines and related businesses in the United States and Canada. Ms. Canty is presently the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary and a member of the Executive Committee of PBF Energy Inc. (NYSE: PBF), a Fortune 200 company that is one of the largest independent petroleum refiners and suppliers of unbranded transportation fuels, heating oil, petrochemical feedstocks, lubricants and other petroleum products in the United States. Ms. Canty has been recognized by a number of professional distinctions including recognition in the Lawyers of Color Power List in 2020, inclusion in the Women Inc. 100 Top Corporate Counsel list in 2019 and recognition by Black Enterprise Magazine in its Most Powerful Women in Business in 2019.