Jeff’s unique perspectives gained from his experiences in Congress, as a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and as an energy industry executive, have proven invaluable when guiding our company through the complexities of Washington, D.C. and helping our growth.
—Simon Irish, CEO, Terrestrial Energy

Jeff Merrifield, a former presidential appointee to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is passionate about identifying strategic and legal solutions for major energy and environmental issues.

The leader of Pillsbury's Energy practice, Jeff utilizes the wide range of experience he has gained over the last 30 years, having worked as an attorney in the U.S. Senate and as a senior executive at the largest power engineering and construction company in the United States—in addition to his time on the NRC—to bring his clients a unique perspective on strategic problem-solving. Jeff's well-received media and public speaking capabilities also provide a significant resource for the advocacy of common-sense and cost-effective solutions.

Representative Experience

Provides strategic counsel and advice to Terrestrial Energy and X-energy which are developing next generation non-light water nuclear reactors.

Provides counsel and representation to a group of utilities before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regarding how to meet NRC physical security requirements, offering crucial advice on challenges to some of these requirements.

Served as co-outside counsel for the board of directors of Energy Northwest in an independent investigation of allegations directed against senior management of the company regarding nuclear safety culture and employee concerns.

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  • Serves as outside legal advisor to Clearpath Foundation, a free-market, clean energy advocacy organization which promotes nuclear power, clean coal and hydropower as non-carbon-based solutions to providing clean energy.
  • Advises a handful of Asia-based companies seeking to establish or expand their U.S. operations.

Professional Highlights

Serves as the Chairman of the Nuclear Infrastructure Council Advanced Reactors Task Force where he leads an effort to promote the deployment of this innovative nuclear technology.

Was a leading spokesperson for the U.S. nuclear industry during the Fukushima incident fielding over 100 live interviews (TV and radio) over a two-week period following that unfortunate accident.

On the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, became the most widely traveled Commissioner ever, having visited 30 of the 31 countries then operating nuclear plants and toured 240 of the world’s 440 nuclear reactors.

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  • Honors & Awards
    • Presidential Citation, Fukushima Rapid Response, American Nuclear Society, 2011
    • Energy Leadership Award, Charlotte Business Journal, 2010
    • Special Achievement Award, United States Transport Council, 2007
  • Career Highlights
    • Appointed by President Clinton and reappointed by President Bush to serve on the five-member, Senate-confirmed, independent Nuclear Regulatory Commission, serving from 1998 to 2007. Managed a staff of 3,250 employees and a budget of $900 million; set all policies and rules that governed the safe and secure use of nuclear materials at the 104 U.S. nuclear power plants then operating.
    • Served as president of The Merrifield Group LLC, providing energy and environmental consulting, advocacy and strategic advice for companies, organizations and individuals.
    • Senior vice president of global business development with Chicago Bridge & Iron Co.’s Power Business Unit. Led a team of twenty-five sales and proposal staff to develop and win over $1.5 billion in nuclear, fossil and renewable energy annual sales, including the first competitive, EPC combined cycle gas unit in over six years.
    • Senior vice president for The Shaw Group Inc.’s Power Group, overseeing external relationships including nuclear business development, customer relations, strategic planning, marketing and communications, as well as government and regulatory affairs.
  • Associations
    • Served on board of directors for U.S. Ecology Corp., one of the largest U.S. operators of both hazardous and low-level radioactive waste disposal facilities; lead director, chairman of governance committee and a member of the compensation and audit committees.
    • Chair, Nuclear Infrastructure Council Advanced Reactors Task Force
    • Executive board member, E4 of the Carolinas
    • Board member, Central Piedmont Community College Foundation
    • Advisory board member, University of North Carolina Charlotte - EPIC Program
    • Member, American Nuclear Society
    • Member, New Hampshire and District of Columbia Bar Associations
  • Publications
    • “Globally Engaged,” Nuclear Plant Journal, September-October 2012
    • “The Nuclear Renaissance,” Nuclear Plant Journal, July-August 2010
    • “Regulatory Perspectives on the Deployment of High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors in Electric and Non-Electric Energy Sectors,” Nuclear Plant Journal, September-October 2006
    • “Spent Fuel: Myths and Facts, Nuclear Plant Journal, March-April 2006
    • « Enjeux et perspectives dans un environnement éclairé par le risque, » Contrôle N°155 (Autorité de sûreté nucléaire), Novembre 2003
    • “A Vision for Tomorrow, a Plan for Today,” Representative American Speeches 2000-2001, The Reference Shelf, Volume 73, Number 6, H.W. Wilson Company, 2001
    • “Dynamic Environments Demand Dynamic Performance,” Nuclear Plant Journal, September­ October 2000
    • “Tax Treatment of Environmental Costs,” Toxics Law Reporter, November 2, 1994
    • “California Leads in Environmental Claims,” Chemical Times & Trends, July 1993
  • Congressional Testimony
    • Testified before committees of U.S. Senate and House on advanced reactors (2016).


  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center

    B.A., Tufts University


  • New Hampshire

    District of Columbia