J. Richard Hess is Director of the EERE Program Office at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and serves as the Laboratory Relationship Manager to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office. He oversees and leads development of strategic planning between the Energy and Environment Science and Technology (EES&T) directorate and DOE EERE to ensure highly impactful, integrated, and objective-driven EERE programs at INL. Richard has experience managing INL’s Bioenergy Program, which focuses on the cost-effective use of lignocellulosic crop residues in biorefining operations. He oversaw the preparation of a higher-value biomass feedstock, and managed the design and construction of one of DOE’s five bioenergy process demonstration units. Hess holds a doctorate in plant sciences from Utah State University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in botany from Brigham Young University. Following graduate school, he served as an Agriculture Congressional Science Fellow in the Washington, D.C., office of Sen. Thomas Daschle. In this role, he supported many important national agriculture research issues, including new and industrial uses of agricultural products, federal grain inspection standards, and plant variety protection.