Board of Directors

Robert Mao

Chairman of the Board of Directors, President and Chief Executive Officer

Robert Y. L. Mao joined Energy Recovery’s Board of Directors in Sept. 2010 and was elected as Chairman of the Board in June 2019. Mr. Mao was appointed to the concurrent role as President and CEO in May 2020, after serving as Interim President and CEO since Nov. 2019. He brings to Energy Recovery extensive experience helping and directing equipment manufacturers to successfully expand into new product and geographic markets. His strong strategic and analytic skills can guide the diversification of Energy Recovery’s product line and its growth into new global markets.

Mr. Mao served as CEO of 3Com Corporation (Nasdaq: COMS) from 2008-2010 and was on the company’s Board of Directors from 2007-2010. Mr. Mao successfully completed the sale of 3Com to Hewlett-Packard Company in Apr. 2010 and later served as the Chairman of HP China from 2013-2016. Prior to 3Com Corporation, Mr. Mao held executive positions at Norte Networks, Alcatel, and the U.S. multinational ITT in Asia and the United States. He also held CEO positions at Asian private companies selling industrial products into global markets.

Mr. Mao currently serves on the Board of the privately-held Ubee Interactive Corporation, a supplier of broadband access equipment and devices to multimedia and telecom service providers worldwide. Mr. Mao also served as a Board Director of Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co. Ltd., from 2018-2019, Foxconn Industrial Internet Co. Ltd. (FII) from 2017-2018, Cypress Semiconductors Corporation from 2014-2015, and Yulon-Nissan-Nissan Motor Company from 2004-2018.

The companies whose Boards Mr. Mao has served on cover an extensive range of industries and global markets including telecommunication, networking and information equipment and devices, semiconductors, automotive vehicles, software service, and other industrial products. Mr. Mao had also served as board member of international and national industry and trade associations.

Mr. Mao is a graduate of Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and a master’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering. He also holds a master’s degree in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Pamela Tondreau

Lead Independent Director

Pamela L. Tondreau joined Energy Recovery’s Board of Directors in July 2019.

Ms. Tondreau has over three decades of experience in the technology industry and private practice as a litigation and corporate attorney. In addition to her extensive experience navigating intellectual property, contract negotiation, domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, enterprise risk management, and corporate governance matters, she brings a proven history of cultivating excellence in company culture, ensuring diversity and inclusion, and establishing programs to grow and retain corporate talent.

Ms. Tondreau joined ON Semiconductor Corporation, also known as onsemi, as Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer in Oct. 2021. Prior to that, from Apr.-July 2020, she served as a consultant to Infineon Technologies AG, which purchased Cypress Semiconductor Corporation. Prior to her consulting role, Ms. Tondreau served as Chief Legal Officer, Corporate Secretary and Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Cypress from 2014-2020.

Prior to joining Cypress, Ms. Tondreau spent 13 years at Hewlett-Packard Company in various roles, including Chief Intellectual Property Counsel and Deputy General Counsel to the CTO, HP Labs, HP Networking, IP Licensing, Strategic Initiatives, Global Alliances, counsel to the Technology Committee of the Board, and counsel for the networking business including leading the acquisition of 3Com and integrating the China entity into HP. In addition, she supported the Chief Marketing Officer, the Chief Information Officer, and the EVP of Personal Systems, as well as serving as Corporate Secretary to the Technology Committee of the Board of Directors. Ms. Tondreau began her career as an associate at Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges.

Ms. Tondreau holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and a J.D. from McGeorge School of Law.


Alexander Buehler


Alexander J. Buehler most recently served as President and CEO of the Brock Group, a leading provider of soft-craft services to the petrochemical, oil and gas refining, power, pharmaceutical, and LNG industries. From 2017-2021, he served as Executive Vice President for Global Resources at Intertek, a global, publicly traded company headquartered in London and major provider of assurance, testing, inspection, and certification services.

Previously, he served at Energy Maintenance Services (“EMS”) from 2014-2017, first as Chief Financial Officer and then as President and Chief Executive Officer, during which time he steered the company through the market downturn in oil and gas, repositioned the business as a leading integrity maintenance company, and led the marketing and sale of the business to First Reserve, a leading private equity company in the oil and gas space.

He became a member of the Company’s Board of Directors in Feb. 2015. From 2004-2011, Mr. Buehler held executive-level positions at Insituform Technologies, Inc. (now Aegion Corporation), a global leader in water infrastructure technology and services for municipalities and industry, including oil and gas. While at Insituform, Mr. Buehler worked in the U.S and abroad, most recently as Vice President of Europe, leading all European operations from its regional headquarters in Paris.

With substantial experience across industrial end markets (water, energy) including products and services, and multiple C-level roles at publicly traded and private equity-backed companies, Mr. Buehler is a highly impactful business executive with years of experience in leadership, general management, strategy, financial oversight, and operational execution. He currently serves as a board member and Chair of the Audit Committee for LiqTech Systems (NYSEMKT:LIQT) and has previously served as a board member and Chair of the Audit Committee for Viscount Systems.

Mr. Buehler received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an M.B.A. in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


Joan Chow


Joan Chow joined Energy Recovery’s Board of Directors in 2021. Ms. Chow has extensive leadership experience in retail and marketing, consumer insights, and human resources matters, and has served as senior leader at some the world’s most recognizable companies.

Ms. Chow is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at ConAgra Foods, now known as Conagra Brands – one of North America’s leading packaged food companies. Prior to that, Ms. Chow spent extensive time with Sears Holdings Corporation in various marketing roles, including Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for the company. She has also held executive positions with Information Resources Inc., Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products, Inc. and the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Ms. Chow is a director at High Liner Foods and Spectrum Brands, where she is on their Audit Committees. She has previously served as a Chair of the Compensation Committee and a member of the Governance Committee at Welbilt, Inc., and as a board member of The Manitowoc Company, RC2 Corporation, and Feeding America.

Ms. Chow holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. with Distinction from Cornell University.


Sherif Foda


Sherif Foda has over two decades of senior-level management experience in the oil and gas industry and is the current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of National Energy Services Reunited.

Previously, he served as the Executive Officer and Group President of Production at Schlumberger as well as President of Schlumberger Europe and Africa. He has an extensive career managing different operations in the Middle East and Europe as well as corporate and HQ positions. In oil and gas, these include managing fracturing business, cementing, well services and interventions, completions, artificial lifts, and production businesses. In this capacity, he managed all the different businesses, activities and operations for Schlumberger from South Africa to Norway.

He began his career on the offshore fields in the Red Sea before transferring to Germany to manage several countries, including Poland, Lithuania, Romania and Hungary. In addition, Mr. Foda worked in the information technology and computer industries in Egypt.

Mr. Foda holds a B.S. in Electronic Engineering from Ain Shams University and a B.A. in Science from College de la Salle, both in Cairo.


Arve Hanstveit


Arve Hanstveit has been a member of Energy Recovery’s Board of Directors and an investor in the company since Aug. 1995. Mr. Hanstveit’s early investment in the company, his experience as an investment advisor and securities analyst, his understanding of global financial markets, the global desalination market, and his extensive knowledge of Energy Recovery’s products make him a tremendous asset to the company’s board of directors.

From 2007 to 2010, Mr. Hanstveit also served as a member of the board at Kezzler AS, a privately held Norwegian company that delivers secure track-and-trace solutions to the pharmaceutical and consumer goods industry. His 20 years of experience as a professional investor and analyst includes serving as a partner, vice president and secretary of the board at A&G Sundel Collins, Inc., a Scandinavian investment bank. Mr. Hanstveit also sits on the board of the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the New York Angels, an independent consortium of individual accredited angel investors that provides equity capital for early-stage companies in the New York City area.

Mr. Hanstveit holds a bachelor’s degree in Business and Accounting from the Norwegian School of Management as well as a master’s degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


Lisa Pollina


Lisa Pollina has served on Energy Recovery’s Board of Directors since Sept. 2021. She is a business executive and Board member who has negotiated over $50 Billion in corporate development deals in financial services, business services and the technology sectors. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Munich RE for the Americas (FRA: MUV2) and provides private equity advisory for alternative asset manager Ares Management (NYSE: ARES). She is the past Vice Chairman for RBC Capital Markets (NYSE: RY), and the Global Financial Institutions Executive for Bank of America Securities (NYSE: BAC).

She has served other Boards as Audit Committee Chair, Risk Committee Chair, and Chair of the Finance & Capital Committee during her Board governance career which began in 2010. These include Independent Board and advisory roles for Northwestern Mutual (private), Two Harbors Investment Corp. (NYSE: TWO), DTCC (private industry group), and Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers (NYSE: RBA), among others.

A Board member of The Atlantic Council of the United States, she is involved with its transatlantic programs including those for alternative energy sources in the Global Energy Center and initiatives related to technology in the GeoEconomics Program. Named one of the “Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance” by American Banker, Ms. Pollina is an MBA graduate from the Yale School of Management and has taught strategy at Yale and corporate finance at the University of Chicago.