Executive Team

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 September 2010 and was elected as Chairman of the Board in June, 2019. He was appointed to the concurrent role as President and CEO in May 2020 after serving as Interim President and CEO from November 2019 through May 2020. He brings to Energy Recovery extensive experience helping and directing equipment manufacturers 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 chief executive officer of 3Com Corporation (Nasdaq: COMS) from 2008 – 2010 and was on that company’s board of directors from 2007 to 2010. Mr. Mao successfully completed the sale of 3Com to Hewllet-Packard Company in April, 2010. He later served as the Chairman of HP China in 2013-2016. Prior to 3Com Corporation, Mr. Mao had served as greater China regional chief operating executive for respectively the Canadian multinational company, Norte Networks and for the French multinational company, Alcatel. Mr. Mao also held executive positions at 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 has served on the board of directors of companies listed on the NASDAQ, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the Taiwan Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange. He has also served on boards of private companies. The companies whose board Mr. Mao has served on cover an extensive range of industries and global markets including telecommunication, networking and information equipment and device, 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.


Joshua Ballard

Chief Financial Officer

Joshua Ballard is the Chief Financial Officer at Energy Recovery, where he is responsible for the finance, accounting, information technology, marketing, ESG, human resources, and investor relations organizations for the Company. He brings more than 20 years of finance and operations experience, both domestically and internationally, working across a variety of industries within complex organizations to successfully navigate high growth.

Previously, Mr. Ballard held senior positions for nearly 15 years at private equity fund managers, including Orox Capital Management and SigmaBleyzer Investment Group, investing in the United States, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. During this time he was responsible for directly leading as well as collaborating with portfolio company teams to develop and implement long-term strategic plans, and to improve finance, back office and manufacturing operations in private and public companies. As Executive Director at SigmaBleyzer, he was also responsible for fund operations and investor relations. Mr. Ballard also held multiple CFO roles with pre-IPO venture-backed companies as Managing Director of Lanterne Advisors, LLC.

Mr. Ballard is a Certified Financial Analyst and Chartered Management Accountant, holds a Global MBA in Finance from Arizona State University Thunderbird School of Global Business, and a BA in Russian Studies from the University of Iowa.


Farshad Ghasripoor

Chief Technology Officer

Farshad Ghasripoor is the Chief Technology Officer at Energy Recovery, where he has been responsible for the evolution and growth of the Pressure Exchanger (PX) beyond seawater reverse osmosis into a platform for products that span several new applications and industries. He has built a world-class engineering organization that has become the driving force behind Energy Recovery’s product development efforts with a focus on future derivatives of the Pressure Exchanger technology. He has been instrumental for the rapid growth and diversification of the business into multiple segments. He has extensive knowledge in various facets of engineering including mechanics of materials, fluid dynamics and turbomachinery in general.

Previously, he served as Energy Recovery’s Managing Director of Engineering. Previous to joining Energy Recovery, he served a 12-year term at General Electric Company, starting at the General Electric Global Research Center, where he led the development of abradable seals for steam and gas turbines. Dr. Ghasripoor also developed a solid particle erosion protection system for steam path airfoils, which is currently implemented in GE steam turbines to substantially extend the life of turbine blades. Prior to joining General Electric, he spent 9.5 years at Sulzer’s R&D division in Switzerland as a Mechanical Engineer leading projects to improve performance of large marine engines, compressors & pumps. He is the named inventor on 67 US patent applications, of which 37 have been granted to date, and has authored articles for 20 peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Ghasripoor earned his PhD and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Brunel University of West London in the United Kingdom.


William Yeung

Chief Legal Officer

William Yeung is Chief Legal Officer at Energy Recovery, bringing extensive knowledge and sound judgement to the legal, corporate governance and intellectual property functions. Previously, he served as the General Counsel and Secretary for SharesPost, Inc. and a senior legal executive for Thomas Weisel Partners Group Inc. and Socialutions, Inc.

Mr. Yeung’s 20 years of experience encompass securities laws, corporate governance and compliance, corporate strategy, SEC reporting and regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and general contracts. His clients have included Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Citigroup Global Markets, Lehman Brothers, UBS, Salomon Smith Barney, BNP Paribas, Del Monte, Sony Capital Corporation, McDonald’s Corporation, KBC Bank, The Interpublic Group of Companies, The Bank of New York, United Technologies Corporation, and Nortel Networks. He began practicing law at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP in New York and practiced at Morrison & Foerster LLP in San Francisco.

Mr. Yeung earned a JD from New York University School of Law and a BA in Asian Studies from Boston College.


Rodney Clemente

Senior Vice President, Water

Rodney Clemente is the Senior Vice President of Water at Energy Recovery, where he leads the Company’s water business unit with responsibility for water sales, strategy and business development activities, as well as development and engineering for existing and new water solutions. A 20+ year veteran of Energy Recovery, Mr. Clemente brings deep experience in the water business and an intimate knowledge of global desalination markets, both which have been integral to the Company’s global market leadership.

Mr. Clemente has extensive international experience with expertise spanning several verticals, including operations, business development, sales and marketing, and he continues to provide a high level of system design, technical consultation, and commercial support for customers worldwide. He is an active member of many of the leading industry organizations, such as the International Desalination Association and the American Membrane Technology Association.

Mr. Clemente earned an Executive MBA at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and a BS in Industrial Engineering from California State University, East Bay.


Ahmed Ghoneim

Vice President, Oil & Gas

Ahmed Ghoneim is the Vice President of Oil & Gas at Energy Recovery, where he is responsible for development and commercial strategy for the Company’s oil & gas technologies. He is an accomplished oilfield leader with over two decades of global upstream oil & gas experience with a focus on well services and pressure pumping, technology and operations, and quality, health, safety & environment (QHSE) program implementation.

Mr. Ghoneim previously worked as Global Production Enhancement Director with Baker Hughes, Regional Director for Pressure Control with GE Oil & Gas in multiple markets, in addition to several leadership roles over 15 years with Schlumberger. He began his career in oil & gas as a field engineer, working for multiple major operators including Repsol, Shell, BP and Hess.

Mr. Ghoneim graduated with a B.Sc. in Mechanical Power Engineering from Ain Shams University, in Cairo, Egypt.


Nocair Bensalah

Vice President, Operations

Nocair Bensalah is the Vice President of Operations at Energy Recovery, where he is responsible for the development and execution of the Company’s operations strategy, including all processes involved in the procurement and provision of the Company’s products. He is a Six Sigma Black Belt, well versed in lean principles, and an expert at identifying and capitalizing on process improvement opportunities in any business environment.

Previously, Mr. Bensalah held senior positions with ABB Inc. and Aegion Corporation, where he gained global experience in the power equipment manufacturing, automotive parts production, infrastructure rehabilitation, and oil and gas industries. He brings 20 years of experience in a variety of technical and operational leadership roles, including quality assurance, application engineering, new product development, project management, mergers & acquisitions, and field service & manufacturing operations.

Mr. Bensalah earned an Executive MBA from Washington University in St. Louis Olin Business School, an MS in Engineering Management from Western Michigan University, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University.


James Siccardi


James Siccardi is Vice President of Investor Relations at Energy Recovery, where he is responsible for ensuring that management’s strategy is understood by the investment community. He serves as a liaison between Company management and Wall Street analysts, and between Company management and Main Street institutional investors. He is responsible for ensuring that Energy Recovery’s Executive management team and its Board of Directors understands, and adequately responds to, the needs of its external stakeholders.

Mr. Siccardi brings extensive equity investment experience, having spent over 20 years on the energy equity research teams of Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, in institutional equity sales at Societe Generale, as portfolio manager and Global Head of Energy for HSBC Asset Management, and in Investor Relations at Occidental Petroleum. Additionally, Mr. Siccardi launched and managed a Natural Resource Hedge Fund at PAW Capital Partner in Greenwich, CT.

Mr. Siccardi’s sell-side, buy-side and corporate background provides him a unique perspective to understand the various needs of the diverse group of ERII stakeholders with whom he regularly interacts. He takes great pride in initiating and building the relationships that have helped ERI surge to record levels, and positioning Energy Recovery’s Investor Relations Department to be recognized as Runner-up in Investor Relation Magazine’s Top Small Cap Investor Relations Department (2020).

Mr. Siccardi earned an MBA in Finance, with a focus in Investments, from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, and a BA in Finance, with a minor in Accounting, from Villanova University.


Kelley Vendeland

Vice President, Marketing and ESG

Kelley Vendeland is the Vice President of Marketing and ESG at Energy Recovery, where she is responsible for the company’s sustainability strategy, corporate communications, government affairs and product marketing. She led the development of Energy Recovery’s ESG program and the creation of its first ESG report, which was shortlisted for Best First Time Sustainability report by Corporate Register.  Kelley leads the ongoing development of Energy Recovery’s ESG program across all departments and geographies.

Kelley joined Energy Recovery from Recurrent Energy, one of the largest solar project developers in the United States, where she oversaw marketing, community and stakeholder engagement, public affairs, media relations and communications strategy. Prior to Recurrent Energy, Kelley kicked off her career with NBC’s special projects team in San Jose, California and communications agencies in New York and San Francisco, with a focus on technology policy and communications.

Kelley serves on for the board for the International Desalination Association’s Young Leaders Program and previously served on the Young Professionals in Energy leadership committee. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University.