Our Team

Stephen Payne – President


Mr. Payne has over 25 years of Governmental Affairs, Public Relations and Energy Consulting experience. He has provided government affairs representation to the countries of Pakistan, Azerbaijan and the UAE as well as corporations such as JP Morgan, SAP Software, Continental Airlines, Boeing, Lockheed Martin among many others.

During his long career in energy consulting, Mr. Payne has negotiated over 27 mtpa of LNG sales and been instrumental in the development of several large LNG export projects in the United States. He has also represented Yukos, Tatneft Oil, and Itera Gas in their development of various international projects. He also represented the Government of Turkmenistan in re-assembling a consortium of nations and international firms to build a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan. Mr. Payne coordinated the project and organized a trilateral summit between the Presidents of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan that produced a memorandum of understanding regarding the TAPI pipeline, restoring the project’s viability after years of dormancy. As an expert in the energy industry, Mr. Payne is frequently asked to comment on a wide variety of issues by major print and online media publications and led the NATO think tank conference panel discussion on energy security in Riga, Latvia. He also chaired a NATO Future Leaders Forum comprised of leaders from thirty-five NATO member and partner countries.

Mr. Payne also served as a Senior Presidential Advance Representative of The White House. In this role, he traveled with President Bush to Jordan for the Red Sea Summit in June 2003, with Vice President Cheney to the Middle East in 2002 & 2005, Kazakhstan in 2006, and Afghanistan for the historic inauguration of Afghan President Karzai. Prior to his consulting work, Mr. Payne also previously served in several capacities during President Bush’s campaigns as well as roles in Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s office, and at the Texas State Capitol. Mr. Payne has served as a Board Member of the National Defense University Foundation, was Deputy Director and Congressional Liaison of the 2001 Presidential Inaugural Committee, and served on the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Committee.


Brian Ettinger – VP / General Counsel


Brian Ettinger has been a licensed attorney for over 30 years. His law practice has an emphasis on business representation for international and domestic businesses in markets such as, oil & gas, LNG production and exploration, rig equipment and oil services. He has also handled complex government relations and government regulatory matters including being a registered lobbyist for foreign governments, sovereign owned energy companies, and international businesses.

Currently, Mr. Ettinger currently serves as General Counsel for Worldwide and Outside Counsel for Drilling Structures Services, Inc. and T.I.E.C., Inc. He has also served on the Board of Directors of two private companies that became publicly traded companies. Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Ettinger served as an assistant to Mayor for the City of Philadelphia and Congressional Staff Assistant to Congressional House Leadership and Senator Joe Biden.

Mr. Ettinger is a graduate of Le Salle University and the South Texas College of Law.