Ben Gardner is president and co-founder of Northeast Group, LLC, a Washington-DC based smart infrastructure market intelligence firm. His primary area of expertise is smart grid infrastructure, having worked in this sector for more than a decade. Prior to founding Northeast Group, Ben spent over five years as a management consultant in the Global Energy Practice at PA Consulting Group, based in Washington, DC. Before joining PA, he worked at DiamondCluster (now Oliver Wyman) in its Barcelona, Spain office. Ben has also been a frequent contributor to The Economist Group and holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania (magna cum laude) and a master's degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) where he concentrated in International Finance and Energy Policy.