The Commanding Heights Initiative
SAFE Commanding Heights is a bipartisan initiative dedicated to advancing reliable sourcing – and reducing unsustainable dependencies – for products and materials essential to America’s energy, transportation, and national security needs.
We advance policies that:
- Promote the development and maintenance of secure supply chains for key energy and transportation systems, including advanced batteries and semiconductors.
- Incentivize responsible sourcing of critical minerals, metals, and fuels domestically and from nations that share U.S. interests and values.
- Re-shore and revitalize essential industries through regulatory shifts and other incentives that take advantage of American innovation and technology leadership.
- Leverage America’s values to build a competitive advantage and level the trade playing field by adopting common supply chain standards with other technologically advanced democracies.
We advance these goals by:
- Developing actionable policy recommendations based on research and stakeholder engagement.
- Driving policy changes through advocacy and communications.
- Educating U.S. political and business leaders.
- Forging bipartisan coalitions to advance legislative and executive branch solutions.
Why call it “Commanding Heights”?
The term refers to a nation’s most strategically important industrial sectors – those critical to America’s security, well-being, and ability to function as a modern society.
Commanding Heights Team
Vice President and Director, Center for Critical Minerals Strategy
Abigail Wulf is the Director of the Ambassador Alfred Hoffman, Jr. Center for Critical Minerals Strategy at SAFE. Abigail brings broad Earth science expertise to the Center, from researching rare earth- and lithium-rich pegmatites to working with NASA researchers to convey the connections between Earth’s component systems. She previously served as Senior Science Communicator for Research within NASA’s Earth Science Division. She also served as Policy Manager for the American Geosciences Institute, a nonpartisan federation of more than 50 professional scientific societies. While at AGI, Abigail co-led the Minerals Science and Information Coalition, a broad-based alliance of organizations representing all stages of the critical minerals supply chain.
Senior Fellow and Director, American Semiconductor Center
A former senior Pentagon official, Peter has advised the Defense Department, U.S. Navy, and private industry on topics ranging from semiconductors — including development of the 2020 CHIPS Act — to management and organization, and strategy toward China. He previously served as an Assistant Secretary of Defense, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment, and Special Counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and worked in industry as Vice President, International for QinetiQ North America. Peter holds a J.D. from Georgetown and an Honors B.A. from McGill University.
Vice President of Strategic Industrial Materials
Joe Quinn leads the Center for Strategic Industrial Materials, a new policy initiative dedicated to advancing more secure and sustainable supply chains for aluminum and other industrial materials critical to America’s national and economic security. Quinn is developing a framework designed to ensure resilient and domestic aluminum production.
Prior to joining SAFE, Quinn served as the Vice President of External Affairs & Industry Relations at the Aluminum Association. He raised the industry’s profile, created the Congressional Aluminum Caucus, set new membership records, and served as a strategic advisor to the industry on trade and energy issues.
Previously, Quinn worked at public relations firms positioning organizations favorably with key opinion leaders to advance policy initiatives. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Public Affairs Council. A Cincinnati native, he received his B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina.
Vice President, Public Affairs
Thayer Scott is a writer and consultant focusing on national security-related policy, technology, and energy issues. Previously he worked in communications and government affairs positions for The Boeing Company and Lockheed Martin. From 2004 to 2011 he served in the U.S. Department of Defense, the last four years as Chief Speechwriter for Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Earlier he was communications director for the International Republican Institute, an independent organization promoting democratic governance overseas. Mr. Scott has a B.A. from Princeton University and a M.S. from University of California-Berkeley. After college he served on active duty in the U.S. Army as a Field Artillery officer.
Director of Communications
Senior Policy Analyst
Manager, Ambassador Alfred Hoffman, Jr. Center for Critical Minerals Strategy
Danielle Woodring is the Manager of the Ambassador Alfred Hoffman, Jr. Center for Critical Minerals Strategy at SAFE. Danielle brings real-world geological and science policy expertise to the Center. After obtaining her Master of Science in structural geology and geological mapping, Danielle worked as a geologist for the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Washington Geological Survey, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Prior to her master’s research, she served as a Policy Associate for the American Geosciences Institute and worked for the American Geophysical Union. Her multi-faceted career provides her with insights into the science and policies informing all aspects of the critical minerals supply chain, from discovery and extraction to development and manufacturing.
Critical Minerals Research Fellow
Chief of Staff
Programming and Policy Associate