NextDecade Corp. founder and chairwoman Kathleen M. Eisbrenner has died the company announced May 10. She was 58.

“It is with great sorrow that we announce the untimely passing of our friend and colleague,” said Matthew K. Schatzman, president and CEO of NextDecade. “Kathleen was a true energy industry pioneer. We at NextDecade are grateful for her foresight and leadership, without which we would not be where we are today.”

“We extend our deepest sympathies to Kathleen’s devoted husband, Ray, and the Eisbrenner family,” Schatzman continued. “All of us at NextDecade are fortunate to have known and worked with Kathleen over the years, and remain firmly committed to the realization of her vision.”

katherine Eisbrenner
Kathleen M. Eisbrenner

Eisbrenner founded Houston-based LNG company NextDecade in 2010 and led the company to its listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market in July 2017. She served jointly as chairman and CEO until February 2018, and remained as NextDecade’s chairman of the board of directors until her death.

She enjoyed a remarkable career, and was widely viewed as one of the foremost female executives in the global LNG industry. She was formerly executive vice president at Royal Dutch Shell, where she was responsible for the management of the company’s global LNG portfolio and LNG trading business.

Prior to Shell,  Eisbrenner was the founder and CEO of Excelerate Energy, focused on developing the Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) vessel and industry. She also held various senior management positions at El Paso Energy.

In February, she was honored as one of Oil and Gas Investor's 25 Infuential Women in Energy.

Eisbrenner was an independent director of EXMAR and a member of the American Bureau of Shipping, JERA’s Fuel Business Expert Advisory Board, and Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas. She was also a former member of the board of directors of Chesapeake Energy and the National Petroleum Council. Eisbrenner was a proud graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a bachelor’s of science degree in civil engineering in 1982.