Vancouver resident named Executive Director of VERTical INNOVATION CLUSTER

Vancouver resident Andrew Bielat has been appointed as the executive director of VERTical’s Washington state innovation cluster by the board of Directors of VERTical. Bielat will replace Diahann Howard, VERTical interim director since October 2023. Port of Benton administers VERTical, where Howard is the executive director.

Bielat has more than 35 years of experience in high-stakes environments, including serving as the chief operating officer of a $1 billion steel company, leading critical initiatives for the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Defense, extensive service in North American nuclear power generation and handling mission-critical situations for several Fortune 100 companies.

He has expertise in managing root cause analyses in sensitive situations, including commercial nuclear power, chemical weapons demilitarization, petrochemical facilities and heavy manufacturing.

Bielat excels at cross-functional leadership and integrating diverse teams and disciplines. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

“I sincerely thank the VERTical Board and leadership for entrusting me with the opportunity to help restore nuclear power to its rightful role in U.S. energy generation,” Bielat said.

About VERTical
VERTical is an industry-led innovation cluster working with business and labor to solve national supply chain, workforce, capital and other challenges impeding the widescale deployment of next-generation nuclear technologies. Learn more about VERTical and the innovation cluster’s priorities and projects at

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