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University of Colorado Denver Business School, offering Bachelor, MBA, MS, and PhD degrees

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Foundations of Commodities Faculty


Marcelle Arak

PhD, Professor of Finance and Risk Management, Business School, University of Colorado Denver

Dr. Marcelle Arak is a Professor of Risk Management and Finance at the University of Colorado Denver. A former Wall Street “quant”, risk manager, and derivatives trader, she is an expert on financial and commodity market risk. Dr. Arak earned her Ph.D in Economics at MIT and her BA at the University of Rochester.

Salman Banaei

Senior Counsel, Fulbright and Jaworski LLP, Washington D.C.

B. Salman Banaei is Senior Counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright (Fulbright & Jaworski LLP in United States) in the Washington, DC office. He works primarily with the commodities & derivatives, energy, and investigations practices. Before joining Norton Rose Fulbright in 2013, Salman served for four years at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission where he most recently served as as advisor and counsel to Commissioner Bart Chilton. He holds degrees from the University of Virginia, University of Denver - Sturm College of Law, Colorado School of Mines (M.S. in Mineral and Energy Economics), and the Institut Francais du Petrole (M.S. in Petroleum Economics and Management).

Gavan Duemke

Principal, Della Parola Capital Management and Lecturer, Business School, University of Colorado Denver

Gavan Duemke serves as Chief Investment Officer at Della Parola Capital Management. Gavan has worked in various private equity, real estate and corporate finance roles in the UK and mainland Europe and holds a BA in Economics and Business Management from the University of Cologne (Germany) as well as a MBA from the University of Oxford (UK).

David R. Hammond

PhD, Principal, Hammond International Group and Lecturer, Business School, University of Colorado Denver

David Hammond has over 40 years’ experience in the mining and petroleum industries as a geologist, engineer, financial/market analyst and mineral economist. He has had staff and management positions with Shell Oil, Atlantic Richfield, Anaconda Minerals, ARCO Coal, General Electric and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Most recently he was VP of Strategic Planning for International Royalty Corporation. Dr. Hammond has a PhD from Colorado School of Mines.

Christopher Hansen

BSc Nuclear Engineering, Graduate Diploma of Civil Engineering, MS Technology Policy, PhD Economic Geography

Dr. Christopher J. Hansen specializes in energy sector economics, electricity market reform, and nuclear power, with more than 15 years of experience in the global energy industry. His current role is Director, Energy Insight at IHS. Dr. Hansen holds a BSc in Nuclear Engineering from Kansas State University; a Graduate Diploma of Civil Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; a Master of Science in Technology Policy from MIT; and a PhD in Economic Geography from Oxford University.

Andy Hecht

Commodities Consultant and Author

Andy Hecht spent nearly thirty-five years on Wall Street, including two decades at the trading desk of Philipp Brothers, which became Salomon Brothers and ultimately part of Citigroup. Andy is the host of a biweekly radio show The Commodities Hour with Andy Hecht that airs on www.tfnn.com on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-4 PM EST and is the author of “How to Make Money with Commodities”.

Daniel Jerrett

PhD Mineral and Energy Economics

Daniel Jerrett is currently the regional economist for the Denver Regional Council of Governments as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado Denver. He holds a PhD in Mineral and Energy Economics from the Colorado School of Mines.

Steve Leppard

PhD, Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Securities Ltd., London

Steve Leppard is Managing Director and Head of Corporate Commodity Structuring and Financing in J.P. Morgan’s EMEA commodity team in London. Steve holds a PhD in Mathematical Physics from King's College London and a first class honours degree in Mathematics from Imperial College London.

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