AEMO appoints new Chief Executive Officer, Ms Audrey Zibelman
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January 23, 2017 - 1:00 PM
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Audrey Zibelman to the role of AEMO Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective Monday, 20 March 2017.
Ms Zibelman has extensive international experience in the public, private and not-for profit energy sectors, most recently having held the position of Chair of the New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC), where she was responsible for overseeing the regulation and safety of New York’s electricity, gas, telephone, cable, water and steam utilities.
During Ms Zibelman's leadership at the NYPSC, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo enacted the ‘Reforming the Energy Vision’ (REV) plan. The REV plan has been internationally recognised for successfully developing and implementing 21st century regulatory reform with a focus on lowering the cost of energy for consumers while building a more resilient and reliable power system.
Prior to joining NYPSC, Ms Zibelman was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of GO15 member organisation, PJM, a system operator organisation responsible for operating the power grid and wholesale power market which serves 14 states across the eastern United States.
Ms Zibelman is also a Founder and past President and Chief Executive Officer of Viridity Energy, Inc., which she formed after more than 25 years of electricity utility industry leadership experience in both the public and private sectors.
AEMO Chair Dr Anthony (Tony) Marxsen said after an extensive search, the AEMO Board was pleased to appoint such a recognised international expert in energy policy, markets and Smart Grid innovation.
“Audrey’s vast experience in creating and managing new wholesale electricity markets, and transforming existing energy markets and large power systems will further strengthen the work that AEMO has undertaken to support Australia’s energy industry transformation,” said Dr Marxsen.
“Audrey has the vision to lead, guide and support our organisation and the broader Australian energy industry as we transition our energy markets and reform power systems planning and management.”
Dr Marxsen said that Ms Zibelman, together with the Executive Leadership Team, will continue to build on the strong legacy left by AEMO’s foundation Managing Director and CEO Matt Zema to deliver on AEMO’s vision of energy security for all Australians.
“I would particularly like to thank Karen Olesnicky, a close colleague and long-time friend of Matt’s, who took on the very challenging role of Acting CEO amidst such sudden circumstances,” said Dr Marxsen.
“Karen has done an outstanding job during what has been a trying and challenging time for both AEMO and the broader energy industry. The Board thanks Karen for her leadership, dedication and commitment to our organisation.”
Ms Zibelman’s appointment is effective from Monday, 20 March 2017 where she will take up the role of AEMO CEO, based in Melbourne.
Ms Audrey Zibelman, incoming Chief Executive Officer, Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)
Ms Zibelman has extensive experience in the public, private and not-for profit energy and electricity sectors in the United States, most recently having held the positions of Commissioner and Chair of the New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC) where she was responsible for overseeing the regulation and safety of New York’s electric, gas, telephone, cable, water and steam utilities.
During her tenure at the NYPSC, Ms Zibelman led the design and implementation of extensive regulatory and retail market changes to modernise and transform the state’s electricity industry under New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's ‘Reforming the Energy Vision’ plan.
A recognised national and international expert in energy policy, markets and Smart Grid innovation, Ms Zibelman is a Founder and past President and Chief Executive Officer of Viridity Energy, Inc., which she formed after more than 25 years of electric utility industry leadership experience in both the public and private sectors.
Previously, Ms Zibelman was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of GO15 member organisation, PJM, a regional transmission organisation responsible for operating the power grid and wholesale power market which serves 14 states across the eastern United States.
Ms Zibelman also held legal and executive positions at Xcel Energy, served as General Counsel to the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, and was Special Assistant Attorney General in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.
During her career, Ms Zibelman has served on numerous industry-related and non-profit boards, including, but not limited to the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic Reliability Councils. Ms Zibelman’s board experience also includes Advisor to Secretary of Energy for the US Department of Energy and Advisory Council, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York State Planning Board and the New York State Emergency Planning Council.
Ms Zibelman holds an Executive MBA from the Carlson School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts from Pennsylvania State University and a JD/LLD-Doctor of Jurisprudence (Law) degree from Hamline University School of Law.
Winner of the 2016 Dive Awards: Policymaker of the Year by leading industry news publisher, Utility Dive: In November 2016, NY PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman was named the winner of the 2016 Dive Awards: Policymaker of the Year.
Most Influential Since 1990: Audrey Zibelman was named in the top 20 list of lions and luminaries who led the changes in utilities, in Fortnightly Magazine June 2016.
Ms Zibelman and her husband Mr Phillip Harris are the proud parents of four children and 10 grandchildren.
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