press releases

NARUC Executive Committee Approves Creation of Innovation and Military Workforce Groups

View as PDF

For Immediate Release: January 26, 2017 

Contact: Regina L. Davis, 202-898-9382,


NARUC Executive Committee Approves Creation of Innovation and Military Workforce Groups

Commissioners Brien Sheahan and Judith Jagdmann Appointed to Lead New Committees


WASHINGTON—The Executive Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners has created two new groups to advance innovation and connect military personnel to job opportunities. The Presidential Task Force on Innovation and Presidential Task Force on Veterans’ Workforce committees were established to convene panel discussions and identify best practices relevant for State utility commissions and the industries they regulate.

NARUC President Robert F. Powelson of Pennsylvania has selected the Hon. Brien Sheahan of the Illinois Commerce Commission to chair the Task Force on Innovation and the Hon. Judith Williams Jagdmann of the Virginia Corporation Commission to chair the Task Force on Veterans’ Workforce.

The Task Force on Innovation will organize panels and roundtable discussions to showcase new technologies and educate state regulators on opportunities to promote innovation in the utility sector. Relevant topics include integrated energy networks, battery storage, renewables, smart networks, information technologies, data analytics, the “Internet of Things” and the regulatory treatment of new technologies.

Innovation is among the three areas of focus in President Powelson’s theme for his term: Infrastructure, Innovation and Investment.

“I am honored to be appointed Chair of the Task Force on Innovation. It is imperative for the utility sector to keep pace with the ever-increasing speed of technological innovation,” said Chairman Sheahan. “This is a great opportunity to facilitate collaborative discussions among regulatory, utility and technology leaders from across the country.”

The Task Force on Innovation will also develop criteria for a 2017 Innovation Award in two categories—one for state innovators in regulatory policy and one for utility innovators. The criteria will be announced at the July 2017 committee meetings, along with an invitation for nominations in each category.

Noting the imminent attrition of trained utility employees, the goal of the Task Force on Veterans’ Workforce is to highlight best practices and lessons learned in both the utility sector and government in this area to help develop a capable workforce and create opportunities for veterans. NARUC has a long history of supporting programs for veterans and training for a transition from military service to utility-related work.

“As Virginia is proudly the home of so many military facilities and personnel, I am looking forward to leading NARUC’s task force to collaborate with the utility industry and regulatory community highlighting the employment opportunities for all military veterans,” said Chairman Jagdmann.

Each task force will be convened for one year, with up to 15 members on the military team and up to eight on the innovation team. The first meetings of each task force will be convened during NARUC’s Winter Committee Meetings.


NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.