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Pennsylvania PUC Chair Brown to Lead Critical Infrastructure Committee
WASHINGTON—Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Chair Gladys Brown was tapped to lead the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Committee on Critical Infrastructure. She succeeds Rick Mroz, the former head of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
The Committee on Critical Infrastructure provides state regulators a forum to analyze solutions to utility infrastructure security and delivery concerns. Because protection of the nation's energy and telecommunications infrastructure is critical to national security, this committee gives state regulators opportunities to share best practices and collaborate, often with federal counterparts.
“We are so pleased to welcome Chairman Brown to lead the Committee on Critical Infrastructure,” said President John Betkoski III. “She brings previous committee and taskforce experience and has the experience required to ensure that our state commissions have access to the tools they need to help ensure that utility critical infrastructures are secure and can recover quickly from natural or manmade disruptions to service.”
Chairman Brown began her service as a Pennsylvania PUC Commissioner in 2013 and was appointed Chairman in 2015. She was recently unanimously confirmed to serve a second five-year term, through April 1, 2023, and continues to serve as chair of the Commission.
Under Chairman Brown’s leadership, the PUC has worked with utilities, state agencies and other stakeholders to enhance Pennsylvania’s ability to safeguard against and respond to large-scale cyber and physical events. The Commission has also collaborated with the Governor and emergency management community to host a first-ever statewide “Black Sky” exercise as a mechanism to enhance preparation and coordination between utilities; encourage greater communication between different sectors; develop and promote best practices for mid-size and smaller entities; and integrate other state agencies, emergency responders and non-government organizations in planning.
“I am honored to chair the Committee on Critical Infrastructure and I thank President Betkoski and the NARUC Board for this appointment,” said Brown. “I am looking forward to building on the progress of the committee’s previous chair, Rick Mroz, as we work collectively with state commissions and utilities across the country to address the challenges and opportunities involving infrastructure security and resilience.”
In addition to her work related to utility security and resilience, Chairman Brown has initiated a statewide “Utility Careers” campaign, working with utilities and educational institutions to encourage skilled candidates to consider utility careers to offset the anticipated ‘baby boomer retirement bubble,’ and to foster development of future utility technology and services. She has also identified numerous new challenges facing the PUC, including regulatory oversight of the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority; enforcement of the Pennsylvania One Call Program, aimed at reducing damage to underground utilities; enhancing broadband access for unserved and underserved communities; and addressing the utility and ratepayer impact of federal tax reform.
Chairman Brown earned her bachelor’s and juris doctorate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. She lives in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, where she is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. She also is a member of the Dauphin County Bar Association, the James S. Bowman Inns of Court, the Keystone Bar Association and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank Board of Directors. She is an active member at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Harrisburg. She is also an active member in Epsilon Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and the Harrisburg Chapter of AABE (American Association of Blacks in Energy).
Committee chairs are appointed by the NARUC President for a one-year term and may be reappointed for a maximum of three consecutive terms.
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.