press releases

Commissioner Paul Roberti Receives NARUC's Terry Barnich Award

View as a PDF

For Immediate Release: February 14, 2016
Contact: Regina L. Davis, 202-898-9382,

WASHINGTON—In recognition of his dedication to helping developing countries establish sound utility regulatory procedures, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners honored one of its colleagues, Paul Roberti of Rhode Island, with the 2015 Terry Barnich Award at a special ceremony on Sunday, February 14, during the Association’s Winter Committee Meetings.

The prestigious Barnich Award is named in honor of former Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission (1989 to 1992) Terrence "Terry" Barnich, who was killed on Memorial Day, May 25, 2009, while working as the Deputy Director of the State Department office overseeing U.S. reconstruction projects in Iraq. The Terry Barnich Award for Promoting International Cooperation Among Utility Regulators and Development of Professional Regulation is the highest honor bestowed by the NARUC Committee on international Relations to a recipient who has dedicated his/her time, energy and expertise to promote best practices in the international regulatory arena.

This year’s recipient, Commissioner Paul Roberti, has provided assistance to NARUC in innovative ways that have helped grow new projects and tools for providing assistance to foreign partners and he “epitomizes the qualities needed to promote NARUC's International Relations Program and has done a terrific job in this area,” as noted in his nomination letter from Connecticut Commissioner John Betkoski.

The nomination letter also outlines several key contributions. Specifically, he assisted NARUC international staff with two Scoping Missions: to Jamaica in February and India in September. These scoping trips were conducted at the request of USAID and were designed to identify key challenges for partners and draft a scope of work for NARUC's engagement in these countries. Commissioner Roberti served as a technical resource in these conversations and helped build relationships from a peer-to-peer perspective. His contributions and insights during these crucial trips propel NARUC's projects forward and allow NARUC International to craft highly responsive partnerships.

He also supported the Mexico Electricity Regulatory Partnership in a "remote Peer Review" in November on the General Terms & Conditions Regulating the Retail Electricity Supply regulation. This is the first such virtual, line-by-line peer review of documents for foreign partner regulators conducted by NARUC and it allowed NARUC to be responsive to a request for assistance from the Mexican regulator in a timely manner and at a low cost.

Moreover, Commissioner Roberti participated in the World Forum on Energy Regulation in Istanbul, Turkey in May to support NARUC's overall efforts to foster dialogue on regulatory issues with partners across the world. Commissioner Roberti's dedication to public service beyond the borders of the U.S. is exemplary and valuable to the international community of energy regulators.

News of the award was completely unexpected by Commissioner Roberti.

“I was completely surprised and so honored to receive the award. When I first participated in the Moldova Partnership in 2011, I never thought that it would lead me down the path to a number of additional international missions that would amount to the level of contribution reflected by the Terry Barnich award,” said Commissioner Roberti.

Utility regulatory issues in electricity, gas, water, telecommunications and transportation can transcend national boundaries. NARUC, through these international programs, strives for dialogue and cooperation between the regulators on a global scale. As a regulatory community, NARUC and its members work actively to promote knowledge and greater understanding of international regulatory issues through exchanges that are mutually beneficial.

“We are ambassadors, advancing good regulatory policies that foster investment and advancing the availability of essential public utility services around the world. There is no doubt that NARUC’s and USAID’s work is exceedingly important to the cause of strengthening public regulation around the world,” said Roberti. “It has been an absolute privilege to be part of this effort, and even more so to be honored as the 2015 recipient of the Terry Barnich Award.” 

“On behalf of the International Relations Committee and the Association, we congratulate Commissioner Roberti on receiving this well-deserved award and for serving as a role model to his colleagues,” said IRC Chair Commissioner Anne E. Hoskins of Maryland.

To learn more about the award, visit


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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.

# # # #