Role Specification and Candidate Submission Instructions for

NERC Board of Trustees Candidates

 

 

 

NERC (https://www.nerc.com/) is a not-for-profit international regulatory authority whose mission is to assure the effective and efficient reduction of risk to the reliability of the bulk power system in North America and security of the grid. To achieve its mission, NERC develops and enforces Reliability Standards; annually assesses seasonal and long-term reliability; monitors the bulk power system through system awareness; and educates, trains, and certifies industry personnel. NERC’s area of responsibility spans the continental United States, Canada, and the northern portion of Baja California, Mexico. NERC also operates the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) on behalf of the electric sector. The E-ISAC ‘s mission is focused on cyber and physical security threats to the electric industry in its entirety.  NERC is certified as the Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) for North America, subject to oversight by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and governmental authorities in Canada and Mexico.

 

A reliable electricity supply is foundational to modern society and NERC works with users, owners, and operators of the Bulk Power System (BPS), to reduce risks to reliability and security of the BPS.  Although NERC does not own or operate any physical assets, it is an essential component of the fabric of the electric power industry and its work strengthens that fabric.  NERC’s compliance registry includes approximately 1,400 users, owners, and operators of the bulk power system. NERC carries out its day-to-day compliance monitoring and enforcement activities through delegation agreements with six Regional Entities. NERC is fuel and technology neutral and does not address commercial or market issues. Its sole focus is on reliability and security (both physical and cyber) of the BPS.

 

In 2007, FERC approved agreements by which NERC delegated its authority to monitor and enforce compliance to a series of Regional Entities. Effective July 1, 2019, there are now six Regional Entities as the Florida regional entity function became part of the regional entity in the Southeastern US. The members of the Regional Entities come from all segments of the electricity industry: investor-owned utilities; federal power agencies; rural electric cooperatives; state, municipal, and provincial utilities; independent power producers; power marketers; and end-use customers. These entities account for virtually all the electricity supplied in the United States, Canada, and the northern portion of Baja California, Mexico.   The entities are as follows.   

 

  • Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO) (covering Midwest and Middle South)

  • Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC) (covering the Northeast and Eastern Canada)

  • ReliabilityFirst (RF) (covering the mid-Atlantic and parts of the Midwest)

  • SERC Reliability Corporation (SERC) (covering the Southeastern US)

  • Texas Reliability Entity (Texas RE) (covering ERCOT)

  • Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) (covering the Western interconnection)

 

Collectively, we refer to these six companies along with NERC as the “ERO Enterprise”.  A map of the ERO Enterprise can be found below.

 

 

 

Bulk-Power System Oversight Key Facts:

NERC oversees reliability for a Bulk-Power System that:

  • Provides electricity to 334 million people;

  • Has a total electricity demand of 830 gigawatts (830,000 megawatts);

  • Has 211,000 miles, or 340,000 kilometers of high-voltage transmission lines (230,000 volts and greater); and

  • Represents more than $1 trillion worth of assets.

Key Company Statistics:

  • Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with a second office in Washington, D.C.

  • Annual budget ~$80 million (NERC) with oversight of $120 million Regional Entity budgets 

  • 210 employees (140 in Atlanta and 65 in Washington DC, including the E-ISAC)

THE NERC BOARD OF TRUSTEES

NERC is governed by a Board of Trustees that will, as of February 2020, be comprised of ten (10) independent Trustees and the President of NERC. According to the NERC bylaws, Trustees have expertise in electric operations and reliability; legal, market, financial, cyber, and regulatory matters; familiarity with regional system operation issues; and, they reflect geographic diversity.  NERC also aspires to have ethnic and gender diversity across its Board of Trustees. Trustees are independent of the industry and must commit to serve the public interest and represent the reliability concerns of the entire North American electric system. Trustees are elected by the Member Representatives Committee, serve three-year terms and may not be re-nominated or re-appointed after serving twelve (12) consecutive years, unless at least one year has elapsed between the end of service on the Board and the subsequent re-nomination or reappointment.

 

Board of Trustees Roles and Responsibilities

The Board is elected by the Member Representatives Committee (“MRC”) to act on behalf of a broad and diverse stakeholder community that looks to the Board for leadership on the reliability issues facing the electric industry. Each Trustee has a responsibility to be open and honest, though respectful, in communications with others and to be fair and impartial in all aspects of his or her deliberations and decision-making. Each Trustee has a responsibility to constructively engage in furthering NERC’s mission, including a responsibility to raise issues or viewpoints of importance to that mission even when those issues or viewpoints appear to be unpopular.

 

The Board of Trustees oversees six standing chartered Board committees:

  1. Compliance Committee: The purpose of this committee is to assist the Board with governance, oversight, guidance, and policies to help assure the NERC Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program (CMEP) and the NERC Organization Registration and Certification Program (ORCP), as administered by NERC and the Regional Entities to which NERC has delegated authority pursuant to Regional Delegation Agreements, support the reliability of the North American bulk power system, and are administered fairly and efficiently.

  2. Nominating Committee: The purpose of this committee is to recommend to the Member Representatives Committee (MRC) candidates for election as members of the NERC Board of Trustees and Implement the Board composition provisions of the NERC Bylaws, the Board’s conflict of interest policy, and Trustee succession policy in making its recommendations.

  3. Technology and Security Committee: The purpose of this committee is to assist the Board by providing oversight to the corporation’s (i) information technology program, (ii) information security program, and (iii) Electricity Sector Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC - the electric industry’s cyber and physical security knowledge and leadership center), as well as performing such other responsibilities as directed by the Board or this Mandate.

  4. Corporate Governance and Human Resources Committee: The purpose of this committee is to assist the Board in (i) insuring the appropriate governance approaches for the corporation, (ii) overseeing the corporation’s employee compensation and benefit approaches, including the compensation of the corporation’s Board members and officers, and (iii) overseeing the corporation’s programs and practices for personnel development and human resources, as well as performing such other responsibilities as directed by the Board.

  5. Enterprise-wide Risk Committee: The purpose of this committee is to assist the Board in the oversight of (i) the corporation’s risk management program, internal controls processes and ethics related policies and procedures, (ii) compliance by NERC and each of the Regional Entities with the NERC Rules of Procedure (ROP) and governmental authorizations, regulations and orders, and (iii) coordinating with the Compliance and Certification Committee (CCC - a NERC Board-appointed stakeholder committee serving and reporting directly to the NERC Board) with respect to the CCC’s execution of its responsibilities under applicable orders, the ROP and the CCC’s Charter, as well as performing such other responsibilities as directed by the Board.

  6. Finance and Audit Committee: The purpose of this committee is to assist the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities for NERC’s financial results and reporting process, system of internal financial and accounting controls and financial audit process and its oversight of the NERC, Regional Entities and Western Interconnection Regional Advisory Body (WIRAB) business plans and budgets, as well as performing such other responsibilities as directed by the Board or this Mandate.

 

NERC Trustees are expected to serve on at least two of the standing committees.

 

Meeting schedule (For the remainder of 2019, 2020, and 2021)*

The NERC Board will meet in-person on the following dates:

 

  • August 13-15, 2019 Quebec City, Canada

  • November 5-6, 2019 Atlanta, GA

  • February 4-6, 2020 Manhattan Beach, CA

  • May 12-14, 2020 Washington, DC

  • August 18-20, 2020 TBD - Canada (Vancouver)

  • November 3-5, 2020 Atlanta, GA

 

  • February 2-4, 2021 TBD-Phoenix/San Diego

  • May 11-13, 2021 Washington, DC

  • August 10-12, 2021 TBD - Canada (Montreal/Toronto)

  • November 2-4, 2021 TBD - Atlanta/New Orleans

 

*these dates are subject to change and updates can be found on the NERC Board of Trustees webpage.

 

Trustees are expected to attend closed Board committee meetings, as well as meetings with stakeholder groups, on the first day; open meetings of Board Committees and NERC’s Member Representatives Committee on the second day; and closed and open meetings of the Board on the third day. The Board and its committees also hold additional closed and open meetings and conference calls that are scheduled throughout the year.

 

In addition, Trustees are requested to attend at least two (2) meetings a year to include a combination of any of the following: Regional Entity Board Meetings, Trade Meetings, Technical Committee meetings, etc. Trustees may also be assigned to serve in the following roles: (i) as an observer to the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC); (ii) the E-ISAC Member Executive Committee (MEC); and (iii) as a standards liaison.

 

A Trustee should expect to spend, on average, up to 10 hours per week on board activities. Activities include meetings, reading assignments, meeting preparation, and general board communication.

 

Trustee Term of Service

The Board is committed to ensuring that NERC continues to have as effective a board as possible, given the importance of its responsibilities. Achieving this goal involves balancing the value of maintaining experience and continuity with the value of bringing in new ideas and fresh perspectives.

 

No independent Trustee may be re-nominated or reappointed after he or she has served on the Board for twelve consecutive years, unless at least one year has elapsed between the end of service on the Board and the subsequent re-nomination or reappointment.

 

Trustee Compensation

The current compensation for Trustees is set forth below.

  • Annual Retainer:

  • 2019:  $117,500

  • 2020:  $122,500

  • 2021:  $127,500

  • Committee Chair/ESCC Retainer:  $10,000

  • Vice Chair Retainer:  $5,000

  • Standards Committee Liaison Retainer:  $5,000

  • Chair Retainer:

    • 2019:  $165,000

    • 2020:  $170,000

    • 2021:  $175,000

 

The Board’s pattern is to adjust compensation every three years, with a three-year phase in of the new compensation. Based on this schedule, the Board would next determine whether or not to adjust compensation at its August 2021 meeting, with any modifications effective as of January 2022.

 

Nomination and Appointment Process

The following steps will be taken for the nomination: 

 

  • The professional executive search firm, Lyceum Leadership Consulting, will create a list of at least four qualified candidates for each open seat on the Board.

  • The list of qualified candidates will be forwarded to the Nominating Committee, which will select candidates to interview.

  • Following the interviews, the Nominating Committee will rank the candidates and select a final candidate.

  • Once it has identified a candidate, the Nominating Committee will present its recommendation to Member Representatives Committee for a vote.  A proposed Independent Trustee who is approved by a majority of the Membership Sectors will become the Independent Trustee.

THE CANDIDATE

NERC is seeking at least one new trustee to succeed a current trustee who is not eligible for reelection. The new trustee will be joining the board of an organization in a dynamic regulatory environment and one that is responding to challenges of enhancing reliability, increasing cost effectiveness, improving system efficiency and heightening awareness of cybersecurity concerns. NERC Trustees provide governance and guidance to management in interacting with a broad array of stakeholders, including federal, provincial and state legislatures, regulators and agencies. Therefore, NERC Trustees must have a strong sense of and dedication to service in the public interest.

 

Ideal Board of Trustee candidates will have expertise in one or more of the following areas:

 

  • Technical Electric Operations and Reliability Expertise

    • Such as retired former electric utility senior executives; present or former executives of electric power reliability councils; present or former executives from power pools; retired military officers with relevant experience; or present or former professional utilities services firm executives.

 

  • Legal Expertise and Regulatory Matters

    • Corporate chief legal officers or general counsels or present or former national law firm partners, former state or federal (non-energy) regulators; present or former executives of environmental or consumer organizations; former attorneys general or consumer affairs officials; former legislators, academics or economics experts with relevant public interest background; individuals with a demonstrated reputation and record of commitment to consumer issues; energy office officials (state or federal ALJs, judges, etc.); or strategic planners or public policy experts.

 

  • Senior Corporate Leadership Expertise

    • Such as present or former service industry executives or management consultants; present or former chief executives, chief financial officers; present or former senior executives of financial institutions, investment banking or financial accounting/auditing organizations.

    • Executives with experience in presiding over significant corporate cultural change and/or organization design/redevelopment that has led to marked improvements in performance, strategic alignment, and innovation.

    • Executives with experience in employing public relations and communication programs that have resulted in improved awareness and performance with customers and a wide array of stakeholders.  

  • Financial and Risk Management Expertise

    • Such as present or former financial exchange executives; present or former commodity trading company executives; executives or attorneys with extensive anti-trust background; present or former executives in recently-deregulated industries; former state or federal regulators with deregulation experience; or academics or consultants with relevant market experience.

 

  • Familiarity with Regional System Operation Issues

 

All potential candidates must possess a proven reputation for excellence in their areas of expertise, and optimally should reflect a diverse background (e.g., ethnicity, gender, and geographic diversity).

 

Independence/Conflict of Interest 

An independent trustee is a person who:

  1. Is not an officer or employee of NERC, a member or an officer, director, or employee of a member of NERC, or an officer, director, or employee of any entity that would reasonably be perceived as having a direct financial interest in the outcome of board decisions; and

  2. Does not have any other relationship that would interfere with the exercise of independent judgment in carrying out the responsibilities of a trustee. Provided, that upon initial election to the board, an independent trustee shall, within ten (10) days, terminate any employee, officer, or director position that conflicts with this subparagraph and shall within sixty (60) days terminate any financial interest or other relationship that conflicts with this subparagraph, and prior to such termination shall not participate in discussion of or voting on any matter involving the entity of which the trustee is an employee, officer or director or in which the trustee has the financial interest or other relationship giving rise to the conflict.

 

The Board of Trustees has interpreted the requirement for trustee independence to mean that neither an independent trustee nor a member of his or her immediate household should:

 

  1. Be an officer, director or employee of entities that are included on NERC’s Compliance Registry; or

  2. Have investments in or business relationships with such entities.

 

In this regard, the Board carefully reviews roles a potential trustee or immediate household members have with other entities, including entities that are doing business with entities on the NERC Compliance Registry, to determine whether there is a potential conflict of interest.  Potential candidates should be prepared to share any role they have with any other entity, to allow for careful consideration of potential conflicts of interest and compliance with the independence requirements. 

TIMELINE OF THE MEMBER SELECTION PROCESS

The key dates and timeline of steps leading up to this decision are as follows: 

 

  • 6/17 - 8/30: Candidate qualification process

  • 9/6: Submittal of Longlist to the Nominating Committee

  • 9/12: Shortlist determination. You will be notified by Lyceum after this date if you are selected, or not, for in-person interviews

  • 10/28 & 10/29: Candidate interviews with Nominating Committee Panel to be held in Atlanta. All potential candidates should tentatively hold these dates.

  • 12/9: Nominating Committee to select slate of candidates

  • 2/5/20: Annual Meeting of Member Representatives Committee and election of new trustee.                                          

A PDF version of the Role Specification can be found below:

NERC RS Pic.png

SECTORS SERVED

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  • Utilities

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  • Construction, EPC, and Infrastructure

  • Associations and Nonprofits

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