WASHINGTON, D.C., August 12, 2005 — Richard Drouin, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC), announced that the board has named Richard P. Sergel as NERC’s new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective September 12, 2005. He will replace Michehl R. Gent, who is retiring after leading the organization for twenty-four years.
Until 2004, Mr. Sergel served as President and Chief Executive Officer for National Grid USA, and was National Grid Group plc Executive Director for North America upon the completion of the National Grid and New England Electric System (NEES) merger in March 2000. From 1998 through the date of the merger, Mr. Sergel was President and CEO of NEES, where he held positions of increasing responsibility since 1979.
Mr. Sergel is presently a director of State Street Corporation and Massachusetts trustee of the Nature Conservancy. He also served on the boards of the Edison Electric Institute, the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, and the United Way of the Merrimac Valley. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Florida State University, a Master of Science in applied mathematics from North Carolina State University, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Miami.
“With the passage of reliability legislation in the United States, NERC has reached a watershed moment in its history. After an extensive search, the NERC Board of Trustees has determined that Rick Sergel is the right person to steer this organization through the many challenges that lie ahead,” stated Chairman Drouin. “We have the utmost confidence in Rick’s ability to take the helm at this critical time for NERC,” he added.
“We are truly pleased that Rick Sergel has agreed to lead NERC,” said Mike Gent, NERC President and CEO. “His demonstrated talents as a visionary leader and effective chief executive officer will serve NERC well as it transitions to become the electric reliability organization authorized by the energy bill that President Bush signed into law this week.” Mr. Gent has been at the forefront of numerous industry initiatives to improve reliability and ensure the protection of critical industry assets. He led the successful effort to enact legislation that will make compliance with NERC reliability standards mandatory and enforceable. Under Gent’s leadership, NERC has grown from a small organization to one that has more than 50 employees today.
NERC’s mission is to ensure that the bulk electric system in North America is reliable, adequate, and secure. Since its formation in 1968, NERC has operated successfully as a self-regulatory organization, relying on reciprocity, peer pressure, and the mutual self-interest of all those involved in the electric system. Through this approach, NERC has helped to make the North American bulk electric system the most reliable system in the world. NERC membership comprises ten regional reliability councils whose members account for virtually all the electricity supplied in the United States, Canada, and a portion of Baja California Norte, Mexico.