Maria Pope is the CEO of Portland General Electric.
Recently, Navigant's Jan Vrins and PUF's Steve Mitnick talked with seven inspiring utility CEOs — all women — about their experience as leaders, their advice to today's rising stars (particularly those that are young women), and their company's challenges as they transform their organizations to navigate the energy transition, address climate change, and redefine our industry.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: Tell us a little about your experience in your first year or so as CEO.
Maria Pope: I've been in my role for just over a year and a half. In that time, we've seen significant changes in the industry and customer expectations. People are more concerned about electricity and our carbon impact, but they're also expecting new and greater uses as electricity is increasingly recognized as the cleanest form of energy.
Today we're forty percent renewable, with hydro, wind, and a little bit of solar. By the end of next year, we'll be fifty percent, and we're rapidly scaling up over the next couple of decades.
Reliability and affordability remain essential, and we must also be green and sustainable. We're in demand and people expect us to help transform not just our own industry, but industry in general. It's an opportunity we haven't had for a very long time.
PUF: Is it a fun job?