Furrer joins a select group of ten BPA executives since 2000 who’ve received the national recognition of sustained excellence.

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"She is that rare leader who possesses both a keen insight for developing innovative solutions as well as the ability to empower and inspire those who work for her to achieve even greater outcomes.”

BPA Administrator and CEO John Hairston

Robin Furrer, the Bonneville Power Administration’s chief administrative officer, was selected by President Joe Biden to receive the prestigious Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award for 2022. On Nov. 23, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm announced the 18 executives across the Department of Energy who were recognized with a 2022 Presidential Rank Award.

The honor, established by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, recognizes Furrer’s many achievements during her service in the Senior Executive Service over the past 17 years at BPA:

  • Developed BPA’s first Incident Command System (ICS) to create a standardized approach to command, control and coordination of emergency responses.
  • During the Great Coastal Storm of 2007 that left miles of transmission lines on the ground across Oregon and Washington, Furrer leveraged the ICS to coordinate Pacific Northwest utility responses to restore power to multiple communities in less than two days.
  • Developed the only live-line (energized) transmission crew in Oregon and Washington to replace failing components in transmission infrastructure over a five-year period that would have taken an estimated 36 years using conventional methods.
  • Established a best-in-class vegetation management program that has resulted in an unprecedented zero transmission outages over 13 years along 444,000 acres of rights-of-way in four states, including tribal, public and private lands.
  • Joined the North American Transmission Forum and helped the organization establish a mission, vision and guiding principles to promote excellence in safety, reliability and resilient operation of the bulk electric grid across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
  • Guided the development of BPA’s wildfire program to mitigate the threat of wildfire to grid reliability and public safety, earning a best practice nod from Transmission & Distribution World magazine and a request for Furrer to speak at the 2019 West Coast Public Utility Conference on wildfire best practices.
  • Developed a wide array of targets, initiatives and metrics, including the Information Technology System Enterprise Risk Review Board, to give BPA agency wide visibility into cyber risks as well as the establishment of aggressive cyber improvements across the bulk electric grid.

“Robin’s name is synonymous with excellence, and her record speaks for itself,” said BPA Administrator and CEO John Hairston. “She has routinely raised the bar of performance and collaborative learning – first in Transmission Field Services and then as our Chief Administrative Officer – with impacts felt not just at BPA but throughout our region and the broader utility landscape. She is that rare leader who possesses both a keen insight for developing innovative solutions as well as the ability to empower and inspire those who work for her to achieve even greater outcomes.”

Over her 33-year career at BPA, Furrer has held an unyielding commitment to safety, transparency and approachability. This dedication was on full display during BPA’s COVID-19 pandemic response, where she guided BPA’s cross-organizational transition team and guided the agency’s overall communications efforts during a critical period marked by great uncertainty.

Additionally, Furrer has continuously encouraged her teams to find and develop best practices, cultures, organizations, tools and technology, resulting in programs like Fall Protection, Live-Line Work Practices, Fatigue Policy and Front Line Safety Leadership Training. 

Furrer joins a select group of only ten BPA executives who’ve been awarded a Presidential Rank Award in the previous two decades.

“I am truly honored and humbled by this recognition,” said Furrer. “Yet, it’s so important to me that people recognize that this award reflects the collective efforts of those I’ve worked with, who’ve entrusted me and put in the hard work and engaged in creating new solutions to overcome the obstacles we’ve faced.”

BPA executives awarded presidential recognition since 2000

  • 2001 Vickie VanZandt, SES Rank Award
  • 2003 Mark Maher, SES Rank Award
  • 2006 Paul Norman, Presidential Rank Award
  • 2007 Randy Roach, Presidential Rank Award
  • 2008 Stephen Wright, Presidential Rank Award
  • 2011 Stephen Oliver, Presidential Rank Award
  • 2015 Greg Delwiche, Presidential Rank Award
  • 2016        Claudia Andrews, Presidential Rank Award
  • 2017 Lorraine Bodi, Presidential Rank Award
  • 2022 Robin Furrer, Presidential Rank Award
 

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