Bonneville Power Administration Administrator and CEO Steve Wright announced on June 19, 2012, that he will retire at the end of January 2013. Wright has led the agency since November 2000, first as the acting Administrator before being selected as the permanent Administrator in February 2002. He is the second longest serving BPA Administrator, and first joined BPA in an entry level position in 1981. "It has been a great honor to serve in an agency that has such a tremendous impact on the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest," Wright said. "It has been my goal since graduating from college to make a positive and meaningful difference in the world. In no place could I have had more of an opportunity to do so than at BPA."
Read Wright’s letter to the region announcing his retirement. Wright has been planning this decision based on his eligibility date for retirement and decided to make this announcement ahead of his retirement in order to allow for an orderly transition to a new agency leader. This will allow time for a thorough selection process and a brief overlap period before he departs the agency. "I have tremendous affection for BPA and its enormous set of responsibilities," Wright said. "I am announcing my decision now in order to provide an opportunity for an appropriately deliberate selection and transition process given the magnitude of issues BPA is responsible for addressing." "Steve Wright is the rare chief executive who worked his way up from an entry level job to the highest ranking professional at the Bonneville Power Administration and this speaks to his outstanding skill set and abilities," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "I thank him for his work as a civil servant during his time at the Bonneville Power Administration and congratulate him for his leadership achievements." Wright will continue to serve as the Administrator until a new Administrator is selected. He plans to stay on to support the transition to his successor until his retirement in January. The Department of Energy will have a competitive process conducted under the federal civil service rules to select a new BPA Administrator. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman will be the selecting official. "Steve Wright has provided strong and intelligent leadership in his decades of service at the Bonneville Power Administration, and it has been a pleasure working with him during my time at the Department of Energy," said Deputy Secretary Poneman. "I am grateful for his strategic vision, creative problem solving, professionalism and dedication. Wright retains my full confidence and support as he continues to serve as the Administrator for BPA for his remaining tenure."