WASHINGTON—Commissioner Carolene Mays of Indiana will be the new Chair of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Committee on Critical Infrastructure, effective Aug. 1.
Appointed by NARUC President Philip Jones of Washington, Commissioner Mays will replace former Chair Terry Jarrett of Missouri, who is leaving regulation. President Jones also appointed Commissioners Jeanne Fox of New Jersey and Swain Whitfield of South Carolina as Co-Vice Chairs of the committee. Chair Jarrett will preside over the Committee during the July 21-24 NARUC Summer Committee Meetings in Denver.
First established after the September 2001 terrorist attacks, the Committee on Critical Infrastructure gives State regulators a forum to identify, study, and propose solutions to utility infrastructure security and delivery concerns. The issues pending before the committee include cyber security, in particular, and energy assurance, EMP and geomagnetic storms, emergency communications, and system resiliency.
“Our nation’s economic and physical well-being depends on reliable utility service,” President Jones said. “The NARUC Critical Infrastructure Committee is addressing some of the biggest challenges the utility sector is facing, with cyber security leading the way. Commissioner Mays is well-versed in these issues and I am proud and grateful that she is willing to serve in this capacity. I’d also like to salute Commissioner Jarrett for his tireless leadership. He has raised the profile of this Committee and helped lead our focus on cyber security. I thank him for his service.”
Commissioner Mays was appointed to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission in 2010. Before joining the commission, she served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 2002 to 2008, where she received several Legislator of the Year awards. She was listed as a “Rising Star in Indiana Politics” and was named one of “Indiana’s Most Influential Women.” Commissioner Mays also served as Publisher and President of the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper and the Indiana Minority Business Magazine. She also was a finalist for an appointment by President Barack Obama as the Midwest Regional Director of Housing and Urban Development.
Within NARUC, Commissioner Mays was Vice Chair of the Critical Infrastructure Committee. She also is President of the Mid-America Regulatory Conference.
“I am honored to serve NARUC in this capacity, and I thank President Jones for this opportunity,” Commissioner Mays said. “From cyber security to utility assurance, we have much to discuss as a committee. The newspapers are filled with examples detailing the vulnerability of our infrastructure. I look forward to working with my committee members to address these challenges. I also thank Commissioners Fox and Whitfield for joining me. In addition, I owe a special debt to Commissioner Jarrett, who has guided this committee in an open and inclusive way.”
“My thanks to President Jones and congratulations to incoming Chair Mays and incoming Co-Vice Chair Whitfield,” said Commissioner Fox. “Having experienced firsthand the devastation from both Sept. 11, 2001, and Hurricane Sandy, I know just how critical utilities are to our nation’s well-being. I look forward to our discussions and am grateful for this opportunity.”
“I am deeply honored and grateful to be appointed as Co-Vice Chair of the NARUC Critical Infrastructure Committee by President Jones,” Commissioner Whitfield said. “Critical Infrastructure, especially cyber security, is one of the most important issues facing our utilities. Virtually every organization and person is subject to a cyber-security attack as evidenced by the recent attacks on the South Carolina Department of Revenue and the University of South Carolina. I welcome the opportunity to work with my chair, co-vice chair, and committee members in addressing this most serious issue and critical infrastructure protection.”
NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC’s member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.
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