ISO-NE elects 2021 board slate

ISO New England, operator of the region’s bulk power system and wholesale electricity markets, today announced the election of the 2021 Board of Directors slate. The slate includes incumbent Michael J. Curran, and three new directors: Caren Anders, Steve Corneli, and Catherine Flax. The new members will replace retiring board members Kathleen Q. Abernathy and Philip N. Shapiro.

To accommodate the four-person slate, the ISO New England Board of Directors will expand to 11 members for one year. This move, which is increasingly common among corporate boards, will allow the ISO to take advantage of a trio of highly qualified candidates, each of whom bring important skills and experiences to the board, and best position the company for future board retirements.

“Caren, Steve, and Catherine bring a wealth of diverse experience and knowledge to the ISO New England Board of Directors,” said Gordon van Welie, president and CEO of ISO New England. “This experience and knowledge will be a benefit to all of New England as the region moves towards the clean, reliable grid of the future.”

Anders, Corneli, Flax elected

Caren Anders is an executive advisor for Quanta Technology, where she works with clients across the utility sector providing advisory solutions and services. A transmission expert, her career has included leading Duke Energy’s transmission organization, overseeing 2,100 employees responsible for serving 7 million customers. Prior to joining Duke, Anders served as vice president of transmission and substations at Exelon. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s of Business Administration in Finance from Drexel University.

Steve Corneli is principal and owner of Strategies for Clean Energy Innovation, focusing on the efficient deployment of high levels of clean resources. His clients have included leading energy and environmental think tanks, distributed energy technology companies, and clean energy and environmental advocates. Prior to forming Strategies for Clean Energy Innovation, Corneli served as senior vice president of policy, strategy, and sustainability at NRG. He previously served seven years as a consumer advocate within the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. Corneli holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M, as well as a Master’s in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute, with a concentration in energy, environment, and technology policy.

Catherine Flax is the president of private investing at X Machina Capital Strategies, focusing on investments related to energy transition in the oil and gas arena. She is an economist who has worked as a senior executive in the energy, power, and commodities businesses for several investment banks. During her career, Flax has served as global head of commodity finance at J.P. Morgan and managing director and head of commodities, Americas, at BNP Paribas. She has also served on a range of industry and corporate boards, as well as on advisory boards. Flax holds Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Finance from Texas A&M University, and a Master’s in Economics from Brown University.

Curran re-elected

Michael J. Curran joined the ISO New England Board in 2019. He spent the majority of his career in the financial services and investment community, including the Boston Stock Exchange, Inc., where he was chairman and chief executive officer. Before joining the Boston Stock Exchange, he was managing director and chief operating officer of Kemper Funds and International Mutual Funds for Zurich Scudder Investments. Curran most recently served as chair of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) Board of Directors. He is a graduate of Dickinson College.

Abernathy, Shapiro retiring

Kathleen Abernathy joined the board in 2012, becoming chair in 2019. Abernathy has three decades of experience in the telecommunications industry, working in both the private and public sectors. In 2017, Abernathy retired from her position as executive vice president, external affairs at Frontier Communications. Prior to joining Frontier, she served as a commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2001 to 2005.

Philip Shapiro joined the board in 2010 and served as board chair from 2014 until 2019. He was vice president for finance and chief financial officer of Babson College from 2005 to 2014. Before that, he was a managing director of Standard and Poor’s Rating Group, where he established and supervised their offices in Boston, Chicago, and Dallas.

“Kathleen and Phil have been instrumental in the evolution of ISO New England to a company that effectively meets its significant responsibilities as the New England states transition to a clean and reliable energy future,” said van Welie. “We thank them both for their leadership.”

About the board

The ISO elects its Board members through a nominating process that involves representatives from the ISO New England Board of Directors, the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL), and the New England Conference of Public Utilities Commissioners. Candidates also receive the endorsement of the NEPOOL Participants Committee.

ISO New England Board members are subject to the company’s code of conduct, which includes a non-affiliation provision designed to maintain the independence of the company from participants in New England’s wholesale markets and their affiliates.

More information on ISO New England’s governance structure, as well as its Board of Directors, is available on the ISO’s website.

Inside ISO New England