My name is Chris Root and I’m running for PES President-Elect.

As an experienced leader in the industry, I’ve worked alongside PES in multiple capacities because of the positive impact it yields around the globe. From developing over 50% of all IEEE standards to educating and developing the careers of the next generation of power engineers, PES is pivotal to the industry.

Through our broad and diverse membership, we will continue to grow the exchange of ideas, debate the relevant topics and drive our industry towards a cleaner, safer, future.”

– Chris Root

Executive Biography

Chris has spent his entire career in Utilities, with over 35 years of Engineering and Operations Leadership experience. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Vermont Electric Power Company based in Rutland, VT where he’s responsible for the engineering, construction and operation of the State of Vermont Transmission System.

Full Biography

Chris has previously served as the elected Treasurer, Secretary and Member at Large of the IEEE Power and Energy Society Governing Board. He has been a member of the North American Transmission Forum Board of Directors and is on the Executive Committee of the US National CIGRE Committee. Over the years Chris has given many technical presentations throughout the world on various utility topics and currently sit on the Editorial Board of Power and Energy Magazine. In 2009 he was honored with the Outstanding Engineering Award by the Boston Chapter of the Power and Energy Society.

Prior to VELCO, he was the Senior Vice President of Network Strategy at National Grid USA responsible for engineering and asset management of the electric and gas networks in the US. He was a Senior VP for 17 years in various roles in Transmission and Distribution Operations, Engineering and Construction for operations in MA, RI, NH and NY. He oversaw several operational mergers and was Emergency Director for over 70 significant events through the years.

Chris has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University and a MEng in Electric Power Engineering from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute. He attended the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School and is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of MA and RI.

“Chris is one of the most sincere ambassador’s of people and thought leadership in the Power System Energy Sector.  Having worked with Chris for many years, he will push hard for new thinking, and bring a very unique blend of engineering and operational skills that will shape PES’s vision long into the clean energy future…”

Chris Kelly, Chief Operating Officer, National Grid

“Chris Root will make a wonderful President of PES. His long power career is not only filled with engineering accomplishments but filled with the many people he has mentored and helped excel in life and their careers. If you have a chance to talk with Chris you will quickly see his engineering prowess and the way he infuses his enthusiasm into everything he tackles. Talk to him a little longer and you will hear about the people he has created opportunities for, mentored, and how he has assisted many in finding their place in life. Both his engineering ability and his love for people make him an excellent candidate to lead our great PES organization. His ability to see the avenues where volunteers can get engaged and be fulfilled while helping to further the PES mission will help us continue to grow and thrive. I hope you take the time to get to know Chris either in person or through his social media and cast your vote for him.”

Cheri Warren, Retired Sr. VP of National Grid and past PES Secretary and IEEE Division VII Director.

“I first encountered Chris Root almost 40 years ago when he was running operations at New England Electric and I was building a new EMS system for NEES. We have worked together on and off over the decades since and I have always found Chris to be an “engineer’s engineer.” Through whatever business challenges the utility industry encountered, Chris always put quality engineering first – an important principle for IEEE then and now. I am certain that Chris will provide great leadership for PES.”

Ralph Masiello, Industry Advisor, Quanta Technology

“Chris has been a tremendous contributor to IEEE and the overall industry for his entire career.  He is an innovative thinker who would bring new ideas to PES.  This is extremely important in this period of rapid change and new opportunities.  I look forward to working with Chris on implementation of these ideas in the industry.”

Mark McGranaghan, Vice President, Integrated Grid, EPRI

“I have known Chris for many years in our work with PES, Chris is a dedicated volunteer that will bring a real world “get it done” approach to PES. He is an outstanding leader and admired by everyone who knows him. His experience in the industry has been and will be a great asset to PES and its’ future. I highly recommend all PES Members to vote for Chris.” 

Tommy Mayne, IEEE PES Senior Life Member, Past VP Meetings PES, Member of IEEE Conference Committee

“I have served with Chris Root for years on IEEE PES and CIGRE committees and would highly recommend him as IEEE PES President-Elect. He is strategic in thought and always steps up to help. What is most important is that Chris also involves those young in their careers to participate which is an effort to sustain IEEE PES for years to come and to assist their professional development.”

Michael Heyeck Senior Member IEEE (1975); Retired SVP-Transmission, American Electric Power; Founder, The Grid Group LLC.

“It’s been my pleasure to work with Chris Root! Throughout his career, Chris has consistently supported professional development for the Power & Energy Society’s members and for people in his organizations. His commitment to education and training is even more important as the Grid becomes more complex. I think he will make an outstanding President for our Society.”

Mike Ahern

Candidate Statement

My name is Chris Root, and I’m running for PES President Elect in 2019 because of my belief that our industry’s strength is found in the engineers and technical leaders who oversee and support critical infrastructure around the world.

This belief instilled a sense of responsibility in my approach to work and inspired me to give back and become active in the leadership of PES almost 12 years ago. As both a practicing utility engineer and a manager of engineers, I understand how to balance the needs of this group while appreciating and supporting the important roles of our global academic, consulting, regulatory and manufacturing communities.

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Though the future will bring change to our industry and to the grid, PES will play an important role in outlining emerging issues, debating new ideas, promoting and publishing technical breakthroughs, establishing industry standards and sharing our knowledge with the next generation of utility engineers. It is in the spirit of this evolution that I ask you to vote ‘Chris Root’ for PES President-Elect.

IEEE Accomplishments

Chris has been an IEEE member since 1983, active in the PES Governing Board for over 10 years and is currently on the Editorial Board of Power and Energy Magazine.

To date, he’s been the Board Secretary, Treasurer and Governing Board Member at Large. Since 2006, he’s been on the Long Range Planning Committee (LRP) of the Governing Board and is Chairman of the PES Leadership in Power Award committee.

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Boston’s PES Chapter had fallen dormant until 2007 when Chris and colleagues revived it. The chapter honored him in 2009 with the Outstanding Engineering Award for his dedicated work. He continued grass-roots support for PES by organizing the first Vermont chapter in 2014. Additionally, Chris served as the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee for the PES ESMO Conference and Expo in Providence, RI in 2011.

Candidate Goals

If elected PES President, we’ll work towards a better tomorrow by:

  • Increasing the membership of practicing engineers by 15% or greater.
  • Increasing the on-line engineering training including webinars and podcasts by 30% or greater.
  • Increase the diversity of the society in the areas of gender and demographics.
  • Strengthen the global presence of PES by increasing membership in Region 7 (Canada), Regional 8 (Europe and Africa) and Region 9 (Asia) by 10%.
  • Sponsor at least one PES “Regional Utility Workshop” in each IEEE Region.
  • Sponsor a conferences on “Strengthening the ties between academia and industry” with the topic of the “The Future of the Grid” and re-focusing the ISGT conferences on the next generation of issues.

“When I took over as IEEE PES President-Elect in 2004 I asked Chris to serve on my Long Range Planning Committee in 2004-2005. When I took over as IEEE PES President in 2006-2007 I asked Chris to serve on the Governing Board as a Member at Large. Since then Chris has gained extensive experience on the IEEE PES Governing Board as a Member at Large and with the elected positions of Secretary and Treasurer. Presently, Chris and I chair two of the PES Long Range Planning Committee Subcommittees. Chris has the vision for PES to continue to grow and be relevant to the industry. In addition to his PES experience, Chris is an accomplished utility executive with leadership experience effectively managing large organizations, with a passion for mentoring young professionals, and with enthusiasm for everything he does. PES would be fortunate to have Chris as President! Please vote for Chris for IEEE PES President-Elect this Fall. “

John McDonald, IEEE Life Fellow, IEEE PES President 2006-2007, IEEE Division VII Director 2008-2009, IEEE PES Distinguished Lecturer (since 1999)

Please vote in this year’s IEEE PES election