BPA chief gets presidential award

by Staff report
| February 6, 2023 1:00 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Bonneville Power Administration announced in December that the agency’s chief administrator, Robin Furrer, is one of 18 Department of Energy executives receiving the Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award in 2022 from President Joe Biden, according to a BPA press release.

The award was established by Congress in 1978 to honor senior government civil servants and professional managers for service over the course of their careers, the press release said. Furrer has worked for the BPA for 33 years, the press release said, noting she has spent the last 17 of those in positions of executive leadership.

Among the achievements, Furrer is being honored for leading the response to a large regional storm in 2007 that destroyed miles of transmission lines in Oregon and Washington, overseeing improvements in the reliability of electric power transmission, and leading the development of ways to prevent power lines from causing wildfires.

“Robin’s name is synonymous with excellence, and her record speaks for itself,” said BPA Administrator and CEO John Harrison. “She is a 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 great outcomes.”

“I am truly honored and humbled by this recognition,” Furrer said in the press release. “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.”

The BPA markets power from 31 federally owned and operated hydroelectric dams, as well one nuclear power plant, in the Pacific Northwest, providing power to millions of residents of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming, the press release said. The agency operates and maintains over 15,000 miles of high-voltage power lines and 261 substations across the region, the press release added.