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Mayor Harrell Announces Search Committee Members for Next Leader of Seattle City Light  

Seattle – Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell announced the members of a selection committee to help select the next permanent general manager and chief executive officer of Seattle City Light (SCL). 

In March, Mayor Harrell announced that a national search for the next leader of SCL would be launched and that General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Debra Smith would transition into an advisory position with the utility in July and retire before the end of 2023. 

Seattle City Light General Manager & CEO Application Here 

“As one of the nation’s largest utilities, City Light provides an essential service to our city and touches the life of every resident in Seattle,” said Mayor Harrell. “As we look to accelerate our work towards clean energy to build a healthier future for our community, the next leader of this critical department must be a champion for the customer experience, show a strong commitment to environmental stewardship and climate action, and center equity and accountability across all decisions.” 

The 11-member selection committee is made up of business, housing, labor, environmental, and energy leaders, many with experience in clean energy and environmental justice. Selection committee members include: 

  • Ann Ayre, Environmental Manager, CalPortland 
  • Brett D’Antonio, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County 
  • Gilbert Archuleta, Director of Customer Energy Management, Puget Sound Energy 
  • John Putz, Research Scientist, The Energy Authority 
  • Kelly Hall, Washington Director, Climate Solutions 
  • Leo Lam, CEO, WEVE Design 
  • Steve Kovac, Business Representative, Local 77 
  • Steven Pray, Union Representative, Local 17 
  • Rod Brandon, Executive Director, Seattle Housing Authority 
  • Ryan Calkins, Commissioner, Port of Seattle 
  • Patience Malaba, Executive Director, Housing Development Consortium 

Throughout the summer, the committee will identify applicants, interview candidates, and recommend at least three finalists for the position to the mayor. The position opened on May 23, 2023, and applications received by 4:00 p.m. PST on July 11, 2023 will receive first consideration. 

The search process will include gathering stakeholder feedback from union leaders, commercial and industrial customers, environmental organizations, and other community members to learn more about the skills and experiences they want to see championed in the next GM and CEO. 

Seattle City Light was created by the residents of Seattle in 1902 to provide affordable, reliable, and environmentally sound electric power to the City of Seattle and neighboring suburbs. Owned by the community it serves, City Light is a nationally recognized leader in energy efficiency, renewable resources, and environmental stewardship. City Light provides electric power to approximately 485,000 residential, business, and industrial customers within a 131-square-mile service area.  

City Light is the nation’s ninth largest publicly owned electric utility in terms of customers served, and owns about 2,000 megawatts of very low-cost, environmentally responsible, hydroelectric generation capacity. The utility employs about 1,800 full-time staff, with 84% represented by a labor union.