Patricia Hoffman

Patricia Hoffman

Acting Under Secretary

U.S. Department of Energy

Patricia Hoffman was named Assistant Secretary (AS) for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) at the United States Department of Energy (DOE) in June 2010 after serving as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) for OE since November 2007. Assistant Secretary Hoffman provides leadership on a national level on electric grid modernization, enhancing the security and reliability of the energy infrastructure and facilitating recovery from disruptions to the energy supply. This is critical to meeting the Nation’s growing demand for reliable electricity by overcoming the challenges of our Nation’s aging electricity transmission and distribution system and addressing the vulnerabilities in our energy supply chain.

During her tenure as PDAS, Ms. Hoffman oversaw OE’s $4.5 billion in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to invest in the deployment of smart grid technologies to reduce electricity costs, increase reliability, and give consumers more choice and control over their energy use. Additionally, these Recovery Act funds support the long-term, coordinated transmission planning; the development of interoperability standards that will enable smart grid devices to communicate in an efficient and secure way; and workforce development support to enhance the electric power system workers skills essential to modernize the grid. The funds also provide assistance to state and local governments to improve planning and emergency preparedness to minimize impacts of energy supply disruptions, and provide additional resources to state public utility commissions to help in regulating and overseeing new electricity and energy projects.

Ms. Hoffman has over 14 years of experience at the Energy Department developing and managing technology research programs critical to the electric sector. She developed OE’s long-term research strategy and improved its management portfolio of research programs for modernizing and improving the resiliency of the electric grid. This included developing and implementing sensors and operational tools for wide-area monitoring, energy storage research and demonstration and the development of advanced conductors to increase the capacity and flexibility of the grid. She also initiated a new research effort focused on integrating and distributing renewable energy through the electric grid, such as promoting plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and implementing smart grid technologies to maintain system reliability. Additionally, under her leadership, the Department demonstrated the first recuperated, industrial gas turbine for distributed generation applications. She also briefly managed the business operations for OE, including human resources, budget development, financial execution, and performance management.

Ms. Hoffman holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Ceramic Science and Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

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Russell Girling

Russell Girling

President and Chief Executive Officer


Russ Girling has been President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) since July 1, 2010. He has led TransCanada Corporation through a period of unprecedented growth, including the development of its Liquids Pipelines business, expansion of its power generation portfolio and the successful US$13 billion acquisition of Columbia Pipeline Group in July 2016.

Prior to becoming CEO, Mr. Girling was Chief Operating Officer, responsible for overseeing TransCanada’s pipeline and energy businesses, corporate development activities and strategies, operations and major projects, and corporate services.

Mr. Girling has also served as President, Pipelines; Executive Vice-President, Corporate Development; Chief Financial Officer; and Executive Vice-President, Power.

Prior to joining TransCanada in 1994, Mr. Girling held several marketing and management positions at Suncor Inc., Northridge Petroleum Marketing and Dome Petroleum.

Mr. Girling is currently a director of Agrium Inc. He is the former Chairman of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) and the Natural Gas Council (NGC), and also a former director of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA). He is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TC PipeLines GP, Inc. (general partner of TC PipeLines, LP). Additionally, Mr. Girling is the former Chairman of TransCanada Power, L.P. and a former director of Bruce Power Inc. He is also a member of the Business Council of Canada, the U.S. National Petroleum Council and U.S. Business Roundtable.

Mr. Girling co-chaired the 2012 United Way of Calgary Campaign and is a director of the Willow Park Charity Golf Classic. Mr. Girling was a 1998/1999 recipient of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award for leadership excellence for Canadians under the age of 40. In 2008 he was the recipient of the Haskayne School of Business Management Alumni Excellence (MAX) Award.

Mr. Girling holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Calgary.

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May 2-3, 2017 |
Doubletree, Portland, OR

WECC Western Reliability Summit

The Western Electricity Coordinating Council is focused on assuring a reliable Bulk Electric System in the West in collaboration with others who share that same reliability-driven mission. Preparing to meet the electric reliability challenges of tomorrow begins today.

At the 2017 Western Reliability Summit, we will hear from two distinguished speakers including a senior official from the U.S. Department of Energy and a CEO from the gas sector who will share their views on regulatory expectations and what the electricity sector needs to know from the gas sector. Leaders and decision makers from a diverse collection of industries will participate in moderator-led panels exploring today’s electric reliability challenges, emerging risks, and opportunities beyond compliance.

This is a unique opportunity for you to share your thoughts and participate in discussions that will help inform our understanding of the electric reliability challenges facing the Western Interconnection and shape and influence the direction of our work and products over the coming years.

Hosted by:

Western Electricity Coordinating Council

Western Electricity
Coordinating Council

Space is limited, register today.



We hand pick our speakers to bring you the best possible lineup with the most diverse range of expertise. We frequently update the site with speakers and sessions so check back for details.

Patricia Hoffman

Patricia Hoffman

Acting Under Secretary

U.S. Department of Energy

Russell Girling

Russell Girling

President and Chief Executive Officer


Summit Schedule


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Summit check-in

Ballroom Entrance, First Level

Buffet Lunch

Willamette Ballroom


Jim Robb
Chief Executive Officer, WECC
Lloyd Center Ballroom

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Patricia Hoffman
Acting Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy

2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Panel: Identifying Electric Reliability Opportunities Beyond Compliance

Panel Moderator:

Gary Leidich, Chairman of the Board, WECC


  • Gerry Cauley, North American Electric Reliability Corporation
  • Tim Gallagher, Reliability First Corporation
  • Tom Galloway, North American Transmission Forum
  • Bob Gambrill, Institute of Nuclear Power Operations

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Panel: Dealing with Today’s Reliability Challenges

Panel Moderator:

Melanie Frye, Vice President Reliability Planning and Performance Analysis, WECC

Sr. Executive Panelists:

  • Mark Gabriel, Western Area Power Administration
  • Mike Hummel, Salt River Project
  • Marie Jordan, Peak Reliability
  • Ron Nichols, Southern California Edison

5:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

Ballroom Entrance, First Level


Taud Olsen,
Director of Organization Development and Outreach, WECC
Lloyd Center Ballroom

8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Understanding the Gas Sector (What the Electricity Sector Needs to Know)

Russ Girling
President and Chief Executive Officer, TransCanada Corporation

Interviewed by Richard Woodward, Board Director, WECC

9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Panel: Ensuring Safe, Reliable Utility Service and Infrastructure

Panel Moderator:

Steve Goodwill, Vice President and General Counsel, WECC

State Commissioner Panel:

  • David Clark, Utah
  • Travis Kavulla, Montana
  • Carla Peterman, California

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


11:00 a.m. – Noon

Panel: Identifying and Assessing Emerging Risks

Panel Moderator:

David Godfrey, Vice President of Entity Oversight, WECC


  • Ian Dobson, Iowa State University
  • Kevin Ewing, Bracewell
  • Brian Harrell, Navigant
  • Rizwan Shah, Department of Energy

Noon – 12:05 p.m.

Closing Comments

Jim Robb
Chief Executive Officer, WECC

Phone For quick access add this site to your mobile device homescreen.

Summit Location

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Portland
1000 NE Multnomah Street
Portland, OR


Book a Room



Call (tollfree): 877-937-9722

Western Electricity Coordinating Council

The Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) is a non-profit corporation that exists to assure a reliable Bulk Electric System in the geographic area known as the Western Interconnection. WECC has been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as the Regional Entity for the Western Interconnection.