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Governing Board of Smart Grid Standards Panel Announces Officers

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GAITHERSBURG, Md.—The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced today that John D. McDonald, general manager of marketing for GE Energy's transmission and distribution business and an IEEE Fellow, will serve as chair of the governing board of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel, the organization launched by NIST in November to sustain and coordinate development of interoperability standards for a modernized electric power grid.

The unanimous choice of governing board members, McDonald will serve as the board's chief spokesperson and will have primary responsibility for organizing its meetings and activities. As required by the SGIP bylaws, McDonald's selection to lead the board was confirmed by George Arnold, NIST's national coordinator for Smart Grid interoperability.

The board also chose John F. Caskey, senior director of the Power Equipment Division at the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, to be vice chair and George Bjelovuk, managing director for marketing, research, and program development at American Electric Power, to serve as secretary. All three officers will serve one-year terms.

NIST established the SGIP, which now has more than 450 participating and observing member organizations, to help it fulfill its Smart Grid responsibilities under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. The governing board manages and coordinates the technical efforts of the SGIP. In turn, the SGIP is both a forum for discussing Smart Grid technical issues and a vehicle for inter-organizational collaboration to respond to these issues and to address emerging requirements for Smart Grid standards.

On Jan. 19, NIST intends to issue its Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 1.0. Incorporating responses to comments during public review of a draft document released on Sept. 24, 2009, this report identifies a group of standards applicable to the ongoing development of the Smart Grid, specifies an initial set of high-priority gaps requiring updated or entirely new standards, and describes progress in developing a cyber security strategy for the Smart Grid.

Under the guidance of the governing board, the SGIP will help NIST to extend this initial set of interoperability and cyber security standards. This set will make up a fraction of the total number of standards ultimately needed to build an advanced power grid that will integrate many varieties of digital computing and communication technologies and services with the power-delivery infrastructure.

"NIST is delighted that that these high-caliber individuals have volunteered to fill the leadership positions on the SGIP Governing Board," Arnold said. "We are grateful to John McDonald and his fellow officers for investing their talent, time and energy to guide the SGIP in helping the nation transform its electricity infrastructure."

"I'm invigorated by the challenge of helping so many committed energy industry leaders work together to frame the infrastructure that will power our planet for generations to come," McDonald said. "Defining our standards will hasten the development of ever-improving solutions and help American innovation set the worldwide standard for Smart Grid efficiency, reliability and performance."

Now numbering 23 members, the SGIP Governing Board will grow to 27 members after an election to fill four open slots is held later this month. The governing board is elected by representatives of the SGIP's more than 400 participating-member organizations, which are divided among 22 categories of Smart Grid stakeholders.

At its first meeting in December 2009, the board appointed Steve Widergren, a principal engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, as the SGIP's plenary chair. In this capacity, Widergren will preside over meetings of the entire SGIP.

More information about the NIST Smart Grid program is available at

Find out more about the SGIP.

Released January 15, 2010, Updated December 27, 2022