Janisse Quiñones (energythoughtsummit.com)

Mayor Karen Bass nominated longtime Pacific Gas and Electric executive Janisse Quiñones to be general manager of the Department of Water and Power.  The announcement was made on Friday, April 19.

Bass’ selection comes after a nationwide search for a new leader, prompted by general manager Martin Adams’ announcement he would be retiring. Quiñones is expected to lead the department through the transition toward 100% clean energy by 2035.

The appointment will be referred to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, and later to the City Council’s Energy and Environment Committee, followed by a confirmation vote by the full council.

“The Department of Water and Power has made important progress toward embracing clean energy, meeting its decarbonization goals, modernizing its infrastructure to be more resilient, getting to a reliant and resilient water future and ensuring vulnerable communities have access to affordable utilities,” Bass said.

“I look forward to working with Janisse to deliver for the people of Los Angeles. This is a transformational period for the department as we make decisions that will build toward the goal of 100% renewable energy by 2035 and I am confident that Janisse’s experience overseeing large scale organizational operations, improving safety outcomes for workers and restoring and reconstructing electrical systems following Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico equip her to lead the department.”

Bass also thanked Adams for his contributions to these outcomes and his “decades of leadership to the people of Los Angeles.”

While Adams had previously announced his departure by the end of March, he had agreed to stay on for a limited time to help with the transition of new leadership.

According to the mayor’s office, Quiñones brings more than 25 years of leadership experience as a senior executive in utility and engineering industries where she managed large-scale operations in order to deliver reliable service to customers, prioritized the safety of workers on the job and directed improvements that made electrical infrastructure more resilient.

Quiñones called it an “honor” to be nominated by Bass as general manager.

“Throughout my career, I have worked to make sure that communities have access to reliable, clean, safe and sustainable utilities, and I will continue with that same dedication in this role,” Quiñones said in a statement.

“I look forward to working closely with Mayor Bass, the Board of Water and Power Commissioners and the committed employees of the department as we move towards our commitment of 100% clean energy by 2035. Together, we can achieve our transformational goals and shore up our systems to fight climate change and deliver for the people of Los Angeles.”

Quiñones most recently served as senior vice president of electric operations of Oakland-based Pacific Gas and Electric.

At PG&E, Quiñones was responsible for the territory’s electrical system operations and the power generation fleet as well as the management of electrical assets that support the California Independent System Operator.

Prior to that, she also served as senior vice president of gas engineering for PG&E and vice president of gas systems engineering for national grid, vice president of operations for Cobra Acquisitions and director of design, planning, construction & vegetation management as part of her nine years of work at San Diego Gas & Electric, which she started immediately after leaving full time military service.

While she has extensive experience in power companies, Quiñones also served as a commander in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves. She was assigned to USCG District 11, and as the USCG emergency preparedness liaison officer, where she was responsible for managing local, state and federal emergencies.