Jessica McDonald appointed new BC Hydro President and CEO
BC Hydro's board of directors announced that Jessica McDonald has been appointed as President and CEO of BC Hydro. The appointment comes after a three-month search initiated in February when current President and CEO, Charles Reid, announced plans to retire.
"I'm very pleased to have Jessica join the BC Hydro team. She brings a wealth of experience as a senior leader in the corporate and public sectors and has served in the most senior public service position in the provincial government," said Stephen Bellringer, Chair, BC Hydro board. "I also want to thank Charles for his strong and steady leadership over the past several years."
McDonald held a number of posts under various administrations in the British Columbia government beginning in 1991.
From 2005 to 2009, she served in the most senior public service position in government as deputy minister to the Premier, cabinet secretary and head of the public service, responsible for oversight of all government operations, including 36,000 employees and a $40 billion budget. In this position, she led landmark discussions on the New Relationship between government and First Nations and achieved a ten point increase in employee engagement that saw the BC Public Service recognized, for the first time, as one of the province's Top 50 Employers.
Most recently, McDonald has served as an independent consultant specializing in management and organizational performance, and commercial mediation and negotiation. In April, she finished a review of the Industry Training Authority. Her final report set out 29 recommendations to enhance and strengthen B.C.'s trades training system.
Jessica McDonald, new President and CEO of BC Hydro:
"I'm very excited about this opportunity. BC Hydro has an important role to play in growing British Columbia's economy and I look forward to leading a dedicated, skilled workforce and a strong capital investment program so that our customers can continue to benefit from an affordable, reliable and safe electricity system."
Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines:
"I thank Charles for his dedication and leadership and I congratulate Jessica on her new role. She has the right mix of skills and public and private sector leadership experience to ensure we keep rates down while BC Hydro invests in our electricity system. I look forward to working with her as BC Hydro continues to implement the 10-year-plan."
About the appointment process
McDonald's appointment comes after an extensive and thorough three-month search process that concluded with today's appointment. The search was led by a three-person committee of the BC Hydro board of directors, including the Chair.
The committee was assisted by an executive search firm external to BC Hydro, which conducted a nation-wide search to identify candidates from the public and private sectors for the board committee's consideration.
Reid and McDonald will begin a transition process that will last several weeks. Ms. McDonald will officially take on her new duties on July 14, 2014.
BACKGROUNDER: Jessica L. McDonald
- Jessica L. McDonald has been appointed President & CEO of BC Hydro effective July 14, 2014.
- McDonald currently serves on the Board of Directors for ICBC. Until most recently, she served as an independent consultant specializing in management and organizational performance, and commercial mediation and negotiation.
- McDonald served as a deputy minister in the British Columbia government for six years and served in a number of other posts in government under numerous different administrations beginning in 1991.
- From 2005 to 2009, she held the most senior public service position in the provincial government as deputy minister to the premier, cabinet secretary and head of the BC Public Service, responsible for oversight of all aspects of government operations. During her term, she led landmark discussions, including negotiation of the New Relationship between government and First Nations in British Columbia.
- As head of the BC Public Service, McDonald initiated a bold human resources renewal program, achieving a 10-point increase in employee engagement with positive gains sustained over multiple years, including during the economic downturn. These results were complemented by the organization's first-ever listing in B.C.'s Top 50 Employers, Canada's Top 100 Employers, Canada's Top 25 Family Friendly Employers, and Canada's 30 Greenest Employers.
- She is a member of the BC Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Canada, has served on the board of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, including chair of International Programs, and is a mentor at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.
- McDonald has been recognized nationally for her leadership in innovation and employee engagement including the IPAC/Deloitte National Gold Award for Public Sector Leadership. She has been named to Canada's Top 40 Under 40, Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women and Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame.
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