With the announced retirement of Claire Fulenwider, NEEA Executive Director, earlier this year, the Board of Directors of the organization engaged a national search for her successor. Recently the Board announced that Susan Stratton would be the Executive Director. Stratton brings more than 30 years of leadership experience in energy policy, utility regulation, economics, and professional education programs for utility executives. Stratton comes to NEEA from the Energy Center of Wisconsin, an independent nonprofit that promotes sustainable energy use through research, education and demonstration. She has led the Energy Center as executive director since 2001.
"NEEA is such an extraordinary collaboration that is transforming the market for energy efficiency in our region," said Roger Woodworth, NEEA board chair and chief strategy officer at Avista. "We can be confident that NEEA’s success will continue with such a proven and capable leader as we have found in Susan. Her experience in energy regulatory, economic, efficiency and policy matters and experience working with diverse stakeholders is exceptional."
Stratton has deep ties and experience working with regional and national energy efficiency leaders. As director of the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute, Stratton was responsible for providing executive education services and a forum for idea exchange for the public utility community. She also served as Administrator, Electric Division, for the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, an independent regulatory agency, leading a staff of more than 50 energy professionals.
During her tenure at the Energy Center, Stratton led the 2005 study of energy efficiency potential in the State of Wisconsin that moved the legislature to double the financial commitment to ratepayer-funded efficiency programs. She worked with the State of Indiana on development of a statewide energy efficiency program and assisted the State of Michigan with an assessment of energy efficiency potential.
Under her leadership, the Energy Center investigated Demand-Side Management practices in Indiana for the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. As a result the Commission adopted one of the most aggressive programs in the country, creating energy efficiency programs that will achieve annual energy savings that equal two percent of retail electric sales within 10 years.
In 2007 Stratton was appointed to the Wisconsin Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change and in 2008 was appointed to the Energy Efficiency Advisory Group for the Midwestern Governors Association. She served on the Board of the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and is co-chair of the Public Advisory Group on Energy Efficiency and Smart Grid for the Electric Power Research Institute.
She has served in leadership roles in the Wisconsin Public Benefits program and for the State Technologies Advancement Collaborative (STAC) program partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, Association of State Energy Research & Technology Transfer Institutions (ASERTTI) and National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO).
She is also former chair and member of the Association of State Energy Research & Technology Transfer Institutions, an organization that promotes and facilitates energy RDD&D communication, cooperation, coordination and collaboration among its members and with other public and private organizations.
Stratton holds a B.A in Economics from LeMoyne College, a M.A. in Economics from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a M.S. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.