PR 13-21 BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021
CONTACT: Maryam Habibi, 503-230-4413
BPA aligns people and strategy functions to drive its culture and competitiveness
New organization enhances strategic capabilities and workplace culture efforts
Portland, Ore. – The Bonneville Power Administration’s executive structure is changing. The realignment by Administrator and CEO John Hairston will strengthen the agency’s strategic capabilities and enhance its commitment to its workforce.
The move recognizes ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic and concerns about workers’ mental health and wellbeing. It also comes as BPA prepares to refresh its agency strategy and negotiate new long-term wholesale power contracts with its public utility customers.
“The Northwest depends on BPA to deliver reliable, affordable, carbon-free power every day. That job is only getting more and more complicated,” said Hairston. “It’s just good business to ensure we do all we can to attract and retain the best talent, and to provide a workplace that drives employee satisfaction and productivity. That’s the best way to ensure we succeed in performing our public service mission, meeting our responsibilities and providing excellent service to our customers.”
Dan James, who joined BPA’s leadership team in 2016 as deputy administrator, will now direct the agency’s new Workforce and Strategy Office.
“Dan brings passion and compassion to our people and cultural awareness efforts, as well as a breadth of strategic planning experience,” said Hairston. “As our new chief workforce and strategy officer, he will ensure we’re effectively planning and executing our strategies and boosting our employee recruitment, retention and diversity and inclusion efforts.”
The realignment brings the agency’s people-related and strategy functions into the same executive portfolio and refocuses the deputy administrator role. BPA’s Workforce and Strategy Office will include the agency’s existing communications, human resources, and Civil Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity organizations. The agency will also add two new organizations:
“People and intellectual and social capital are all essential elements of BPA’s competitiveness,” said Chief Workforce and Strategy Officer Dan James. “I’m excited to lead this new organization and support our strategic and workplace goals to ensure BPA’s success in a fast-changing industry and dynamic job market.”
Under the new structure, the agency’s government affairs and compliance, audit and risk functions will now report to the administrator.
BPA’s chief operating officer will continue to advise on mission operations and the chief administrative officer will continue to oversee the agency’s support and business services missions, including BPA’s industry leading Safety organization. The new organizational changes go into effect on Sept. 26.
The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale, carbon-free hydropower from 31 federal dams in the Columbia River Basin. It also markets the output of the region’s only nuclear plant. BPA delivers this power to more than 140 Northwest electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA also owns and operates more than 15,000 circuit miles of high-voltage power lines and 261 substations, and provides transmission service to more than 300 customers. In all, BPA provides nearly a third of the power generated in the Northwest. To mitigate the impacts of the federal dams, BPA implements a fish and wildlife program that includes working with its partners to make the federal dams safer for fish passage. It also pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain safe, affordable, reliable electric power for the Northwest. www.bpa.gov
Announces plans to restore national headquarters to Washington, D.C.; Western headquarters will be expanded
WASHINGTON — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today outlined steps that the Department plans to take to rebuild and strengthen the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) following years of transition and upheaval among the workforce. These changes, which will be done in coordination with Congress, will improve the function of the bureau, help provide clarity for the BLM’s more than 7,000 employees across the country, maintain and increase access for stakeholders, and enable the bureau to better serve the American public and fulfill its mission as the steward of nearly one-fifth of the nation’s public lands.
In a meeting with BLM employees today, Secretary Haaland announced her intention to restore the BLM national headquarters to Washington, D.C., ensuring the bureau has a presence in the nation’s capital. Under this plan, the BLM’s current presence in Grand Junction, Colo., will grow and expand as the bureau’s official Western headquarters. This office will reinforce western perspectives in decision-making and have an important role to play in the bureau’s clean energy, outdoor recreation, conservation, and scientific missions, among other important work as a leadership center in the West.
“The Bureau of Land Management is critical to the nation’s efforts to address the climate crisis, expand public access to our public lands, and preserve our nation’s shared outdoor heritage. It is imperative that the bureau have the appropriate structure and resources to serve the American public,” said Secretary Haaland. “There’s no doubt that the BLM should have a leadership presence in Washington, D.C. – like all the other land management agencies – to ensure that it has access to the policy-, budget-, and decision-making levers to best carry out its mission. In addition, the BLM’s robust presence in Colorado and across the West will continue to grow.”
“The past several years have been incredibly disruptive to the organization, to our public servants, and to their families. As we move forward, my priority is to revitalize and rebuild the BLM so that it can meet the pressing challenges of our time, and to look out for our employees’ well-being,” added Secretary Haaland. “I look forward to continuing to work with Congress, Tribes, elected officials and the many stakeholders who care about the stewardship of our shared public lands and healthy communities."
The Department intends to locate the Bureau Director and other key leadership positions in the national headquarters where they can ensure coordination with Congress, other federal agencies, and stakeholders that visit Washington, D.C. Additional senior personnel will operate from the Western headquarters, as part of the more than 95 percent of BLM employees that are already located outside of Washington, D.C.
The Secretary’s vision for the BLM comes after substantive engagement with employees, Tribal consultations, and meetings with local, state, and federal leaders. The Secretary visited Grand Junction in July, and pledged to provide clarity and direction. Additional logistics and planning will occur in the months to come in close coordination with BLM employees, Congress, Tribes, and elected leaders.
The Department plans to take a number of additional steps, in coordination with leaders in Congress, to ensure that the BLM is best positioned to serve the American public. This includes establishing a new BLM Foundation – as authorized in legislation – to support the bureau’s efforts and to help build new partnerships. The BLM will strengthen the government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes by supporting Tribal Liaisons in each state. The BLM will also seek to improve coordination and capacity to implement clean energy projects.
The previous administration relocated the BLM headquarters to Grand Junction, Colo., a move that failed to deliver promised jobs across the West and drove hundreds of people out of the agency. Of the 328 positions moved out of Washington, D.C., only 41 of the affected people relocated, with 3 moving to Grand Junction. This led to a significant loss of institutional memory and talent. The headquarters transition will be conducted with a goal of minimizing further disruption to employees and their families. Outside of the aforementioned core leadership positions, the BLM does not plan to require employees to relocate.
U.S. Department of the Interior: The Department of the Interior (DOI) conserves and manages the Nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people, provides scientific and other information about natural resources and natural hazards to address societal challenges and create opportunities for the American people, and honors the Nation’s trust responsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated island communities to help them prosper.
Bureau of Land Management: This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.