Wyoming Energy Authority – Position & Candidate Specification for Inaugural Executive Director

Wyoming Energy Authority – Position & Candidate Specification for Inaugural Executive Director

Wyoming Energy Authority:

Position & Candidate Specification for Inaugural Executive Director

Overview of Wyoming Energy Authority

The Wyoming Energy Authority (WEA) was created by the Wyoming Legislature and will be effective and operational July 1, 2020, pursuant to W.S. 37-5-502, as created by 2019, Wyoming Session Laws, Chapter 34, Section 2, as amended by House Enrolled Act No. 23, 2020 Session; by merging the Wyoming Pipeline Authority and the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority. The WEA is to fulfill the mission as provided in statute (included herein below) and is led by an Executive Director who reports to the Wyoming Energy Authority Board. The Board is comprised of seven (7) gubernatorially appointed members with technical expertise and education in the fields of energy or natural resource including  coal, oil, gas, electricity generation & transmission, CO2, uranium, trona, rare earths, and renewables.

Executive Director is responsible for the overall planning, management, oversight and administration of the WEA, including staff as well as the development and execution of the policies, directives and strategies of the WEA, the office of the Governor, and the Joint Minerals, Business & Economic Development Committee.

The Legislature has appropriated funds in the current FY21-22 budget, subject to availability, change, and discretion of the Legislature, for the express purpose of developing technologies and technical programs in Wyoming. These specific appropriations for the Advanced Coal Technologies/Energy Commercialization Plan include:

  • unexpended obligations under W.S. 9-2-1008, 9-2-1012(e) and 9-4-207, for a carbon capture pilot project, up to five million dollars ($5,000,000.00)
  • appropriated four million dollars ($4,000,000.00) from the Wyoming research and innovation subaccount to be deposited into an account and available for expenditure by only the Wyoming energy authority for purposes of a statewide energy commercialization plan
  • any unexpended or unobligated remaining funds from the School of Energy Resources twelve million dollars ($12,000,000.00) appropriated match for research grants and contracts related to flameless pressurized oxy-combustion technology

Pursuant to 37-5-503, (a), the Authority in part is created to;

  • In consultation with the joint minerals, business and economic development interim committee and the governor, develop, administer, update and communicate the Wyoming energy strategy
  • Diversify and expand the Wyoming economy through improvements in the state’s electric and energy transmission infrastructure
  • Consolidate energy staff and functions existing in the state energy program and take actions to administer the state energy program, including:
    • Seek federal grants and loans;
    • Seek to participate in applicable federal programs; and
    • In accordance with applicable federal program guidelines, administer federally funded state energy programs.
  • Facilitate Wyoming’s production, development and transmission of energy and associated natural resources by planning, financing, constructing, developing, acquiring, maintaining and operating electric, energy export and energy transmission facilities, advanced technology facilities
  • Plan, finance, construct, develop, acquire, maintain and operate a pipeline or other transportation and distribution systems within or outside the state of Wyoming to facilitate the production, transportation, distribution and delivery of associated natural resources and energy
  • Aid with permitting, siting and other regulatory requirements
  • Develop and administer programs providing education on energy resources and emerging technologies
  • Assist with obtaining financing and funding for energy projects
  • Engage with international and domestic stakeholders on potential market opportunities, energy projects and technology development that will increase the value of Wyoming energy and associated natural resources
  • Seek federal grants and loans programs
  • Administer the state energy program

The main focus of the WEA Executive Director is to:

  • Examine energy-sector initiatives, discern what is important to Wyoming, and advance those technologies and projects
  • Maximize return on investment and leverage spending on Wyoming energy projects
  • Secure external funding for the development of the energy projects in Wyoming
  • Provide a “one-stop shop” for developers wanting more information on opportunities in Wyoming as well as maintaining an ongoing inventory of all projects and initiatives in Wyoming with an emphasis on creating synergy and reducing friction for value add projects
  • Understand, collate, and present a synthesized Wyoming energy approach and to local, state, federal, and international stakeholders
  • Creatively approach grants, fundraising and other forms of revenue collection
  • Be able to converse on technical matters with credibility and clarity
  • Engage constructively with Wyoming stakeholders, including the legislature, the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources, the Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute, the Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, the Wyoming Business Council, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, and others to ensure a coordinated approach to energy issues
  • Provide legislative and executive branch support
  • Understand and advocate for both preserving and promoting Wyoming’s energy resources, including the responsibility to work with the Joint Minerals Committee and Governors’ office to develop, administer, update and communicate the Wyoming energy strategy
  • Engage in market positioning forums in order to maximize the value of Wyoming’s energy portfolio for the greatest benefit to its citizens
  • Engage proactively in the areas of regulatory activity that impact the value and supply chain of Wyoming’s energy products
  • Execute contracts with private and public entities to meeting the goals and mission of the WEA
  • Intervene in judicial and administrative actions to preserve and enhance the development and transmission of Wyoming energy

Required Characteristics:

Core Principles and Responsibilities

In order to fulfill the duties of the Executive Director of the WEA, the following core principles and skill set will be necessary to meet and exceed the expectations of the WEA Board and stakeholders.

Vision, Leadership, and Strategic Planning

The Executive Director will share with all engaged – staff, local, state, federal and international stakeholders – a clear vision for the execution of the WEA mission and the future of Wyoming’s energy and mineral resources. The Executive Director shall also participate in the development and revision of the mission of the WEA as needed by market forces. The Executive Director shall develop and administer Authority’s objectives, strategy, and tactics, as directed by the WEA Board. The Executive Director shall formulate and submit a Strategic Plan for review, consideration, and approval by the WEA Board, for submission to the Governor and Legislature.

Administrative and Budgeting

The Executive Director is responsible for the overall management, implementation, and oversight of the WEA employees, contractors, and affiliated agencies. The Executive Director is responsible for the hiring, review, firing, and provision of benefits for all employees pursuant to the rules of the State of Wyoming.

The Executive Director is responsible for the overall budget of the WEA. This includes, but not be limited to, the development, presentation, approval, and management of the WEA budget to the Governor and the Wyoming Legislature in accordance with all appropriate local, state, and federal requirements.

The Executive Director is responsible for the development, presentation, approval, and management of all WEA loans, financing, and related programs.

The Executive Director and WEA are subject to the Wyoming Public Records act and any correspondence on behalf of WEA may be disclosed to third parties.

Project Development

The Executive Director shall lead the efforts to fulfill the mission of the WEA by implementing the planning, financing, construction, development, acquisition, maintenance, and operations of Wyoming energy systems within or outside the state of Wyoming to facilitate the production, transportation, distribution and delivery of associated natural resources and energy, including the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (https://www.wyomingitc.org/). The Executive Director share aid with permitting, siting and other regulatory requirements required to implement the projects undertaken by the WEA and to assist other Wyoming energy projects as necessary.

Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach

The Executive Director is responsible for the identification, development, engagement, and outreach to all WEA stakeholders. This includes sharing the mission and dissemination of scientific, engineering, policy, and economic information to support Wyoming’s near-term and long-term energy-related activities by interacting with the full value chain of stakeholders such as local, state, federal, international, first nations, and communities of interest (e.g. NGOs). The Executive Director’s engagement will include, but is not limited to, travel to project/site/stakeholder locations, participation in public meetings, listening sessions, presentations, and planning. The Executive Director shall develop and administer programs providing education on energy resources and emerging technologies relevant to Wyoming.

Legislation and Public Policy

The Executive Director shall actively educate, advocate, and promote issues relevant to the mission and goals of the WEA with local, state, and federal government and jurisdictions. The Executive Director shall administer the Wyoming state energy program.

Requisite Credentials, Qualifications, and Experience 

  • Demonstrated leadership and management of complex, matrixed organizations, and effective oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to collaborate, influence, and facilitate discussions with diverse stakeholders across multiple parties, work toward consensus, develop explicit understanding of which relationships are most important to the organization and its stakeholders, and build a network prioritizing those relationships
  • Bachelor’s degree, advanced degree preferred
  • 15-20 years’ experience in the energy sector evidencing a distinguished record of professional contribution and leadership in the advancement of energy resources and exceptional knowledge that crosses multiple energy sectors with demonstrated comprehension of domestic and international energy policy and regulation
  • Demonstrated ability to compete for and execute competitive grants
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively work with local, state and federal officials
  • Excellent persuasion, negotiation, and diplomatic skills
  • Understanding and experience with Wyoming energy sector and stakeholders is  strongly desired
  • Local, domestic, and international travel is required
  • Live or relocate to Wyoming

Application Process

The application process will begin immediately, initial deadline of May 18, 2020 however will remain open until filled. The process for application includes submission of a cover letter, salary requirements, vision statement, CV or resume, and references to WEA Chair, Mark Stege at mark.stege@blackhillscorp.com

The State of Wyoming and the Wyoming Energy Authority is an Equal Employment/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. Offers of employment are contingent on the successful completion of a background check.

Applications received will be reviewed by a search committee for completeness. Those applications that contain the requisite submission materials and meet the minimum requirements will be evaluated. Candidates may then be recommended to the full WEA Board for consideration and approval.