January 19, 2021

Former FERC director to join SPP staff

Little Rock, Ark. — Southwest Power Pool (SPP) has chosen former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) senior staffer Leonard Tao to serve as director of FERC policy, effective Jan. 19, 2021. Tao will serve as SPP’s representative in Washington D.C., oversee FERC filings and work with federal government leaders on energy issues on behalf of SPP.

“We are excited to have Len join SPP’s regulatory team. Len has broad legal and regulatory experience and has tremendous respect in our industry. He will be a tremendous resource to SPP and our members as we move to a full-time presence in Washington, D.C.,” said Paul Suskie, executive vice president of regulatory policy and general counsel.

Tao has more than 30 years of experience working on energy policy matters. As director of FERC’s Office of External Affairs, he managed strategic communications concerning Congress, the states, consumers and industry. He also served FERC as a legal adviser to chairman Joseph Kelliher and represented FERC as a senior legal adviser in the Office of the General Counsel on matters including standards of conduct for transmission providers.

“I am thrilled to join SPP at this exciting time as it moves forward with its western real-time balancing market and transmission plans that will bring significant benefits to consumers. It is an honor for me to join this team of talented leaders and professional staff of an organization that provides critical services across 17 states,” Tao said.

Before his work at FERC, Tao served as an attorney in the Office of Legal Counsel to the President of the United States and as an administrative hearing officer in the U.S. Department of Energy. He is a graduate of George Washington University National Law Center, now George Washington University Law School, and earned an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Illinois.

About SPP:  Southwest Power Pool, Inc. is a regional transmission organization: a not-for-profit corporation mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure and competitive wholesale electricity prices on behalf of its members. SPP manages the electric grid across 17 central and western U.S. states and provides energy services on a contract basis to customers in both the Eastern and Western Interconnections. The company’s headquarters are in Little Rock, Arkansas. Learn more at SPP.org.

Len Tao

Derek Wingfield, 501-614-3394, dwingfield@spp.org