GTM Focus is a free-to-attend 90 minute virtual series with exclusive content on the most pressing challenges and opportunities in clean energy. These virtual discussions will bring together leaders from utilities, developers, technology groundbreakers, investors and regulators with Wood Mackenzie subject matter experts and GTM’s editorial team. The first session of the series will shed light on how National Grid, Consumers Energy, Portland General Electric and IBM are rethinking customer experience at a time when electricity users need them most.

Utility Leadership in Managing a Crisis

From the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on load and grid operations to the increasing threats to reliability and resilience of extreme weather events and wildfires, it is now as crucial as ever to keep the lights on. These testing times also represent an opportunity to leverage customer analytics and personalization tools, improve and increase user touchpoints and add visibility into the role of utilities in society. During this exclusive virtual session introduced by Wood Mac’s subject matter experts, we will sit down with several utility c-level executives to hear how their experiences managing the unprecedented disruptions of today will help them navigate the crisis of tomorrow.


Patti Poppe
Patti Poppe
President & CEO, Consumers Energy

Patti Poppe is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jackson, Michigan based CMS Energy and its principal subsidiary, Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility and the nation’s fourth largest combination utility. Consumers Energy provides electricity and natural gas to 6.7 million of Michigan’s 10 million Lower Peninsula residents. She was elected to this position in July 2016.

Poppe held a variety of automotive management positions and served as power plant director at Detroit, Michigan based DTE Energy before returning to her hometown of Jackson to join Consumers Energy in 2011.

Poppe earned a master’s degree in management from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University.

As President and Chief Executive Officer, Poppe has focused on connecting the company more closely with its customers and adapting lean operating system principles throughout the utility. She also has led the company’s commitment to a triple bottom line in service of people, the planet and prosperity. At a time of unprecedented change in the energy industry, Poppe has helped to uniquely position CMS Energy and Consumers Energy into a clean and lean company able to act as a world class performer delivering hometown service.

Badar Khan
Badar Khan
President, National Grid

Badar Khan is the President of National Grid US. He is focused on driving the company’s vision of exceeding customer expectations and making the energy systems of tomorrow possible. He leads National Grid’s core, regulated business operations, serving 20 million people across Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.

Badar has a passion for learning and creating empowered organizations, inspiring leaders and employees to be the best versions of themselves, unlocking their fullest potential and enabling significant commercial success.

Badar has extensive experience spanning retail power, gas and energy-related services, renewable energy, wholesale energy trading, power generation and oil & gas exploration and production. Badar is a forward-thinking leader with a track record of leveraging technology to transform the way homes and businesses engage with and use energy.

Previously, Badar served as President of National Grid Ventures, where he was responsible for a growing global portfolio of energy projects, technologies, and partnerships that will help accelerate the development of a clean energy future. These included a portfolio of subsea electric interconnectors connecting the UK to low-cost renewable energy in Europe, an onshore wind & solar renewable energy developer in the US Midwest, competitive electricity transmission infrastructure connecting onshore and offshore renewables in the US Northeast, and partnerships with distributed energy companies in the US.

Prior to that, Badar worked at Centrica plc for 14 years in the UK and USA, including four years as CEO of Direct Energy, the North American subsidiary.  

He holds an engineering degree from Brunel University London, and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Badar has served on the Leadership Council of the Advanced Energy Economy, an association of businesses working to make energy more secure, clean and affordable. He also previously served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Houston Partnership, the University of Houston Energy Advisory Board and on the executive council of TechNet, a group of leading technology CEOs advocating for the innovation economy.

Maria Pope
Maria Pope
President & CEO, Portland General Electric

Maria Pope is president and CEO of Portland General Electric, Oregon’s largest electric company.

Pope joined PGE in 2009 as chief financial officer and treasurer. She also oversaw the company’s power generation facilities, wholesale power marketing and long-term resource strategy as senior vice president of Power Supply, Operations and Resource Strategy. From 2006 to 2008, she was a member of PGE’s board of directors.

Prior to PGE, Pope was CFO of Mentor Graphics Corporation. She also held senior operating and finance positions within the forest products and consumer products industries. She began her career in banking with Morgan Stanley.

Pope serves on the Oregon Global Warming Commission. Her other board and commission activities include The Nature Conservancy, Electric Power Research Institute and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Pope is an alumna of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.

Brad Gammons
Brad Gammons
Global Managing Director, Energy and Utilities, IBM

Brad is currently serving as Global Managing Director for the IBM Energy and Utility Industry. He has overall responsibility for the the industry’s strategy, consulting service, sales, solution development, marketing and operations. He is also the Business Leader for IBM’s cross industry Green Horizon initiative.

Before joining IBM, Brad served as a Captain in the United States Air Force. There he held positions in Strategy and Planning and as Flight Crew member on the B-52. Brad's formal education includes a BA in Political Science and a MBA in Finance, as well as extensive professional training while serving in the military.

Brad is a member of the IBM Growth and Transformation Team, Global Enablement Team and Industry Academy. 

Agenda Themes
  • Leveraging customer analytics and digital tools for better customer experience
  • The impact of COVID-19 on load and grid operations throughout the US
  • How utilities are lessening the financial burden for their customers
  • What utility leaders have learned from past crisis
view full agenda