Canadian utility BC Hydro has announced the appointment of Jessica McDonald as its new President and CEO, effective July 14, ending a three-month search that began when current President and CEO Charles Reid announced his plans to retire.
McDonald has held a number of posts under various administrations in the British Columbia government since 1991 and most recently served as an independent consultant specializing in management, organizational performance, and commercial mediation and negotiation. She finished a review of the province’s Industry Training Authority in April, with 29 recommendations to enhance and strengthen British Columbia’s trades training system.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” McDonald said. “BC Hydro has an important role to play in growing British Columbia’s economy, and I look forward to leading a dedicated, skilled workforce and a strong capital investment program so that our customers can continue to benefit from an affordable, reliable and safe electricity system.”
McDonald served as deputy minister to the Premier, cabinet secretary and head of public service from 2005 to 2009, where she was responsible for overseeing all government operations, including 36,000 employees and a US$36.6 billion budget.
While in this position, McDonald led landmark discussions on the relationships between government and First Nations groups, while also achieving a 10-point increase in employee engagement that saw BC Public Service recognized as one of the province’s Top 50 employers.
“I’m very pleased to have Jessica join the BC Hydro team,” company chair Stephen Bellringer said. “She brings a wealth of experience as a senior leader in the corporate and public sectors and has served in the most senior public service position in the provincial government.”
McDonald has also been recognized with an IPAC/Deloitte National Gold Award for Public Sector Leadership, while also being named to Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women and Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame.
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