John Hairston has been named by the U.S. Department of Energy to serve as acting BPA administrator and CEO after Elliot Mainzer departs Sept. 1, Bonneville announced Aug. 28.
Hairston has been with Bonneville Power Administration for 29 years, including a stint as its first chief administrative officer from 2015 to 2019, before being selected as COO in October 2019.
Hairston brings a "unique perspective to the job having served in multiple capacities in Bonneville's Power Services, regulatory and compliance organizations and most recently the senior executive office," BPA said in a release.
"John has made a lasting and significant impact on the Bonneville Power Administration over the past 29 years, and I am proud to announce him as the interim Administrator," said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette in a statement.
Hairston joined BPA in 1991, as an economist in the Rates Forecasting and Rate Design organizations. He then performed various positions in Energy Efficiency. In 2002, he was assigned to implement and manage the BPA Power Services Slice product, which accounts for a sizeable portion of BPA's annual sales with a portfolio of its largest public customers. In 2006, he was named BPA's chief compliance officer, and in June 2015 was selected as BPA's CAO.
As COO, Hairston has been responsible for Power Services; Transmission Services; Environment, Fish and Wildlife; and Customer Support Services. He also oversees BPA's Business Transformation Office and plays a critical role in the agency's "sustained focus on disciplined cost-containment and grid modernization," Bonneville said.
Hairston holds a bachelor's degree in economics from The Southern University, a master's degree in urban studies from Portland State University and a Juris Doctor from the Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law.
Tom McDonald, executive VP of Compliance, Audit, Risk Management and Equal Employment Opportunity, will serve as acting COO. McDonald has more than 20 years of experience leading and managing complex and highly regulated compliance and governance programs.
Christopher Frost, CCO, will serve on detail as executive VP of Compliance, Audit, Risk Management and Equal Employment Opportunity. Frost has been with BPA for 13 years in a number of governance, audit and compliance roles.
Mainzer announced his departure Aug. 6, and will join the California ISO on Oct. 1 to succeed Steve Berberich as president and CEO.