Engineering & Technology Innovation Officer

Company Name: Seattle City Light
Phone Number: (800) 525-9082
City: Seattle
State/Provence: Washington
Zip: 98124
Job Title: Engineering & Technology Innovation Officer
Number of Openings: 1
Position Type: Engineering
Posting Start Date: August 8, 2017
Salary: DOE
Salary Per: Per Year
Work Time Type: Hours


The Engineering & Technology Innovation Officer (ETI Officer) reports directly to the General Manager/CEO and supervises 108 personnel, including the following direct report functions:

  • Energy Delivery Engineering – includes design engineering and distribution support services across the utility (non-hydro excepting substations).
  • Asset management and large projects – includes direction to planning, technology and assessment development, standards, and joint use functions as well as business support to generation asset management initiatives.
  • Technology Innovation – includes development and implementation of larger-scale progressive and innovative programs, policies, processes, and procedures. Consumer-driven innovation and technology programs are in another division of the organization.
  • A Business Unit Administrator managing continuous improvement initiatives.

The ETI Officer provides leadership and strategic direction in transforming Seattle City Light into a safe, high performance organization through excellence in varied and complex activities related to the design, engineering, and delivery of safe and reliable electrical service to customers.

Key responsibilities and deliverables may include, but are not limited to:

  • Participates in the formulation and adoption of utility-wide goals and objectives, strategic plans, processes, and policies as a member of the utility’s executive leadership team.
  • Overseeing the most complex transportation and utility projects in the service territory.
  • Recommends strategic goals, strategies and policies to the General Manager and governing bodies that are designed to foster, develop and sustain a high performing organization that is positioned to provide excellent performance and customer service.
  • Provides leadership for the unit that is responsible for the system design and functionality of the utility’s transmission system, substations, and network/distribution systems and oversees energy delivery design and distribution engineering for the utility to provide for focused engineering services which support the utility’s business needs and objectives.
  • Oversees the development of strategies associated with asset management for the transmission and distribution systems of the utility which include the reliability and performance of assets, standardized design and work processes, long-range asset planning and capital allocation for utility.
  • Recommends, communicates and ensures implementation of approved policies and procedures that support utility goals and comply with City requirements and appropriate regulatory agencies.
  • Oversees strategic integration of operational and emerging technologies.
  • Recommends and implements new technologies and innovative processes to provide the utility with a competitive business advantage to meet customer demands
  • Represents the utility in national, regional and local forums to further the utility’s interests.
  • Directs and oversees the business unit’s overall financial and performance management activities to ensure support of the goals and objectives identified in the Strategic Plan.
  • Directs the development of performance expectations and the collection of performance data to support the allocation of resources in the Business Unit and the utility.
  • Ensures all divisions are managed within budgetary and fiscal guidelines.
  • Establishes and nurtures highly effective relationships with employees, customers and stakeholders that support and advance business goals and objectives and works to remove barriers that hamper inter- and intra-department communications.
  • Oversees and directs union-management relationships to negotiate mutually acceptable solutions to accomplish goals.
  • Supports the development of employees that results in improved performance and creates and maintains a work environment that builds talent to ensure the continuity of leadership for the organization.
  • Strives to improve the utility to deliver best in class customer service to fulfill our mission.
Experience Required:


Ideal candidates will offer excellent oral and written communication skills and proof of successful leadership within an electric engineering delivery department, preferably with both transmission and distribution assets. It is preferred that candidates offer a master’s degree in engineering or related field and substantial management and leadership experience in the utility industry gained through 15 or more years progressively responsible assignments; at least 10 of which were as a leader in a large, complex and multicultural and diverse organization.

Seattle City Light operates its own balancing authority in the Western WEEC and NERC region. In dispatching energy from its units, City Light plans first around the flows of the rivers in order to meet all license requirements and to protect salmon, then looks to economically dispatch generation to provide the greatest value of the hydroelectric system. Ideal candidates would offer leadership experience in such an environment.

City Light’s delivery system consists of 656 miles of transmission circuit and 2,300 miles of distribution circuit. There are 15 major substations in the system with 5 (unit) substations and 56 commercial/industrial substation transformers. City Light operates a large and complex downtown network distribution system. Leadership experience that includes operation of a large distribution system containing downtown network operation is desired.

As the ETI Officer is a key contributor to the success of City Light, it is desired that candidates offer demonstrable knowledge setting strategic direction for energy delivery engineering and asset management in an electric utility. Additional experience is desired working with highly sensitive and complex energy delivery systems and processes and with the formulation and communication of energy delivery policies and programs that support the goals of the utility. The ETI Officer also actively promotes, supports and manages key strategic City-wide initiatives including those related to fair and equal employment and diversity and justice in the workplace. Successful candidates must demonstrate their commitment-to and involvement-in activities that create and sustain a workplace free of racism and discrimination and that values multiculturalism and diversity as a workforce and community asset.

Candidates are expected to offer demonstrable knowledge making decisions that impact the development and implementation of progressive and innovative programs, policies, processes and procedures that support the strategies of the organization.  Experience influencing the development and promotion of an innovative and effective energy delivery service model that supports and sustains the long-term growth and productivity of the organization is desired. Candidates should also offer proven experience leading professionals through collaboration and influence; fostering and modeling effective customer service; and a management style to coach, counsel and develop employees, including those of different racial, cultural and demographic backgrounds. He or she should offer an ability to provide management direction in an environment of change, willingness to make difficult and challenging decisions, provide clear expectations and directions, foster creativity and problem-solving, and perform the physical requirements and essential functions of the job.

Demonstrated system project and budget (capital and O&M) management skills and experience are a requirement for the next ETI Officer.

While generally self-directed in this category, it is preferred that candidates offer experience providing technical leadership to regional power suppliers and state-level or regional industry associations could be beneficial to candidates.

As the ETI Officer is required to provide departmental presentations to governing or advising elected and appointed officials, it is desired that candidates offer experience and strong capability in public speaking.

Experience managing within a union environment is highly desired.

How to Apply:


Seattle City Light, a department of the City of Seattle, is one of the nation’s largest municipally owned utilities. We have approximately 1,870 employees, with the majority represented by 15 unions. The organization maintains a high-level vision to keep electricity affordable, reliable, and environmentally sound. Today, City Light is a recognized national leader in energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.

Seattle City Light is a municipally owned electric utility providing service to around 430,000 customers in a 131 square-mile service territory, including the City of Seattle. City Light produces total annual operating revenues of just over $1 billion, of which $83 million comes from Wholesale Power Revenues, $816 million from Retail Power Revenues, $98 million from Other Revenues and $21 million from Other Wholesale Revenues. The utility’s bond rating is AA- (S&P) and Aa2 (Moody’s).

The all-time system peak is 2,014 MW.

Seattle City Light hydro plants have a capacity of 1,810 MW.  The Boundary Hydro and the Skagit River Projects are the largest hydro plant facilities. The capacity of these is 1,050 MW and 711 MW respectively. The Skagit project received many awards for environmental stewardship and enjoys an environmentally sound reputation. Three smaller plants located on the Cedar River, South Fork Tolt River, and at Newhalem Creek produce the remaining totaling 1,849.6 MW of Hydro Capacity.

Seattle City Light also has contracted for capacity from a wind farm located on the eastern Washington/Oregon border. City Light’s fuel mix from owned and supplied resources for 2009 was 91% hydroelectric, 4.5% nuclear, 2% wind, 1.5% coal, and 1% other.

Seattle City Light is governed by the City of Seattle’s City Council and Mayor. The City Council is responsible to set rates.

Helpful Web Links:

Seattle City Light – Main Web Site

Quick Facts PDF

Annual Reports

Full Web Site on Strategic Planning ActivityFull Strategic Plan

Magazine Article on Grid Modernization (from 2016)

Employee Benefits

Compensation and Relocation

Compensation is open and dependent upon experience. Seattle City Light also offers a full complement of benefits. Web Site on Seattle, WA

Seattle City Light will incur the customary costs associated with relocation according to its policy.

Seattle City Light is an equal employment opportunity employer.

Accommodations for people with disabilities provided upon request.


Please submit resume and cover letter (preferred before September 1) to:

Joyce Gallo
Senior Recruiter
(800) 525-9082
Mycoff, Fry & Prouse LLC

Resumes are preferred in PDF format.

Posting End Date: August 14, 2017