Kurt Miller Named as NWPPA’s Incoming Executive Director

(Oct. 17) Yesterday, the Northwest Public Power Association Board of Trustees selected Kurt Miller to be the association’s next executive director, effective Dec. 1, 2023. Miller is currently the executive director of Northwest RiverPartners, a regional hydropower advocacy group. The previous NWPPA executive director, Scott Corwin, vacated the position in August to lead the American Public Power Association as its new CEO. Kieran Connolly has been serving as interim executive director in his absence.

“What is so terrific about Kurt is that he brings both enthusiasm and talent to the association,” said NWPPA Board President Doug Schmier. “I am excited to start working with him on the issues that greatly affect our NWPPA membership and watch him guide us into the future. And I would like to thank Kieran for his tenure as interim and everyone on the search committee for their time and insight. Through the process, we found our next executive director and are confident in saying he is the absolute correct person for the position.”

Miller comes to NWPPA with over 30 years of experience in the utility industry and has been the executive director of Northwest RiverPartners since 2019. While there, he developed a five-year plan based on successful advocacy models, bringing together government affairs, public relations, and grassroots/grass-tops infrastructure to improve public policy outcomes. He improved the financial health and capabilities of the organization by increasing the number of members by 25% and revenues by over 50% in four years. Miller also established himself as a national thought-leader and spokesperson for hydropower, speaking before the Western Congressional Caucus for both the House and the Senate and serving as a keynote speaker at HYDROVISION International.

“I couldn’t be more honored to be named the new executive director for NWPPA. I am excited to build on NWPPA’s legacy of providing a strong value proposition to its members,” said Miller. “I believe there are opportunities to leverage NWPPA’s strengths to provide new benefits to our members across the Western states and Canada.”

Prior to Northwest RiverPartners, Miller worked for Portland General Electric for 20 years. At PGE he worked in multiple areas, including organizational change management; customer training and education; smart grid technologies and new customer programs; and power supply trading analytics. His achievements there include leading the successful completion of the region’s largest smart grid implementation project; leading the largest organizational change management effort for wholesale operations; and developing PGE’s Business Case for Diversity and twice chairing PGE’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. Prior to working for PGE, he founded the first successful wholesale electricity brokerage office in the United States. Miller started his career working as an economist for the Bonneville Power Administration.

Miller graduated magna cum laude from Willamette University with a Bachelor of Science in economics. While there, he also received the Theodore Shay Prize in Economics. In addition, he has an Accelerated Leadership Development Program certificate from PGE and a Utility Executive Course certificate from the University of Idaho. In 2022, Miller was a speaker at Van Talks in Vancouver, Washington, where he shared the importance of thoughtful energy policies.

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