Powering Strong Communities

Dawn Lindell Named as Next General Manager and CEO of Seattle City Light

Seattle, Wash., Mayor Bruce Harrell on Dec. 21 announced that he has selected Dawn Lindell to serve as the next General Manager and CEO of Seattle City Light.

An 11-member selection committee was announced in June 2023 and convened to review top candidates from across the country.

Members of the committee represented business, housing, labor, environmental, and energy leaders, many with experience in clean energy and environmental justice.

Feedback from current Seattle City Light employees and key stakeholders also informed the final selection of Lindell as the next General Manager and CEO.  

In March 2023,Harrell announced that Debra Smith, who was General Manager and CEO at the time, would transition into an advisory position with the utility to evaluate the utility’s long term strategic directions and structure. Smith, who began her role at the utility in October 2018, retired in late 2023.

Lindell brings more than 25 years of experience in the utilities industry, having served in executive leadership roles in Colorado and California. She will join Seattle City Light in February 2024.

Lindell “has the expertise, leadership, and vision to ensure quality, reliable, and affordable services to our residents and to accelerate our clean energy efforts as we build healthy communities now and in the future,” said Harrell.

Lindell comes to Seattle from Burbank, Calif., where she served as the General Manager of Burbank Water and Power, a public power utility.

Prior to her executive leadership role at the Burbank utility, Lindell was the Senior Vice President and Rocky Mountain Regional Manager for the Western Area Power Administration in Lakewood, Colorado. There she set strategic direction for more than 400 federal and contract employees of the Rocky Mountain Region for power marketing in four states, grid maintenance in six states and grid operation in 10 states with a more than $400 million annual budget. 

“I am so honored to have the opportunity to work with the fine team of Seattle City Light professionals. City Light has delivered low carbon energy to the Seattle community for decades. It will be challenging and exciting to carve out new generation sources and transmission paths to create Seattle’s energy future together,” said Lindell in a statement.  

Over her career, Lindell has focused on increasing environmental sustainability in collaboration with community, improved technology strategy and innovation, led disaster management and recovery, developed effective diversity, equity and inclusion programs, and transformed utility teams into high performing organizations, a news release from the City of Seattle noted.

Lindell has been recognized for her leadership and industry expertise, being named as one of Colorado’s Top Women in Energy in 2019 and the 2022 WE3 Water/Energy Nexus Innovator of the Year. 

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