Appointed: Chair Designate 1 January 2021 and Chair 1 June 2021
Committee membership: Nominations
Tenure: less than 1 year
Career: Paula began her career as an economist Designate and has spent over 25 years in the energy sector in a variety of operational and corporate roles, gaining extensive experience of FTSE 100 and S&P 100 boards.
Paula joined Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) early in her career and, after roles in rates, regulation and power contracting, she was appointed as senior vice president of PG&E’s natural gas pipeline transmission subsidiary company. She later became CEO of Duke Energy North America, a power plant developer that was a subsidiary of Duke Energy. At AGL Resources Inc. (which was later acquired by the Southern Company), Paula advanced to the role as Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer and was recognised for her role in transforming the company to a multi-state energy and telecommunications business. She was then named CEO of Safeco Corp, a Fortune 500 insurer (which was acquired by Liberty Mutual) and spent a year as Chief Restructuring Officer at AIG during the 2008-09 financial crisis.
Paula has held Board level roles throughout her career, including at Air Products and Chemicals, Delta Air Lines Inc,, CBRE Group Inc, and TC Corporation, a major North American energy infrastructure company. Up until 31 December 2020, Paula was Non-executive Director and Chair of the Remuneration Committee at BAE Systems plc.
Currently, Paula is a Non-executive Director at General Electric Company and Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Remuneration Committee at BP plc. Her extensive knowledge of the evolving energy landscape at an international level will be a true asset to the Board and will be key in facilitating National Grid in its vision of leading the energy future.
Skills and Competencies: Paula’s strong business acumen can be demonstrated by her impressive track record of leading complex international businesses. In her board and leadership roles, Paula has demonstrated her decisive and pioneering nature which will be crucial in moving National Grid’s vision forward, as it embarks on its journey to clean energy and Net Zero by 2050. Her knowledge of the energy market and experience supporting organisations through transitional periods will be an asset to the Board as National Grid continues to grow and embrace opportunities.
Upon joining the Board, Paula stepped into the role of Chair of the Nominations Committee, which will be pivotal in ensuring that the succession and composition of the Board matches the culture, strategy and leadership needs of the Company. These skills combined with her insight into strategic and regulatory issues will enable her to lead and govern an effective Board.
Senior Independent Director and Chair of Remuneration Committee at BP plc
Non-executive Director of General Electric
President and CEO of PreferWest LLC
Chair of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance