John D. McDonald, general manager of marketing for GE Energy’s transmission and distribution business and an IEEE Fellow, will serve as chair of the governing board of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced.

In this role McDonald will serve as the board’s chief spokesperson and will have primary responsibility for organizing its meetings and activities.

The board also chose John F. Caskey, senior director of the Power Equipment Division at the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, to be vice chair, and George Bjelovuk, managing director for marketing, research, and program development at American Electric Power, to serve as secretary. All three officers will serve one-year terms.

The NIST established the SGIP, which now has more than 450 participating and observing member organizations, to help it fulfill its smart grid responsibilities under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. The governing board manages and coordinates the technical efforts of the SGIP, which is both a forum for discussing smart grid technical issues and a vehicle for inter-organizational collaboration to respond to these issues and to address emerging requirements for smart grid standards.

“NIST is delighted that that these high caliber individuals have volunteered to fill the leadership positions on the SGIP governing board,” said George Arnold, NIST’s national coordinator for smart grid interoperability. “We are grateful to John McDonald and his fellow officers for investing their talent, time and energy to guide the SGIP in helping the nation transform its electricity infrastructure.”

“I’m invigorated by the challenge of helping so many committed energy industry leaders work together to frame the infrastructure that will power our planet for generations to come,” McDonald said. “Defining our standards will hasten the development of ever-improving solutions and help American innovation set the worldwide standard for smart grid efficiency, reliability and performance.”

Now numbering 23 members, the SGIP Governing Board will grow to 27 members after an election to fill four open slots is held later this month (see Smart Grid Interoperability Panel governing board elected). The governing board is elected by representatives of the SGIP’s participating member organizations, which are divided among 22 categories of smart grid stakeholders.