Patty Durand, a former Georgia Institute of Technology Smart Grid and Energy Research leader, has been appointed as full time executive director of the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC), an independent non-profit group working to foster mutual understanding between industry and consumers regarding the creation of smart grids.

Durand takes over from Jesse Berst, managing director of GlobalSmartEnergy (GSE), who has acted as the organization’s interim executive director since its inception in March 2010. With the group’s momentum continuing to build, it has grown to the point where a dedicated full-time leadership is required.

Durand’s work at Georgia Tech focused on smart grid research projects where she helped submit almost $10 million in grants to ARPA-E and DOE. She also serves on the board of the Smart Grid Society for the Technology Association of Georgia. Prior to her work at Georgia Tech, Durand was the state director for the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club, where she focused on energy policy and programs.

“Few issues are as crucial for our nation as the transformation of our energy infrastructure – and our behaviors – to a more sustainable basis,” said Durand. “The Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative is uniquely qualified to facilitate this process. I look forward to continuing to advance the work (Berst) has begun.”

Berst will continue to advise the SGCC, with emphasis on educational and outreach activities.