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Kelly to retire as CEO of American Public Power Association end of 2019

Energy lawyer first joined APPA in 2004, has been CEO since 2014


Nov. 16, 2018
By Lori Sharn

Sue Kelly will step down as CEO of the American Public Power Association after more than 15 years with the group, including the last five as top executive. She plans to retire at the end of 2019.

Coleman Smoak, chair of the APPA board and general manager of the Piedmont Municipal Power Agency, said Kelly provided ample notice to allow time to identify and hire her successor. The board anticipates starting an in-depth assessment of the association’s future leadership needs in early 2019, followed by the hiring of an executive recruiting firm.

“Sue is committed to ensuring the association continues to thrive in 2019,” Smoak, said in a statement. “She and her excellent staff will continue their good work throughout next year to make this a smooth transition.”

Kelly, an energy lawyer, joined APPA in 2004 and became senior vice president of policy analysis and general counsel in 2010. She was promoted to CEO in 2014. Previously, she worked at two law firms and was senior regulatory counsel at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Kelly was named 2017 Woman of the Year by the Women’s Council on Energy and Environment.

APPA members include about 1,400 nonprofit, community-owned electric utilities in 49 states (all except Hawaii) and five U.S. territories.  The Arlington, Va.-based group reported revenue of $22 million in 2016.