For Immediate Release:
Contact: Marisa Lewis, 202-821-1694, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON (November 11, 2020) — In recognition of her efforts to advance effective regulation internationally, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners honored Diane X. Burman of the New York State Public Service Commission with the 2020 Terry Barnich Award at the Association’s 132nd Annual Meeting and Education Conference.
The prestigious award recognizes state commissioners and staff who promote international cooperation among utility regulators and the development of professional regulation. The award is named in honor of former Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission Terrence "Terry" Barnich, who served as chairman from 1989 to 1992. He was killed on Memorial Day, May 25, 2009, while working as the deputy director of the State Department office overseeing U.S. reconstruction projects in Iraq. The Terry Barnich Award is the highest honor bestowed by NARUC’s Committee on International Relations.
“Diane X. Burman is one of those colleagues that we look up to as she sets the standard high enough for all of us to develop a quality product — whether it is a paper, a presentation or involvement in NARUC’s international projects. Her belief that regulatory experiences can be exported and shared reflects Terry Barnich’s ethos,” said Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities Gas Policy Specialist and 2017 Terry Barnich Award recipient Andreas D. Thanos. “She works tirelessly to promote our regulatory achievements and to assist regulators abroad, always representing the best of what NARUC has to offer.”
Commissioner Ethan Kimbrel of the Illinois Commerce Commission added, “Most recently, Commissioner Burman’s leadership has been pivotal for the success of NARUC’s unique regional natural gas work under its Asia Gas Partnership. AGP supports the U.S. Government’s Asia EDGE initiative, and NARUC’s high-profile work under this policy program has achieved international recognition.
“Her instrumental leadership shepherded the AGP program — encouraging volunteer opportunities to NARUC Gas Committee members and highlighting the importance of contributing gas expertise to NARUC’s international work. She helped identify other volunteers, without whom this work would not have been possible.”
Burman earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Molloy College and her Juris Doctor degree from Fordham University School of Law. Immediately prior to starting with the New York State Public Service Commission, she was with the the New York State Senate following her role as the Chief Counsel to the New York State Senate Republican Conference. She served in this capacity under the Republican majority leader, and continued in this capacity under the Majority Coalition led by both the Republican majority leader and Independent Democratic Conference majority leader.
In her role as a Commissioner, she plays a key part in helping to regulate the state’s electric, gas, steam, telecommunications, and water utilities, as well as oversee the cable industry. Currently, she serves on the NARUC Board of Directors and is Chair of both the NARUC Gas Committee and the NARUC-Department of Energy Natural Gas Partnership Initiative.
Along with serving as a member of NARUC’s Committee on International Relations, she is also a member of NARUC’s Washington Action Program, the Committee on Critical Infrastructure, the Subcommittee on Supplier and Workforce Diversity and the Special Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety. She was recently appointed to the Taskforce on Emergency Preparedness, Recovery, and Resiliency as well as the Task Force’s Special Subcommittee on Lessons Learned from COVID-19.
Upon accepting this year’s Terry Barnich Award, Burman emphasized some of her key takeaways from participating in NARUC activities abroad, stating, “Working with other countries on global market energy issues will require all of us to tackle some serious challenges and unlock opportunities. In fact, participating in these international energy programs shaped my view that our regulatory energy connections internationally truly matter. Such participation made me even more passionate about embracing diversity and gender inclusion, about addressing energy poverty, about unlocking the potential of emerging technologies, about the need for proper grid management, and about the importance of a thriving energy workforce. At its core, the energy system must be reliable and resilient, and energy regulation must smartly evolve to meet the growing demands of our society.”
NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.