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WASHINGTON (November 14, 2023) — In recognition of his efforts to advance effective regulation internationally, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners honored Chair David Danner of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission with the 2023 Terry Barnich Award at the Association’s 135th 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 chair of the Illinois Commerce Commission Terrence "Terry" Barnich, who served as chair 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.
“Chair Danner has been a leader for NARUC in international relations for several years. He served as chair of NARUC’s Committee on International Relations from August 2016 to November 2019, was active on the Committee before then, and he remains currently active,” said NARUC Executive Director Greg White.
“Most recently and most relevant to this year’s Terry Barnich award, Chair Danner served as chair of the International Confederation of Energy Regulators from February 2020 to August 2023. The Eighth World Forum on Energy Regulation held in Lima, Peru, in August 2023 was held under his leadership. Chair Danner has championed the ICER Chronicle, which is a periodic publication committed to the enhanced exchange of energy regulatory research and expertise through dialogue and cooperation on a global scale. He currently serves as ICER co-vice chair.
“In addition, he has engaged in NARUC international programs activities as a volunteer, and he has supported the participation of Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission commissioners and staff in international programs activities. I cannot think of a more deserving individual for the Terry Barnich award than Chairman David Danner.”
Danner has a B.A. from Columbia University, an M.A. in communications from the University of Washington, and a law degree from George Washington University.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee appointed David Danner as chair of the Utilities and Transportation Commission in February 2013 and re-appointed him to a second term in December 2018. Prior to his appointment, Danner had been the agency’s executive director since 2005 and secretary since 2008. Before that, he served as executive policy advisor to Washington Governor Gary Locke on energy, telecommunications, finance and elections issues.
In 2004, Locke named Danner to the state Pollution Control Hearings Board and Shoreline Hearings Board, where he served before moving to the commission. Danner has also been a telecommunications attorney in private practice, counsel to the Washington Senate Energy and Utilities Committee and senior policy advisor at the Washington State Department of Information Services.
Danner serves on the Board of Directors at NARUC. He is a member of the State Technology Services Board and the Executive Council of the National Council on Energy Policy. He also serves on advisory boards of the Critical Consumer Issues Forum and the Center for Public Utilities at the New Mexico State University College of Business.
When asked to emphasize some of his key takeaways from participating in NARUC activities abroad, Danner said, “As the chair of NARUC’s International Relations Committee and chair of ICER, I am more convinced than ever of the value of NARUC’s international work. Regulators around the world are dealing with the same issues we face here at home, whether it’s pipeline safety, rate design, carbon reduction, wildfire response, or the adoption of new technologies, and we all have much to learn from and share with each other. The friendships we have built over time are invaluable not only to regulators, but also to the image and acceptance of our nation as a trusted partner on the world stage. I am truly honored by this award, and hope to continue my work with NARUC’s international programs going forward.”
To learn more about the award, visit www.naruc.org/barnichaward.
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.