BPA aligns people and strategy functions to drive its culture and competitiveness

BPA aligns people and strategy functions to drive its culture and competitiveness 
New organization enhances strategic capabilities and workplace culture efforts


Portland, Ore. – The Bonneville Power Administration’s executive structure is changing. The realignment by Administrator and CEO John Hairston will strengthen the agency’s strategic capabilities and enhance its commitment to its workforce. 

The move recognizes ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic and concerns about workers’ mental health and wellbeing. It also comes as BPA prepares to refresh its agency strategy and negotiate new long-term wholesale power contracts with its public utility customers. 

“The Northwest depends on BPA to deliver reliable, affordable, carbon-free power every day. That job is only getting more and more complicated,” said Hairston. “It’s just good business to ensure we do all we can to attract and retain the best talent, and to provide a workplace that drives employee satisfaction and productivity. That’s the best way to ensure we succeed in performing our public service mission, meeting our responsibilities and providing excellent service to our customers.”   

Dan James, who joined BPA’s leadership team in 2016 as deputy administrator, will now direct the agency’s new Workforce and Strategy Office.

“Dan brings passion and compassion to our people and cultural awareness efforts, as well as a breadth of strategic planning experience,” said Hairston. “As our new chief workforce and strategy officer, he will ensure we’re effectively planning and executing our strategies and boosting our employee recruitment, retention and diversity and inclusion efforts.”

The realignment brings the agency’s people-related and strategy functions into the same executive portfolio and refocuses the deputy administrator role. BPA’s Workforce and Strategy Office will include the agency’s existing communications, human resources, and Civil Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity organizations. The agency will also add two new organizations:  

  • The new Technology Innovation and Strategy Office will bring together strategic planning, technology research and development programs. Staff in this new office will report to the deputy chief workforce and strategy officer, Shana Kuhn. Kuhn, who recently served as chief supply chain officer, was selected as the first deputy chief workforce and strategy officer.
  • The new Culture Office will focus on the agency’s culture strategy, employee engagement, and diversity and inclusion functions. The new organization will be overseen by a new chief culture officer.

“People and intellectual and social capital are all essential elements of BPA’s competitiveness,” said Chief Workforce and Strategy Officer Dan James. “I’m excited to lead this new organization and support our strategic and workplace goals to ensure BPA’s success in a fast-changing industry and dynamic job market.” 

Under the new structure, the agency’s government affairs and compliance, audit and risk functions will now report to the administrator.

BPA’s chief operating officer will continue to advise on mission operations and the chief administrative officer will continue to oversee the agency’s support and business services missions, including BPA’s industry leading Safety organization. The new organizational changes go into effect on Sept. 26.