Board of Directors


Reji Kumar Pillai – Chair

Reji is the President of India Smart Grid Forum (www.indiasmartgrid.org) since its inception in 2011 and is an internationally renowned expert with over three decades of experience in the electricity sector in diverse functions covering the entire value chain and across continents. He is spearheading a mission to leverage technology to transform the electric grid in India and light every home at affordable cost through sustainable developmental models. Reji played the pivotal role in formulation of the Smart Grid Vision & Roadmap for India (August 2013) and the launch of a National Smart Grid Mission (March 2015) by Governmentof India, issue of Model Smart Grid Regulations (June 2015) by Forum of Regulators; and issue of Standards for Smart Meters (IS 16444 -2015 and IS 15959 Part 2) by Bureau of Indian Standards.

He is presently advocating for a “Right to Electricity Act” that will ensure lifeline supply of electricity to all citizens in the country. His current areas of research include: WiFi as Last Mile Connectivity Solution for Smart Metering, Smart Grids as Anchor Infrastructure for Smart Cities, Development of Smart City Maturity Model, Grid Interactive Buildings and Campuses (Smart Microgrids that can participate in evolving transactive  energy market), Future of Transportation; and Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Standards for India.

As an entrepreneur, Reji has built successful enterprises in India and overseas and exited them. Reji has studied Engineering, Finance, Management and Law; worked with NTPC and IBM and has been senior consultant with ADB, World Bank and USAID. A recognized thought leader in smart grid technologies and concepts of smart cities, Reji is a popular key-note speaker at international symposiums and conferences on smart grids and smart cities. He has also contributed to several articles and books; and write a fortnightly column “Smartening India” on VCCircle Weekly (vccircle.com).

In November 2016 Reji was unanimously appointed as Chairman of Global Smart Grid Federation (GSGF).


Makoto-WatanabeMakoto Watanabe – Vice Chair

Makoto Watanabe joined the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI, now the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) in 1987. He has worked in various MITI bureaus and Agency for Natural Resources and Energy departments dealing with policies related to electricity, petroleum, ceramics manufacturing, construction materials, automobiles, and others. At the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, he gained experience in research evaluation and management. Since October 2015 Mr. Watanabe has served as an executive director of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, where he is in charge of the International Affairs Department, Smart Community Department and Kyoto Mechanisms Promotion Department. Mr. Watanabe has a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Tokyo.


Alex Bettencourt – Secretary-Treasurer

Alex is a management consultant with over 10 years of extensive experience in the utility industry gained through his tenure at a global large management consulting firm, and as Managing Director of his own utility-focused consulting company, Elletrica. Consulting for various utility clients around North America,

Alex has deep expertise in the electric utilities business as a whole and has specialized in Transmission & Distribution Operations, with a focus on control room operations and massive business transformation projects. Alex is currently engaged one of the world’s leading Smart Grid projects, and is designing the new Smart Grid Control Centre. Known for his energy and drive, Alex has a B.A. in Economics from University of British Columbia and lives in Toronto.

Frederik Loeckx – Board Member

Since 2016, Frederik Loeckx serves as the General Director of Smart Grids Flanders, a member organisation on energy related subjects. Before, he was Chief Executive Officer of Triphase N.V. From 1996 to 2003, Mr. Loeckx worked for Utimaco Safeware and was responsible for the development of several product platforms. Since January 2003, he worked as Innovation Advisor at GOM Vlaams Brabant. He supported several companies and starters in taking their innovative ideas to market. Mr. Loeckx received the M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium in 1996. In July 2001, he obtained an MBA degree from the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.

ja-kyun_kooJa-Kyun Koo – Board Member

Having been stayed for 10 years in academia as a professor of Business Administration, Ja-Kyun Koo, who turned into a business man in 2005, is leading LS Industrial Systems growth combining management principles with business practices in his corporate management. In his inauguration as a new CEO in 2008, he announced LS Industrial Systems will open a new era of growth building global infrastructure with a long-term perspective. Accordingly, he selected ‘Open Culture’ as a new organizational culture and is now concentrating on developing its R&D capability and human resources.

In addition, he released the corporate vision, ‘Green Innovators of Innovation’ in shaping the future of LS Industrial Systems providing and completing customers’ innovation beyond simply providing customers’ value. He also set up long-term business vision achieving sales revenue of 4.5 trillion won and operating profit of 700 billion won. Given the nickname ‘Green CEO’, he will make green business as company’s new growth engine achieving more than 40 percent of sales revenue from it in 2015 by investing more than 140 billion won through 2011. He also has been taking an active part in KSGA’s activities since its establishment in May 2009 as the first chairman. KSGA started with 19 members, but it has been gradually expanded with 136 members at present under his chairmanship.


Steve Hauser – Board MemberGWA_16_HauserHeadshot

Mr. Hauser was recently appointed as CEO of the GridWise Alliance, a national industry led organization that promotes the modernization of the nation’s electricity infrastructure.  He is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on transforming the power sector to meet future economic, environmental, and energy security mandates. For more than 30 years, Mr. Hauser has been a leader in clean energy and smart grid technology development efforts including solar, wind, batteries, electric vehicles, GIS software, geothermal, microgrids, fuel cells, and building energy efficiency. He recently authored the lead chapter in a book titled “Smart Grid: Integrating Renewable, Distributed and Efficient Energy” published by Academic Press.

Mr. Hauser was the driving force behind the creation of the GridWise® Alliance, the Global Smart Grid Federation, and related smart grid organizations. Since 2000, he has brought together hundreds of companies to create a broad industry vision to transform the electricity sector, policies, markets, and technologies. Mr. Hauser has also led the creation of new international brands like GridWise® and GRID 21TM significantly raising the visibility of these issues with federal and state policy makers. He participated as a key advisor to the National Science and Technology Council’s Smart Grid Task Force resulting in the White House release of the “Policy Framework for a 21st Century Grid”. He has held senior management positions at various companies and DOE labs.


Oscar-Miranda-MirandaOscar Miranda – Board Member

Oscar Miranda is co-founder and Chairman of Smart Grid Mexico, a non-profit organization whose mission is encourage the development and establishment of smart grids in Mexico regarding reliability, efficiency, security and sustainability principles. Smart Grid México is working to link together public and private institutions in order to encourage the harmonic growth of Smart Grid solutions in Mexico preserving the public interest.Oscar has more than twenty years of experience developing Information Technologies (IT) Solutions in the Mexican Energy sector. He is employed at Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) since 1993, where he has held various positions regarding IT.
Currently, in CFE Oscar is responsible of IT Security, Software Strategy and Smart Grid IT perspective.Oscar Miranda has been member of several working groups and intergovernmental committees regarding IT, as a representative of the energy sector. Currently he is member of Federal IT Security committee, where he works on Industrial Control Systems Security and Critical Infrastructure.Oscar has a degree in Computing Engineering from National University in Mexico (UNAM), also he has studied Leadership, Innovation, Strategy and Corporate Government in several Universities in Mexico and USA. Currently, he is studying a master degree in Energy Management and their renewables sources at Technological Institute of Higher Studies at Monterrey, Mexico (ITESM).

New BoardKjell Sand – Board Member

Kjell Sand is currently acting as Scientific Manager in The Norwegian Smartgrid Centre and is employed at NTNU (The Norwegian University of Science and Technology) as associate professor at the Department of Electric Power Engineering.

He graduated as Electrical Engineer (M.Sc), 1976 from Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and received his Ph.D degree from NTNU in 1987. His areas of research and project work has been within: Smart grids, Power system planning, power system asset and risk management, power quality, power system reliability, regulatory issues (monopoly regulation of TSOs and DNOs, benchmarking), power system tariffs and cost issues, design and development of power system analysis software (Network Information System development).

He has been active for many years in international work within CIGRE, CIRED, EURLECTRIC, IEC and CENELEC.


Paddy Turnbull – Board Member

Paddy Turnbull joined GE Energy in early 2010 as part of the European Leadership team for the Digital Energy Business. The Digital Energy business provides integrated smart grid solutions and reliable power delivery systems to electric utilities as well as the oil & gas, critical infrastructure and industrial sectors. Paddy is focused on enabling GE customers to generate, move and consume energy more efficiently and is working on the development of smarter grids across Europe to cope with the challenges of the 21st Century.

He is also Chairman of Smart Grid Ireland, a not for profit advocacy body covering both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Paddy was a co-founder of this organization that has a twin track mission to articulate common issues that impact smart grid deployment in both jurisdictions. Smart Grid Ireland has produced White Papers on the case for the accelerated investment in the smart grid and the resultant economic benefits. His 35-year business career includes senior management roles in BT and Fujitsu Telecom Europe. In this latter role he was country leader for Ireland for 10 years with responsibility for their European Operations strategy development. He has extensive international business development experience including 5 years as the VP of Sales and Marketing for a US owned VC start up in the medical device industry. In this role he was also the Chair of the trade association Bio Business NI. Paddy has been an active member of several national working groups as part of Government task forces in the telecoms sector. From 2012 to 2016, he was the chairman of the Global Smart Grid Federation.


Valérie-Anne Lencznar  – Board Member

Valérie Anne Lencznar is the Managing Director for Think Smartgrids. She is a communication (CELSA) and Executive MBA (HEC) graduate. She has worked as a Communication Director in various public structures, before joining the Energy sector 15 years ago. As the Communication Director of the Gravelines nuclear power station, she worked on the expansion of ERDF in Poland and Hungary. Then, she joined the Executive Committee in charge of national dispatching at RTE.

From 2009 until 2015, she worked as Managing Director and RTE Coordinator on the Franco-Spanish project Inelfe. Inelfe consisted in building the underground electricity interconnection between Perpignan and Figueras, a world first, with a total budget of 700 million euros. This project prefigured the setting up of smart grids transportation in Europe.


Julien Pelcot – Board Member

Julien Pelcot is the President of the International Committee at Think Smartgrids. Graduated from the National Higher School of Aeronautics and Space (Ecole nationale supérieure de l’aéronautique et de l’espace- SUPAERO), he holds a master’s degree in Market and Corporate Finance from the Toulouse School of Economics. He started his career at Cartier and L.E.K Consulting.

Then, he became Director of Strategy at Alstom Power Systems where he played a significant role in conducting strategic negotiations to establish commercial partnerships in China, Russia, Ukraine and Germany. He began to manage projects in the electric sector since 2008, such as the power plant and the desalination plant of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. From 2010, he supervised projects in Algeria and Iraq. In 2011, he was appointed as Director of Strategy and Development for renewables, where he established several technological partnerships. In 2013, he takes the lead of the Hydroelectric Department. Since 2016, he accompanies, as Sales Executive, the development of electric utilities in France and Belgium at GE Energy Connections- Grid Solutions.


Guido Bartels – Board Member & Emeritus Director

Guido

Guido Bartels was appointed as IBM’s General Manager for the Nordic countries in August 2012. In this role he is responsible for all the company’s business in Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. Bartels currently also serves as a member of IBM CEO Ginni Rometty’s senior leadership team. Prior to this, Bartels was General Manager, Global Energy and Utilities Industry, and was based in the New York area. In that role he became a trusted advisor to many governments and businesses regarding the transformation of the energy systems around the world. From 2007 to 2010, he served as Chairman of the GridWise Alliance (GWA), the leading U.S. smart grid advocacy organization, and helped grow its membership eight-fold. Assisting many other countries setting up similar organizations, he initiated in 2010 the set up of the Global Smart Grid Federation (GSGF), an association of national and regional smart grid organizations which aims to help accelerate the modernization of the electric systems on a global scale. Bartels served as GSGF’s first Chairman from 2010 to 2012. In 2013 he was appointed as GSGF’s first Emeritus Director in recognition of his vision which led to the creation and rapid growth of the organization. As the only non US citizen he also was for two consecutive terms a member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC), comprised of the nation’s top experts in electricity policy, planning, and operations. And from its inception in 2011, Bartels has served on the Advisory Board of Energy Aid, a UK-registered charity dedicated to the global eradication of energy poverty.

Being a passionate spokesman for the transformation of the energy systems around the world earned him a variety of accolades, one of them from FierceEnergy, which ranked him in 2011 among the “15 Most Influential People in Energy”. Previously he has held several sales leadership positions in Europe, where he started his IBM career. Bartels is a Dutch citizen and earned an MBA degree in business economics from the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. He is married, has two teenage children and currently resides close to Copenhagen, Denmark.