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PRESS RELEASE | NYISO Names Gizman Abbas, Joseph Oates to Board of Directors

March 17, 2021

Rensselaer, NY -- The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) announced today the selection of Gizman Abbas and Joseph Oates to its Board of Directors, effective April 20, 2021.

The selection of Messrs. Abbas and Oates is the result of the NYISO’s stakeholder process in which representatives from each market sector work in collaboration to conduct a national search and recommend potential directors to the Board. The NYISO Board of Directors is an independent body comprised of energy experts with deep and diverse experience.

“I couldn’t be more proud and excited to welcome Gizman and Joe to the Board at this time in the NYISO’s history,” said Chairman Daniel Hill. “We face significant challenges and opportunities as the NYISO continues its work on the grid in transition and Gizman and Joe bring a depth of knowledge and expertise to the Board that will be particularly useful in helping guide the organization into the future. I speak for the entire Board when I say we’re fortunate to welcome Gizman and Joe as Directors."

“Joe’s knowledge of the New York electric system is unlimited,” Chairman Hill continued. “He knows the issues, the state and federal policies, as well as the engineering challenges we face with bringing renewables onto the system while maintaining grid reliability." 

“Gizman’s expertise in finance and markets, and his experience with New York’s urban communities brings an important aspect to the Board.” said Chairman Hill. “Gizman’s background and perspective is a tremendous asset at a time when competitive markets and the electric grid adapt to significant changes in policy and new technologies."

Gizman Abbas

Mr. Abbas has nearly 30 years of energy and investment experience. Born in Ethiopia, he has lived or worked in New York since 2002 after joining Morgan Stanley in support of its energy and utilities, forest products / natural resources, and technology groups. He is a founder of Direct Investment Development, a real estate investment firm based in New York City that is focused on sustainable development in underserved urban communities in the U.S.  He was also a founding partner of Twenty First Century Utilities, whose mission was to transform regulated utilities to a model of mass adoption of clean, low-cost, energy-producing and energy efficient technologies.  Mr. Abbas worked for Southern Company as a cooperative engineer while attending Auburn University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.  He also holds a Master of Business Administration in finance and accounting from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.   

Joseph Oates

A New Yorker, Mr. Oates has more than 35 years of experience in the energy industry. He served various roles of increasing responsibility during his 33 years with Con Edison. Most recently Mr. Oates was Chairman of Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses (CEB), focusing on clean energy infrastructure investments. Under Mr. Oates’ leadership Con Edison’s CEB became the second largest solar energy producer in North America. Mr. Oates also was Chairman, President and CEO of Con Edison Transmission, a subsidiary targeting federally regulated transmission infrastructure investments.  Spanning his distinguished career with Con Edison he also served as Senior Vice President, Shared Services; Vice President, Energy Management; Treasurer; and Vice President, Electric Operations. Mr. Oates holds Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering degrees from Manhattan College, and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Fordham University.  He served in various other Board of Director roles including as Chairman of the Honeoye Storage Corporation, and Vice Chairman, President and Treasurer of Arts Westchester.

We are an independent, not-for-profit corporation responsible for operating the state’s bulk electricity grid, administering New York’s competitive wholesale electricity markets, conducting comprehensive long-term planning for the state’s electric power system, and advancing the technological infrastructure of the electric system serving the Empire State.