The American Gas Association (AGA) today announced that Karen Alderman Harbert will be the new president and CEO following a substantive search and transition planning process by a search committee of AGA’s board of directors and a unanimous vote by the full board. Harbert brings significant energy industry and policy expertise to this role from a variety of leadership positions in Washington, including her current role as president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute where she leads efforts to build support for meaningful energy action nationally and internationally through policy development, education and advocacy.
Harbert will take on the leadership role on April 1, 2019, succeeding Dave McCurdy who will retire on Feb. 28, 2019.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead AGA during this time of significant progress and change in the energy industry,” said Harbert. “AGA has seen tremendous success under Dave McCurdy’s leadership, and together with AGA's strong Board of Directors, we will continue our role as a leading voice for the natural gas industry, ensuring its strong position in the future of our nation’s energy portfolio. There is no doubt that America’s abundant natural gas supply has completely transformed our energy and economic security beyond what many thought possible, providing reliable, clean energy to millions every day. I look forward to focusing on our core mission of safely delivering natural gas to homes and businesses while addressing the changing needs of our customers.”
Prior to her role at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute, Harbert served as the assistant secretary for policy and international affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where she was the primary policy adviser to the secretary of energy and to the department on domestic and international energy issues. Concurrently, she was vice chairman of the board of the International Energy Agency. Before joining DOE, Harbert was deputy assistant administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean at the U.S. Agency for International Development where she had oversight of programs in 11 countries, totaling more than $800 million and 1,000 employees. In the private sector, Harbert worked for a developer of international infrastructure and power projects valued at more than $9 billion in countries in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
“I know Karen is the right leader for AGA as it enters into its second century representing the industry,” said Jim Torgerson, chair of AGA. “Her understanding and expertise in the energy sector as well as her reputation as a leader are two of the key factors that the AGA Search Committee took into account in her appointment. My colleagues and I on the AGA Board of Directors look forward to working with Karen as we take the industry forward together.”
Harbert is an appointed member of the National Petroleum Council, an industry advisory organization that advises the Secretary of Energy on issues related to the oil and gas industries, and she frequently testifies in front of Congress and provides analysis to the media, policymakers and industry leaders.
“Over the past decade, Karen Harbert has built our Global Energy Institute into one of the most respected and effective energy groups in the country,” said Tom Donohue, president and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “She has been a strong advocate for our members and for common sense energy policies that rely on free enterprise and take advantage of our nation’s energy resources. I congratulate AGA on selecting a talented and tenacious leader, and I look forward to working together.”