Wanda Reder, a recognized leader in the electric utility industry, has far-reaching expertise in distribution start-up ventures, technology introductions, mergers, and instituting organizational improvements. Her successful career can be attributed to an executive leadership style focused on a commitment to a collaborative, visionary, and results-oriented approach in all her undertakings.

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Accomplishments

Reder is the Chief Strategy Officer at S&C Electric Company based in Chicago. After joining S&C Electric in 2004 as Vice President of Power Systems Services, she grew the service business, expanding field service and project-related work globally. Her pioneering work to reliably integrate wind, solar energy and utility-scale battery storage into traditional utility systems led her team to develop new compact S&C interconnection approaches, significantly reducing interconnection equipment cost for utility-scale wind and solar farms. As a result, over 15 operational battery storage systems were connected to the grid in the U.S., battery storage was utilized for the first time for wind and solar farms, and the stage was set for some of the largest battery energy storage projects in North America.

more accomplishments

Prior to S&C, Wanda held leadership positions at Exelon and Northern States Power, with responsibilities for asset investment strategy, standards, engineering, systems planning, and reliability and work management. She also oversaw unregulated business start-ups, distribution automation, automated meter reading and development of conservation and load management initiatives. Her initial involvement with IEEE came about when she was President and CEO of Ultra Power Technologies, a start-up that performed in-situ testing of medium voltage underground cable, working in conjunction with IEEE PES Insulated Conductor Committee to advance testing practices.

Leadership qualities

An IEEE fellow and exemplary volunteer leader, Ms. Reder was recognized with the 2014 IEEE Richard M. Emerson Award for her leadership in the IEEE Smart Grid program and in the continued growth of the Power and Energy Society (PES), including the creation of its Scholarship Fund program.

As the first woman President of the IEEE Power & Energy Society, Reder instituted programs during her 2008-2009 tenure that targeted marketing toward early-career engineers, increasing Society membership from 20,000 to 33,000+ in a few short years.

Reder also shepherded the launch of the IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative, with the goal of attracting the best and brightest young engineers into the power industry. Since 2011, 942 scholarships have been released to 587 undergraduate engineers, attending more than 150 US and Canadian universities. The program has doubled the number of engineering students taking power at the undergraduate level in the US and Canada and, as the first IEEE Signature Program, serves as a model for other IEEE Societies.

Reder is also responsible for the launch of “IEEE Smart Grid”, positioning IEEE as the leading, definitive source for information on smart grid technology. The initiative is seen as an outstanding example for the development of other multi-disciplinary technologies throughout IEEE, and serves as a model for increasing community connection through social media.

more leadership qualities

In 2010, Reder was invited by Secretary Chu to participate on the US Department of Energy (DOE) Electricity Advisory Committee, providing advice to the DOE on modernizing the Nation’s electricity infrastructure, and implementing the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Reder has chaired the Smart Grid Sub-Committee, which oversaw $9 billion of American Recovery and Reinvestment since 2010, and recently led the authorship of a summary report that will be released to US Congress in 2016.

Additional background information

As a passionate supporter of Women in Engineering (WIE), Wanda has been featured as a technical and IEEE leader in the IEEE Women in Engineering Magazine. Between 2010 and 2011, she served as a governing board member of the IEEE WIE. In 2014, in recognition of Reder’s accomplishments and efforts to foster a more diverse leadership, IEEE/PES Women in Power created the annual IEEE PES Wanda Reder Pioneer in Power Award.

Throughout her career, Reder has been active in several associations. She served as ASAE Student Chapter President when the Student Chapter won the Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year award in 1986. While employed at the Northern States Power (NSP) Corporation in Minneapolis, she became engaged with the NSP Engineers Association, where she served as President and Secretary. The Minneapolis Engineering Society also recognized her with an award as the 1992 “Young Engineer of the Year”.

additional background information

In 2003, Reder won the “GE Power Systems – Innovation Award” for a GE small world deployment at Exelon. During the same year, she was recognized as a volunteer with the IIT Girls Technical Charter School. In 2008, she received the South Dakota State University 2007-2008 Distinguished Engineer Award.

Reder continues to be an industry thought-leader, as evidenced by numerous speaking engagements, magazine articles, and media interviews, including EE Times, Smart Grid Today, Forester, Gartner, GreenTech Media, FortNightly, Wall Street Journal, and Examiner.com. In December 2010, the IEEE Institute featured an article on Reder, naming her the “Grid Guru”.