The board of directors of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America announced the election October 13 of Dominion Energy President Diane Leopold as chairman of the INGAA board of directors for a one-year term from October 2016 to October 2017. Leopold is the first female chair of INGAA in its 70-year history.
“As the chairman of INGAA, Diane will be at the forefront of our industry’s efforts to promote pipelines as the essential link in achieving natural gas’ potential as a solution to the nation’s energy, environmental and economic challenges,” said INGAA President and CEO Don Santa. “With her varied experience working in natural gas transmission, construction and electric generation, Diane brings a unique perspective to the role. This is particularly important as natural gas, and natural gas pipelines, play an increasingly central role in our nation’s energy economy.”
Leopold’s main priorities as chairman are:
- Promoting public safety and protecting the environment, through the industry’s active engagement with regulatory agencies, including the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission;
- Enhancing public understanding of the direct consumer benefits of natural gas, the role of pipelines in meeting the nation’s environmental and economic goals, and the extensive regulatory process that guides their permitting and operation; and
- Increased sharing of industry best practices, to further improve natural gas pipelines’ strong record of performance.
“The interstate natural gas pipeline industry serves a vital purpose in delivering safe, reliable, economic energy to individual homes and businesses throughout North America,” Leopold said. “In addition, natural gas plays a critical role in the manufacturing sector and the electric industry to enable them to comply with both existing and proposed environmental initiatives, including the nation’s climate goals. We need to better connect our industry’s big numbers – thousands of miles of pipelines, billions of dollars in private investment, decades of safe and effective service – with the benefits to individual homes and businesses. In the end, that is the reason we are here. And it is why the natural gas pipeline network will remain an important driver of our nation’s economic success, for decades to come.”
Leopold joined Dominion Resources (NYSE: D), the parent company of Dominion Energy, in 1995. During her 21-year career at Dominion, she has held leadership roles in operational, project management, commercial and financial management positions in several Dominion business units.
As president of Dominion Energy, Leopold is responsible for more than 12,000 miles of interstate natural gas pipeline in eight states, 22,000 miles of distribution pipelines, 1.3 million natural gas customers and one of the largest natural gas storage systems in the US. Prior to assuming her current post in 2014, she served as senior vice president of business development and generation construction and senior vice president of Dominion Transmission.
She also is a board member of the American Gas Association.
Leopold graduated from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and electrical engineering. She received a master’s degree in electrical engineering (energy conversion, power and transmission) in 1993 from George Washington University and an MBA in 1998 from Virginia Commonwealth University.
INGAA’s board of directors also elected Jeff Bruner, president of Iroquois Pipeline Operating Company, as first vice chairman, and Frank Ferazzi, vice president and general manager of Eastern Interstates, Williams – Transco, as second vice chair.