John D. McDonald

Director of Technical Strategy & Policy Development, GE Energy Management – Digital Energy

John D. McDonald, P.E., is director of technical strategy and policy development for GE Energy Management’s Digital Energy business. John has 40 years of experience in the electric utility industry. He joined GE in 2008 as general manager, marketing for GE Energy’s Transmission and Distribution (now Digital Energy) business. In 2010, John accepted his current role of director, Technical Strategy and Policy Development, where he is responsible for setting and driving the vision that integrates GE’s standards participation, and Digital Energy’s industry organization participation, thought leadership activities, regulatory/policy participation, education programs, and product/systems development into comprehensive solutions for customers.

He is a sought-after industry leader, technical expert, educator and speaker. In his 28 years of Working Group and Subcommittee leadership with the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Substations Committee, John led seven Working Groups and Task Forces who published standards/tutorials in the areas of distribution SCADA, master/remote terminal unit (RTU) and RTU/IED communications protocols. John was elected to the Board of Governors of the IEEE-SA (Standards Association) for 2010-2011, focusing on long term IEEE Smart Grid standards strategy. John was elected to chair the NIST Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) Governing Board for 2010-2012, and he is presently chairman of the board for SGIP 2.0 Inc., the member-funded nonprofit organization.

John is past-president of the IEEE PES, chair of the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) Board, member of the IEEE PES Region 3 Scholarship Committee, the vice president for technical activities for the U.S. National Committee of CIGRÉ, and the past chair of the IEEE PES Substations Committee. He was the IEEE Division VII director in 2008-2009. John is a member of the Advisory Committee for the annual DistribuTECH Conference, vice chair of the Texas A&M University Smart Grid Center Advisory Board, and member of the Purdue University Office of Global Affairs Strategic Advisory Council. John received the 2009 Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineer Award from Purdue University.

John teaches a smart grid course at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a smart grid course for GE, and substation automation, distribution SCADA and communications courses for various IEEE PES local chapters as an IEEE PES Distinguished Lecturer. John has published 60 papers and articles in the areas of SCADA, SCADA/EMS, SCADA/DMS and communications, and is a registered professional engineer (electrical) in California and Georgia.

John received his BSEE and MSEE (power engineering) degrees from Purdue University, and an MBA (finance) degree from the University of California-Berkeley. John is a member of Eta Kappa Nu (electrical engineering honorary) and Tau Beta Pi (engineering honorary), a Fellow of IEEE, and was awarded the IEEE Millennium Medal in 2000, the IEEE PES Excellence in Power Distribution Engineering Award in 2002, and the IEEE PES Substations Committee Distinguished Service Award in 2003.

John was editor of the substations chapter, and a co-author The Electric Power Engineering Handbook, co-sponsored by the IEEE PES and published by the CRC Press in 2000. John is editor-in-chief of Electric Power Substations Engineering, Third Edition, published by Taylor & Francis/CRC Press in 2012.


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