Jill C. Anderson
Chief of Staff to the President and CEO, New York Power Authority
Jill Anderson always had a knack for science, though she also served as the editor of her high school newspaper and competed on the speech and debate teams.
In her role now as chief of staff to NYPA’s president, she still uses both her scientific side and her writing and communication skills.
In college she had narrowed her focus to engineering, viewing it as a way to build and improve things and make the world a better place.
“And in a way, that’s what drew me to public service after my time in the private sector,” she says.
At NYPA, she monitors and prioritizes key issues that come across the CEO’s desk, as well as working on state energy efficiency, solar-power initiatives and the New York Energy Highway.
“It’s very fast-paced, and I’m constantly being challenged,” she says of her job. “You never really master the chief-of-staff role.”
How did your past jobs get you to where you are now?
“I worked in the private sector in electric utilities and in oil and gas, and I spent time working on the smart-grid program at Con Edison, and doing some work looking at international utilities. That really prepared me to do the job I have now, because I have the perspective of businesses and how businesses are impacted by policy and by government.”
If you were not working in politics, what would you be doing?
“I would see myself writing cookbooks, or maybe doing a cooking show. I really enjoy baking and cooking, and I’m always bringing in treats for the office here.”
What will your business card say in five years?
“I’d like it to say ‘Vice President.’ I’m a director right now, so that would be the next promotion for me. What’s important is that I’m still in a position where I can be doing something that is contributing to the organization. I also want to round myself out and do something in the finance or strategy area, but still in the energy industry.”
If you could have a superpower, what would it be, and why?
“I would really like, especially in this job, to be able to freeze time or fix problems just by wiggling my nose, kind of like Samantha on Bewitched.”
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