Scott Simms, CEO & Executive Director
Scott Simms joined the Public Power Council (PPC) as the Executive Director in the summer of 2019. With more than 25 years of energy industry experience, Scott provides strategic leadership for the collective interests of the region’s consumer-owned utilities that are preference customers of the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Scott’s broad knowledge of the issues facing Northwest public power and focus on finding collaborative solutions are critical to ensuring that PPC members can continue to deliver reliable, affordable, and carbon-free power to thousands of businesses and millions of residents every day. In addition to his role as CEO & Executive Director of PPC, Scott also serves as the Chairman of the Columbia River Treaty Power Group, a coalition of consumer-owned and investor-owned utilities seeking to rebalance the Columbia River Treaty with Canada.
Prior to joining PPC, Scott spent 13 years at BPA, most recently as the Communications Director. He also held other leadership positions within BPA, including Manager of Long-Term Power Planning and Secretary to the U.S. Entity for the Columbia River Treaty negotiation process. Prior to joining BPA, Simms held senior communications positions at Portland General Electric and worked for Pacific Northwest-based public affairs firms, providing strategic communications and policy counsel to large commercial clients.
A Northwest native, Simms hails from Snoqualmie, Washington. He studied Public Relations and Political Science at Washington State University in Pullman, graduating with distinction. When he’s not at PPC, Simms and his wife and daughter spend their free time exploring the Pacific Northwest and traveling internationally.
Michael Deen, Policy Director
Michael Deen is currently the Policy Director at the Public Power Council (PPC), where he joined in 2013 as a Senior Policy Analyst. His work at PPC takes an analytical focus towards a wide variety of power supply, markets, rates, and transmission issues at BPA and throughout the region. Most recently prior to joining PPC, he was a consultant with Regulatory and Cogeneration Services (RCS) and worked primarily as an expert witness on power supply, rate design, and regulatory policy issues on behalf of large industrial customers. Before RCS, Deen held energy-related positions in Portland that included time as a Policy Analyst with PPC as well as an associate position at the consulting firm of McCullough Research. Deen holds an MBA in Business Analytics from Oregon State University is a graduate from Reed College with a BA in Psychology.
Sean Ford, Energy Policy Analyst
Sean Ford joined the Public Power Council (PPC) in summer of 2023 as an Energy Policy Analyst. He works with all PPC staff, supporting our initiative priorities in a number of areas. Sean has a B.S. in Quantitative Economics (QE) from Portland State University including a minor in Mathematics and significant coursework in Data Science.
Karen Heim, Director, Communications & Administration
Karen Heim joined the Public Power Council (PPC) in the spring of 2016 as an Administrative Specialist. As the Director, Communications & Administration Karen plays a multi-dimensional role within the office. She manages all office accounts for PPC, leads the planning and implementation of large off-site board meetings and events, and provides support to the CEO & Executive Director and Staff. She also directs the development and implementation of PPC communications goals and strategies by leading in the development and creation of digital, video, audio, and print content for PPC.
Prior to joining PPC, Karen worked as a Project Manager at a large-scale event production company where she oversaw all levels of planning from inception to execution. Karen graduated from Gonzaga University with a BA in History and has an MA in History from the University of San Diego.
Michael Linn, Director, Market Analytics
Michael Linn joined the Public Power Council (PPC) in summer of 2019. He specializes in the advanced economic analysis of wholesale power products, markets, and costs. Prior to joining PPC Michael worked in the Commercial Business Assessment group within Bonneville Power Administration’s Transmission organization. While at BPA, he worked on policy issues related to wholesale power and transmission and developed quantitative models for financial analysis and forecasting. During his eight-year tenure at BPA, he served as an expert witness for the agency and provided expertise on a range of complex qualitative and quantitative topics related to BPA rate design, policy development, and Pacific Northwest energy markets. Michael has a degree from Washington State University in Economics and a M.S. in Economics from Portland State University.
Irene Scruggs, Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel
Irene Scruggs joined the Public Power Council (PPC) in 2011. In her role, Irene represents the interests of PPC’s member utilities in all administrative, regulatory, and judicial proceedings, and advises the Executive Committee, the Executive Director and PPC staff on legal and policy issues. She provides critical advice on a broad range of legal issues pertaining to PPC members’ wholesale power supply and transmission arrangements with the Bonneville Power Administration. Irene also advises PPC on corporate governance, employment, and contracts issues.
Prior to joining PPC, Irene was in private practice with a large firm in Portland, where she focused on commercial litigation. She guided her clients through resolution of complex cases, either through litigation or otherwise. Irene is experienced in all litigation arenas, including trials, mediations and arbitrations, and appears frequently in administrative proceedings and in federal trial and appellate courts. She has been selected twice as a Rising Star in litigation by the Oregon Super Lawyers. In addition, Irene works closely with PPC’s public utility districts, cooperatives, and municipalities outside the courtroom, monitoring legislation, advising on emerging opportunities and risks, and counseling on the application of existing laws.
Irene graduated magna cum laude from Gonzaga University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a minor in analytical finance, and from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2006 as a Juris Doctor. She is a member of the Oregon State Bar and the Washington State Bar.
Lauren Tenney Denison,
Director, Market Policy & Grid Strategy
Lauren Tenney Denison joined the Public Power Council (PPC) in the spring of 2018 and specializes in the advancement of regional policy pertaining to power system planning and grid operations, including issues related to transmission access, rates, and organized markets. In that capacity, Lauren represents the interests of PPC member utilities in the development of complex operational and regulatory issues, technical analysis, and overall policy positions. She frequently facilitates diverse groups on consumer-owned utilities to define common interests and works with the Bonneville Power Administration, regional stakeholders, and regulatory agencies to develop solutions that meet those interests.
Prior to joining PPC Lauren spent ten years working in Bonneville Power Administration’s Transmission organization. There she worked on a wide range of transmission policies, including those related to rates, planning, and provision of service. In that role, Lauren worked with internal and external stakeholders on complex technical issues and served as an expert witness for the agency.
Lauren is a graduate of Lewis and Clark College with a B.A. in Economics and a Graduate Certificate in Energy Policy and Management from Portland State University.
Finance and Benefits Compliance Director