Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Richard Glick today made two key leadership appointments at the Commission: Sarah Venuto as Director of the Office of External Affairs and Kim Smaczniak as a special counsel in the Office of General Counsel.

“I’m excited to welcome both Sarah and Kim to the FERC community,” Chairman Glick said. “They have extensive experience in the energy sector and they will help FERC pursue its mission as we shape the Grid of the Future. I know they will shine in their new roles.”

Sarah Venuto has significant expertise in political and legislative strategy, coalition building and federal policy with a focus in energy, environment and natural resources. She has served as the Democratic Staff Director for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and before that was Chief Counsel to U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) – the current Energy Committee Chair. She has also worked for several energy companies and an energy-related trade association.  Most recently, Sarah was Vice President, Public Policy at Duke Energy, where she worked to advance the company’s net zero climate goals.

Venuto earned her Juris Doctor from the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from the George Washington University. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Nelson, and their two children.

Kim Smaczniak will join FERC from the Clean Energy Program at Earthjustice, where as Managing Attorney she led and set the strategic direction to accelerate the power sector’s transition to clean energy. She also oversaw the program’s litigation strategy at the state and federal level. Prior to that, she served as a climate change negotiator for the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Change, where she led the U.S. climate change mitigation portfolio, including international engagement and coordination with domestic agencies. Smaczniak previously served as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. 

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University, her Master of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. 



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This page was last updated on April 05, 2021