OEA Org Chart

What We Do

The Office of External Affairs (OEA) is the Commission's primary contact point with the Congress, the public, international, federal, state, and local government offices, interest groups, and the news media. It is responsible for developing public relations and other outreach strategies for the Commission.

State, International and Tribal Affairs Division 

Commission's liaison with state and local governments, international governments, trade associations, energy markets (RTOs and ISOs) and regulated industry.

The Division also coordinates and centralizes the interaction and communication between the Commission, state regulators and other governmental entities, international public utility regulatory bodies, industry, trade associations, regional coalitions, the general public, consumer, community, public interest groups, and landowners affected by projects before the Commission. The Division also disseminates general information to all the affected groups regarding Commission activities, initiatives and policy directions.

Major areas of responsibilities are:

  1. Provides information on Commission programs and activities to state and local governments, trade associations, ISOs, RTOs and regulated industry, through outreach materials, responding to written and telephone inquiries, and attending conferences widely attended by these constituents.
  2. Performs the liaison role for informing, advising and educating state officials on the Commission's programs and activities. Coordinates agency participation in events sponsored by state governments and affected groups and administers and manages the Commission's Outreach and Communications Program proactively to identify and conduct outreach activities with key state regulators and non-governmental organizations.
  3. Coordinates the aspects of the Commission's ongoing strategic communication planning process that involves major policy issues and relations with national and trade associations, energy industry groups and regional coalitions or subgroups.
  4. Coordinates discussions with stakeholders, conducts information and demonstration sessions, conferences and workshops.
  5. Establishes lines of communication with regulated industries and interest groups to disseminate information and assess the impact upon and reaction of diverse constituencies to Commission activities.
  6. Acts as liaison with foreign governments, providing information and assistance as requested by the Chairman. Coordinates contacts and communication with representatives of foreign governments and obtains country clearance from the State Department for agency officials traveling outside of the United States.
  7. Serves as a Commission representative to the U.S.-Canada Bilateral Energy Consultative Mechanism (ECM) committee meetings and maintains liaison with embassies of foreign government on matters of concern to the Commission and the Department of State and the Agency for International Development.
  8. Assists other Program Offices in developing informational materials for outreach to the states, regions, and regulated industries.

The State, International and Tribal Affairs Division is led by Director Robert Thormeyer.

Government Affairs Division

Commission's liaison with the Congress and Federal government departments and agencies. It is responsible for developing and maintaining an effective working relationship with the Senate, the House of Representatives, Congressional committees and Committee staff, and Federal government departments and agencies.

Major areas of responsibilities are:

  1. Manages the presentation of the Commission's legislative and budgetary programs before congressional appropriations and authorizing committees.
  2. Advises and assists Commission members and staff in preparing for appearances before congressional committees. Coordinates and reviews the preparation of Commission testimony submitted to Congress, prepares briefing materials for Commission witnesses, coordinates the preparation of responses to pre- and post-hearing questions for the record and reviews transcripts of FERC-related congressional hearings.
  3. Provides information on Commission programs and activities to members of Congress and staff and arranges for formal and informal briefings in response to congressional requests.
  4. Advises the Chairman, the Commissioners and staff on congressional actions affecting the Commission and provides guidance on the most effective responses.
  5. Compiles legislative history materials for congressionally enacted legislation which affects Commission programs and activities.
  6. Reviews and maintains files on congressional correspondence.
  7. Builds communication and promotes cooperation with each Federal agency that interacts with the Commission.
  8. Serves as an information resource for the Commission on relevant decisions, issues and activities of other government agencies.
  9. Coordinates Commission participation in activities, seminars, hearings, conferences and workshops sponsored by other Federal agencies, commissions and departments.
  10. Assists in expediting the processing of permits, licenses and certificates and other activities involving coordination with other Federal agencies and commissions involved in the Commissions processes by developing strong work

The Government Affairs Division is led by Director Annelise Rickert

Media Relations Division

The Division of Media Relations works with the Chairman’s office and program office leaders to clearly communicate the Commission’s policies, actions and viewpoints to the news media and the public. The Media team does this through the Commission’s website, social media platforms, podcasts and videos, and through traditional methods of drafting news releases, convening news conferences and conducting interviews.  

The Media Relations team features the considerable talents of four news media professionals and three specialists trained in digital audio, video, graphics and web design and operations.

Major areas of responsibilities are:

  1. Plans, initiates and pitches media stories that further FERC’s strategic priorities.
  2. Advises and assists Commission members and staff in preparing for news conferences and media interviews and provides guidance on the most effective responses.
  3. Coordinates and conducts news conferences, media interviews and inquiries for Commissioners and staff when requested.
  4. Responds to media inquiries about Commission programs and activities.
  5. Develops and maintains regional and national media mailing lists for Commission news releases.
  6. Writes, edits and produces all news releases.
  7. Monitors media coverage and provides clarifications or corrections when necessary.
  8. Develops informational and educational materials, publishes agency newsletter (FERC Insider).
  9. Prepares daily News Clips for distribution to the Chairman and Commissioners and their staff, and Office Directors.
  10. Assists other Program Offices in developing informational materials for outreach to the public.
  11. Manages the content of FERC's enterprise-wide Internet, including planning, posting and overall presentation.
  12. Develops and implements Internet content guidelines and policies and ensures compliance with federal standards.

The Media Relations Division is led by Director Mary O’Driscoll.

Strategic Operations & Special Projects Division

Provides guidance to and oversees the management of the Commission’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) program, in compliance with strict statutory and regulatory deadlines and requirements and the annual reporting of its operation to Congress.  Also oversees the Commission’s Critical Energy/Electric Infrastructure Information (CEII) processes and operations.

Responsible for providing and coordinating administrative, personnel and management support services; prepares special ad hoc studies, analyses and/or reports as required; and provides advisory and implementation support in the development of policy and procedures encompassing any of the OEA program responsibilities.

Major areas of responsibilities are:

  1. Manages the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) program and Critical Energy/Electric Infrastructure Information (CEII) Program.
  2. Reviews the requirements for administrative resources such as personnel, equipment, supplies, and other support services.
  3. Provides coordination of work activities which require separate input from multiple Divisions, such as the annual budget and procurement calls, and establishment and realignment of the budget and reporting codes.
  4. Coordinates all requests for personnel actions and personnel related matters such as performance standards, performance appraisals, awards, adverse actions, and time and attendance reporting. Assists staff in preparing necessary paperwork and ensures that paperwork is completed accurately and timely.
  5. Develops and administers the Office’s human capital program.
  6. Coordinates the budget preparation including planning, review, and timely completion. Consolidates and prepares travel, training, and administrative budgets.
  7. Monitors all budget expenditures for administrative and program operations and prepares financial forecasts and reports for management depicting information on allocations and expenditures.
  8. Manages and coordinates the Management Controls Program to ensure that management controls are reviewed systematically, evaluated for weaknesses, and tested for adequacy, and coordinates necessary actions to strengthen control mechanisms. Conducts management control evaluation on administrative operations.
  9. Develops, coordinates, and implements administrative policies and procedures to ensure a smooth and efficient administrative workflow.
  10. Oversees the maintenance of an accurate and up-to-date inventory of accountable property assigned to Office staff and monitors the data entry in the computerized inventory system.
  11. Monitors position ceilings and staffing controls.
  12. Oversees the efficient utilization of space and the development of space requirements. Such duties include the layout and design of Offices, relocation of personnel, the installation of telephone equipment, the installation and location of computer equipment, and the coordination of changes with appropriate Offices.
  13. Conducts special studies, prepares internal reports and makes recommendations to the Office Director and Deputy Director and to other management officials.
  14. Provides records and files management assistance.

The Strategic Operations & Special Projects Division is led by Director Carolyn Templeton.

Contact Information

This page was last updated on April 25, 2024