Preng & Associates Recruits Senior Operations Leader for PJM Interconnection

February 28, 2024 – Houston-based Preng & Associates has assisted in the recruitment of Aftab Khan as executive vice president of operations, planning & security with high-voltage electric power system PJM Interconnection. Consultants Mark Ciolek and John Goodrum led the search on behalf of Preng & Associates. Mr. Khan will report to PJM president and CEO Manu Asthana and will have overall responsibility for grid operations, transmission planning, cybersecurity and physical security, and business continuity. “We welcome the experience, expertise and leadership Aftab brings to this important new role, which was created to support grid reliability during this increasingly complex energy transition,” Mr. Asthana said.

Mr. Khan previously served as senior vice president of engineering with Eversource Energy, the utility serving 4 million customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, where he led an engineering organization of over 1,000 people focused on transmission and distribution system planning, asset management, engineering, grid modernization, operations technology, control room support and vegetation management. He also previously worked with GE providing oversight to Grid Solutions in North America. Prior to that, Mr. Khan spent 24 years with ABB in a variety of roles, including senior vice president – power transformers, North America; president – power systems division, Saudi Arabia; and senior vice president – grid systems, North America.

As a member of PJM’s executive team, Mr. Khan will work closely with PJM’s CEO, other executive team members, and the reliability & security committee of the PJM board to coordinate PJM’s grid operations and transmission planning, ensure both cybersecurity and physical security for the organization, and oversee business continuity efforts.

“I am eager to help PJM take on the many challenges presented by the energy transition,” Mr. Khan said. “PJM’s creation of this new role shows the company’s commitment to seeking comprehensive solutions that emphasize reliability and security as the system evolves.”

PJM Interconnection manages the high-voltage electric system that provides power to 65 million people. It’s the largest power grid in North America. As a neutral, independent party, PJM administers a competitive wholesale electricity market. PJM’s long-term regional planning process provides a broad, interstate perspective that identifies the most effective and cost-efficient improvements to the grid to ensure reliability and economic benefits. PJM serves all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Related: Preng & Associates Places New Leader for Traverse City Light & Power in Michigan

Preng & Associates, founded in 1980, is the only retainer-based, international executive search firm specializing solely in the energy industry. The firm’s experience spans the entire energy value chain – from the well head to the wall socket. Its subsector verticals have specific expertise in oil and gas (upstream, midstream, and downstream), oilfield equipment and services, power and utilities, renewables, engineering and construction, and industrials. Preng & Associates has conducted more than 4,000 engagements for over 880 companies and placed individuals for board, executive management, and professional positions in 92 countries.

Experienced Consultants

Mr. Ciolek leads the utility/power practice at Preng & Associates. His search practice is focused on electric and gas utilities, independent generators, renewable energy, and industrial/services companies supporting the utilities and power sector. Mr. Ciolek combines 12 years of senior-level search experience with an extensive knowledge base and network developed during his prior 25 years of industry and management consulting. He conducts a wide variety of senior level assignments, including CEO/president, COO and CFO roles. His functional search experience includes operations, engineering and construction, business, and project development, regulatory, strategy and IT.

Mr. Goodrum joined Preng & Associates in 2013 working on the global oilfield service and equipment team. He has a broad range of search experience including leading senior-level operations, HR, and financial searches. Clients include large, publicly traded companies, private equity backed companies, and privately owned energy companies. Earlier in his career, Mr. Goodrum worked in Washington, D.C. where he served as director of management and associate director of personnel at the White House for President George W. Bush.

Past Search for PJM

In 2022,  Preng & Associates helped to recruit Carl F. Coscia as vice president and chief risk officer of PJM Interconnection. “Risk management is a critical function for PJM as an organization and for the protection of our members,” said Mr. Asthana. “Carl has a wealth of risk management, market, and regulatory experience to PJM that will serve us and our stakeholders well.” Dr. Coscia has more than 20 years of experience in commodity and financial markets, most recently as global head of risk management for German-based energy company EnBW, where his responsibilities included market risk, enterprise risk, credit risk, compliance, and approval for all master trading agreements. He previously served as chief business officer and chief risk officer for Hartree Partners, LP.

Related: Preng & Associates Fills Board Positions for NET Power

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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