Seattle City Light General Manager & CEO

City of Seattle, WA
September 1, 2023
Seattle, WA
Job Type


Position Description
Seattle City Light (SCL) , one of the nation's largest municipally owned utilities is recruiting a Chief Executive Officer/General Manager (GM/CEO) to lead the organization at a pivotal time in its history. As a recognized national leader in energy efficiency and environmental stewardship, Seattle City Light provides low-cost, reliable, and environmentally responsible electric power. The GM/CEO is accountable for the performance of Seattle City Light, including overall operational and financial performance as expected by the Mayor, City Council, rate payers and community.

Appointed by the Mayor and subject to confirmation by the City Council every four years, the GM/CEO serves as the highest executive authority at Seattle City Light with full planning, operations, and financial accountability. The GM/CEO works collaboratively with the Mayor's Office, key stakeholders and the SCL leadership team to ensure that utility operations are closely aligned with the utility's strategic plan and the City's policy objectives. The Mayor and City Council approve City Light's annual budget, rate structure, and debt issuance as set forth in the City Charter .

Seattle City Light is a community-owned, not-for-profit utility dedicated to providing value to the communities we serve and practicing our commitment to employee and public safety. We meet over half of our customers' electric needs from hydropower dams owned and operated by Seattle City Light. Seattle City Light owns approximately 2,000 megawatts of hydroelectric generation capacity. Most of the remaining power comes from hydropower purchased from the Bonneville Power Administration and investments in renewable and conservation resources. Over the years we have worked very hard to keep Seattle's electricity affordable, reliable, and environmentally sound. Today, City Light is a recognized national leader in energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.

Seattle City Light has an operating budget of approximately $1.1 billion, a capital budget of approximately $450 million, and generates over a billion dollars through the sale of electricity (primarily retail but a small portion of wholesale). We provide electric power to nearly 420,000 residential and over 50,000 non-residential customers within a 131-square mile service area comprised of both the City of Seattle and surrounding jurisdictions. The utility employs about 1,800 full-time staff, with 84% represented by a labor union.
Job Responsibilities
The next GM/CEO will build on Seattle City Light's legacy to deliver reliable energy to our customers while working to uphold the utility's values of customer first, environmental stewardship, equitable community connections, operational and financial excellence, and safe and engaged employees. The GM/CEO will oversee all key commercial, operating, financial and human capital areas and provide strong, visible, and highly collaborative leadership at all levels.

The accountabilities of the GM/CEO include:

  • Create Our Energy Future - continuing and accelerating SCL's work on responsibly growing demand for clean energy through electrification and increasing access to low-cost carbon-free renewable power.
  • Improve Customer Service Experience - by focusing the Utility on engaging with customers and helping employees see the impact of their actions from the customer's perspective.
  • Develop Workforce and Organizational Agility - in cultivating a workforce with the skills and knowledge to align with evolving business needs and to advance social justice.
  • Ensuring Financial Health and Affordability - through responsible financial planning, effective long-term debt strategy and improved budget monitoring essential to developing innovative energy solutions, planning for critical investments, and keeping rates affordable.
  • Championing 'We Power' - through the execution of a compelling forward-focused business strategy centered in our commitment to core business operations and delivering value to our customers; by responsibly maintaining key assets and infrastructure; and prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Advance the principles of One Seattle - by working in partnership towards common goals inviting dialogue and learning, collaboration and cooperation, innovation, and thoughtful change.

The ideal candidate has a comprehensive understanding of the renewable/clean energy sector, hydrogeneration, and electrical energy markets. Equity centers their decision-making and they serve as a trusted partner known for welcoming and creating space for innovative and diverse perspectives. They understand the factors critical to the success of a public utility and recognize that systemic and transformational change is required to meet the imperative of environmental justice. They value people, prioritize safety, and support a relational workplace culture. Their work reflects financial, political, and regulatory acumen and a commitment to delivering value to customers. They are decisive, keep their commitments, prioritize collaboration, and hold people accountable.

You'll be prepared to take on this role if you have a combination of the following:


  • Achieving business success in an executive leadership role within the utility, water, or renewable/clean energy sector
  • Leveraging knowledge of energy transmission and delivery planning to inform decision making
  • Leading transformational change within a large, complex organizational environment
  • Making significant high-profile decisions and recommendations
  • Managing financial and fiduciary operations, policies, and decisions with the transparency and accountability required of a public agency


  • Translates vision and goals into focused and transformative plans
  • Manages complex regulatory, community, and political relationships
  • Leads people and operations to achieve measurable, equitable outcomes
  • Evaluates the delivery of capital construction projects and maintenance of infrastructure assets
  • Effectively communicate via reports, briefing memos, community meetings, and public speaking
  • Builds respectful and collaborative relationships


  • Articulates a clear vision of the future for electrification and renewable/clean energy
  • Aligns diverse stakeholders to take collaborative and unified action
  • Empowers others to be innovative and take risks
  • Promotes transparency in decision-making and action
  • Cultivates a relational workplace culture in which employees experience safety and empowerment
  • Center race and equity in processes and decisions

Additional Information
Please note this job advertisement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

The full salary range for this position is $137.83 - $220.54 per hour and is determined by City ordinance. This full-time position is authorized for relocation assistance and is not covered by the Civil Service System.

Due to the fiduciary nature of the work, job offers are contingent on the verification of credentials and other information required by the employment process including the completion of a background check. The background check will involve a criminal history check, which includes conviction and arrest records in compliance with the Seattle's Fair Chance Employment Ordinance , SMC 14.17 and the City of Seattle Personnel Rule 10.3 (Download PDF reader) . A driving history review may be conducted in compliance with SMC 4.79.020 . Applicants will be provided an opportunity to explain or correct background information.


To be considered you must include a resume and cover letter with your application. We encourage you to use your cover letter to discuss why you want to do this work and how you meet the qualifications for the position. Your resume should summarize the talent, experience, knowledge, and skills you bring to this role. Application material received by 4:00PM Pacific Time on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, will receive first consideration.

If you have questions, please contact Pam Inch, Senior Executive Recruiter at .

Who may apply: This position is open to all candidates who demonstrate alignment with the skills and experience described above. The City of Seattle values diverse perspectives and life experiences. Applicants will be considered regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, sexual orientation, medical condition, or pregnancy. The City of Seattle encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans, and those with diverse life experiences.

The City of Seattle offers a comprehensive benefits package including vacation, holiday, and sick leave as well as medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance for employees and their dependents. More information about employee benefits is available on the City's website at: .

Want to know more about Seattle City Light? Check out their web page: Careers at Seattle City Light - City Light |

The City of Seattle offers a comprehensive benefits package including vacation, holiday and sick leave as well as medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance for employees and their dependents.

More information about employee benefits is available on the City's website at:
"Most" Employees Plans - Human Resources |

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