Executive leadership team
The AEMC Commissioners are supported by the Chief Executive and the AEMC’s Executive Leadership Team and staff. Together they discharge rule making and market development roles in line with the AEMC’s Code of Conduct which requires AEMC staff to act with fairness, honesty, impartiality and integrity in all our dealings. The Chief Executive and Executive Leadership Team have delegations in relation to some statutory decisions, including initiation of rule changes, and a range of other operational matters, including the employment of staff and engagement of consultants.
“Our management team strives to continually improve the quality of the AEMC’s analysis. We hold ourselves accountable to our stakeholders with respect to our statutory responsibilities for market development, reviews and rule making. We are always looking for new ways to cultivate engagement with consumers, government and energy market participants on strategic issues and challenges. We lead by example in implementing and embedding positive organisational change, and are united by a shared commitment to demonstrating the AEMC’s core values of leadership, engagement and integrity in everything that we do.”
Ms Anne Pearson
Ms Pearson was appointed as Chief Executive of the AEMC in February 2016, bringing outstanding organisational leadership capabilities, and a breadth of industry and regulatory experience to the role. Prior to her appointment she served as Senior Director, Market Development, where she was responsible for directing reviews and rule determinations to facilitate the energy sector’s adjustment to technological change and manage emerging concerns about energy security and consumer responses in a carbon-sensitive world. Before joining the Commission in 2007, Ms Pearson’s roles included Executive Manager of Retail Regulation at Energy Australia and corporate mergers and acquisitions at law firms Freehills and Deacons. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Law with Honours from the University of Sydney.
Ms Suzanne Falvi
Executive General Manager, Security and Reliability
Ms Falvi leads the team responsible for reviews and rule changes relating to system security and reliability. A principal focus of the team in the past year has been the extensive systemsecurity work program. She also leads the Reliability Panel Secretariat. Before her appointment as Senior Director, Suzanne was one of the AEMC’s Senior Lawyers. She previously worked as a Senior Policy Adviser for the ACT Government in their energy policy team, as in-house counsel in solar technology R&D company, and for Minter Ellison specialising in competition, energy, administrative law and commercial litigation. She holds Bachelor of Economics, a Bachelor of Law with Honours and a Master of Laws in International Law from the Australian National University.
Dr Kris Funston
Executive General Manager, Retail and Wholesale Markets
Dr Funston leads the team responsible for reviews and rule changes relating to the competitive parts of Australia’s electricity and gas sectors. He brings wide-ranging commercial experience to the role, having worked in economic regulation and competition across number of different sectors including water, telecommunications and energy. Dr Funston’s previous roles include Manager, Competition and Regulation for Sydney Water, Australia’s largest water utility, Senior Regulatory Manager for Telstra, and Deputy Chief Economist at the New Zealand Commerce Commission. Dr Funston holds a PhD in Economics and Bachelor of Economics with Honours, both from the Australian National University.
Ms Gayee McGrath
Executive General Manager, People and Culture
Ms McGrath has been working with the AEMC since 2016, and is currently the Head of People and Culture, the team responsible for organisational culture, professional development and recruitment. Ms McGrath’s backgrounds in executive management; she previously worked as Executive General Manager for CiEvents, a global strategic event management agency, and spent 16 years with Qantas in senior executive roles. Ms McGrath has qualifications in business studies, and certifications in leadership, executive management and human resources.
Mr Richard Owens
Executive General Manager, Transmission and Distribution Networks
Mr Owens leads the AEMC team responsible for reviews and rule changes relating to the operation and economic regulation of electricity and gas networks. He was appointed an associate utilities commissioner for the Northern Territory Utilities Commission from 6 April, 2018. He was a member of the taskforce for the Finkel review into the future security of the national electricity market, and previously worked as a lawyer in major law firms and government specialising in utility regulation and competition and consumer law. He previously worked as a regulatory and competition lawyer at DLA Phillips Fox and Chapman Tripp, and as principal legal advisor for the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development. Mr Owens holds a Bachelor of Law with First Class Honours from New Zealand’s University of Canterbury, and Master of Laws from the University of Leuven in Belgium.
Dr Alan Rai
Executive General Manager - Strategy and Economic Analysis
Alan was appointed acting head of the AEMC’s Strategy and Economic Analysis division in December 2017. He was previously a Director in the AEMC’s Retail & Wholesale Markets division, and joined the AEMC in September 2015. Prior to the AEMC Alan was an economic consultant to a range of Hunter-based private and public sector businesses including energy companies and NSW government agencies. Alan started his career at the Reserve Bank of Australia, where he spent 7 years covering domestic and international financial markets. He was also an energy economics consultant at the CSIRO, consulting to businesses involved in all aspects of the NEM. Alan has an Honours degree in Economics and Commerce from Macquarie University, and a PhD in Economics from the University of New South Wales.
Ms Catriona Webster
Ms Webster leads the team which provides and coordinates the provision of support to the Commission on legal, regulatory and governance matters, and drafts amendments to the national energy rules. She has more than a decade of experience in providing legal advice on energy market and regulatory matters. Before joining the Commission, Ms Webster was corporate counsel for The Marketplace Company where she worked on full retail competition in gas markets and assisted with the transition of those markets from jurisdictional gas market operators to the Australian Energy Market Operator in 2009. She holds Bachelor of Arts from the University of Adelaide and a Bachelor of Law with First Class Honours from the University of Sydney.