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 which have been a principal focus for the energy market bodies in the past three years. She also leads the Reliability Panel secretariat. She previously worked as a senior policy adviser for the ACT Government in their energy policy team, as in-house counsel in a solar technology research and development company, and for Minter Ellison specialising in competition, energy, administrative law and commercial litigation. She holds a Bachelor of Economics, a Bachelor of Law with Honours and a Master of Laws in International Law from the Australian National University.
Mr David Feeney
Executive General Manager, Retail and Wholesale Markets
Mr Feeney leads the team responsible for reviews and rule changes relating to the competitive parts of Australia’s electricity and gas sectors. Mr Feeney joined the AEMC from Australia’s largest telecommunications company, Telstra, where he performed a commercial development role and led the organisation’s wholesale pricing strategy. Prior to this Mr Feeney managed industry engagement and commercial access arrangements for NBN Co. He has previously held senior economist positions for NSW Treasury and the Productivity Commission. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Newcastle and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Sydney.
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.
Associate Professor Tim Nelson
Executive General Manager, Strategy and Economic Analysis
Associate Professor Tim Nelson leads the AEMC’s Strategy and Economic Analysis division. Associate Professor Nelson joined the AEMC from his previous position as Chief Economist at AGL, one of Australia’s largest energy businesses, where he managed the company’s public policy advocacy as well as sustainability and strategy. He is a member of Westpac’s Stakeholder Advisory Council and the Grattan Institute’s Energy Reference Group. He previously held a number of roles with the NSW Government and the Reserve Bank of Australia. Associate Professor Nelson is an associate professor at Griffith University. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of New England for which he earned a Chancellor's doctoral research medal.
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.
Mr Jack Schmidtke
Acting General Counsel
Jack leads the team which provides and coordinates support to the Commission on legal, regulatory and governance matters, and drafts amendments to the national energy rules. In 2018 he was seconded to the Energy Security Board to work on key energy market reforms.
Jack has worked as a legal adviser in both the corporate and public sectors. Before joining the AEMC in 2014, he worked for Herbert Smith Freehills and DLA Piper in their corporate practice groups and as an in-house legal counsel, providing legal advice on regulatory matters, corporate governance, and public and private mergers and acquisitions. He was also an Associate to the Hon. Richard Conti, a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia.
Jack holds a Bachelor of Law with First Class Honours and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney.