In April, the Obama Administration announced $100 million in grants for 54 Smart Grid workforce training and development programs across the country. These programs are expected to train 30,000 Americans to help modernize the electric grid and to develop and implement Smart Grid technologies.
Mary Reidy's (DM 2001) organization, National Grid, won two of these grants for the U.S. northeast region, totaling over $4 million. Their organization is expected to train between 2600 and 4900 utility workers. Dr. Reidy was instrumental in the application effort, and managed the relationship with Syracuse University who is a key partner. She will be leading both projects.
Dr. Reidy joined the strategy team of National Grid after completing the Weatherhead DM program, and has since been involved with the regulatory and commercial sides of the organization. Last year she was charged with managing relationships with universities, researching Smart Grid opportunities, and applying for U.S. grants. She credits the DM program with equipping her to provide value in a variety of leadership roles within her organization because it the program enabled her to deal with complex issues by bridging academic scholarship. When referring to the wealth of untapped academic research she indicates that the program enabled her "to understand, read, and translate what all that means."
In addition to her role with National Grid, Dr. Mary Reidy has also lectured at Union College and has acted as a quantitative methods advisor with the DM program. In her thesis "Political Economy and Price Ratio Changes: Electric Industry Under Transition," Dr. Reidy explored electric pricing changes from 1990-2000. She worked under the guidance of Peter Gerhardt and Paul Gottlieb and found that, among other things, deregulation did not appear to be significantly associated with lower electric prices. She futher argued that while lower electric pricing does appear to foster economic development, it does so in combination with cooperation from all levels of government and industry.