Accountable, strategic, collaborative
Alberta's electricity grid and markets depend on high-performing, service-driven leadership. Our leaders focus on the province's electricity needs, acting in the public interest, delivering on our mandate and upholding the AESO Values.
Following are the biographies of our executive members and Chief Engineer.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Michael Law was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer for the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) in February 2019. Mr. Law first joined the AESO in 2009 as Vice-President, Operations. Following that, he held the roles of Vice-President, Market Services, Vice-President, Renewables Development and Sustainability and most recently, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
Prior to joining the AESO, Mr. Law was Vice-President, North American Power for Direct Energy Marketing Limited in Calgary, overseeing the company’s wholesale electricity portfolio management business. In his previous role with Direct Energy Marketing, Mr. Law had oversight of the Canadian power and natural gas commodity trading operations.
Mr. Law holds a Masters of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance, both from the University of British Columbia.
Vice President, Information Technology
Bill Baker was appointed Vice President, Information Technology for the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) in June 2011. Mr. Baker previously served as a Senior Director responsible for overall IT operations, and held a variety of Information Technology leadership positions with the AESO and the former Transmission Administrator since 2001.
Mr. Baker has 25 years experience in the Information Technology field. Prior to joining the AESO, he worked at Canadian Pacific Railway, the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Net Income Stabilization Account and We Care Health Services. Mr. Baker has also developed and taught Information Technology courses for several post-secondary institutions.
Mr. Baker holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Brandon University and a Masters of Science from the University of Manitoba.
Vice President, Grid Reliability Projects and Planning
Robert (Rob) Davidson was appointed Vice President, Grid Reliability – Projects and Planning for the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) in February 2022. Mr. Davidson started with the AESO in 2004, holding a range of progressively senior positions in operations and planning. Most recently he served as Director, Customer Grid Access, where he was responsible for providing transmission system access to market participants.
Mr. Davidson has over 25 years of utility experience in the power industry, having previously worked with ENMAX Power Corporation, Primary Engineering and Construction, Dairyland Power Cooperative and the Mid-Continent Area Power Pool. Throughout his career, he has been involved in transmission and distribution planning, transmission and distribution customer connections, distribution design, system operations engineering, and regulatory and strategic business planning.
Mr. Davidson holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from North Dakota State University, a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Jamestown College, and the designation of Professional Engineer with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.
Vice President, Strategic Integration
Kevin Dawson was appointed Vice President, Strategic Integration for the Alberta Electric System Operator in January 2023. Mr. Dawson is responsible for leading and coordinating the AESO’s activities related to industry-wide transformation and decarbonization while ensuring a focus on affordability.
Mr. Dawson joined the AESO in 2010, serving most recently as Director, Forecasting & Analytics, and has held the roles of Director, Market Design and Senior Program Manager.
Mr. Dawson has 25 years of experience in the electricity industry. Prior to joining the AESO, Mr. Dawson worked with TransAlta in the areas of forecasting, risk management, commercial management, portfolio optimization and commodity hedging.
Mr. Dawson holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Economics and a Masters of Arts degree in Economics, both from the University of Calgary. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst ® charterholder.
Vice President, Finance
Nicole Kinch was appointed Vice President, Finance for the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) in March 2021. Ms. Kinch is responsible for leadership of the AESO’s Accounting and Treasury, Settlement, Credit and Business Planning functions, Corporate Facilities, and Audit from an administrative perspective. She first joined the AESO in May of 2018 as Director, Finance – Accounting and Treasury.
Ms. Kinch has over 20 years of accounting experience in both the public and private sectors. Her public experience includes a niche specialization in energy and utilities across the U.S., as well as commercial and financial services in New York. Within private accounting she has worked with large oil and gas companies, as well as a startup in biomass generation. Prior to working with the AESO, Ms. Kinch was the Chief Financial Officer for Wagepoint Inc., where she supported the strategic direction of this growing multinational tech company, including development of financial systems, internal controls and fraud mitigation practices.
Ms. Kinch holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Washington State University and designations as a Charted Professional Accountant in Canada and a Certified Public Accountant in the U.S.
Vice President, Markets
Nicole LeBlanc was appointed Vice President, Markets for the Alberta Electric System Operator in January 2023. She is responsible for leadership of the AESO’s market design and implementation, forecasting, market analytics, commercial procurement and the ISO Tariff. Since joining the AESO in 2006, Ms. LeBlanc has held a range of progressively senior positions, most recently as Director of Markets & Tariff.
Ms. LeBlanc has nearly 20 years of experience in the energy and electricity sectors. Throughout her career with the AESO she has been involved in forecasting, transmission planning, electricity market analysis and design, policy development, tariff design, regulatory and strategic business planning.
Prior to joining the AESO, Ms. LeBlanc worked as an economist at the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI), where she focused on economic research and analysis of Alberta’s oilsands sector for client- funded projects.
Ms. LeBlanc holds a Master of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics, both from the University of Calgary.
Vice President, People & Culture and Customer Experience
Brian McGurk was appointed Vice President, People & Culture and Customer Experience for the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) effective Sept 1, 2021. Mr. McGurk is responsible for leading people and culture practices, including workforce planning, leadership development, organizational effectiveness, knowledge management, inclusion and diversity, and performance management.
Prior to joining the AESO, Mr. McGurk was Executive Vice President of Corporate Services at Secure Energy Services. Prior to that, he worked as an Executive and Officer for the past 20 years with responsibility for Human Resources, Safety, Communications, Marketing, and Strategy in the airline, fuel cell, wireless communications, and energy industries.
Currently, Mr. McGurk is Chair of the Board for Castle Mountain Resort. His prior Board experience includes Board member and Shareholder in Shopster e-Commerce Inc. and Board member and Vice President of Cascade Swim Club.
Mr. McGurk has 30 years of helping develop proactive and capable organizations through strategy, culture and people. He holds a Bachelor of Management degree from the University of Lethbridge and is a Certified Professional in Human Resources.
Vice President, Grid Reliability Operations
Marie-France Samaroden was appointed Vice President, Grid Reliability – Operations for the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) in February 2022. Ms. Samaroden is responsible for leadership of the AESO's Grid and Market Operations. She first joined the AESO in November of 2019 as Director, Engineering, Project Management & Technology.
Ms. Samaroden has over 21 years of experience in the electricity industry. Prior to joining the AESO, she worked at AltaLink Management Limited and TransAlta Corporation. Her experience spans working with and leading system operations, disturbance analysis, asset management, projects and engineering teams.
Ms. Samaroden holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, both from the University of Saskatchewan. She also holds the designation of Professional Engineer with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.
Office of the Chief Engineer
Cameron Bush was appointed Chief Engineer for the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) in July 2019. As Chief Engineer, Mr. Bush is responsible for supporting the safe, reliable and economic operation of the Alberta Interconnected Electric System, and providing oversight to the professional practice of engineering at the AESO.
Mr. Bush has been with the AESO since 2003, holding a range of progressively senior positions within the Operations and Transmission departments.
Mr. Bush has over 30 years of extensive experience in the power industry, having worked with Ontario Hydro, the City of Calgary Electric System, TransAlta and AltaLink. Over his career, Mr. Bush has held a broad range of positions involving transmission system and generation planning, distribution design, transmission project engineering, research of emerging power technologies, technical assessment of commercial opportunities, and operations engineering.
Mr. Bush holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Calgary and the designation of Professional Engineer with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta. He is also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).