As senior vice president for Public and Regulatory Affairs at New York Power Authority (NYPA), Kimberly Harriman recently led a complex integration project that saw the successful transfer of jurisdiction over New York’s 524-mile canal system from the New York State Thruway Authority to NYPA. Her 60-member team coordinated with canal employees, labor and stakeholders; addressing legal, regulatory, economic, policy and management issues.

The transfer opens the door for innovation throughout the system, ranging from harnessing hydro power to seeding economic development opportunities across canal communities. Harriman cites this transfer as, perhaps, her greatest professional accomplishment.

Harriman has dedicated her career to forging connections between energy regulations and human benefits to create and implement solutions that improve, and sometimes save, the lives of New Yorkers. When Superstorm Sandy caused outages that stretched into weeks, she was on the front line of the investigation, getting to the heart of what went wrong, while working to create a response system that would ensure increased security for all New Yorkers.

Previously, Harriman served as general counsel to the Department of Public Service (DPS), where she was pivotal in helping design and administer Governor Andrew Cuomo’s landmark Reforming the Energy Vision, a new and comprehensive energy strategy for cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy. While at DPS, she also presided over major utility rate cases.

Harriman explains her role in leadership as stepping up to challenges and operating outside her sphere of responsibility. “With these experiences guiding and encouraging me, I am always looking for opportunities to encourage other women within NYPA and across my industry to have the courage to take the leap into the somewhat unknown.”

Her advice to up-and-coming professional women: “Take control of your destiny and always keep reconsidering what is possible. Do not let someone else determine your future or your worth as a professional. You have far more authority to control your fate, and what you eventually do, than you first imagine.”