Task Force Members
Senior Director, Customer Solutions and Strategy, Edison Electric Institute
Becky Knox is Senior Director, Customer Solutions and Strategy for the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the trade association that represents all domestic investor-owned electric companies. Ms. Knox leads EEI’s efforts to advance electric transportation and smart community activities. She is responsible for identifying business development opportunities, accessing market potential, and advancing electric company opportunities to accelerate electric transportation and smart community programs. Additionally, she is responsible for leading advocacy efforts to develop legislative and regulatory policies that support such programs.
In addition, Ms. Knox works directly with state utility commissioners and staff, consumer advocates and other stakeholders to coordinate policy development and build regulatory support for positive treatment on important electric company issues through education and outreach.
Previously, Ms. Knox worked for Louisville Gas and Electric/Kentucky Utilities (LG&E/KU), where her focus was on long-range strategic planning for marketing and business development opportunities for the electric company’s residential, industrial and commercial customer segments. Prior to her work at the electric company she was as an attorney for the City of Louisville.
Vice President of Smart Cities Business Development, Itron
Bob Borzillo, vice president of smart cities for Itron, is leading the company’s global smart city business development activities. Bob is a senior-level professional with over 30 years of experience in delivering, managing and selling utility solutions. Recently, Bob has been at the forefront of the smart cities movement both internally at Itron and externally as the executive representative for Itron on the Smart Cities Council. Bob has attended and spoken at a number of global smart cities events over the years. He also lead Itron’s participation in smart city projects in the United States including Envision Charlotte, Urbanova and the Dallas Innovation Alliance, while also supporting his colleagues globally in regional smart cities initiatives.
Bob started his career managing Nuclear IT projects at PECO Energy in Philadelphia and advanced into senior IT leadership roles. He has also been a partner in numerous start-up companies in the greater Philadelphia region. Joining Itron in 2003, he has held positions in sales and business development. Prior to his current role, Bob was a director focusing on managing Itron’s key global partnerships including IBM, SAP, Microsoft and Capgemini. Bob holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Villanova University. Bob is a current board member of Envision Charlotte and Research Triangle Clean Tech Cluster both located in North Carolina.
Director of Information Technology at Louisville Metro Government
Chris Seidt is a veteran city government leader and trusted advisor having worked for the pre-merger City of Louisville and the combined Louisville-Jefferson County Metro government for a combined 15 years. Most recently, Chris has led initiatives to drive city innovation through use of technology by leading efforts to deploy unmanned aerial systems to respond to gunshot detection system activations. Chris also worked to have Louisville named as a finalist for the Smart Cities Council Readiness Challenge and the 2018 Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge.
Chris has served under three different Mayors in his time with the city, and has served in three different departments, including the Louisville Metro Police, MetroSafe/EMA, and Information Technology. Chris has represented Louisville Metro on several Smart City working groups, including the Harvard Smart Cities Accelerator, the Edison Electric Institute/Smart Cities Council collaboration, and the IEEE Smart Cities Standards Working Group. Chris previously was recognized by Mayor Greg Fischer in 2015 as a Daily Workforce Warrior for his efforts in leading a cross functional team to deploy a new public safety camera network in Louisville.
Chris started his full-time government career with the City of Louisville in 2002 working for the Louisville Division of Police as a Communications Specialist. After merger, Chris was transferred into the newly created MetroSafe combined emergency communications agency where he helped the separate city and county dispatch teams in implementing their new combined computer aided dispatch (CAD) system. Chris’ work on the CAD team led him to change career paths towards Information Technology in 2007 when he transitioned to a role in the private sector working for Peak 10 Data Center Solutions, before coming back to Metro as a Network Engineer in 2008. Chris has worked through the ranks in IT as an engineer, supervisor, and manager before being named as Director of Information Technology in January 2018.
Senior Director of Global Business Development Senior Director Global Business Development, S&C Electric Company
David Chiesa is the Senior Director of Global Business Development for S&C Electric Company. In this role, David is responsible for the Profitable growth of S&C’s Market Segments Globally. This position is focused on expanding the reach of S&C’s products and services within the Market Segments of Data Centers and Microgrids. He brings over 16 years of experience in the direction and management of sales teams across the United States.
Mr. Chiesa began his career in the United States Army, serving as a maintenance company commander, a general officer aide-de-camp, and the U.S. forces maintenance manager for the NATO troops conducting peacekeeping operations in Bosnia.
Smart City Program Manager, American Electric Power
Ryan Houk is the Manager of Smart City Program Management for AEP Ohio, which serves approximately 1.5 million customers in Ohio. Ryan brings over a decade of utility industry experience, holding leadership positions ranging from business process improvement to strategic investment analysis and valuation. In his current role, Ryan is responsible for the overall management, coordination and execution of Smart City initiatives within AEP Ohio. Ryan earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Information Systems Auditing & Control and Management Information Systems from Bowling Green State University and an MBA from The Ohio State University emphasizing in Corporate Strategy and Finance.
Deputy Chief Operating Officer, City of San Diego
David Graham is a veteran local government advisor having worked for the County of San Diego and City of San Diego as well as a stint in private sector public affairs. Serving on Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s Executive Leadership Team as DCOO for Neighborhood Services, he oversees a group of departments including Libraries, Parks & Recreation, Development Services, Economic Development and Planning. Graham has worked for several San Diego Mayors and has represented the City on planning and civic innovation initiatives including Smart City San Diego and Envision America. He serves as the Secretary of the World Trade Center San Diego, is a Board Member of Cleantech San Diego, an advisor to Smart Cities Connect and is a 2020 Cities member. He is the City lead with the University of California San Diego on the national MetroLab Network and the San Diego Smart Gigabit Communities effort with US Ignite. His work includes the first all-electric car-share fleet in North America, an open-data platform for development permitting, the largest municipal IoT platform of sensors in LED enabled smart streetlights and using technology to achieve municipal climate change goals. His passion for land use, civic engagement, mobility and intelligent infrastructure has led him to be a regular speaker from the metropolitan perspective including Harvard TECH, Minds + Machines, Smart Cities Week, and VERGE.
Founder and Chairman, Smart Cities Council
Jesse came to the smart city sector from the smart grid where he was one of the pioneering thought leaders and chief analyst of SmartGridNews.com, the Internet’s oldest, largest and highest-ranked smart grid site. Prior to that he was a well-known technology analyst and featured columnist at leading magazines, including Computerworld, InformationWeek and PC Week. Working with Ziff-Davis, he launched ZDNet AnchorDesk, which became the publishing company's most popular and profitable Internet property.
Convinced that smart energy is the foundation of a smart, ICT-enabled city, it was a natural transition for Jesse to launch the Smart Cities Council and engage some of the world's most respected technology companies to work with him toward a more livable, workable and sustainable future.
Małgorzata Rejniak, MPA
Małgorzata Rejniak is an MPA candidate at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), studying urban and social policy. Prior to SIPA, Małgorzata worked as a strategy consultant serving clients in the technology, media, and telecommunications industries. Her projects on smart cities and the Internet of Things sparked her passion for urban innovation. She wants to devote her career to integrating technology and data analytics into the urban fabric to make cities safer, more functional, and more energy-energy efficient. Małgorzata holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, where she majored in economics.