President and CEO
California ISO (CAISO)
Elliot Mainzer is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Independent System Operator (ISO). The ISO is responsible for managing the flow of electricity that serves 80 percent of California and a small portion of Nevada. The CAISO also runs a real-time energy market for utilities in eight western US states and conducts reliability coordinator services for most balancing authorities in the West.
Mr. Mainzer is committed to using leading-edge policies and new technologies to accelerate California’s drive towards the reliable decarbonization of its electric power grid. He started in his new role at the ISO on September 30, 2020 following a successful 18-year career at the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) where he was at the forefront of transformational changes in the western electricity market.
While serving as BPA’s administrator and CEO from 2013-2020, Mr. Mainzer effectively navigated the agency through a period of tremendous industry change and economic headwinds by improving the agency’s long-term cost competitiveness and financial resiliency, modernizing assets and system operations, and positioning BPA as a more responsive and agile business partner.
In recent years, Mr. Mainzer has co-chaired the Western Electric Industry Leaders Group to support greater western market and policy coordination on such topics as resource adequacy, transmission development, and carbon accounting. He has also served as the Chair of the U.S. Entity for the Columbia River Treaty with Canada and on the boards of the Electric Power Research Institute, and the Utility Wind Integration Group.
A native of San Francisco, Mr. Mainzer has an undergraduate degree in geography from U.C. Berkeley, and master’s degrees in Business Administration and Environmental Studies from Yale University. Mainzer and his wife Margaret have twin boys. He is also an amateur jazz saxophonist and dedicated student of jazz theory and history.