Since 2012, Kristen Connolly McCullough has been a Partner with Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer, & Pembroke, P.C. Her practice generally consists of energy law, administrative law and regulatory matters. She represents and advises municipal utilities, municipal joint action agencies, electric cooperatives, and national trade associations on a variety of issues, including matters pertaining to North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and Regional Entity proceedings, rate and tariff filings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and state utility commissions, rulemaking proceedings, legislation, compliance and enforcement, and settlement negotiations. In addition, she handles appeals of FERC cases before the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
With the increased national focus on cyber attacks generally, there have been a multitude of executive actions and legislative initiatives intended to maintain national security, economic prosperity, and civil liberties by reducing threats to the nation’s critical assets, including the bulk electric system, via cyber attacks. These initiatives are intended to supplement or supersede the NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standards. Accordingly, Ms. Connolly McCullough actively monitors these activities, advocates her clients’ positions, and advises clients regarding best practices, trends, and potential regulation arising from these legislative and executive initiatives with respect to addressing potential vulnerabilities of the bulk power system. She participated in NIST’s development process of its Cybersecurity Framework,a framework consisting of standards, guidelines, and practices (not specific to the electric sector) designed to protect critical infrastructure by minimizing any cybersecurity-related risk, on behalf of her clients.
With respect to reliability, Ms. Connolly McCullough regularly advises clients on the full panoply of issues stemming from the mandatory and enforceable Reliability Standards, including with respect to navigating their way through the NERC and Regional Entity Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Programs, e.g., compliance audits, NOAVs, data submittals, self-reporting and self certifications, as well as audit preparation for subject matter experts and assisting with the compilation of compliance evidence and RSAWs. She has negotiated numerous settlements with the relevant Regional Entities on behalf of her clients regarding alleged violations of Reliability Standards and proposed penalties. Ms. Connolly McCullough routinely updates clients on developments pertaining to the NERC Reliability Standards at both the NERC industry stakeholder level through ballots and initiatives and the FERC level through NERC filings. She also routinely counsels clients through the development of internal compliance programs, document retention policies, and compliance trainings, and drafts formal and informal delegation agreements pertaining to the performance of the Reliability Standards.
Ms. Connolly McCullough also is a former intern with FERC's Office of General Counsel's Markets, Tariffs and Rates Division. During law school, she served as a summer law clerk at the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division in the Eastern District of New York where she worked closely on an environmental crime case regarding a party’s toxic dumping. Later, Ms. Connolly McCullough participated in the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic at Washington University in St. Louis where she was the student attorney representing a coalition of environmental groups opposing a proposed cement plant.
- Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, J.D. 2005
- Brandeis University, B.A. cum laude 2001
- Columbia University, Certificate of Environmental Studies at Biosphere 2 Center, Spring 2000
- New York
- District of Columbia
- United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Supreme Court of the United States
- Scholar of Law Merit Scholarship Recipient 2002-2005
- Dean's List
- Environmental Moot Court Semi-Finalist
- Academic Honor – Congressional & Administrative Law Clinic in DC in the Office of General Counsel at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
- Energy Bar Association
- System Reliability and Planning Committee
- Compliance and Enforcement Committee
- Electric Cooperative Bar Association
- New York Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Board of Directors of the Foundation of the Energy Law Journal (2016- )
- Panelist, “Transmission Report: FERC Methodology for Establishing Base Return on Equity“ at the APPA 2019 Legal and Regulatory Conference in Portland, OR (Oct. 22, 2019)
- Presenter, “Reliability Challenges in the Midst of Change” at the 2019 ReliabilityFirst Fall Workshop in Cleveland, OH (Oct. 1, 2019)
- Presenter, “FERC and NERC Compliance and Enforcement” at the EUCI Conference in Portland, OR (March 13, 2018)
- Presenter, “FERC Compliance and Enforcement” at the EUCI Conference in Baltimore, MD (May 19, 2016)
- Presenter, "FERC Compliance and Enforcement" at the EUCI Conference in New Orleans, LA (Nov. 17, 2015)
- Consultant and Contributor, DWG&P Presentation: “Physical and Cyber Security Webinar: Preparation for Overlapping Initiatives” (Dec. 8, 2014)
- Panelist, "What is a Culture of Compliance?" at the Energy Bar Association 2012 Mid-Year Conference in Washington, DC (Nov. 29, 2012)
- Panelist, "FERC Update" at the 2009 NRECA G&T Legal Seminar Program in Seattle, WA (Nov. 6, 2009)
- Co-author, The Growing Importance of NERC Reliability Standards to Electric Cooperatives, LEGAL REPORTING SERVICE (Nat'l Rural Elec. Coop. Ass'n, Arlington, Va.), Nov. 2009, at 1.
- Contributing Author, Report of the System Reliability, Planning and Compliance Committee, ENERGY LAW JOURNAL, Volume 30, No. 2 (2009).
- Contributing Author, Reliability Standards Mandated Within Current Energy Markets, in CAPTURING THE POWER OF ELECTRIC RESTRUCTURING 91 (Joey Lee Miranda ed., 2009).