Wildfire Safety Advisory Board

Assembly Bill 1054, signed into law July 2019, created the California Wildfire Safety Advisory Board, a board of independent expert advisors, to advise a new Wildfire Safety Division within the CPUC on wildfire safety measures, including plans written by utilities, so the CPUC can more effectively regulate the safety of investor-owned utilities. 

The Advisory Board will meet at least quarterly throughout the state.


Board Meetings

Board Members

  • Jessica Block
    Governor Appointee

    Jessica Block has been a senior research associate and associate director of the WIFIRE Lab at the University of California, San Diego since 2011. She was a wildfire research officer at the University of Melbourne in 2010, a research associate at the University of Ballarat, Australia from 2008 to 2009, a research associate at San Diego State University in 2008, and a senior research developer at Arizona State University from 2005 to 2008. Block earned a Master of Science degree in geological sciences with an emphasis in urban ecology from Arizona State University.

  • Marcie Edwards, Chair of the Wildfire Safety Advisory Board
    Governor Appointee

    Marcie Edwards has been principal of MLE Consulting Inc. since 2017. She was general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power from 2014 to 2017, city manager of the City of Anaheim from 2013 to 2014, and general manager for Anaheim Public Utilities from 2001 to 2013. Edwards was interim chief executive officer for the California Independent System Operator in 2004. She held various positions at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power from 1976 to 2000, including assistant general manager for marketing and customer service business units, bulk power business unit director, energy control center manager and superintendent of load dispatching. Edwards earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of La Verne.

  • Diane Fellman, Vice Chair of the Wildfire Safety Advisory Board
    Governor Appointee

    Diane Fellman was a public utility regulatory specialist at the California Public Utilities Commission from 2017 to 2018. She was vice president of regulatory and legislative affairs for the Western Region at NRG Energy Inc. from 2010 to 2017, director of regulatory and legislative affairs for NextEra Energy Resources Inc. from 2004 to 2010 and an attorney in private practice from 1986 to 2004. Fellman was legal counsel at the California Public Utilities Commission from 1983 to 1986 and a hearing officer and officer manager at the California Energy Commission from 1977 to 1983. Fellman earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

  • John Mader
    Governor Appointee

    John Mader has been an electrical distribution engineer for the Pacific Gas and Electric Company since 1998. He is president of the Engineers and Scientists of California, Local 20, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE).

  • Alexandra Syphard
    Governor Appointee

    Alexandra Syphard has been chief scientist at Sage Insurance Holdings LLC since 2018 and adjunct professor in the Geography Department at San Diego State University since 2011. She was a senior research scientist at the Conservation Biology Institute from 2007 to 2019 and a postdoctoral research scientist for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, SILVIS Lab in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology from 2005 to 2007, and a geographic information system (GIS) analyst and environmental planner at Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, from 1998 to 1999. Syphard earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in geography from San Diego State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, a Master of Science degree in environmental studies from the Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Public Health degree from the Medical College of Virginia.

  • Ralph M. Armstrong Jr
    Senate Appointee

    Ralph Armstrong Jr. has held several positions with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 1245 since 2007, including senior business representative and senior assistant business manager. Armstrong held several positions with Western Area Power Administration from 1995 to 2007, including occupational safety and health specialist and journeyman lineman. He was a journeyman lineman for the Florida Power and Light Company from 1989 to 1995 and held various positions for IBEW Local 349 from 1983 to 1989.

  • Christopher Porter
    Assembly Appointee

    Christopher Porter has held positions with IBEW Local Union 47, including business representative and assistant business manager.


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