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Julie Ryan

Program Director, Utility Management Certificate, Willamette University

Headshot of Julie Ryan

Contact Information

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301



Utilities provide a critical service to their communities, and their tenets have been safety, reliability, and reasonable cost.  As an industry that developed over 100 years ago, utilities are sometimes considered ‘old economy’, stodgy entities.  But, this is far from the truth.  Utilities can be environmental stewards, promoters of efficiency and innovative technology, and customer service organizations.  My career objective is to help utility managers achieve these goals in order to deliver compelling value to their customers and owners.


Julie Ryan, Program Director for Willamette University's Utility Management Certificate program, is also the Managing Partner of Aether Advisors LLC. She is an experienced energy industry executive, providing advisory services in the areas of risk management, strategic planning, energy supply, trading and marketing, M&A due diligence, and business integration planning. Ms. Ryan has been consulting since 2006, and prior to that, she had over 20 years of direct work experience in utility, merchant power and trading & marketing firms. She held two officer positions at Puget Sound Energy as Vice-President, Risk Management and Strategic Planning, and prior to that, Vice President Energy Portfolio Management. Prior to that, Ms. Ryan also held officer positions at Merchant Energy Group and Louis Dreyfus Energy Corp and Duke/Louis Dreyfus.

Ms. Ryan was an appointed member of the Seattle City Light Review Panel from 2010-2017, and served as the chair from 2016-217, that overseas its strategic planning process and rate design. She is an associate member of the Northwest Public Power Association and the American Public Power Association. Ms. Ryan has spoken at numerous industry conferences on the topics of hedging and risk assessment, published articles on utility hedging and risk reporting, and has been a guest instructor, teaching risk management and strategic planning at Willamette University's Atkinson School of Management, since 2006. She became the program director in 2013. She graduated Cum Laude, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, from Smith College in Massachusetts.


  • B.A., Smith College

Areas of Instruction

  • Strategic Planning
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Energy Risk Management

Professional Affiliations

  • Associate member, Northwest Public Power Association
  • Associate member, American Public Power Association
  • Past Board member: Northwest Gas Association

Selected Publications

  • Authored risk management articles for Northwest Public Power Association’s Monthly Bulletin:
    • “Risk Interdependencies: Utility Risks Are Not Isolated Events” (March 2018)
    • “Risk Indicators to Track Risk Exposures” (December 2017)
    • “How To Rank Enterprise Risks” (April 2017)
    • “Should Your Utility Establish a Risk Tolerance” (September 2016)
    • “The Nexus Between Strategy and Risk Management” (April 2016)
    • “Reading the Tea Leaves” (August 2015)
  • Co-authored an article for Public Utilities Fortnightly, titled “Hedging Under Scrutiny” (February 2012).
  • Authored two articles for Wiley Periodicals: “M&A Due Diligence Checklist and Precautions” (April 2010) and “The Art and Science of Risk Management Reporting” (October 2009).

Selected Presentations

  • Oregon Public Utility District (OPUDA) Conference, Keynote address:  ““Lessons We Can Learn from past Monopolistic Upheavals.” (September 2018)
  • Western Energy Institute, Women in Energy Symposium, “Energizing Your Career”   (November 2016)
  • Western Energy Institute, Joint Use Conference, Keynote address: “Future of the Utility Industry“  (September 2014)
  • National Regulated Utility Commission, NRUC Staff Committee on Accounting and Finance: “Utility Hedging and Risk Management”    (September 2012)
Willamette University

Executive Development Center

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Portland Campus

200 SW Market Street, Suite 101
Portland Oregon 97201 U.S.A.