Vera’s Bio

Wanapum Scholarship - Vera Claussen

Vera Claussen remembered for advocacy of public

Vera Claussen, a long-time commissioner of the Grant County Public Utility District (PUD) in Ephrata, Wash., passed away in January, 2009.  She was 78.

Claussen served six terms as Grant County PUD commissioner, from 1982 until her retirement in 2006. At the end of 2006, she had completed 47 years of service to the public power and hydropower industry.

Prior to being elected a Grant County PUD commissioner, Claussen worked for the Northwest Public Power Association and the Washington Public Utility District Association. She was active in the leadership of the American Public Power Association (APPA), serving on its board of directors and executive committee. Claussen was elected APPA president in 1996-1997, and was the first woman to hold that office.

At the time of her retirement, Claussen said one of the high points of her 24 years as a commissioner was the district’s work to apply for a new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) operating license for the district’s 1,893-MW Priest Rapids hydroelectric project.

Long active in public power issues, Vera Claussen was first elected a Grant County Public Utility District (PUD) commissioner in December 1982. She was appointed to Energy Northwest’s Board of Directors in January 1983 and currently holds the office of Secretary to the Board.

 Ms. Claussen was elected to the Energy Northwest Executive Board in January 1986, where she served as Assistant Secretary, Secretary, and Chair of  Read Morethe Administrative and Public Responsibility Committee. In 1996-97, Commissioner Claussen served as President of the Board of Directors of the American Public Power Association, of which she has been a long time member and where she has been recognized with national awards for public power leadership

APPA presented her with its highest award, the Alex Radin Distinguished Service Award, in 1999.

General Manager Tim Culbertson said in a statement following Claussen’s death, “She was a living legend and she will be truly missed by her friends at Grant PUD.”