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Press Release

PUC Elects Commissioner Kim Barrow as Vice Chair

Published on 8/31/2023

Filed under: Consumer Education Electric Gas Motor Carrier Pipeline Rails Telecommunications Transportation and Safety Water and Wastewater

Vice Chair Barrow’s Term Will Continue Through 2024

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) Chairman Stephen M. DeFrank today announced the commissioners’ election of Kim Barrow as vice chair of the PUC, effective immediately.  She succeeds DeFrank, who served as vice chairman from October 2022 until yesterday, when he was appointed by Gov. Josh Shapiro to lead the Commission as chairman.

Barrow was chosen to serve as PUC vice chair in a vote by her fellow commissioners, as required under the Public Utility Code.  She will serve as vice chair for the remainder of 2023 and all of 2024.

“Congratulations to Vice Chair Barrow on her new role helping to guide the Public Utility Commission through a challenging list of utility issues facing our Commonwealth,” noted Chairman DeFrank. “Her passion and commitment to the mission of the PUC is an example to us all, and I look forward to working closely with Vice Chair Barrow and my colleagues on the bench to move Pennsylvania forward.”

Vice Chair Barrow said, “transitions are an opportunity for progress, and I look forward to supporting the Chairman in his leadership of the commission.”

Vice Chair Barrow is only the 10th woman to serve on the PUC in its 86-year history. She currently serves with Commissioner Kathryn L. Zerfuss, making it only the fourth time in PUC history that two women commissioners have served concurrently.

Vice Chair Kim Barrow

Barrow’s nomination from Gov. Josh Shapiro was unanimously approved yesterday by the Pennsylvania Senate, following unanimous recommendations by the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. Commissioner Barrow was sworn in yesterday during a private ceremony in Harrisburg.

Barrow has been involved in the utility regulation industry for more than two decades.  

In written testimony submitted to the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee, Commissioner Barrow said, “The mission of the PUC is to balance the needs of consumers and utilities. Achieving that balance between the needs of consumers and utilities is difficult, but as a veteran PUC employee, as an attorney and as a mother, I am up to that challenge of balancing important competing interests. I already do that every day.”

In her testimony, Barrow cited her “dual priorities, affordability and reliability, these two priorities are what matter to ratepaying customers, and I will keep my focus on them.”

Most recently, Barrow has served as Chief of Staff for Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille since 2013. As part of her service in the Chairman’s Office, she provided advice regarding the legal and policy implications of electric, gas, water and transportation matters pending before the Commission; evaluated the impact of state and federal legislation on ratepayers, utility operations, and Commission functions; and communicated with consumers, utility executives and government officials regarding the Commission’s role and initiatives.

From 2008 to 2013, Barrow served as Chief of Staff in the Office of Commissioner Wayne E. Gardner, where she provided legal advice regarding utility regulation, reviewed draft public utility legislation, and authored statements of policy for the Commissioner.  

Starting as a staff attorney at the Commission in 2001, she spent several years practicing administrative regulatory law. In this role, Barrow prepared reports, final orders and statutory interpretations; drafted recommendations to the Commission consistent with statutory law and applicable precedents; and investigated appeals of Administrative Law Judge decisions to advise the Commission regarding resolution. She served as legal counsel to the Pennsylvania Telecommunications Relay Service Board, made up of people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and/or have speech and language disorders.

Prior to her career at the Commission, Barrow spent time working as a Law Clerk for the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board in Harrisburg.

Barrow is an alumna of the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish. She received her law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law.

About the PUC

Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

Visit the PUC’s website at for recent news releases and video of select proceedings. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. Search for the “Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission” or “PA PUC” on your favorite social media channel for updates on utility issues and other helpful consumer information.

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