Pecan Street Inc. Names Suzanne Russo CEO
Russo Replaces Brewster McCracken as the Research Organization Expands Core Mission
(AUSTIN, TX – March 2, 2018) – The board of directors of Austin-based research organization Pecan Street Inc. has named Suzanne Russo chief executive officer effective March 1. Russo replaces former CEO Brewster McCracken, who founded the organization and served as chief executive since 2009. McCracken resigned February 28 to launch an energy intelligence firm.
Russo joined Pecan Street in 2010 and has served in several roles, including chief of staff and chief operating officer. Prior to joining Pecan Street, she led the development of green building and sustainable retrofit standards for the New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development and earned her master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
“We are very optimistic about where Suzanne will lead Pecan Street,” said Pecan Street board chair Roger Duncan. “She demonstrated excellent leadership and vision as our COO, and we know she will expand the organization’s work in exciting new areas.”
Russo’s tenure begins as the organization will expand its presence with cities, states and other organizations that need to develop and test water, natural gas or electricity technology solutions and quantify the impact these investments have on conservation, emission reductions or systems improvement.
“We have a full suite of capabilities, from technology testing and verification to original research and technology development. I plan to fill out those categories and make sure that everyone who is wrestling with water, electricity or emission challenges understands how we can help them,” Russo said.
Pecan Street (then Pecan Street Project) was launched in 2008 as a coalition of Texas organizations focused on reimagining the role of electric utilities. It was incorporated in 2009 and received $10.4 million from the Department of Energy to deploy a real-world smart grid test bed in Austin’s Mueller neighborhood.
“We thank Brewster for his service and leadership,” Duncan said. “His entrepreneurial drive is what brought all of our organizations together and has resulted in a world-class research organization unmatched anywhere in the world. We wish him the best of luck.”
“Working for Pecan Street the past nine years has been an incredible honor,” McCracken said. “I’m thrilled that Suzanne is going to lead Pecan Street on its next phase of innovative research. She is a talented and effective leader who will take the organization to new heights.”
Pecan Street’s initial research in Mueller resulted in more than 200 homes with rooftop solar, the highest concentration of residential electric vehicles in the country, and the most robust database of customer electricity generation and use on the planet. The process Pecan Street invented to measure and collect electricity data was expanded to measure natural gas and water use, and the network of research participants expanded beyond Mueller, to other parts of Austin, other Texas cities and across the country.
Today, electricity use is measured and collected from more than 1,000 homes every minute. The organization’s dataset, which grows by 750 million records a day, is used by 1,200 researchers at 400 universities around the world through Pecan Street’s Dataport and has enabled over 100 peer-reviewed publications on issues including climate change, electric system reliability and urban resilience.
Colin Rowan, Pecan Street, email@example.com, 512-222-9603