For Immediate Release | 11-12-18      
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Arizona Utility Regulator to Receive International Honor


PHOENIX — The Arizona Corporation Commission’s Utilities Division Director will receive a national award today from the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) during the organization’s annual meeting. Elijah Abinah will be presented with the 2018 Terry Barnich Award for promoting international cooperation among utility regulators and development of professional regulation. 

“The value of Mr. Abinah’s work transcends the boundary of statewide utility regulation as he has selflessly given his time and shared his expertise across international borders,” said Chairman Tom Forese. “We are honored to have his expertise and regulatory knowledge working for Arizona’s energy needs.” 

Abinah is one of two individuals unanimously recommended to receive the honor. The award acknowledges individuals who have dedicated their time, energy, and expertise to promote best practices in the international regulatory arena.

Abinah has enjoyed many milestones in his career in utility regulation serving at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission for over eight years before coming to the Arizona Corporation Commission 15 years ago. During his tenure, Abinah has served NARUC Staff Subcommittees for Telecommunications, Electricity and International Relations and is the NARUC–Jamaica Partnership Exchange Coordinator. He was previously called upon to travel to Nigeria to assist NARUC in collaboration with USAID for Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to mediate between Electric Distribution Companies, Labor Union, and other stakeholders to avert a planned major protest in Nigeria due to a proposed rate increase and constant blackouts. Over the last 18 months he has traveled internationally for conferences and workshops on five occasions to represent the ACC, NARUC and USAID in the following towns or cities and countries: Entebbe, Uganda; Lagos, Nigeria; Kigali, Rwanda; Abuja, Nigeria and New Delhi, India.

The award will be presented today during NARUC’s 130th Annual Meeting and Education Conference in Florida. NARUC says utility regulatory issues in electricity, gas, water, telecommunications and transportation transcend national boundaries. NARUC, through its international programs, is striving for dialogue and cooperation between the regulators on a global scale. As a regulatory community, NARUC is keen to promote the spread of knowledge and understanding of international regulatory issues that can help us exchange information which will be mutually beneficial.

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The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state’s constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The five Commissioners elected to the Corporation Commission oversee executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings on behalf of Arizonans when it comes to their water, electricity, telephone, and natural gas resources as well as the regulation of securities, pipeline, and railroad safety. To learn more about the Arizona Corporation Commission and its Commissioners, visit