Darren Springer will take over as general manager of the Burlington Electric Department, Mayor Miro Weinberger announced Tuesday.
Springer, who currently works at the department as chief operating officer and manager for strategy and innovation, will replace Neale Lunderville, who stepped down in May to serve as interim director of the city's Community and Economic Development Office.
Weinberger announced the decision at a press conference Tuesday inside the Burlington Electric Department. He noted that Springer was selected after a nationwide search. "It is hard to imagine a candidate that comes to this role with a more diverse and relevant set of experiences," Weinberger said.
Springer has served in a variety of roles in state and federal government, including in multiple positions with the National Governors Association and as chief counsel for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). He also worked as deputy commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service and chief of staff for former governor Peter Shumlin before joining Burlington Electric in January 2017.
Springer vowed to move forward with Burlington's goal of net-zero energy consumption by 2030. In 2014, Burlington became the first city in the country to source 100 percent of its power from renewable generation. Springer also said he would work to decrease carbon emissions from vehicles in the city and move forward with the city's plan to create a district energy heating system.
"I really appreciate the mayor's confidence in me," Springer said, adding that he planned to continue the department's current trajectory around affordable power and innovation. "We're on a leading edge on a number of issues that are coming not just in Vermont, but nationally."
The Burlington City Council will likely vote on confirming the appointment at its October 15 meeting.