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  • District of Columbia


Joel  deJesus


Joel deJesus represents users, owners and operators of the bulk electric system, with a specific emphasis on electric reliability regulation resulting from the Energy Policy Act of 2005. His previous experience working in-house with utilities and as Director of Compliance Enforcement for the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) provides him with a unique insight into this relatively new but essential element of energy regulation.

Joel assists with drafting and commentating on new standards, advising clients during audits and investigations, developing mitigation plans and compliance programs, and representing clients in enforcement actions. He also advises clients on cybersecurity, an increasingly significant component of energy reliability standards.

“Given our background, experience and perspectives, we are uniquely qualified to help our clients achieve their goals within the boundaries of the pertinent requirements and regulations,” he says.

Because of his breadth of experience, Joel understands the complexities of NERC’s eight regional entities. He is familiar with the distinct ways each region approaches reliability standards and applies that knowledge when forming strategies for his clients. He has experience working shoulder-to-shoulder with engineers and other experts in a variety of fields, which allows him to efficiently communicate and cooperate with clients.


"Are key NERC initiatives the missing link to reliability and cybersecurity?" FierceSmartGrid (Oct. 15, 2014)

"How New Cybersecurity Rules Bedevil Electric Industry", USA Today (July 17, 2013)

Joel is also a frequent contributor to Schiff Hardin's Energy and Environmental Law Adviser.

Speeches and Presentations

"Critical Infrastructure Physical & Cybersecurity: Electric Industry Issues & Insights," (moderator) Energy Bar Association, Washington, D.C. (Dec. 9, 2014)

"Security: Cyber and Physical," 20th Annual FERC Briefing, Chicago, Ill. (May 15, 2014)

"FERC’s Policies for New Transmission Development," 20th Annual FERC Briefing, Electric Cooperative Edition, Westminster, Colo. (May 9, 2014)

"Security: Cyber and Physical," 20th Annual FERC Briefing, Electric Cooperative Edition, Westminster, Colo. (May 9, 2014)

"Cyber[in]Security," 20th Annual FERC Briefing, Boston, Mass. (April 4, 2014)

"FERC's Policies for New Transmission Development," 20th Annual FERC Briefing, Boston, Mass. (April 4, 2014)

"Cyber[in]Security," 19th Annual FERC Briefing, Westminster, Colo., Glen
Allen, Va., and Chicago, Ill. (May 22, June 5 and June 13, 2013)

"Internal Compliance Programs: How to Protect Your Organization," (co-presenter) 19th Annual FERC Briefing, Westminster, Colo., and Glen Allen, Va. (May 22 and 29, 2013)

“Evolving Electric Reliability Regulation,” (panel moderator) Energy Bar Association 66th Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. (April 22, 2012)

“I was a Middle-Aged Regulator,” (keynote speech) National Energy Compliance Forum, Kansas City, Kan. (Sept. 14, 2011)

“NERC Enforcement Update: View of a Former Enforcer,” Edison Electric Institute 2011 Fall Legal Conference, San Francisco, Calif. (Oct. 14, 2011)

“Compliance Perspective from Inside NERC,” National Rural Electric Cooperative G&T Legal Seminar, San Diego, Calif. (Nov. 4, 2011)

Pro Bono Activities

Joel has represented children and parents in child abuse and neglect cases. He successfully argued on behalf of the National Association of Counsel for Children a case establishing the authority of the guardian ad litem in child abuse and neglect matters in the District of Columbia.

Previous Experience

Prior to joining Schiff Hardin, Joel was a partner at Bruder, Gentile & Marcoux L.L.P. in Washington, D.C. In January 2013, Bruder, Gentile & Marcoux combined with Schiff Hardin.

From 2009 to 2011, Joel served in a number of executive roles at NERC, including as its Director of Compliance Enforcement. In that role, he oversaw the enforcement program of NERC and its eight regional entities, and he spearheaded efforts to make the enforcement of reliability standards more risk-focused and efficient.

Before joining NERC, Joel was Assistant General Counsel for the Federal Regulation at National Grid, where he managed National Grid’s legal activity at FERC, the U.S. Department of Energy and other federal agencies. He was also Vice President for Regulatory Affairs for Utilicom Networks LLC, a telecommunications firm focusing in broadband joint ventures with public utilities.


University of Chicago Law School(J.D., 1990)
Member, The University of Chicago Law Review
Bradley Law & Government Fellow
Research in Federalism and Regulatory Policy
Cornell University(B.A., Government, with distinction in all subjects, 1987)

Professional Memberships

Energy Bar Association
Working Group for Investment in Reliable and Economic Electric Systems
      Vice President (2006-2008)