Commissioner Christine Grant was elected in 2020 and is the Commission Secretary for 2021.
Christine teaches energy policy at Western Washington University’s Institute for Energy Studies. Her previous work includes over a decade of experience providing policy analysis and financing solutions for a range of private and public sector clients across the country, including rural electric cooperatives and public utilities.
She served on the Board of Directors of Spark Northwest, a non-profit promoting community-scale clean energy in the Pacific Northwest and she was a member of the City of Bellingham’s Climate Action Task Force. She has a B.A. degree in Environmental Studies from Wellesley College.
Christine lives with her husband and daughter in Bellingham. As a PUD Commissioner Christine hopes to advance collaborative water solutions for a healthy Nooksack River, grow local clean energy opportunities, and expand broadband infrastructure. (Term expires December 31, 2026.)
Commissioner Deshmane was elected to serve as Commissioner, beginning January 1, 2019, and is the Commission President for 2021.
As a Public Utility Commissioner and business leader, Atul hopes to create opportunities for sustainable energy and to encourage and support water conservation to meet the needs of residents, farms, fish, and local businesses. Commissioner Deshmane resides in rural Whatcom County. (Term expires Dec. 31, 2024.)
Michael J. Murphy
Elected in 1998, Commissioner Murphy currently serves as Vice President. Murphy is the District’s representative and member of the Board of Directors for the Washington Public Utility Districts Association (WPUDA) and several of their other committees on the state level.
A lifelong resident of Whatcom County, Mike and his wife raised four children and now enjoy spending time with their nine grandchildren. Murphy decided to run for PUD Commissioner in 1998, when he could no longer take his children to the locations and streams where he played or swam as a child. Seeking an explanation from the cities and county for why the streams no longer fluently flowed, but could not find an answer, he decided something needed to be done to further protect our valuable resources.
Commissioner Murphy has served as a volunteer fire fighter, EMT, and fire commissioner over for 35 years. He retired from the Ferndale School District as the Director of Facilities and Transportation after 26 years.
As retired, he has more time to be involved in PUD activities. In his time as Commissioner, the PUD went from serving Cherry Point as its primary business customers to working with the industries to find ways to conserve on water and energy.
Locally, Mike attends the Watershed Improvement Districts (WID) meetings to listen, learn and suggest ways on how the PUD can support farmers and their water needs. He also attends WRIA-1 Watershed Management Board and Planning Unit meetings, and small cities meetings, to offer input and solutions on how the PUD can help local water purveyors and similar agencies. Murphy continues to be active in water related issues from helping farmers, to energy and conservation, drought planning, and fish and habitat restoration projects.
As Commissioner, Murphy is proud of the many PUD accomplishments over the years:
Pilot Program – Technical Assistance for Group A Water Systems by a grant from the Department of Health;
Supporting agricultural waste solutions by the use anaerobic digesters and a cutting-edge filtration system to produce clean water;
Assisting with water systems consolidation projects and solutions – to help solve matters such water rights issues or nitrate contamination, with feasibility studies and/or constructing infrastructure such as interties.
Strategic planning efforts to meet future challenges and opportunities.