Full Name
Mr. Raiford Smith
Job Title
Chief Utility Innovation Officer
Speaker Bio
Raiford Smith is the Chief Utility Innovation Officer of AES’ US Utilities, providing safe, reliable, and affordable electric service to more than one million customers. In this role, Raiford leads planning, asset management, engineering, and capital project management functions for transmission and distribution. He also leads efforts around creating new customer products and services and new analytics to generate insights about customers and the electric grid.

Raiford began his career as a unionized call center clerk at Savannah Electric and Power Company and has spent over three decades since then in the electric, natural gas, and high-tech industries. Prior to his role at AES, Raiford led Google’s global energy, water and wastewater, economic and community development, and supply planning teams, managing over $1.2Bn OpEx and $15Bn CapEx budgets to help Google transition from 100% renewable energy to 24x7 carbon free energy. Additionally, he led the product and UX functions at Tapestry, Google X’s moonshot for the electric grid. Prior to his work at Google, Raiford held a wide variety of roles at other energy companies, including CPS Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy, and the Southern Company. He has led initiatives that contributed hundreds of millions of dollars of recurring EBITDA, grew customer engagement, and improved service reliability through new customer products and services, analytics, smart grid, and distributed energy resources. His career has spanned a very diverse set of roles in legal, mergers and acquisitions, energy trading, transmission & distribution, product management, regulatory, information technology, and customer support.

Raiford graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, earned an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, earned a JD from the Charlotte School of Law, and received a business analytics certificate from Harvard University’s Business Analytics Program. Raiford is a licensed attorney (North Carolina), holds multiple patents for distributed computing at the grid edge, and has published numerous papers on the future of the electric industry, energy regulatory economics, and energy-related technology.
Raiford Smith