Women in Energy: Diane Leopold

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Dominion Energy

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Dominion Energy, joined the company in 1995 and became an officer in 2004. She held a wide range of executive roles in operational, financial, and commercial areas before assuming her current role in 2020. She oversees nearly every aspect of company operations alongside Carter Reid.

Why did you choose a career in the energy industry?

Diane: Originally, I wanted to be a music engineer—working in recording studios. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was better at engineering than music!

I ended up pursuing a double major in mechanical and electrical engineering, with a focus on energy. I wanted to understand how power was produced, so I became the first female power station engineer at my prior company. I loved the job, because I got to learn about every system in the station and participate in Clean Air Act upgrades.

I’ve been fortunate to experience the industry from so many vantage points—technical, operational, financial, commercial, and more. To this day, I am constantly learning.

How have you seen the energy industry evolve?

Diane: I never assumed I would stay my whole career, but I found the energy industry to be incredibly dynamic. It is critical to our way of life and provides an opportunity to tackle some of the most challenging issues.

The energy industry is in the midst of yet another major transformation—the most significant change since the Industrial Revolution. New technologies and innovations are driving today’s and tomorrow’s solutions. It is exciting to be part of the clean energy transition driving the entire economy. We are exploring clean hydrogen and advanced, small nuclear reactors, as well as investing in offshore wind, solar batteries, grid modernization, and renewable natural gas. We are also partnering with other electric utilities on a highway vehicle charging network.