In accepting Kessel’s resignation, the NYPA board, which is charged with the oversight of the Authority’s senior management, approved the issuance of a Request for Proposals for the hiring of an executive search firm to provide candidates for filling the president and CEO position, the top staff job at the Authority. The trustees elected Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA’s chief operating officer, to serve as the Authority’s acting president and CEO following Kessel’s departure from NYPA.

“We greatly appreciate the considerable efforts of Richard Kessel in leading NYPA during tough economic times in New York State and the country,” said Michael J. Townsend, NYPA chairman. “He has been a strong advocate for New York and contributed greatly to the important role the Power Authority plays in providing clean, economical and reliable power for the people of our state.”

“I’m leaving the New York Power Authority with a sense of accomplishment for the wide ranging measures we undertook over the last few years for spurring economic development around the state, particularly in Western and Northern New York where our large hydroelectric projects are located,” said Kessel. “It’s been my distinct pleasure working with Governors Paterson and Cuomo and carrying out their energy and economic development policies.”

Kessel said he expects to spend more time with his family. “It’s the right time for me to be leaving and I’m very comfortable with the decision,” he said.

The candidate selected as a result of the national search for a new president and CEO will be subject to the approval of the NYPA trustees and confirmation by the New York State Senate.

“During the transition period leading up to the selection of a new president and CEO, the Power Authority will continue to remain focused on the economical and reliable operation of its statewide generating and transmission facilities,” said Quiniones.

As NYPA’s chief operating officer since June 2008, Quiniones has managed the day-to-day activities and operations of the Authority.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the electric-power-research-institute, the electric power industry’s international research and development organization. He is also active in the affairs of two national public power organizations, serving on the Steering Committee of the board of the Large Public Power Council and as the Power Authority’s principal representative to the American Public Power Association.