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People on the Move


People on the Move highlights the career advancements of high-level trailblazers working professionally in diverse areas of standardization, contributing every day to the strength and success of the U.S. standards and conformance community.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has announced two new additions to its senior staff.

Sonia Vahedian is the organization’s new chief operating officer. In this role, she will ensure the long-term financial and operational viability of NEMA through effective planning, forecasting, and treasury oversight.

Prior to joining NEMA, Vahedian was vice president of revenue generating programs for the American Petroleum Institute (API). There, she drove strategy and launched programs to increase revenue for the organization. She also led API’s strategy to mitigate business losses from the pandemic, and helped to define and launch a diversity, equity, and inclusion effort industry-wide. Previously, Vahedian was CEO for the Mobile Giving Foundation. She has also held numerous business development, technical, and operational roles in the energy industry with companies including BP/Amoco, Statoil/Equinor, and Kinder Morgan.

“Ms. Vahedian’s decades of expertise as a business operations executive, and her proven ability to both foster growth and handle complex issues, will be an immense asset for NEMA,” said president and CEO Debra Phillips. “As our organization continues to evolve, we firmly believe that Ms. Vahedian will provide critical guidance and insight, enabling us to meet our short-term and long-term goals.”

Spencer Pederson has been appointed as NEMA’s vice president of public affairs. He will lead all aspects of government and public relations for the organization.

Pederson has nearly 12 years of experience working on Capitol Hill on both the House and Senate sides, focusing on energy, tax, trade, and natural resources issues. Previously, he was vice president of government affairs for the Consumer Brands Association (CBA). Prior to that, Pederson was director of federal affairs with the American Chemistry Council (ACC), where he led the association’s federal advocacy for rail, transportation, and infrastructure issues. Pederson was on Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)’s staff for four years as a senior policy advisor, and he sat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as well as the Senate Finance Committee. He also served as press secretary for the House Natural Resources Committee, and the communications director for Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA).

“At a moment when the electroindustry is poised to advance collective electrification, connectivity, and energy transition goals, we are thrilled Spencer has decided to join the NEMA team,” said Phillips. “Spencer’s deep experience in energy and supply chain policy are critical as NEMA works alongside lawmakers to craft policy focused on electrified, resilient infrastructure and technologies.”


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]