OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (July 8, 2021) – The City of Oak Ridge has named Ardo Ba as its new Electric Director.
Ba, who previously served as Oak Ridge Electric Department’s Electric Operations Manager, has served as Interim Electric Director since former Director Jack Sugg’s promotion to Deputy City Manager in March. He begins this role immediately.
“I’ve been with the Oak Ridge Electric Department since 2009, when I started as an Electrical Project Manager,” said
Ba. “We have a great group of people working together to keep the lights on and life running, and I am ready to move our department forward as its next director.”
Ba was promoted to Electric Operations Manager in 2017. In that role, he directed and managed Electric Department crews, including contract crews. He made sure departmental staff were up to date on training and ensured compliance with all safety-related practices, laws, and regulations.
“When the lights go out, it was our job was to evaluate the outage and find out what caused it in order to get power back up quickly,” said Ba. “At the same time, we also have to make the necessary fixes to minimize the next outage from having the same cause.”
He is a Tennessee Valley Public Power Association (TVPPA) Certified Power Executive.
Ba moved to East Tennessee from Senegal, West Africa, in 2000. He went to University of Tennessee Knoxville to study at the English Language Institute. In 2006, Ba worked at Jackson Energy Authority as a co-op for 12 months. He served with the Tennessee Army National Guard from 2005 to 2017 as a Cavalry Scout where he was honorably discharged as a Non-Commissioned Officer.
“I went through one tour of duty in Baghdad in 2010 with the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment as a scout attached to a Military Police unit where we conducted Personal Security Detail missions,” said Ba. “From that deployment, I was honored with an Army Accommodation Medal and Certification of Appreciation from the Department of State.”
Ba was part of the Leadership Oak Ridge Class of 2011 and he was named to Knoxville’s “40 Under 40” in 2018. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University in 2009, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Tusculum College in 2013 and went on to complete his Master of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2015.
“The City organization takes pride in its ability to ‘grow your own.’ Ardo Ba is an exceptional example of the attitude and dedication that we see from our public employees,” said Oak Ridge City Manager Dr. Mark Watson. “I have seen proven examples of Mr. Ba’s technical and leadership expertise that will make him an excellent choice as Electrical Director in the coming years, I am proud to have him join the senior leadership team for the City.”
Ba has two daughters in Oak Ridge Schools. He will be sworn in at the July 12 City Council meeting.