Governor Gary R. Herbert announced the appointment of Dr. Laura Nelson as his new energy policy adviser at the fifth annual Governor’s Utah Energy Development Summit, May 24, 2016.
For the past two years, Dr. Nelson has served as the executive director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Development (OED), overseeing the organization’s mission to advance of all forms of responsible energy and minerals production. She will continue her position at OED, while also undertaking her new responsibilities as energy policy adviser.
“As we continue our ten-year strategic energy plan, Dr. Nelson’s expertise will be key to ensuring Utah’s ongoing leadership in providing affordable, reliable and sustainable energy,” Gov. Herbert said. “Laura has a track record of working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders to deliver innovative market solutions.”
Dr. Nelson has spent more than 20 years working on energy and natural resource issues in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining OED, Dr. Nelson served as the vice president of government and regulatory affairs for Potash Ridge, Corp., the vice president of energy and environmental development at Red Leaf Resources, and as the energy advisor to former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. She also served as the energy policy advisor to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission and a technical consultant to the Utah Division of Public Utilities. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Utah.
“I’m honored by this opportunity to advance Utah’s energy legacy,” said Dr. Nelson. “Utah is at the heart of several regional and national policy discussions, and it’s my priority as energy adviser to help collaboratively shape the strategic management of our natural resources in order to provide a future filled with opportunities for Utah’s rising generation.”
Dr. Nelson will replace Cody Stewart, who has been acting as both energy policy advisor and policy director to Gov. Herbert since 2012. Stewart will continue his role as the Governor’s policy director. Dr. Nelson will formally assume her new position immediately.