FERC Chairman Rich Glick today announced Elin Katz will lead the Commission’s new Office of Public Participation (OPP).
FERC established OPP in June to coordinate and provide assistance to members of the public to facilitate participation in Commission proceedings, following a months-long process to gather stakeholder feedback on how best to develop this innovative new office.
Chairman Glick said Katz, the former head of the Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel and president of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA), brings the right balance of demonstrated public and private sector leadership skills to the new FERC office.
“This is a groundbreaking position at FERC that will assist the public and drive meaningful participation from a diverse range of stakeholders to help strengthen our decisions,” Chairman Glick said. “I’m excited to welcome Elin to the Commission. She is an accomplished attorney and has done extensive work advocating on behalf of consumers. Her leadership experience and ability to effect change is an excellent fit to drive the mission of OPP forward. I know she will do a terrific job.”
Glick also thanked Commissioner Allison Clements, noting that she was instrumental in getting OPP to a position where, within eight months of his announced effort to set up the office, OPP now has leadership and operational abilities to fulfill the Commission’s mission.
“I want to commend Commissioner Clements for her determination and hard work in getting OPP off the ground, including gathering essential public input through the listening sessions and workshops that she led,” Glick said.
"The Commission is taking the next step in ensuring stakeholders gain access to the Commission’s decision-making processes by hiring the Office of Public Participation’s director,” Commissioner Clements said. “A strong leader is essential to supporting participation by interested individuals and communities, and I am thrilled someone of Elin Katz’s caliber and character will be at the helm. I commend Chairman Glick for this strong pick and look forward to Elin’s accomplishments in her new role."
Katz most recently served as Vice President, Utilities for Tilson Technology Management, Inc., where she led the company’s utilities practice in support of electric utility initiatives for grid modernization, connected communities, energy equity and storm response, serving as the firm’s go-to national expert on consumer impacts of utilities regulation, energy and broadband network deployment policies.
In her work as Connecticut’s Consumer Counsel, she directed all operations of the independent state agency, comprised of attorneys, administrative staff and financial analysts, including managing more than 500 administrative and court proceedings annually. During her tenure, she also served as NASUCA President, and in both capacities, she engaged frequently with FERC on issues ranging from New England’s pipeline constraints, energy equity and affordability to grid modernization, cost-effective models for clean energy development, transmission incentives and avenues for public engagement at FERC.
Katz also served in several attorney and associate attorney positions for firms and state agencies in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, a Master of Arts in English from Trinity College and a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law.
Katz will assume her role as the Director of OPP in late November.
Congress authorized the establishment of OPP in Section 319 of the Federal Power Act. FERC outlined its plans for the new office in a June report that detailed the legal background of, and public feedback on, OPP. OPP’s functions include direct outreach and education, procedural assistance and program office coordination to improve existing FERC processes, as well as counsel to the Commission on intervenor funding.