SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary R. Herbert announced the appointment Tuesday of Dr. Laura Nelson as his new energy policy adviser at the 5th annual “Governor’s Utah Energy Development Summit.”
For the past two years, Nelson has served as the executive director of the governor’s Office of Energy Development, overseeing the organization’s mission to advance of all forms of responsible energy and minerals production. She will continue in this position, while also undertaking her new responsibilities as energy policy adviser.
“As we continue our 10-year strategic energy plan, Dr. Nelson’s expertise will be key to ensuring Utah’s ongoing leadership in providing affordable, reliable and sustainable energy,” Herbert said. “Laura has a track record of working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders to deliver innovative market solutions.”
Nelson has spent more than 20 years working on energy and natural resource issues in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining the Office of Energy Development, 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 the energy adviser to former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr.
Nelson also served as the energy policy adviser to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission and a technical consultant to the Utah Division of Public Utilities. She holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Utah.
“I’m honored by this opportunity to advance Utah’s energy legacy,” Nelson said. “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.”
Nelson will replace Cody Stewart, who has been acting as both energy policy adviser and policy director to Herbert since 2012. Stewart will continue his role as the governor’s policy director. Nelson will formally assume her new position immediately.