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NEW YORK - The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs announced today that former Commissioner and Chairman at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Cheryl LaFleur will join the Center as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow. At CGEP, LaFleur will produce expert commentary and support the Center’s research on the power and natural gas sectors and ongoing energy transition to low-carbon fuels. She will contribute to the strong community of energy and climate scholars and practitioners at the Center and across the University, engage with the University’s vibrant student community, and participate in public and private events organized by the Center.

“Cheryl is a nationally recognized energy leader and one of the longest-serving commissioners at FERC,” said Jason Bordoff, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs and Founding Director of the Center on Global Energy Policy. “We are delighted that she will contribute her policy experience and insights to the Center on Global Energy Policy, particularly to our Power Sector and Renewables Research Initiative. Today, changes in the power sector present tremendous opportunity for new business models, new financing solutions and new technologies to achieve a decarbonized energy future. Cheryl has unique experience navigating the challenges and opportunities facing the grid today and will offer invaluable expertise to our power sector program.”

LaFleur is an attorney, executive, and government official with more than 30 years of experience as a leader in the electric and natural gas field, including as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from 2010 to 2019. She was appointed by President Obama to two terms at the Commission and as Chairman from 2014-15 and Acting Chairman from 2013-14. She again served as Acting Chairman during 2017, making her the only person to lead FERC twice under two different administrations.

“I am excited to join the superb team at the Center on Global Energy Policy,” said LaFleur. “The energy sector in the United States and internationally is at a critical juncture as it adapts to the challenges of global climate change. These challenges will have lasting implications for energy infrastructure, technologies, markets and regulation. CGEP has established itself as a thought leader on these issues by taking an interdisciplinary and pragmatic approach, and I look forward to being a part of their work.”

LaFleur joined FERC after more than 20 years in the northeast utility industry, retiring from her role as Executive Vice President and acting CEO of the utility company National Grid USA, responsible for the delivery of electricity to 3.4 million customers in the Northeast. She most recently was elected to the Board of Directors of the Independent System Operator of New England, an independent nonprofit that operates and plans the power system and administers wholesale electricity markets for New England. LaFleur has been recognized with several awards for energy policy and leadership, including the Carnot Prize for leadership in energy policy, the Vanguard Award for leadership on energy market issues, a Bipartisan Congressional Award for leadership in addressing emerging hazards to the grid. She began her career as an attorney at Ropes and Gray in Boston. She has a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an A.B. from Princeton University. 

About the Distinguished Visiting Fellows program

The CGEP Distinguished Fellows Program brings veterans of public and private sector life into the Columbia community. Distinguished Fellows serve as adjunct research scholars, collaborate on articles and op-eds published through CGEP, participate in public events at Columbia University, speak to campus and faculty groups, and may teach a course or supervise a student research team.

About the Center on Global Energy Policy

CGEP’s mission is to enable public and private sector leaders to make more informed choices about the world’s most pressing energy issues by providing an independent and interdisciplinary platform for insights and data-driven analysis, convening and information-sharing, education and training, and actionable recommendations on the current and future global energy system.

Based at one of the world’s great research universities, the Center combines academic research with the experience of senior energy experts from government, academia, industry and non-governmental organizations. The result is robust, accessible and actionable analysis, which the Center disseminates through public forums, research, roundtable discussions, conferences and the media. In addition to its ability to harness the world-class faculty of Columbia across many disciplines, the Center utilizes the University’s global reach through its physical centers in key energy countries including Brazil, Turkey, India and China.