President Obama Nominates John Norris to FERC Commissioner

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President Obama has nominated John R. Norris, Chief of Staff for Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, to serve as the Commissioner at FERC.

Norris served as the Chairman of Iowa Utilities Board for five years prior to serving as Secretary Vilsack’s Chief of Staff. As a member of National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) he worked on the Electricity Committee and was Co-Chair of the 2009 National Electricity Delivery Forum. Norris has also served as a member of the Demand Response Collaborative between FERC and NARUC.

Norris now has to be confirmed by the Senate.

A press release from White House states the following:

John R. Norris is currently serving as Chief of Staff for Secretary Tom Vilsack at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Prior to joining the USDA, Norris served as Chairman of the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) from 2005 to 2009.  As a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) he worked on the Electricity Committee and was Co-Chair of the 2009 National Electricity Delivery Forum.  He served as a Board Member, Secretary and President of the Organization of Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) States as well as Chairman of the MISO Demand Response Working Group.  He also was a member of the FERC/NARUC Demand Response Collaborative.  Norris was on the Board of Directors of the National Regulatory Research Institute, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Iowa Power Fund and served on the Advisory Councils of the Iowa Energy Center, the Financial Research Institute for the University of Missouri College of Business and the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research at the University of Iowa.  In 1999 and 2000 he was Chairman of the Iowa Electric Restructuring Task Force while serving as Chief of Staff for then Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack.  Norris also worked for U.S. Representative Leonard Boswell (IA-3rd) as Boswell’s Chief of Staff from 1997 to 1998.  From 1989 to 2003 he owned and managed a restaurant in Greenfield, Iowa and he was State Director of the Iowa Farm Unity Coalition during the Farm Crisis of the 1980’s.  Norris graduated with distinction from the College of Law at the University of Iowa in 1995 and received his undergraduate degree in 1981 from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.