In a move covered extensively in the media last December, Gov. Jerry Brown named his former renewable energy advisor, alumnus Michael Picker MBA 98, as the new president of the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the powerful state regulatory agency. Brown first appointed Picker as a commissioner in January 2014.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Picker called the PUC “an enormously challenging organization” where “people are starting to respond slowly to the need for change.”
The PUC regulates privately owned electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies, in addition to authorizing video franchises. It plays a key role in making California a national and international leader on a number of clean energy related initiatives and policies designed to benefit consumers, the environment and the economy.
Before his appointment, Picker was senior advisor for renewable energy in the Office of the Governor from 2009 to 2014. He was a principal at Lincoln Crow Strategic Communications from 2000 to 2009, deputy treasurer in the Office of the California State Treasurer from 1998 to 1999, chief of staff to Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. from 1992 to 1999, and deputy assistant for toxic substance control in the Office of the Governor from 1981 to 1982.
He was a member of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Board of Directors from 2012-2014. Picker is a former lecturer at UCLA’s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and instructor at Occidental College’s Urban and Environmental Policies Institute.
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