Dr. Laura Nelson was appointed in May 2016 by Governor Herbert to serve as his Energy Policy Adviser. She continues to also serve as the Executive Director of the Utah Office of Energy Development, a position she has held since July 2014. Prior to joining Governor Herbert’s Energy Office, Dr. 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 as the Energy Advisor to Utah Governor Jon M. Huntsman. She also served as the Energy Policy Advisor to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission and a Technical Consultant to the Utah Division of Public Utilities.
Dr. Nelson’s board and committee appointments include serving as the Chair of the Utah Energy Infrastructure board, a board member and member of the Executive Committee of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, a board member and Chair to the Western Interstate Energy Board, a board member of Utah Clean Cities and as a western representative on the board of the National Association of Energy Offices. As part of her commitment to the arts, she also serves as member of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art.
Past board and committee positions have included serving as the Utah Representative to the Western Renewable Generation Information Systems (WREGIS) board, the Utah representative on the Federal Unconventional Resources Task Force, and the Chair of the Salt Lake Chamber Energy and Minerals Task Force.
Dr. Nelson has been proactive in defining and supporting balanced and sustainable energy solutions, including providing Congressional testimony, participating in regional collaborations, working with counties and cities, and coordinating across diverse stakeholders. Dr. Nelson has over 20 years of experience working on energy and natural resource issues in both the public and private sectors. She has a solid track record of working collaboratively to deliver positive policy, regulatory, and commercial results.
Dr. Nelson holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Utah and resides with her family in Salt Lake City. She enjoys running, skiing, and art. Through her involvement with the Salt Lake City Junior League, she is actively engaged in supporting community initiatives to enhance the welfare of low income families.