Dr. Laura Nelson, Ph.D.
Energy Advisor, Office of Energy Development State of Utah
Dr. Laura Nelson was appointed in May 2016 by Governor Herbert to serve as his Energy Policy Advisor. 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 current responsibilities are focused toward delivering on the State’s energy policy and the Governor’s Ten-Year Strategic Energy Plan, which includes meeting objectives across resources, and advancing the State’s energy efficiency and conservation goals. Efforts in this regard include leading and managing a staff of experts, building inter-agency collaborations, working with stakeholders across the spectrum of energy issues, participating on numerous boards, and leading Utah’s interaction on regional and national coordination for energy and mineral opportunities and challenges.
Dr. Nelson’s board and committee appointments include serving as the chair of the Utah Energy Infrastructure board, treasurer for the Executive Committee of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, chair to the Western Interstate Energy Board, 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 a member of the board for Utah Museum of Contemporary Art and Central Utah Art Center.
Past board and committee positions include 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 long 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. She is actively engaged in supporting community initiatives to enhance the welfare of low income families.