On Friday, August 16, during a formal oath-of-office ceremony, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) welcomed a new president: Marybel Batjer. Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Batjer as CPUC president on Friday, July 12.

As CPUC president, Batjer will lead the Commission’s oversight of several industries including investor-owned utilities, natural gas, telecommunications, water and railroads. She’ll also play a role in community choice aggregation (CCA) growth in California as the CPUC also sets guidelines with which CCA programs must comply.

“Marybel’s deep experience in government administration and sound judgment make her uniquely qualified to take on this important role,” said Governor Newsom in a press release from the Governor’s Office. “I am confident she will protect the best interest of all Californians by challenging utilities to embrace reform while providing safe, reliable and affordable service.”

Batjer’s government service dates back to President Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush’s administrations, where she worked for Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger and General Colin Powell. On a state-level, Batjer served as chief of staff to Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn and was part of the administrations of Govs. Pete Wilson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown in California. Most recently, Batjer served as secretary of the California Government Operations Agency, where she updated the State’s large-contract bidding process to reduce structured, long-term agreements in favor of regular assessments with options for flexibility.

“CalChoice looks forward to working with Marybel Batjer in the community choice aggregation arena,” said Executive Director of the California Choice Energy Authority Jason Caudle. “We hope her experience and know-how will shape a path for progress in bringing CCA to more communities around California.”

By Sara Appel. Originally posted on Civic Business Journal