Washington, DC, April 20, 2010—Suedeen Kelly, an internationally recognized energy leader, has joined Patton Boggs LLP, expanding the firm’s ability to help clients navigate the changing energy landscape and prepare for new legislation and regulations.
Ms. Kelly, a former commissioner with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in both the Bush and Obama administrations, joins the firm as a partner in its Washington office and will co-chair the firm’s energy industry practice. Ms. Kelly brings extensive experience in the federal government as well as in the electric and natural gas industries.
During her six-year tenure at the commission, Ms. Kelly was responsible for the oversight and regulation of the nation’s electricity and natural gas wholesale markets and interstate transmission systems; hydroelectric facilities; reliability standards; as well as smart grid interoperability.
While at the commission, Ms. Kelly helped resolve some 7,000 disputes and implemented regulatory reforms through scores of rulemaking orders. She spearheaded change in regulatory policies, piloted internal strategic planning efforts to enable market reforms and encouraged collaboration between federal and state regulators to promote technology deployment and smart gridadvancement.
“The addition of Suedeen Kelly is a clear signal that we are strategically expanding our energy practice,” said Stuart M. Pape, managing partner of the firm. “She is a dynamic leader in the energy sector and a major draw for clients given her wealth of expertise in the private and public sectors.”
A 1976 graduate of Cornell Law School, Ms. Kelly started her career in private practice with the firm of Ruckelshaus, Beveridge, Fairbanks & Diamond in Washington, DC, where she focused on federal environmental and commercial litigation. After a stint at the Natural Resources Defense Council, also in Washington, she became managing partner of Luebben, Hughes & Kelly based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 2001, she joined the Modrall Law Firm to start its public utility practice.
“This is an exciting move,” Ms. Kelly said. “Patton Boggs is a highly acclaimed leader in every area of law that will be part of my practice—policy and regulatory, business, litigation and intellectual property. I am proud to be joining this superb organization. As co-chair of the energy industry practice, my goal will be to deliver value to the energy client by working closely with them to understand their needs, putting together the best and most qualified people to work on their project, and producing quality work efficiently. I am delighted to have this opportunity to continue working in the energy industry in a meaningful way.” Ms. Kelly got her start in public service in 1983 when she was named as a commissioner and then the first female chair of the Public Service Commission of New Mexico. In that role, she was responsible for the oversight and regulation of the state’s electric, gas and water utilities.
In addition, Ms. Kelly taught energy law while a faculty member at the University of New Mexico Law School for more than a decade before returning to Washington in 1999 to serve on the staff of New Mexico Democratic Senator Jeff Bingaman, the chair of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee.
When California confronted an electricity crisis in 2000, Ms. Kelly was tapped by the state’s independent transmission system operator to work on issues behind the massive power shortage.
Prior to President Bush nominating her to FERC in 2003, Ms. Kelly represented independent generators, water and gas utilities, companies doing business with utilities and mining companies.