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For Immediate Release: October 9, 2012
Contact: Robert J. Thormeyer, 202-898-9382, rthormeyer@naruc.org

Kentucky's Gardner Appointed as Chair of Education and Research Panel

WASHINGTON--National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President David Wright of South Carolina appointed Commissioner Jim Gardner of Kentucky as Chairman of the Association’s Subcommittee on Education and Research.

The Subcommittee on Education and Research, now in its sixth year, serves a dual purpose: One, it analyzes whether NARUC’s existing education and training programs, including ongoing relationships with several universities, are meeting the needs of its membership; Second, it focuses on helping the regulatory workforce confront two realities—the relatively short tenure of commissioner service and the pending retirement of many experienced commission staff.

With this appointment, Commissioner Gardner, who replaces outgoing Chair Lori Murphy Lee of the District of Columbia, becomes a member of the NARUC Board of Directors.

“This subcommittee plays a critical role in making sure our members are getting the most effective information and on-the-job training,” President Wright said. “In an era where the utility industry from top to bottom is experiencing profound change, NARUC must ensure that our nation’s regulators have access to the best educational resources available. Commissioner Gardner is stepping up to the plate at an important time, and I look forward to working with him in this new capacity. I also give a heartfelt thanks to Commissioner Lee for her steadfast support and energetic leadership. Our members and, by extension, the nation’s ratepayers are better off because of her service.”

“I am honored to serve as Chair of the Subcommittee and would like to thank both President Wright for this appointment and Commissioner Lee for her outstanding leadership,” said Commissioner Gardner. “I look forward to working with the other members of the Subcommittee and continuing, among other things, to explore and develop innovative educational opportunities for our present and future utility regulators.”

Since January 2007, the subcommittee has launched a number of initiatives, including the twice-a-year New Commissioner Training program, and has developed a mechanism to analyze educational partnership opportunities. The panel meets three times a year, following NARUC’s regular meeting schedule. With a limited budget and plethora of educational options, the subcommittee determines if there are other programs and policies the Association should be considering.

Commissioner Gardner was appointed as Vice Chairman of the Kentucky Public Service Commission in June 2008 and was reappointed in July 2012. Within NARUC, he chairs the Association’s Task Force on Environmental Regulation and Generation, and is a Co-Vice Chair of the Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment. In addition, Commissioner Gardner serves on the Advisory Boards of the Financial Research Institute, the Gas Technology Institute, and the Electric Power Research Institute’s Energy Efficiency/Smart Grid Public Advisory Group.

Prior to his PSC appointment, Commissioner Gardner was elected to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council in 1982 and served until 1986. He was a member of the Fayette County Board of Education from 1993 to 1997, serving as its chairman from 1995 to 1997.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Georgetown College, graduating summa cum laude. Commissioner Gardner holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he was a member of the Kentucky Law Journal and Order of the Coif.

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NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.

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