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The DPU Commission

The Department is overseen by the three-member Commonwealth Utilities Commission appointed by the Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs with approval by the Governor. The Secretary designates one of the Commissioners as Chair. Below, you can learn about our Commission.

Table of Contents

Chair James M. (Jamie) Van Nostrand

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Jamie Van Nostrand was appointed Chair on March 15 for a term beginning on May 1, 2023. Prior to his appointment to the DPU, Van Nostrand was the Charles M. Love, Jr. Endowed Professor and Director of the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development at the West Virginia University College of Law. He is the author of THE COAL TRAP: HOW WEST VIRGINIA WAS LEFT BEHIND IN THE CLEAN ENERGY REVOLUTION (Cambridge University Press, 2022). Before moving to WVU in July 2011, Van Nostrand spent three years as a member of the adjunct faculty at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in White Plains, NY and Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center. Prior to his transition to law school teaching, Van Nostrand had a successful career in private law practice as a partner in the energy and environmental practice groups of two large law firms based in the Pacific Northwest (Perkins Coie LLP and Stoel Rives LLP). In his 22-year career in private practice, Van Nostrand represented energy clients in state regulatory proceedings in eight western states, as well as proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Mr. Van Nostrand was recognized by the Energy Bar Association as its 2007 State Regulatory Practitioner of the Year.

Mr. Van Nostrand received his LL.M. in Environmental Law from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law, his master’s degree in economics from SUNY at Albany, and an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Northern Iowa.

Commissioner Cecile M. Fraser, Esq.

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Cecile Fraser was first appointed as a Commissioner to the Department of Public Utilities in June of 2017. In January 2023, she was appointed Acting Chair, and served as Acting Chair until May 1, 2023. Prior to her appointment, Fraser served with the Department as counsel in the Division of Regional and Federal Affairs and the Consumer Division. Fraser is an attorney with over a decade of experience in the energy and utilities industry. Prior to joining the Department, Fraser worked in private law practice and as an in-house counsel engaged in a range of matters involving utility rates and regulation, infrastructure siting, consumer service issues and related activities. As counsel with the Department, Fraser has worked on issues involving New England’s wholesale electric markets and transmission system, as well as consumer issues. Fraser received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Fordham University and her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law-Camden.

Commissioner Staci Rubin, Esq., MPH, MELP

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Staci Rubin was appointed as a Commissioner to the Department of Public Utilities in April 2023 marking her return to the agency. 

Prior to her appointment, Rubin was the Vice President, Environmental Justice at Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) where she partnered with residents of historically marginalized communities to address challenges regarding transportation, climate justice, zero waste, and lead poisoning prevention in the six New England states.  She embedded environmental justice throughout CLF’s culture and achieved victories using a community lawyering approach to improve transit operations and prevent energy and waste facilities in low-income communities and communities of color.  Rubin successfully advocated for environmental justice laws in Massachusetts and Vermont.  

Prior to CLF, Rubin served as Senior Counsel and Hearing Officer at the Department of Public Utilities where she specialized in distributed generation and public records matters.  Preceding her role in state government, she was the Senior Attorney and Director of the Environmental Justice Legal Services program at Alternatives for Community & Environment, Inc. where she provided legal representation to resident groups and nonprofit organizations in low-income communities and communities of color regarding energy efficiency, transit fare programs, energy facility siting, community gardening, and other community-led initiatives.  She has also taught Energy Law and Policy at Northeastern University School of Law.

Rubin earned a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law, a Master of Public Health degree from Tufts University School of Medicine, a Master of Environmental Law and Policy degree from Vermont Law School, and an undergraduate degree from New York University.

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