Press Release

Press Release  Healey-Driscoll Administration Establishes Nation’s First Office of Energy Transformation

Melissa Lavinson appointed as Executive Director to execute community-by-community decarbonization strategy
For immediate release:
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Establishes Nation’s First Office of Energy Transformation

Danielle Burney, Deputy Communications Director

Photo of Melissa Lavinson

BOSTONThe Healey-Driscoll Administration today announced the establishment of the Office of Energy Transformation (OET) and the appointment of Melissa Lavinson as its Executive Director. The Office will be housed within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and is charged with the hands-on execution of the clean energy transition, including ensuring the availability and readiness of electrical infrastructure, electric and gas transition coordination, and a just transition for impacted workers and businesses. Lavinson will also convene an Energy Transformation Task Force with industry, labor and supply chain representatives, among others, to accelerate cooperation and understanding of the current state of the energy transition in Massachusetts. This is the first position of its kind in the nation.  

“We are committed to equitably and fairly transitioning to clean energy. This means working closely with workers and businesses to set them up for success in an economy powered by clean energy,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Melissa Lavinson joins our team with close working relationships with the utilities and unions and will be able to build quick consensus as we make the transition away from fossil fuels. She’ll be able to translate our policy goals into real-world actions.”  

“We are at an inflection point where our policy vision needs to be translated into practical solutions,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “Our new Office of Energy Transformation and the Energy Transformation Task Force will be able to execute on the important granular work of readying our electrical grid and supporting our fossil fuel workers over the next few years.”  

“The DPU’s order on the Future of Gas gave us the regulatory framework to end Massachusetts’ reliance on natural gas, and now it’s time to act,” said Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rebecca Tepper. “This is a transition for the consumer switching to electric appliances, for the worker being trained in the latest decarbonization technologies, and for our utility companies, which will need to adopt a new business model. We are establishing the Office of Energy Transformation with a dedicated team focused on transitioning our utilities and their employees to our clean energy future. Melissa Lavinson shares our urgency and commitment to an equitable transition. I know she will be able to hit the ground running and lead this new office with enthusiasm.”   

“I’m thrilled to join the Healey-Driscoll Administration and get to work bringing the benefits of the clean energy transition to every community in Massachusetts,” said Melissa Lavinson. “I’m looking forward to bringing together energy workers, businesses, and other stakeholders to develop practical and immediate steps we can take to equitably, affordably, and responsibly shift to a cleaner, more electrified, and fossil fuel-free future. Our office will tackle some of the most complex and important barriers to this transition and build meaningful consensus to meet this moment. It will take all of us, working together, to make this vision a reality.”  

The Department of Public Utilities’ groundbreaking order in Docket 20-80 confirmed that Massachusetts will move away from fossil fuels and its supporting infrastructure as quickly as possible toward electrification, including advancing targeted electrification pilots and expanding geothermal. The electric network is projected to be the primary energy delivery mechanism for the entire state by 2050. To achieve this vision, the Healey-Driscoll Administration recognizes the need for a dedicated team to focus on to real-world, daily impacts of executing the energy transition.  

The Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Energy Transformation will provide leadership in strategic planning, roadmap development, and stakeholder engagement to advance the transformation of the state's energy delivery ecosystem. In this role, Lavinson will focus on three key areas:   

  • Electric Infrastructure: As residents make the switch to electric heating and vehicles, the OET will work to ensure there is adequate infrastructure, regulations, and supply chain in place to accommodate increasing electric load on the timeline outlined in the state’s Clean Energy and Climate Plans. 
  • Electric and Gas Coordination: The OET will work with the electric and gas utilities to ensure a coordinated approach to the energy transition that maintains reliability, safety, and affordability.
  • Just Transition for Workers & Businesses: Many companies and thousands of workers are dependent on fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil, and propane for their livelihoods. The OET will work with stakeholders to develop a roadmap to empower and prepare workers and businesses for the future, while ensuring the safe and reliable operation of energy infrastructure during the transition.  

To address these issues, Lavinson will convene an Energy Transformation Task Force comprised of representatives from utilities, business, labor, supply chain industry, municipalities, and other implementation partners to accelerate cooperation and understanding of the current state of the energy transition in Massachusetts and areas in which immediate progress can and must be made. In collaboration with the Task Force, Lavinson will develop a slate of near-term priority actions to address current barriers to the transition and a longer-term execution roadmap to help companies and individuals implement the transition. Such a roadmap would evaluate where and when new electric infrastructure is needed, gas infrastructure can be retired, and near-term transition projects, including geothermal and targeted electrification projects, can advance. Planning ahead and taking a coordinated approach will help contain costs and minimize impacts on ratepayers. Additionally, the OET and Task Force will develop and execute a transition plan for gas workers and gas-dependent businesses to set them up for future success and competitiveness.  

About Melissa Lavinson  

Melissa Lavinson joins the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs from National Grid, New England, where she previously served as Head of Corporate Affairs, leading National Grid’s state and municipal government relations, community and stakeholder engagement, media relations, municipal customer management, strategic communications, and the company’s Equity in Energy initiative and Grid for Good philanthropic program in New England. Previously, Lavinson was Senior Vice President of Federal Government and Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy at Exelon Corporation and Senior Vice President of Governmental and External Affairs for Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI), the parent company of Pepco, Delmarva Power, and Atlantic City Electric, which provide gas and electric service to Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and the District of Columbia. Lavinson also spent more than 20 years at California-based PG&E Corporation, including as Vice President of Federal Affairs and Policy and Chief Sustainability Officer. Earlier in her career, she worked at MRW and Associates and in ICF Consulting’s Climate Change Practice. Melissa holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Hamilton College. She starts as Executive Director on May 1.  

Statements of Support  

Gina McCarthy, Former Advisor to President Biden 

“Establishing the Office of the Energy Transformation is innovative, necessary and continues Massachusetts' climate leadership. We need to really dig in and figure out how we are going to accelerate the move away from fossil fuels and electrify our economy. I applaud the Governor and Secretary for their foresight and for bringing on Melissa Lavinson to lead this new office. I have known Melissa for many years and I can honestly say she is committed, forthright, fair and unafraid to tackle the hard issues and do it in a way that brings people together. She is the right person for this role.” 

Mindy Lubber, CEO and President of Ceres 

“Melissa is a 'make it happen' professional. She is strategic and smart and knows how to tackle monumental challenges and find solutions. I have seen her tackle problems like high energy costs where she provided a one- stop-shop for consumers to get help on bills. And I have seen her elevate sustainability at utility companies to become the priority for their boards and CEOs. I can think of no person better than Melissa to lead the state’s energy transformation program. I applaud Governor Healey for making this a high priority for her administration.” 

Bradley Campbell, President of the Conservation Law Foundation 

“Governor Healey has made a brilliant choice in choosing Melissa Lavinson to lead a new Office of Energy Transformation, and the office is sorely needed to accelerate the clean energy transition.  The planning and policy changes needed to overhaul our energy systems and phase out fossil fuels are many, and Melissa has a clear-eyed view of the failings and headwinds created by the current utility business model. Both the Governor and the Legislature now need to work together to make sure this office has the resources needed to do the job.”  

Elizabeth Turnbull Henry, President of the Environmental League of Massachusetts 

“Managing our net-zero transition and modernizing our electric grid will require thoughtful planning, coordination, and stakeholder engagement. In creating the Office of Energy Transition, the Healey-Driscoll Administration continues to re-design state government to better tackle the climate crisis and build a team of talented experts to accelerate equitable decarbonization.”  

Chrissy Lynch, President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO  

“The energy transition is a critical opportunity to both combat climate change and create family-sustaining careers. The workers building, operating, and maintaining our decarbonized future deserve union jobs with good wages and benefits, strong workplace safety protections, and career-long training, and our current energy workers and their families deserve a thoughtful and just transition. This new Office and Task Force will make sure that we are centering workers every step of the way.”  

John Buonopane, Sub-District Director at the United Steelworkers 

"The creation of this office and taskforce are a real opportunity for the state leaders to make sure that fossil fuel workers do not get left behind in the energy transition. We look forward to working with Melissa and Secretary Tepper to ensure we go about an energy transition that is just and responsible."

Michael Monahan, International Vice President of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 103 

“Creating this office and picking a leader that is not a political figure, but someone that knows the sector, understands the challenges, and has the purview and ability to get things done is both smart and necessary. I give credit to the Governor and Secretary for recognizing this role is needed and putting Melissa Lavinson in it. Melissa understands the energy transition will not happen overnight and that it will require hard decisions, compromise, and a real focus on making sure that our brothers and sisters who keep our energy system safe, reliable and operating every day are at the forefront -- because without them, this doesn't happen.”   

Nicole Obi, President and CEO of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts

“BECMA is keenly focused on supporting entrepreneurs entering clean energy industries and we are excited that the Commonwealth is launching a new office devoted to synthesizing the efforts of a broad set of climate-based stakeholders. Melissa Lavinson is an exceptional leader with a demonstrated commitment to championing innovative solutions and fostering an inclusive Massachusetts economy. I look forward to working with her in this new role to expand equitable opportunities for underrepresented firms and communities.”

Lisa Wieland, National Grid New England President

“Helping the Commonwealth achieve its climate goals, while keeping our energy services reliable, safe, and affordable, is one of our most important responsibilities. With two decades of experience in policy, energy, and environment coupled with her collaborative leadership and action-oriented approach Melissa is an excellent choice to help the Healey Administration make progress on these ambitious goals.”

Joe Nolan, Eversource Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer 

“With a focus on cost-effective and equitable solutions that maximize the benefits of clean energy for environmental justice communities and all customers, Massachusetts is a national leader in its common-sense approach to decarbonization through the unprecedented energy transition that we are all undertaking together. Melissa Lavinson will bring a unique combination of expertise and experience collaborating with a wide group of stakeholders in multiple regions across all levels of government to EEA’s Office of Energy Transformation, and we look forward to working together as she helps to address the challenges of this transformation and advance the commonwealth’s decarbonization and energy equity goals.”


Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Establishes Nation’s First Office of Energy Transformation

  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

    EEA seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.
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