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Commissioners

Edward McNamara, Chair
Current Term:  2024 - 2029

Public Utility Commission Chair Edward McNamara

Edward McNamara was appointed Chair of the Public Utility Commission in January 2024. McNamara most recently served as general counsel for the Agency of Natural Resources, where he worked on a range of legal issues reflecting the significant regulatory diversity covered by the Agency. Prior to his work at ANR, McNamara worked on energy issues for 20 years, including at the Public Service Department where he performed numerous roles, including as planning director, assisting with emergency response activities, and representing Vermont's interests before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. McNamara started his legal career as a hearing officer and staff attorney for the PUC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chair McNamara's February 9, 2024, memorandum regarding conflicts and recusal

 

Margaret Cheney, Commissioner
Current Term:  2013 - 2025

Commissioner Margaret Cheney

Margaret Cheney was appointed to the Vermont Public Utility Commission in 2013 by Governor Peter Shumlin and was reappointed by Governor Phil Scott in 2020. Ms. Cheney has been a journalist, educator, and legislator. Prior to joining the Commission, she served seven years in the Vermont Legislature, where she was vice chair of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee. She began her career as a newspaper reporter and editor in Menlo Park, California, before working as managing editor of The Washingtonian magazine in Washington, DC, for eleven years. In Vermont, she taught Spanish and energy-and-environment courses at Sharon Academy while continuing her journalism work as a freelance writer.  Before her election to the Vermont Legislature in 2006, she served nine years as chair of the Norwich School Board and interstate Dresden School Board.

Ms. Cheney is currently co-president of the New England Council of Public Utility Commissioners (NECPUC) and a member of the board of directors for the New England Utility Cybersecurity Integration Collaborative (NEUCIC), which works with federal partners to provide utilities and other authorized stakeholders with tools to address cybersecurity issues.  She is also a member of the Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).

The daughter of a Foreign Service officer, Ms. Cheney grew up and was educated in Malaysia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, India, and Peru. She received her B.A. with honors from Harvard University, where she was awarded the Bowdoin Prize for writing. She has three children and lives in Norwich with her husband, Peter Welch.

 

Riley Allen, Commissioner
Current Term:  2021 - 2027

portrait of riley allen

 

Riley Allen was appointed to the Public Utility Commission by Governor Phil Scott in May 2021.  Mr. Allen has over 30 years of experience analyzing and advising on power sector and regulatory issues.  For more than two decades, Mr. Allen has played an active role in major state-level policy investigations, acting as an economist, expert witness, and hearing examiner.  Just prior to joining the Vermont Public Utility Commission, Mr. Allen served as Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service.  Mr. Allen has also spent many years working with regulators around the U.S. and overseas on telecommunications and power sector issues, largely associated with development agency-led initiatives.  Mr. Allen also provided assistance to regulators around the world while working as the global research manager and as an independent consultant to the Regulatory Assistance Project.

Mr. Allen graduated from the University of Virginia with an MA in Economics and from the University of Florida with a BA in Economics.