Suedeen G. Kelly

Regulatory Counsel | Partner, Jenner & Block

Practice & Background

Ms. Kelly is an internationally-recognized energy industry expert and former Commissioner with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). She represents a variety of clients in the electric and natural gas industries on business, regulatory, litigation, enforcement and policy matters such as electricity and gas markets, renewable energy, electricity transmission, natural gas and oil infrastructure, LNG, electricity reliability standards, hydro licensing, carbon emissions, smart grid, energy efficiency and distributed generation. Ms. Kelly’s knowledge of the national electricity and natural gas industries includes significant experience in infrastructure development and operation, market structures and financial products, emerging technologies, federal and state laws and regulations, impending policy changes and domestic/international market interrelations. She is an experienced litigator on energy and environmental matters in federal and state courts.

Nominated by Presidents Bush and Obama to three terms as FERC Commissioner, Ms. Kelly resolved 7,000 disputes with published Commission decisions and personally authored 100 separate statements during her tenure. She is credited with spearheading change in numerous regulatory policies, including transmission interconnection and planning reform, integration of renewables into the grid, deployment of smart grid technology to the transmission grid, the inclusion of smart grid demonstration grants in the stimulus effort, and natural gas quality standards. Ms. Kelly created a smart grid collaborative effort between FERC and the association of state regulators to promote technology deployment and helped to grow membership to 30 states. She also pioneered internal strategic planning efforts to enable market reforms to adapt to new Congressional proposals regarding carbon emissions; demand response and efficiency; smart grid and hydrokinetic resources; offshore turbine and photovoltaic technologies.

In addition to her time at FERC, Ms. Kelly served as regulatory counsel for the California Independent System Operator and was a law professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law where she taught energy law, utility regulation, administrative law and legislative process. In 1999, Ms. Kelly worked as a legislative aide to Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), then the ranking member of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee. She also served as chairwoman and commissioner for the New Mexico Public Service Commission, in the private practice of law in New Mexico and Washington, D.C. law firms, and as an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Public Service

  • Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (2003-2009)
  • Legislative Aide, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) (1999)
  • Chair and Commissioner, New Mexico Public Service Commission (1983-1986)
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology, Smart Grid Advisory Committee (2010-2013)
  • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Advisory Council Chair (1979-1981).

Community Involvement

  • Member, Environmental Law Institute Leadership Council (2015-present)
  • Member, Board of Directors, UIL Holdings (2011-2015)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Access Midstream Partners (2010-2015)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Tendril (2010-2012)
  • Advisory Board, The Perfect Power Institute, Chicago, IL (2011-2015)
  • Advisory Board, Gridquant, Columbus, OH (2013)
  • Dean’s Advisory Council, Hajim School of Engineering, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY (2012-present)
  • Advisory Council, Women’s Council on Energy and Environment (2008-2012)
  • Board Member, Charitable Foundation of the Energy Bar Association (2010-2013)
  • Member, Task Force on Policy and Coordination, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources (2011)
  • Council Member, American Bar Association Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice (2010-2012)
  • Council Member, American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy and Resources (2000-2003)
  • Council Member, American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy and Resources (2000-2003)
  • Board Member, Santa Fe Diocese Foundation (1999-2003)
  • Founding Board, Albuquerque Open Space Alliance (1996-1999)
  • Trustee, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (2015 and 1988-1993)
  • Research Advisory Board, National Regulatory Research Institute, Ohio State University (1988-1992).

Awards & Accolades

  • Chosen by Metropolitan Corporate Counsel as its cover story for January 2016
  • Top Author, JD Supra Readers’ Choice Award
  • Recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the 2015 Top 50 Regulatory & Compliance Trailblazers, for moving the needle in the legal industry by devising new strategies, pioneering technological advancements, litigating landmark cases and impacting the regulatory regime in environment, energy and law
  • Chambers USA – America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2012-2015) – energy: electricity (regulatory & litigation)
  • Best Lawyers in America (2005-2015) for energy law
  • “Champion 2010” – Women’s Council on Energy and Environment
  • “Top U.S. Energy Leader” (2009) – CNBC Executive Vision
  • Gridwise Alliance Award for Leadership (2008)
  • Lewis & Clark Law School Distinguished Visitor (1998)
  • Susan and Ronald Friedman Excellence in Teaching Award (1995-1996).