- Partner, Energy & Natural Resources Group Reed Smith LLP
- Former Commissioner Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) (USA)
Colette is a member of Reed Smith’s Energy and Natural Resources Group resident in the Washington, D.C. office. Colette is a highly regarded policy maker in domestic and international energy sectors. Colette recently served as Commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). She was nominated by President Barack Obama in August 2014, and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December 2014 for a term that expired in June 2017. At FERC, Honorable focused on reliability oversight of the bulk power system, cyber and physical security, oversight of wholesale markets, transmission planning and cost allocation in regional transmission organizations, gas-electric coordination, renewables integration, energy storage integration and valuation, enforcement, ratemaking, infrastructure development, and enforcement matters. Colette joined the FERC from the Arkansas Public Service Commission (PSC), where she served since October 2007, and led as Chairman from January 2011-January 2015.
As Chairman of the PSC, Colette oversaw an agency with jurisdiction over 450 utilities and approximate annual revenues of US$5 billion. She was charged with ensuring safe, reliable and affordable retail electric service. During her tenure, Arkansas led the South and Southeast in comprehensive energy efficiency programs, and electric rates were consistently among the lowest in the nation. These appointments culminated in nearly ten years of regulatory experience in key leadership roles.
Colette is past president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, where she focused on pipeline safety, reliability, resilience, fuel diversity, and workforce development. She has testified before Congress on multiple occasions on a range of energy issues.
Prior to joining the Arkansas PSC, Colette served as chief of staff to the Arkansas Attorney General and as a member of the governor’s cabinet as Executive Director of the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board. Her previous employment includes service as a consumer protection and civil litigation attorney, and as a senior assistant attorney general in Medicaid fraud before serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law and Special Judge of the Pulaski County Circuit Court.
Colette is an Ambassador for the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment Initiative, an effort co-led by the U.S. Department of Energy and the MIT Energy Initiative, formed under the auspices of the International Clean Energy Ministerial. She has also held previous appointments to the National Petroleum Council and served as Chair of the Department of Transportation’s Joint Technical Advisory Committee for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. A native of Arkansas, she is a graduate of the University of Memphis and received a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law.