Sullivan, Blauvelt Named to Top DER Positions

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Sullivan, Blauvelt Named to Top DER Positions

February 1, 2019

SAINT PAUL – Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley today announced new leadership for the department’s Division of Energy Resources, appointing Joe Sullivan as Deputy Commissioner and Katherine Blauvelt as Assistant Commissioner. 

“I am pleased to announce this team to lead the Division of Energy Resources, particularly because both Joe and Katherine have strong backgrounds collaborating with multiple stakeholders to find common ground to move Minnesota forward with clean energy policies and a clean energy economy,” said Commissioner Kelley. “Minnesota has been known as a national leader in setting and achieving renewable energy goals. I believe we are at a place in our history where we must find solutions to combat climate change while sharing the economic benefits of the clean energy economy for everyone throughout our state.”

Joe Sullivan comes to the Commerce Department with a background in energy advocacy work spanning a range of clean energy and energy efficiency initiatives, representing stakeholders in the renewable energy development, manufacturing, utility and environmental sectors. 

Most recently, Sullivan has been with the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), an organization that promotes energy efficiency to strengthen the economy while improving the environment. CEE works across sectors and engages multiple interests to find broad support for innovative solutions. 

As Deputy Commissioner, Sullivan will work with the Commissioner to represent and implement the Walz-Flanagan administration’s clean energy and climate goals. He will directly oversee the Energy Planning and Advocacy unit and the State Energy Office. 

A graduate of Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin Law School, he currently lives in Mankato with his wife and children.

Katherine Blauvelt has a strong background working in both the energy sector and community relations, identifying and working with stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds. Most recently, she has been a consultant for a variety of clients focused on greenhouse gas reductions in the energy, transportation and building sectors. Her work has included providing collaborative solutions for her clients and creating multi-stakeholder coalitions that include racial equity advocates, labor, business, consumers and environmental advocates. 

In her role as Assistant Commissioner, Blauvelt will oversee the Energy Environmental Review and Analysis, Energy Assistance and Telecommunications teams, while helping to coordinate large stakeholder and interagency initiatives.

Prior to her work as a consultant, she worked for Senator Al Franken, the Minnesota Budget Project and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). A graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Blauvelt currently lives in Minneapolis.

The Division of Energy Resources administers the state’s energy programs and policies, which have helped make Minnesota a clean energy leader. In addition to its work helping Minnesota reach and exceed its renewable energy goals, the Division advocates on behalf of the public interest at the Public Utilities Commission to ensure safe and reliable energy, while protecting ratepayers from unnecessary utility rate increases. The Division also oversees the state’s Energy Assistance Program, helping 320,000 Minnesotans stay warm each winter.