FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                    PRESS RELEASE

Media Contact:
Cheryl Cox, Policy Advisor, 415-703-2495, cxc@cpuc.ca.gov 
ORA Press Room: http://www.ora.ca.gov/newsroom.aspx 



The Office of Ratepayer Advocates Welcomes New Director Elizabeth Echols

SAN FRANCISCO, March 29, 2016 – Elizabeth Echols was sworn in by Governor Jerry Brown yesterday as the director of the Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA), the independent consumer advocate within the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). 

“Elizabeth brings solid experience and sound judgment to an important job,” said Governor Brown. 

Ms. Echols previously served as administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Pacific Region, director of the Northern California Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, and chief executive officer at OpNet Community Ventures. 

Ms. Echols has a diverse and robust policy background. An attorney, Ms. Echols served in several key policy positions including executive director of the E-Commerce Working Group at the White House, director of policy at Google Inc., senior advisor on telecommunications and Internet policy at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and a member of the Obama-Biden Transition Team. 

"I am honored to have the trust and confidence of Governor Brown to lead ORA in achieving our mission and the state’s ambitious goals," said ORA director Elizabeth Echols. 

ORA is the independent consumer advocacy organization at the CPUC reporting to the Office of the Governor. ORA's statutory mission is to obtain the lowest possible rates consistent with safe and reliable service for customers of California's investor owned utilities, across energy, water, and communications. As part of its advocacy role, ORA also seeks to promote consumer and environmental protections. ORA advocates as an intervenor at the CPUC and in other forums that impact utility customers. 

By statute, ORA's director is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the California Senate.