– Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr.
Bill Ritter, Jr. is the founder and director of the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) at Colorado State University which launched on February 1, 2011. The Center employs an assistant director, five senior policy advisors, an executive assistant and a team of student researchers.
The Center works directly with governors, legislators, regulators, planners, policymakers, and other decision makers. It provides technical assistance to help officials create the policies and practices that will facilitate America’s transition to a clean-energy economy.
Ritter was elected as Colorado’s 41st governor in 2006, and built consensus to tackle some of the state’s biggest challenges. During his four-year term, Ritter established Colorado as a national and international leader in clean energy, by building a new energy economy. He signed 57 new energy bills into law, including a 30% Renewable Portfolio Standard and a Clean Air Clean Jobs Act that replaced nearly a gigawatt of coal-fired generation with natural gas. In total, the Colorado new energy economy created thousands of new jobs.
Ritter is a member of the board of the directors of the Energy Foundation and a senior fellow and member of the board of directors of the Advanced Energy Economy Institute. Ritter earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado State University (1978) and his law degree from the University of Colorado (1981). With his wife Jeannie, he operated a food distribution and nutrition center in Zambia. He then served as Denver’s district attorney from 1993 to January 2005.
The Ritters have four children: August, Abe, Sam, and Tally.
Maury Dobbie began her entrepreneurial career at age 19. She has founded and operated six diverse companies, holding CEO or principal positions.
Before joining the Center, Dobbie was president/CEO of a regional not-for-profit economic development corporation in Northern Colorado. Her broad experience across a range of businesses brings the Center expertise in resolving complex issues.
In 1994, Dobbie founded a video production company and expanded it rapidly into an award-winning multimedia enterprise, with a web-development department and live event services.
Dobbie served as a board member on the Northern Colorado Clean Energy Cluster and has been a part of Colorado’s new energy economy movement for years. She worked with industry partners to create Colorado State University’s Systems Engineering Program and the Clean Tech Certification Program at Front Range Community College.
Over the years Dobbie has volunteered on many boards of directors. Appointed in 2009 by former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, she has served as chair of the board for the Colorado Community College System, which oversees 13 community colleges in 38 locations around the state. Her commitment to the citizens of Colorado continue as she is still serving the state board when reappointed by current Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.
Dobbie was appointed by former Colorado Governor Bill Owens to serve on two state boards: the Colorado Women’s Economic Development Council and the Colorado Film Commission. She has received numerous business awards, including the Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Northern Colorado Business Report; the Woman Leader of Excellence award from the Colorado Women’s Leadership Coalition; Top 10 Women Making a Difference; Creative Vision for Women; the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Women in Business Champion of the Year; and Office Depot’s national Businesswoman of the Year award. She holds a BS in business administration and management from the University of Wyoming. Maury continues to finish her MBA through Colorado State University. Maury has two successful grown children and happy, smart, creative and cute grandkids.
Senior Policy Advisor
Tom Plant served as director of the Governor’s Energy Office in the Ritter administration, with principal responsibility for developing and implementing the Governor’s policies for a new energy economy. He was Colorado House District 13 representative from 1998 through 2006, including two years as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and one year as Chairman of the Joint Budget Committee. Among the key pieces of legislation he sponsored were the Colorado Renewable Energy Act, and energy efficiency tax-incentive legislation.
Plant was named Legislator of the Year by such organizations as the University of Colorado and the Sierra Club of Colorado. He received Green Sense Award for Environmental Leadership from Colorado Conservation Voters, and the Champion of the Family Farmer Award from the Rocky Mountain Farmers’ Union. While serving in the legislature, Plant was executive director of the nonprofit Center for ReSource Conservation in Boulder, Colorado.
After graduating from Colorado State University, Plant worked as an exploration geologist. Then he joined the Union of Concerned Scientists in its Climate Change Department. At UCS, he explored the causes of global climate change and examined transportation and energy solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Senior Policy Advisor
Lyng joined the Center from Opower, where he directed the company’s market development and regulatory affairs in the Western states. Prior to joining Opower, he served as renewable energy policy manager in the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office in the Ritter administration, advising on energy policy and managing several state energy programs. Before that, he was an engineer for Xcel Energy, consulting on demand-side management and solar programs.
Lyng earned his master’s degree in building systems engineering from the University of Colorado, where his thesis focused on implementing solar energy in the production home market. He managed the winning 2005 University of Colorado Solar Decathlon Team.
Lyng has served on the boards of Xcel Energy’s Innovative Clean Technologies Program, the Colorado Energy Services Coalition, the Colorado Renewable Energy Society, and is a past board chair of the American Solar Energy Society.
Senior Policy Advisor, Lead on Western States Clean Power Plan Initiative
Patrick Cummins is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Center for the New Energy Economy where he leads the Western States Clean Power Plan Initiative. Patrick has worked with Western states, tribes, industry, environmental groups, and other stakeholders on air quality and climate programs for 30 years, including as the Executive Director of the Western Climate Initiative and at the Western Governors’ Association (WGA). While at WGA, Cummins managed the Western Regional Air Partnership (WRAP), working with Western states, tribes, and federal land managers to protect and improve visibility at national parks and wilderness areas in response to EPA’s regional haze rule. During this time, Cummins served as Co-Chair of EPA’s Clean Air Act Advisory Committee on Air Quality Management in the United States.
As Executive Director of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), Cummins helped 7 Western states and 4 Canadian provinces design the world’s first economy-wide cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions. That program is now being implemented in California and Quebec, with other states and provinces making plans to join. Cummins organized some of the first Western state meetings on managing greenhouse gas emissions, including a collaboration with states from across the country to establish The Climate Registry in 2007. In the 1990s, Patrick served as Deputy Director of Denver’s Regional Air Quality Council where he received an EPA Environmental Achievement Award for his work to bring the Denver area into compliance with federal health-based air quality standards. He has also worked for the USEPA in Washington, DC and Denver and in the natural gas industry. Patrick holds a chemistry degree from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO and an MPA in environmental policy from Indiana University.
Senior Policy Advisor
Dennis Arfmann is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Center for the New Energy Economy. Dennis brings his unique skill set to the Center. As a partner in the Colorado office of Hogan Lovells L.L.C. (a large international law firm based in London and Washington, D.C with 46 global offices) he was the Co-Chair of the firm’s Climate Change & Clean Energy Group before he retired from the firm. Dennis worked with a number of utilities and clean energy companies located West of the Mississippi River. He focused his efforts on air quality, climate change and clean energy matters. He placed particular emphasis on resolving complex policy, regulatory, and legislative policy issues, with a focus on climate change issues.
Mr. Arfmann is a published author and a frequent lecturer on climate change, clean energy & environmental topics. He was appointed to the Western Regional Air Partnership Market Trading Forum, the American Solar Energy Society Board of Trustees, and the Colorado Climate Change Advisory Council. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Earth Day Network in Washington, D.C. and the Board of Directors for the Bridge House in Boulder, CO.
He received an LL.M., with highest honors, in Environmental Law from The George Washington University, and a J.D. from the University of Nebraska.
Executive Assistant to the Director
Wendy started her career as a legal secretary working in the Office of the City Attorney for the City of Fort Collins, Colorado in 1988. She went on to support the offices of Neighborhood Services and Human Rights for the City of Fort Collins until 2006 when she left the City to work for a private family foundation. She returned to the public sector in 2008 when she came to Colorado State University to support the Director of the CSU Engines and Energy Conversion Lab. In 2012, Wendy left CSU to support the CEO and Co-Founder of New Belgium Brewing Co., returning in 2014 to support Gov. Ritter and his team at the Center for the New Energy Economy. She is a CSU graduate, receiving her BA in Liberal Arts, Social Sciences with a minor in Spanish. Wendy has a terrific husband, two funny children, two messy cats and one adorable granddaughter.
After interning with CNEE as a Research Associate since 2013, Katherine joined the CNEE team full-time as Research Manager in April of 2017. Katherine oversees our research team, leading the development and maintenance of the Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker, the State Policy Opportunity Tracker for Clean Energy, The Clean Energy Policy Guide for State Legislatures, and contributes to a number of other CNEE projects.
Katherine is a PhD Candidate in the Political Science Department at Colorado State University. Her Dissertation examines policy diffusion and policy change through the lens of Renewable Portfolio Standards. Katherine received her M.A. in Political Science from Colorado State University, and has published research in Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Policy Sciences, and other venues.
A Colorado Native, Katherine is proud to hail from Red Cliff, where she grew up exploring the White River National Forest and the Holy Cross Wilderness.
Alison Anson joined CNEE as a Research Associate in June of 2017. Prior to this position, Alison worked as a Researcher and Project Coordinator at the Powerhouse Energy Campus in Fort Collins where her interests in energy and policy grew. She worked as a member of the Smart Village Minigrid team where CSU researchers and energy experts plan to introduce sustainable electricity into underdeveloped rural communities and measure its impact. Alison graduated with a master’s degree in Sociology from Colorado State University. Her research studied networks of policy actors to better understand how collaboration occurs when solving complex environmental problems. With this degree and bachelor’s degrees in both Environmental Sociology and Political Science, her passion lies in harmoniously bringing people, policy, and the environment together. While not a native, she has lived in Colorado for over 7 years and calls the mountains home.
Jane Culkin joined the CNEE team as a Research Associate in 2015 after interning for the Center in 2014. In between her internship and current position at the Center, Jane worked for the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder as a Communications and Operations Assistant and was a Research Assistant for Lazer Lab at Northeastern University where she gathered and processed polling data for an international election prediction model. Prior to interning at CNEE, Jane interned for the Boulder County Immigration Legal Center as a translator and at the National Park Foundation as a grants and programs intern. Jane graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder as a dual major in International Affairs and Environmental Studies. A Colorado native, Jane enjoys hiking, biking, skiing and anything else that gets her into Colorado’s beautiful outdoors.