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SALT LAKE CITY – (July 16, 2014) Gov. Gary R. Herbert has named Dr. Laura Nelson as director of the Office of Energy Development. Nelson has both public and private energy sector experience and previously served as energy advisor to former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr.

"Dr. Nelson comes to this position ready to start on day one," said Gov. Herbert. "She not only brings an impressive background and understanding of energy markets, trends, and challenges, she also brings with her a successful track record of resolving challenging issues and working with a broad spectrum of stakeholders to advance energy development in our state."

Nelson has worked extensively on energy policy issues, including those related to emerging technologies, unconventional fuels and environmental issues. During her two years as energy advisor she served on the Federal Task Force on Unconventional Fuels, the Western Interstate Energy Board and the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System Board.

Nelson will assume her new role on Monday, July 21, 2014. She replaces outgoing director, Samantha Mary Julian. Julian, who is relocating to Oregon to be closer to family, was the first director of the state Office of Energy Development and helped launch the Governor’s popular annual Energy Summit.

"I am grateful for this opportunity and honored by the confidence Gov. Herbert has placed in me," said Nelson. "The governor has always valued balanced energy development and has made it one of the four cornerstones of his administration. I plan to build on the successes of my predecessor and look forward to working with the governor to advance Utah’s energy plan."

Nelson holds a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Utah. She currently resides in the greater Salt Lake City area.

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