New permanent member named to state Public Utilities Commission

CARSON CITY — Gov. Brian Sandoval on Thursday appointed Ann Pongracz as a new permanent member of the state Public Utilities Commission starting Oct. 24.

Pongracz will fill the vacancy created with former Commissioner Alaina Burtenshaw’s recent appointment to the Nevada Transportation Authority.

Pongracz will take over from Leo Drozdoff, who has been serving as an acting commissioner since Burtenshaw’s appointment to the authority on Monday. Drozdoff was formerly the director of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Pongracz is now special counsel with the Nevada attorney general’s office with duties related to the Colorado River Commission and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

“Ann will bring diverse experience and institutional knowledge of the utility regulatory process to the Public Utilities Commission,” Sandoval said in a statement. “Her counsel has been critical to my administration as the state navigated recent major economic development decisions.”

In a separate statement, Pongracz said, “I am grateful to Governor Sandoval for giving me this opportunity to work directly on the next generation of utility regulatory issues. “I am fascinated by the interplay of regulation and market forces, and by the way technological changes may influence what’s needed from the regulatory framework.”

Pongracz graduated from Harvard University and earned her law degree from Temple University. She lives in Las Vegas.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.

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