John R. Norris was nominated by President Barack Obama to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2010 and reconfirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2012 for a full term expiring in June 2017.
Commissioner Norris, a lawyer, has years of experience in energy policy and regulatory affairs. He most recently served as Chief of Staff to Secretary Tom Vilsack of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Prior to joining the USDA, he served as Chairman of the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) from 2005 to 2009. During his tenure as IUB Chairman, Commissioner Norris served on the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Electricity Committee and was Co-Chair of the 2009 National Electricity Delivery Forum.
During his IUB tenure, Commissioner Norris also served as a Board Member, Secretary and President of the Organization of Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) States as well as Chairman of the MISO Demand Response Working Group. He also was a member of the FERC/NARUC Demand Response Collaborative.
Commissioner Norris also has served on the Board of Directors of the National Regulatory Research Institute, as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Iowa Power Fund and on the Advisory Councils of the Iowa Energy Center, the Financial Research Institute for the University of Missouri College of Business and the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research at the University of Iowa.
In 1999 and 2000, Commissioner Norris was Chairman of the Iowa Electric Restructuring Task Force while serving as Chief of Staff for then-Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. He also served as Chief of Staff for U.S. Representative Leonard Boswell (IA-3rd) from 1997 to 1998. From 1989 to 1993 he owned and managed a restaurant in Greenfield, Iowa, and he was State Director of the Iowa Farm Unity Coalition during the Farm Crisis of the 1980s.
Commissioner Norris graduated with distinction from the College of Law at the University of Iowa in 1995 and earned his undergraduate degree in 1981 from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.
Commissioner Norris, his wife, Jackie, and their three sons live in Washington, D.C.