University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Energy Transition Lab

Ellen Anderson

Executive Director of the University of Minnesota’s Energy Transition Lab

Portrait: Ellen Anderson

From 2012 to 2014, Anderson was senior advisor on energy and environment to Gov. Mark Dayton and assisted the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board on energy and environmental issues. Anderson helped coordinate state climate change planning, led the implementation of Gov. Dayton’s Executive Order 11-32, including organizing the EQB’s Minnesota Environmental Congress, issuing Minnesota’s Environment and Energy Report Card, and initiating and drafting the EQB’s Minnesota and Climate Change: Our Tomorrow Starts Today report.

In March 2011 Gov. Dayton appointed Anderson chair of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, where she served until early 2012.

Anderson served in the Minnesota Senate from 1993 to 2011 and was re-elected five times, representing several neighborhoods of St. Paul and the city of Falcon Heights.  She chaired the Jobs, Energy and Community Development Committee; the Commerce Committee; the Energy and Telecommunications Committee; and the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Finance Committee. Her signature legislation includes the Renewable Energy Standard, the Community Based Energy Development law, the Next Generation Energy Act, and many other energy and consumer protection laws, including a law raising the minimum wage; cthe Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment (co-author); the Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Act; and the first law in the nation, now in federal law, protecting nursing mothers in the workplace.

Anderson holds a B.A. from Carleton College and J.D. cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School. She was an adjunct faculty member at Metropolitan State University and the University of Minnesota, teaching courses in law, energy, and sustainability. She has served in numerous leadership and community volunteer positions and received dozens of awards for her leadership in energy, environment, and economic and social justice. Most recently, Anderson received the 2013 Ecological Society of America Regional Policy Award for Informing Policy with Ecological Science and served on the advisory committee for the 2014 Midwest Innovation Summit. She currently serves as a member of the Citizens League Electrical Energy Study Committee, an observer to the e21 project on new utility business models, and the advisory boards for the U of MN Joint Degree Program in Law, Science & Technology and the Will Steger Foundation.

Ellen is married and has two teenage sons. She enjoys reading, travel, gardening, bicycling, hiking and the great outdoors.

Hari Osofsky

Faculty Director of the University of Minnesota’s Energy Transition Lab

Portrait: Hari Osofsky   612-625-1038

Hari Osofsky is a professor of law; 2014–15 Julius E. Davis Chair in Law; the faculty director of the Energy Transition Lab; and the director of the Joint Degree Program in Law, Science & Technology at the University of Minnesota Law School. She also is on the faculty of the Conservation Biology Graduate Program in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences; an adjunct professor in the Department of Geography, Environment and Society in the College of Liberal Arts; and a fellow with the Institute on the Environment.

She received a B.A. and a J.D. from Yale University and a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Oregon. Osofsky’s interdisciplinary law and geography scholarship, which has been published with Cambridge University Press and leading law and geography journals, focuses on governance and justice concerns related to energy and climate change. Her article on governance and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill was selected for inclusion in Land Use and Environment Law Review’s annual compilation of the top land use and environmental law articles, and she has been awarded the Daniel B. Luten Award for the best paper by a professional geographer by the Energy and Environment Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. Osofsky assisted with the Inuit Circumpolar Conference’s petition on climate change to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and has supervised or is supervising course contributions to the American Wind Energy Association, Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, Earthjustice, Great Plains Institute, Hennepin County, Twin Cities Met Council, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the National Regulatory Research Institute, Northwest Arctic Borough, the Phillips Community, the Southern Environmental Law Center, the University of Minnesota and the Western Environmental Law Center.

Her professional leadership roles have included serving as President of the Association for Law, Property, and Society; chair of the American Association of Law School’s Section on Property; and a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law; the International Law Association’s Committee on the Legal Principles of Climate Change; and the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers.

Christine L. Andrews

Energy Storage Project Manager, University of Minnesota’s Energy Transition Lab

Christine received a BA from Wesleyan University and a MA and JD from University of Hawaii at Manoa. Christine began her policy work in Honolulu as the staff of a Governor’s Commission. In this role, she convened broad-based coalitions to draft legislation, educate policymakers, engage constituents, and successfully implement a multi-year strategy to pass groundbreaking legislation. After moving to Maui, she was the founding Project Manager of a $1.3 million project, the first of its kind funded by the U.S. Dept. of Labor to address diversity in STEM as a workforce development issue. Her work involved initial project needs assessment, best practices research, project development, project management, and ongoing project evaluation. She worked with middle and high school educators, academia, business, government, and nonprofit sector. Her approach was recognized as a national model, and additional funding was secured for expansion to several states. She authored twelve peer-reviewed papers, and presented her research at national and international conferences. She was co-Director of the MauiEVA Project, an electric vehicle readiness project funded by the DoE, and a volunteer with JumpSmartMaui, a DoE/NEDO project researching the potential of electric vehicles, smart grid, and distributed solar in isolated grids.  When air pollution resulting from regulatory noncompliance by a major emissions source made her children sick, she joined the Maui Clean Air Committee, through which she educated citizens on the regulatory process and legal and political solutions.  She worked with the community, the department of health, and the EPA on permitting, regulatory and compliance issues.  Her work resulted in an EPA investigation and a $1.3 million Notice of Violation against the polluter, which recently announced it is ceasing electricity sales and current operations at the end of 2016. She moved to Minnesota in June 2015, where she hopes to build upon her experience to protect public health through research, legal, and policy work that promotes clean energy, electric transportation, and energy storage.


The Energy Transition Lab is a strategic initiative of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment in partnership with the Office of the Vice President of Research and the Law School.
Funding support to the Energy Transition Lab is primarily provided by the Institute on the Environment and the Office of the Vice President for Research. Funders have no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of any manuscript.
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