Governor Martin O’Malley appointed UM Carey Law alumna Abigail Ross Hopper ’99 as director of the Maryland Energy Administration June 12. Hopper, who was sworn in July 2, had been acting director of MEA since 2012.
Hopper is the second alumnus the Governor has named to a top post in the last few weeks; he announced the appointment of James T. Smith as secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation at the end of May.
“We were delighted to hear that Ms. Hopper had been promoted to Director of the Maryland Energy Administration,” said Dean Phoebe Haddon. “Her appointment, along with that of Mr. Smith’s, underscores the law school’s commitment to leadership and public service; we are elated that our alumni are doing such valuable work.”
During Hopper’s tenure as acting director, she helped launch the state’s Smart Energy Communities, a program designed to assist local governments adopt policies that generate sustained energy savings. She also played a key role in the passage of the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013. After the derecho hit the state last year, leaving over 1 million residents without power, she chaired a task force to find ways to improve Maryland’s utility infrastructure.
“We are very fortunate to have someone with Ms. Hopper’s depth of knowledge and experience in the energy sector take the official helm at MEA,” O’Malley said in a statement. “Maryland is a national leader in clean energy and energy efficiency and we are confident that Ms. Hopper will continue to push our state forward.”
Prior to joining the MEA, Hopper served as the Governor's energy advisor since 2010. Before that, she spent three years as general counsel with Maryland’s Public Service Commission. Hopper spent three years at Hogan Lovells and five years at Joseph, Greenwald and Laake, where she gained private practice experience, specializing in litigation and corporate law.
Left to right: Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Abigail Ross Hopper '99, Griffin Hopper (son), Ellie Hopper (daughter), Greg Hopper '99 (husband), and Governor Martin O'Malley '88.
Not pictured: Madeline Hopper (daughter)