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Matt Baker to Join Hewlett Foundation as Environment Program Officer

Mar 30, 2012

Matt Baker, a commissioner with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and former executive director of the environmental advocacy organization Environment Colorado, will join The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in late spring as an officer in its Environment Program, officials there announced today.

Following his appointment to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission in 2008, Baker worked to regulate and help set rates for the state’s electric and gas investor-owned utilities and to implement new energy policies.

“Matt Baker served Colorado well and we are sorry to see him go,” said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. “He was a tireless champion of clean energy and affordable electricity as commissioner of the Public Utilities Commission. We look forward to working with him again in his position at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.”

Prior to serving on the commission, Matt founded and served as executive director of Environment Colorado from 2000 to 2008. There, he helped pass thirty-six clean energy laws and led a campaign for the passage of the Renewable Energy ballot initiative, among other activities.

Within the Foundation’s Environment Program, Baker will work as a program officer for climate and energy, helping to develop and implement grantmaking strategies in those areas. He will also collaborate with environmental leaders and others in the public and private sectors to achieve the Foundation’s goals for reducing greenhouse gases and advancing clean energy.

“Matt has been on both sides of the table on these issues, as a regulator and as an advocate, and he brings invaluable insight into the workings of government and how to create change in the real world,” said Tom Steinbach, director of the Foundation’s Environment Program. “We’re excited to have him join our team.”

Baker has a bachelor’s degree in history from the Pennsylvania State University. He has served as a member of Colorado’s Pollution Prevention Advisory Board and as a vice-chairman of the Transit Alliance. He was named Wind Energy Advocate of 2004 by the American Wind Energy Association and received the 2005 Wirth Chair Sustainability Award for advocacy from the University of Colorado Denver. He currently serves as the vice-chairman of the National Association of Regulated Utilities Commissions, Committee on Natural Gas.

Earlier in his career, Baker served as organizing director, then hiring director for the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group, where he oversaw environmental and social advocacy programs and campus organizers on 12 New Jersey college campuses.

“The Hewlett Foundation’s grantmaking nicely brings together the various facets of my career,” Baker said. “I’m excited to be joining an organization with a focus on making grants that make a difference.”

About The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1967 to help solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development and population, performing arts, and philanthropy, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. A full list of all the Hewlett Foundation’s grants can be found here .