The R Street Institute today announced the addition of Travis Kavulla as director of energy and environmental policy, where he will begin work in January.

Mr. Kavulla currently serves on the Montana Public Service Commission, to which he was first elected in 2010. Mr. Kavulla was also President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) in 2015-2016, and has continued to serve on the association’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He has represented states on the Advisory Council of the Electric Power Research Institute.

“R Street prizes deep expertise and individual initiative,” said Vice president of policy Kevin Kosar. “Travis has these qualities in abundance.”

While in government, Mr. Kavulla has decided hundreds of technical regulatory matters. A selection of his major accomplishments include implementing performance-based regulation for electric utilities’ procurement of energy, ending barrier-to-entry regulation for the passenger-transportation sector, and discontinuing the rate regulation of major telecommunications firms. While leader of NARUC, he directed the preparation of a Distributed Energy Resources Compensation Manual, and for many years has instructed new utility commissioners on the basics of ratemaking and finance.

Mr. Kavulla has also been an advocate for competition in regulated sectors, with a particular focus on electricity. Concurrent with his work at R Street, Mr. Kavulla serves as a member of the governing body of the Western Energy Imbalance Market, which conducts real-time wholesale auctions for electricity in much of the Western United States.

“I am excited to lead the R Street team through what has become an increasingly complex, highly regulated energy policy landscape,” said Travis. “It is essential that the conservative movement field people who actually understand the detail of energy regulation. In this respect, I cannot have asked for a better home than this organization.”

Prior to his election to the Public Service Commission, Mr. Kavulla worked as a journalist and served as associate editor for National Review. In 2008, he was awarded the prestigious, year-long, full-time writing fellowship from the Phillips Foundation. Mr. Kavulla received his bachelor’s in History at Harvard University, and holds a graduate degree from the University of Cambridge, England, where he was a Gates Scholar. Mr. Kavulla is married to Laura, and in January is relocating to Washington.