The R Street Institute is excited to welcome Beth Garza and Jennifer Chen as new senior fellows on the Energy and Environmental policy team.

In this role, Garza and Chen will serve as experts on electricity policy. Chen will have an emphasis on the state-federal electricity nexus, transmission policy and the governance and expansion of organized wholesale electricity markets. Garza will focus on generation and transmission planning, system operations, regulatory affairs and market design for both regulated and competitive entities.

Prior to joining R Street, Garza served as the director of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Independent Market Monitor from 2014 through 2019 after serving as the deputy director since 2008. In this role, she was responsible for monitoring market participant activity, evaluating wholesale market operations and recommending improvements to the wholesale market design.

“After a long and varied career in the electric utility and market space, I look forward to being part of the thought leadership team at R Street that will bring forth efficient and effective solutions to some of our most challenging policy issues,” said Garza.

Chen currently works on federal energy policy at the Nicholas Institute, a think tank for environmental policy solutions at Duke University. Previously, she was an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, where she led a coalition of NGOs and collaborated with stakeholders to advocate for an efficient and flexible power system. She began her energy career at FERC working on oil, gas and electricity cases.

“I’m excited and honored to have this opportunity to work with R Street and its network of brilliant thinkers,” said Chen. “Energy is an important part of all of our lives, and well-designed markets have a tremendous potential to efficiently optimize our diverse resources to ensure electric reliability and reduce emissions. R Street is well situated to facilitate new policy development in this area that is supported by rigorous analysis and ready for use by decision-makers and stakeholders.”

“Beth and Jennie will be fantastic additions to the R Street energy team,” said R Street Energy and Environmental Policy Director Devin Hartman. “Their deep expertise, social capital and collaborative spirit will raise our electricity policy work to the next level, especially in wholesale market design and expansion, transmission policy, grid governance and harmonizing state and federal policy.”

Hartman went on to say that he is “particularly excited that Beth brings a wealth of knowledge after decades in the private sector and as the independent monitor of the best performing electricity market in the country in Texas. Jennie brings a unique blend of regulatory experience and engagement with the non-governmental community, plus her association with the Nicholas Institute at Duke University and engagement with other academic researchers helps us build relationships with top tier research institutions.”