Changes in the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee Staff

Published On: October 20, 2020

While the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee’s makeup is bound to change after the election, Assemblyman Chris Holden recently announced staff. Laura Shybut, Senator Jerry Hill’s Chief of Staff, will become the new chief consultant to the committee.

“It is a pleasure to welcome back to the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee Laura Shybut where she started her time at the Capitol as a Science Fellow,” said Assembly Utilities and Energy Chair Chris Holden. “Laura’s analytical mind and expertise on the legislative processes makes her a perfect fit in the position of Chief Consultant.”

In Senator Hill’s Office, Ms. Shybut staffed energy issues including requiring corporate safety reviews before CPUC approval of utilities’ mergers or acquisitions and holding PG&E accountable for necessary changes. She also helped to hold five informational hearings on various topics of gas and electric safety. Before joining Senator Hill’s staff, Ms. Shybut served as a fellow in the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee.

She received her Ph.D. and MS in Chemistry from the University of Oregon. She completed a master’s certificate at Banaras Hindu University in India and her BS in Chemistry at Lyon College in Arkansas.

Ms. Shybut replaces Mary McDonald, who is retiring in November. Ms. McDonald has held the chief consultant position for the past two years. Prior to that, she worked for the California Independent System Operator for 18 years as Director of State Affairs. She also worked for the California Power Exchange as Vice President of Corporate Communications and Government Affairs.

“I am deeply saddened to see Mary leave the position,” said Assemblymember Holden. “Mary brought to the position a wealth of expertise and understanding of the intricacies in both the electric system operation and the legislative process. She has been a terrific asset to the Committee and will be sorely missed.”

About the Author: Matt Ross

Matt Ross is a Senior Consultant in the energy industry and has more than a dozen years of experience in state government. He can be reached at matt at