Arkansas native Colette D. Honorable has joined the energy and natural resources practice of Reed Smith LLP. She will work from the firm’s office in Washington, D.C.
Honorable previously served as a member of the powerful Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). She was nominated to the five-person regulatory panel by President Barack Obama in August 2014, and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December 2014. She announced in April her plans to resign from the position.
At FERC, Honorable issued decisions in thousands of dockets and focused on reliability oversight of the bulk power system, cyber and physical security, oversight of wholesale markets, transmission planning and cost allocation in regional transmission organizations, gas-electric coordination, renewables integration, energy storage integration and valuation, enforcement, ratemaking, infrastructure development and enforcement matters.
Prior to her arrival at the FERC, she served as chair and commissioner at the Arkansas Public Service Commission, where she oversaw an agency with jurisdiction over 450 utilities and approximate annual revenues of $5 billion. The appointments culminated in nearly 10 years of regulatory experience in key leadership roles.
“Reed Smith provides a unique and special opportunity for me to build upon strong existing relationships and forge new ones, while developing a world-class energy regulatory practice,” Honorable said in a news release. “The firm’s exceptional global resources, reputation, and commitment to outstanding client service will allow me to excel in this next phase of my career.”
Honorable is also past president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, where she focused on pipeline safety, reliability, resilience, fuel diversity, and workforce succession and diversity. She has testified before Congress on multiple occasions on a range of energy issues.
Before joining the Arkansas PSC, Honorable served as chief of staff to then Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe, and as a member of the governor’s cabinet as executive director of the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board. Her previous positions include service as an assistant attorney general in consumer protection and civil litigation, and as a senior assistant attorney general in Medicaid fraud, before serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law, and Special Judge in the Pulaski County Circuit Court.
Honorable is an ambassador for the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment Initiative, an effort co-led by the U.S. Department of Energy and the MIT Energy Initiative, formed under the auspices of the International Clean Energy Ministerial. She has also held previous appointments to the National Petroleum Council, and served as chair of the Department of Transportation’s Joint Technical Advisory Committee for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
She is a graduate of the University of Memphis, and received her law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law.