U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Sally Jewell has named Abigail Ross Hopper director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), where she will manage the development of offshore wind projects on the Outer Continental Shelf.
Hopper currently serves as director of the Maryland Energy Administration and will assume her new position on Jan. 5, 2015, as the second director in BOEM's history. She will take the helm from Acting Director Walter Cruickshank, who has been serving since former Director Tommy Beaudreau became chief of staff to Jewell in May 2014.
‘Abigail Hopper's knowledge of the energy sector, experience working with a wide variety of stakeholders and her legal expertise will be valuable assets to the bureau and the department as we continue to ensure the safe and responsible development of our domestic energy and mineral resources and stand up an offshore wind program,’ says Jewell.
Hopper has led the Maryland Energy Administration since 2012, first as acting director and then as director in June 2013. The DOI says she was pivotal in ensuring the passage of the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013. Hopper also served concurrently as energy advisor to Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley since 2010.
Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, has welcomed Hopper's appointment.
‘Abby Hopper is a good choice to be the next director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management,’ says Kiernan. ‘She was a leader for both land-based and offshore wind in Maryland and has done a great job engaging stakeholders to advance clean energy development. The U.S. wind industry looks forward to working with her in her new capacity at the federal level.’