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Klee Promoted to Top Spot at DEEP

The appointment as commissioner of the agency to replace the outgoing Daniel C. Esty, made by Gov. Malloy, is subject to approval by the Connecticut General Assembly.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has appointed Robert Klee of New Haven to serve as the new commissioner of the DEEP. Credit: Governor's Office
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has appointed Robert Klee of New Haven to serve as the new commissioner of the DEEP. Credit: Governor's Office
A press release from the Governor's Office:

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he has appointed Robert Klee of New Haven to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). 

Klee currently serves as Chief of Staff at DEEP — a position that he has held since April 2011. In that role, he has been responsible for supervising the operations of the agency while also serving as a key advisor to the Commissioner and senior staff on a wide number of environmental and energy policy issues handled by the department. 

“Through its conservation work and efforts to make cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy available for the people and businesses of this state, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection plays a major role in fostering a sustainable and prosperous economic future for our state,” Malloy said. “Having served as Chief of Staff for the agency over the last three years, Rob certainly has a strong familiarity with the innovative programs recently put in place to address our long-standing environmental and energy challenges. I’m confident that with Rob serving as Commissioner, we can continue these important efforts to protect our natural resources and quality of life while strengthening our economy and creating jobs.” 

Klee will succeed Commissioner Daniel C. Esty, who last week announced his intention to return to Yale University following a three-year leave of absence from his tenured professorship at the school. 

“I am honored to be nominated as Commissioner and it will be a privilege to serve the state of Connecticut in this capacity,” Klee said. “Governor Malloy and Commissioner Esty have developed a forward-looking agenda for this agency that has made Connecticut a national leader in our approach to environmental and energy policy. I look forward to building upon their efforts and to implementing the many groundbreaking programs we have developed with the help of a dedicated DEEP staff, the legislature, the business community, and environmental and energy advocates.” 

Prior to joining DEEP, Klee was an attorney with Wiggin and Dana, LLP, in New Haven, where he specialized in appellate work and energy and environmental law. He holds a law degree from Yale, a Ph.D. from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in industrial ecology, and an undergraduate degree from Princeton in geology and environmental science. 

“As a scientist and a lawyer with extensive knowledge of the agency, Rob is uniquely qualified to serve as Commissioner of DEEP,” Esty said. “I am pleased the Governor has selected Rob, who will continue the momentum we have built toward achieving the vision for a 21st Century approach to the environment and energy in Connecticut.” 

DEEP is charged with conserving, improving and protecting the natural resources and the environment of the State of Connecticut, as well as making cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy available for the people and businesses of the state. The agency was established on July 1, 2011 with the consolidation of the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Public Utility Control, and energy policy staff from other areas of state government. 

Klee will assume the role on an acting basis beginning Monday, Feb. 3. His appointment is subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, which begins its 2014 regular session on Feb. 5.

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