US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has named Abigail Ross Hopper as director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which manages the development of the country's conventional and renewable energy and marine mineral resources 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. Hopper will take the helm from Acting Director Dr. Walter Cruickshank, who has been serving in the role since former Director Tommy Beaudreau became chief of staff to Secretary Jewell in May. Dr. Cruickshank will continue to serve as BOEM’s deputy director.
Hopper has led the Maryland Energy Administration since 2012, first as acting director and then as director in June 2013. She also served concurrently as energy advisor to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley since 2010. Previously, Hopper spent three years as deputy general counsel with the Maryland Public Service Commission, during which she advised commissioners on a broad range of legal matters arising from their duties as utility regulators.
Before embarking on a career in public service, Hopper spent nine years in private practice, specializing in complex merger and investment counseling and corporate law. She represented publicly and privately held companies in connection with mergers and acquisitions, and has counseled numerous venture capital and investment banking firms in connection with multimillion-dollar equity offerings. Hopper earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College, and graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland School of Law.