52. Michael Picker
Michael Picker is president of the California Public Utilities Commission, an enormously important regulator with authority over telecommunications, investor-owned utilities, natural gas entities, railroads, passenger transportation companies, and more. Picker, an appointee of Gov. Brown, has been on the job since 2014, and it’s been a turbulent period that included the aftermath and investigation of the San Bruno gas explosion and issues related to PG&E and its potential culpability in massive wildfires. Picker is measured, thoughtful and usually keeps a low profile, although he drew fire in 2015 for having back-channel communications with a consultant who had energy clients. Before being appointed PUC president by Brown, Picker had served as a rank-and-file commissioner. Before his PUC gig, Picker served under Brown as a deputy assistant to the governor for Toxic Substances Control, a deputy treasurer and a senior adviser to the governor on renewable energy. He has also worked as a consultant at Kaufman Campaigns.
Updated Aug. 15, 2018