Adjunct Professor Donald M. Kreis has served since 2016 as New Hampshire’s Consumer Advocate. The Office of the Consumer Advocate is tasked by statute with advocating on behalf of New Hampshire’s residential utility customers before the state Public Utilities Commission and every other forum where those interests are at issue – including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, NEPOOL (the stakeholder advisory body to the regional transmission organization ISO New England), as well as state and federal courts. Professor Kreis is the only Consumer Advocate in New Hampshire history to have been nominated by governors of both major political parties. His priorities as Consumer Advocate are energy efficiency, innovative rate design, customer access to and use of utility meter data, community power aggregation, least-cost integrated resource planning for utilities, and governance reform at ISO New England.
Professor Kreis has previously served as general counsel to the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission and as a hearing officer with the Vermont Public Service Board (since renamed the Vermont Public Utility Commission). From 2008 to 2012, he was assistant director of the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law and Graduate School, where he held the faculty rank of associate professor and taught courses on energy and administrative law. Professor Kreis also had the honor and the pleasure of being one of four professors who developed and taught the first online courses offered by VLGS, thus helping to launch what became the school’s successful and respected Online Learning Program.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Professor Kreis was a fulltime journalist for nearly a decade. He worked at Associated Press in New York, Washington, and Maine’s biggest city (Portland), and later he was a staff writer at the venerable (but, alas, now defunct) alternative newsweekly Maine Times. Professor Kreis continues to indulge his penchant for journalism by writing a regular column about his work, entitled “Power to the People,” on the nonprofit news web site IndepthNH.org.
An alumnus of Middlebury College, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and the University of Maine School of Law, Professor Kreis served judicial clerkships with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court (Associate Justices Caroline D. Glassman and Robert W. Clifford), the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine (Magistrate Judge David M. Cohen), and the Vermont Supreme Court (Associate Justice John A. Dooley). He began his career in the field of utility regulation in 1999.
In an effort to apply his background in regulating monopoly utilities to the problem of soaring pharmaceutical costs, Professor Kreis serves on the New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council (CEPAC), which is one of the three public advisory boards that deliberate, in rotation, on the evidence-based cost effectiveness reviews of innovative medical treatments as conducted by the nonprofit Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) in Boston. What drives the interest of Professor Kreis in drug prices is that he is the father of a young adult who is living and thriving with the chronic illness Cystic Fibrosis. He also serves as the individual giving chair of the Northern New England Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Professor Kreis is a specialist in the law of, and organizational attributes of, cooperatives – particularly rural electric cooperatives and consumer cooperatives. He has served as the president of the board of the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society (the nation’s second largest retail food co-op), has served as the board chair of the Cooperative Fund of the Northeast (a community development financial institution that loans money to co-ops), and is currently a member of the Supervisory Committee of the New Hampshire Federal Credit Union (since credit unions are also cooperatives). He is also the occasional author of published architectural criticism, because he has been fascinated by modern architecture since childhood and is qualified to opine because he has spent nearly his entire life either in or near buildings.
Although he was born on an island off the mid-Atlantic coast (Manhattan) and was educated by the public school system in Spring Valley, New York, Professor Kreis has lived and worked in either Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont since 1984. He lives in Concord, New Hampshire.