Rory M. Christian
Chair and CEO
On September 30, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul designated Commissioner Rory M. Christian as the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Public Service Commission (Commission). On June 10, 2021, Mr. Christian was appointed Commissioner, and his term runs through February 1, 2027.
Mr. Christian began his career in the energy industry with KeySpan Energy where he first served as a civil engineer before transitioning to a role engaging government agencies operating in Long Island and New York City. In this role, he was responsible for coordinating activities between KeySpan and government organizations, negotiating contracts, developing contingency plans and streamlining operations to satisfy both organizations’ operational needs. Mr. Christian then transitioned to Exelon Energy, where he developed new products targeting public sector clientele and helped facilitate the creation of multiple partnerships and alliances.
Mr. Christian then served as the Director of Energy Finance and Sustainability for the New York City Housing Authority, where he oversaw the Authority’s then $500M+ utility portfolio with the aim of reducing annual energy expenditures while achieving city, state and federally mandated greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements. More recently, he was the Director of New York Clean Energy at Environmental Defense Fund where he provided strategy management, programming, business development and stakeholder collaboration for the Clean Energy program in NY. He oversaw a multidisciplinary team (economists, lawyers, and engineers) to design, implement, and manage legislative and policy campaigns to lower the environmental impact of energy use.
He enjoys teaching and has taught energy efficiency courses at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies. He also volunteers time with workforce development organizations such as Green City Force and is a longtime supporter and former Chair of WE ACT for Environmental Justice’s (WE ACT) Board of Directors
Mr. Christian graduated from the City College of New York’s, Grove School of Engineering with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and an MBA in Finance from the Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business.
Since immigrating from Jamaica as child, Mr. Christian is a long-time resident of New York City and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with his family.
Diane X. Burman
Diane X. Burman serves as a Commissioner of the New York State Public Service Commission (Commission). Ms. Burman has been on the Commission since 2013. Her term expires Feb. 1, 2024.
Ms. Burman is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ (NARUC) Committee on Critical Infrastructure, Committee on International Relations, Committee on Gas, Washington Action Program, the Special Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety and the Select Committee on Regulatory and Industry Diversity. Ms. Burman is also the Chair of the NARUC-Department of Energy Natural Gas Partnership Initiative. She was appointed by the NARUC President to be Co-Vice Chair of the Select Committee on Regulatory and Industry Diversity and to the Taskforce on Emergency Preparedness, Recovery and Resiliency as well as the Task Force’s Special Subcommittee on Lessons Learned from COVID-19.
Ms. Burman was selected to be a part of the USAID and NARUC Women Global Development and Prosperity Initiative helping to both foster women’s economic empowerment and advancing women leaders in energy. Ms. Burman was the 2020 recipient of the NARUC International Terry Barnich Award. She served on the NARUC Board of Directors from February 2018-December 2020 and is immediate past Chair of the NARUC Gas Committee.
Ms. Burman serves as the Vice Chair of the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee. She also serves on PHMSA’s Liquid Pipeline Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the National Petroleum Council. Ms. Burman was a Founding Board member of the Greater Albany Chapter of the Women’s Energy Network. She previously served as the NARUC President appointee to the Gas Technology Institute Public Interest Advisory Committee and as the Chair of PHMSA’s Voluntary Information Sharing Working Group. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Congregation Beth Emeth.
Immediately prior to starting with the Commission, Ms. Burman was with the New York State Senate since 2009 having last served as the Chief Counsel to the New York State Senate Republican Conference. She served in this capacity under the Republican Majority Leader and then continued in this capacity under the Majority Coalition led by both the Republican Majority Leader and Independent Democratic Conference Majority Leader. In her capacity as the chief legislative legal officer for the New York State Senate, Ms. Burman was responsible for advising the Temporary President of the Senate and each member of the Republican Conference on every major legislative policy initiative confronting the State. Prior to her position with the Senate, she served as Special Counsel to the New York State Public Service Commission.
Ms. Burman has held a number of other legal and management positions with various organizations, including Executive Director of the New York State PTA, Assistant Executive Director of the Albany Jewish Community Center, and Director of Pro Bono Affairs for the New York State Bar Association. In addition, she has served in several high-level positions within state government, including Assistant Counsel with the Department of Economic Development, Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Law, Senior Court Attorney with the Unified-Court System, and as a judicial clerk for the New York State Court of Appeals. She was also an adjunct legal professor at Hofstra University and Adelphi University.
Ms. Burman obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Molloy College and her Juris Doctor degree from Fordham University School of Law. Ms. Burman was admitted to the bar in 1992. A life-long New Yorker, Ms. Burman currently resides in the Capital District with her family.
James S. Alesi
On June 21, 2017, James S. Alesi was appointed Commissioner of the New York State Public Service Commission (Commission). He was reappointed to a second term on June 10, 2021, and the new term runs through February 1, 2027.
Prior to starting with the Commission, Mr. Alesi served in elective office for 23 years, starting as a Monroe County Legislator, then a State Assembly member, and ultimately as Senator. In the Senate, he was Chairperson of the Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee. In addition, he held highly influential positions on several additional Senate committees including Energy and Telecommunications, Finance, Rules, and Labor. During his tenure, he also served as Chair of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee. He was appointed to the NYS Small Business Advisory Board and the NYS Workforce Investment Board by former Governor Pataki. He was reappointed by former Governor Paterson. His efforts focused on the need for job creation and retention in a work environment that treated workers fairly. As a former union member and small business owner, he has a unique understanding of the mutual needs of business and labor. He retired undefeated from the Senate in 2012, having served with five Governors. Prior to his appointment to the Commission, then Governor Andrew M. Cuomo had appointed him as a member of the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board in 2013.
Mr. Alesi graduated from St. John Fisher College. For many years, he owned a statewide commercial laundry business with operations in the Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany regions. He has served on several not-for-profit boards and has received nearly 300 awards from various community organizations.
Commissioner Alesi resides in East Rochester.
John B. Howard
On July 19, 2019, John B. Howard was appointed Commissioner of the New York State Public Service Commission (Commission), his term runs through February 1, 2024. Mr. Howard served as Chair of the Commission between February and September of 2021.
Mr. Howard brought more than 37 years of New York State service to the position, serving in various roles in the Legislature and Executive branches, with vast experience in the energy sector to the Commission. At the New York Power Authority, he was responsible for monitoring relevant activities at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Department of Environmental Conservation and the Commission.
He served as Executive Deputy Director at the New York State Consumer Protection Board where he oversaw the Board’s utility intervention filings to the Commission, FERC and the Federal Communications Commission. He was also responsible for the Board’s consumer advocacy and public outreach programs.
As Executive Director for then Member of Assembly Paul D. Tonko, Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee he developed and led the Chair’s program in energy policy and legislation including low-cost energy programs, electric deregulation, authority reform and energy taxes. Mr. Howard served as Deputy Chief of Staff to then Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo where he developed and oversaw implementation of the Attorney General’s Community Partnership Initiative and worked on the Attorney Generals’ Wind Energy Industry initiative.
Since 2011 he served as Director of Chamber Operations to then Governor Cuomo where he was responsible for the execution of Governor Cuomo’s public appearances across the State, requiring detailed knowledge of the Governor’s policy initiatives, New York’s geo-politics, including Federal, State and local officials as well as every State agency and authority.
In February 2022, Commissioner Howard was appointed as a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ (NARUC) Committee on Electricity. In September 2019, Commissioner Howard was appointed as member of NARUC’s Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues-Waste Disposal.
Commissioner Howard received Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and resides in Albany, New York
David J. Valesky
On June 10, 2021, David J. Valesky was appointed Commissioner of the New York State Public Service Commission (Commission). Mr. Valesky’s term runs through February 2027.
Mr. Valesky began his career in public service as a legislative assistant in the New York State Assembly. Following that, he served in a number of capacities including Vice President of Communications at WCNY, the public television and radio stations in Central New York. He was first elected to the New York State Senate in 2004, where he represented parts of Onondaga, Madison, Oneida and Cayuga counties for 14 years.
Mr. Valesky most recently served as deputy commissioner at the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, overseeing the agency’s compliance in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation that puts New York on track to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy-wide carbon neutrality. Mr. Valesky also serves as a member of the Committee on Water and the Committee on Infrastructure for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from SUNY Potsdam and a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Connecticut. He resides in Albany.
John B. Maggiore
On June 10, 2021, John B. Maggiore was appointed Commissioner of the New York State Public Service Commission (Commission). Mr. Maggiore’s term runs through February 2027.
Mr. Maggiore has served in various roles in the Executive Chamber since 2011, most recently as senior advisor to then Governor Andrew Cuomo. Prior to that, he served as then Governor Cuomo's Director of Policy, Chief of Staff to Lt. Governor Robert Duffy, and the Governor’s Director of Regional Affairs. During Mr. Maggiore’s time as Policy Director, the Cuomo administration first articulated the Clean Energy Standard, launched the electric vehicle rebate program, implemented the NY Sun program, promulgated the offshore wind master plan, announced several large-scale renewable projects among other nation-leading clean energy policy initiatives. Earlier in his career, Mr. Maggiore served as Chief of Staff for a leading member of the Assembly Energy Committee for eight years.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government from Connecticut College, a master’s degree in Political Science and Government from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. He resides in Albany County.