“Political and Policy Obstacles to Feeding the World”
John Norris has over three decades of political, policy and administrative experience at the highest levels of state and federal government on energy and agricultural issues. Prior to becoming a Partner and Co-Owner of the State Public Policy Group (SPPG) based in Des Moines, Iowa, Norris served as the Minister-Counselor for Agriculture for the United States Mission to the United Nations Agencies in Rome, Italy. He was appointed by President Obama in 2009 and 2012 to serve as a Commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In 1999, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack asked Norris to Chair the Governor’s Working Group on Electric Restructuring and Vilsack subsequently appointed Norris as Chairman of the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB).
Norris also was elected President of the Organization of Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) States and chair of the Demand Response Working Group for the MISO. He Co-chaired the FERC/NARUC Smart Grid and Emerging Issues Collaboratives, served on the Board of Directors of the National Regulatory Research Institute, was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Iowa Power Fund and served on the Advisory Council of the Iowa Energy Center.
Norris has also owned a restaurant in rural Iowa, graduated with distinction from the University of Iowa, College of Law in 1995, and worked as an adjunct professor of American Government and Constitutional Law at Simpson College where he received his undergraduate degree in political science in 1981. Norris lives in Des Moines with his wife Jackie, their three sons: Hunter, Cole & Sam; and dog, Boss.