James Volz was appointed Chairman of the Vermont Public Service Board by Governor James Douglas for a six-year term beginning on March 1, 2005. He was reappointed to a second six year term on March 1, 2011 by Governor Peter Shumlin. Chairman Volz currently serves on the Electric Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and chairs the Electricity Committee of the New England Conference of Public Utility Commissioners. He is on the Executive Committee of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, of which he was a founding member. He is also on the Executive Committee and is Treasurer of the Eastern Interconnection State Planning Council. He served on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Northeast Joint Board on Security Constrained Economic Dispatch and is a member of FERC's Federal/State Collaborative on Demand Response.
Prior to his appointment to the Public Service Board, he worked for the Vermont Department of Public Service for twenty years, sixteen of those as the Director for Public Advocacy, representing the interests of the public in regulated utility matters before Vermont and federal regulatory agencies and courts. As Director for Public Advocacy, Chairman Volz directed all Department litigation, including matters before the Vermont Public Service Board, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and state and federal courts. He also drafted legislation; testified at the legislature; and advised the Commissioner of the Department of Public Service and the Governor on utility matters.
Chairman Volz came to Vermont in 1981 to clerk for the Vermont Supreme Court. He next served as a Deputy State's Attorney in Brattleboro, VT followed by a period of time in private practice in Burlington, VT.
Chairman Volz received his B.A. from Boston University and his J.D. from the University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center).