Theoharides takes US offshore wind job for German company

Jumps from Baker cabinet job to executive position

KATHLEEN THEOHARIDES, who oversaw offshore wind development for the Baker administration, is now taking a job as the head of US offshore wind development for a German company that is a big player in the worldwide industry.

Theoharides announced late last month that she was leaving as Gov. Charlie Baker’s secretary of energy and environmental affairs but waited until Friday to say she was taking a job as head of US offshore wind development for RWE Renewables starting June 1.

A press release issued by RWE said Theoharides will oversee all of the company’s offshore wind development along the East Coast of the United States. RWE recently leased an area in the so-called New York Bight in partnership with National Grid Ventures under the joint venture name of Community Offshore Wind. RWE is also testing a floating offshore wind array off the coast of Maine.

National Grid is familiar to Massachusetts residents as the operator of electric and natural gas utilities in the state, both of which are regulated by the Department of Public Utilities, one of many agencies that had been under the oversight of Theoharides as Baker’s secretary of energy and environmental affairs.

Theoharides has been seen as an effective cabinet secretary and knows well many of the players in the offshore wind industry. At the ceremonial groundbreaking for Vineyard Wind, the first industrial-scale offshore wind farm in the United States, Theoharides played master of ceremonies at an event that featured a who’s who of public and private officials involved in the offshore wind industry, including US Interior Secretary Deborah Haaland.

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Bruce Mohl

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About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

Paul D. Craney of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance issued a statement criticizing Theoharides for playing key roles as a state official in promoting the offshore wind industry and then taking a job from a company in that industry.

“Advocating for the interests of offshore wind companies while working in state government, only to end up working for those interests once you leave state government, is a clear conflict,” he said.