Cynthia Marlette

Adjunct Professor of Law

Cynthia A. Marlette has more than 30 years of experience in regulatory and policy issues affecting the nation’s energy industries. Currently Ms. Marlette is with the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Washington, D.C., specializing in energy matters. Prior to that she served in a variety of senior positions at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), including six years as the agency’s general counsel, where she was responsible for providing legal and policy advice in all areas of the agency’s regulation, including: transmission and sales for resale of electric energy in interstate commerce; independent system operators and regional transmission organizations; reliability of the U.S. bulk power system; mergers and acquisitions of public utilities and utility holding companies; certification of cogeneration and small renewable power facilities; hydroelectric licensing; natural gas transportation and wholesale sales in interstate commerce; certification of natural gas pipeline projects; and Federal Power Act and Natural Gas Act compliance issues. She was also responsible for defending the agency’s decisions before the courts.

In addition to twice serving as general counsel of FERC, Ms. Marlette held a number of other positions at the agency, including principal deputy general counsel, associate general counsel, and legal advisor to the chairman. As principal deputy general counsel, she directed the agency’s implementation of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which involved over a dozen rulemakings under new authorities granted by Congress. Ms. Marlette also spent 10 years as associate general counsel for hydroelectric and electric matters. She oversaw the drafting of Order No. 888, the FERC’s landmark rulemaking which opened up the nation’s electric transmission grid to non-discriminatory access and laid the foundation for competitive wholesale power markets, and participated in the rule’s successful defense before the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Marlette has testified before numerous congressional committees on proposed energy legislation, including the Energy Policy Act of 1992, Public Utility Holding Company Act reform, and the Energy Policy Act of 2005. She received the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive in the Senior Executive Service from President George W. Bush in 2008 and from President Clinton in 1997. She is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and the Court of Appeals of Maryland. She received her B.A. degree from the University of South Florida and her J.D. degree from the American University Washington College of Law.

Currently Teaching

There are no classes currently associated with this professor.

Areas of Specialization

  • Energy Law

Degrees & Universities

  • B.A., University of South Florida
  • J.D., American University Washington College of Law