Business

Mass. native to lead federal energy agency

CHERYL LaFLEUR: Will become acting chair of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
John Ioven/Globe Staff/File 2012
CHERYL LaFLEUR: Will become acting chair of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Massachusetts native and former National Grid executive Cheryl A. LaFleur on Monday will become acting chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, an agency spokeswoman said.

LaFleur will replace Jon Wellinghoff, who is leaving the commission after nearly five years at its helm. He is expected to take a post at Stoel Rives LLP, a law firm headquartered in Portland, Ore.

LaFleur’s promotion to head of FERC, an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of oil, natural gas, and electricity, is expected to be formalized shortly by the White House, said FERC spokeswoman Mary O’Driscoll.

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“For all intents and purposes, she will be chairman,” O’Driscoll said.

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LaFleur, who earned a law degree at Harvard Law School, was born in Arlington, grew up in Framingham, and has a home in Wellesley.

She was first appointed to the commission by President Obama in 2010 and, according to her agency biography, her priorities have been strengthening the reliability and security of power delivery systems and promoting regional planning for transmission projects.

In previous discussions with the Globe, LaFleur has emphasized the need for the nation to have a diverse power supply that includes alternative energy resources.

Erin Ailworth can be reached at erin.ailworth@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @ailworth.