Sharon L. Nelson has served as Director of the Shidler Center for Law, Commerce and Technology at the University of Washington School of Law since September, 2000. Previously, Ms. Nelson served two terms as Chairman of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC), from February 1985 to August 1997. Prior to joining the WUTC, her credentials include teaching history and anthropology in secondary schools (1969-1973), serving as staff counsel to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee (1976-1978) and serving as legislative counsel to Consumers Union of the United States (1978-1981). She has also been a lawyer in private practice (1982-1983) and served as staff coordinator for the Washington State Legislature's Joint Select Committee on Telecommunications (1983-1985).
Ms. Nelson received her B.A. from Carleton College, an M.A.T. from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from the University of Washington. She is the past president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (1989-1990) and currently serves as chair of the Board of Directors for Consumers Union. In addition, she sits on the Board of Trustees for the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) and the Board of Directors for XO Communications Company.