PSC Chair Nowak replacing Neitzel as DOA secretary

DOA Secretary Scott Neitzel is leaving his post early next month and will be replaced by PSC Chair Ellen Nowak, the guv announced this morning.

Commissioner Lon Roberts is being elevated to chair, replacing Nowak as head of the regulatory body.

Nowak, who will take over DOA March 5, will be the second woman to lead the agency since it was established in 1959 and the first since 1987, according to the guv’s office.

Before her appointment to the PSC in 2011, Nowak served as chief of staff to then-Waukesha County Exec Dan Vrakas. She also was an aide to Republican John Gard when he was Assembly speaker. She was appointed PSC chair in 2015.

Neitzel left his job as senior vice president at Madison Gas & Electric in 2015 before Walker appointed him DOA secretary. His last day will be March 2.

His time at DOA includes the guv’s effort to land Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn, which is building a plant in southeastern Wisconsin, and the state’s role in helping the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks build a new arena with government support.

Roberts was appointed last year to a six-year term on the PSC after previously serving as Department of Financial Institutions secretary. He previously chaired the State of Wisconsin Investment Board and was a member of the Governor’s Judicial Selection Advisory Committee.

Walker’s office said an appointment will be forthcoming to fill the vacancy Nowak is leaving on the PSC.

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