Judge Karen Clopton
Karen V. Clopton is the Chief Administrative Law Judge for the California Public Utilities Commission and manages a staff of 100 including over 40 judges who draft proposed decisions for discussion and adoption by the Commission; conduct hearings; rule on the admission of evidence; issue subpoenas, administer oaths, examine witnesses; analyze matters of law and fact; and hold pre-hearing conferences. She has over 25 years experience in the practice of administrative law in a wide variety of forums. She is the 2010 winner of the American Bar Association's Mary C. Lawton Award for Outstanding Government Service from the Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. Appointed in 2007 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as the General Counsel for the California Department of Corporations, she oversaw all litigation counsel, both in house and outside; and served as liaison with the Governor's legal staff and other governmental agencies. Recruited in 2002 to be the first Chief of Operations and Corporate Counsel for the San Francisco State University Foundation, Inc., she successfully chaired the University's 42-member Task Force on Intergroup Relations with its initial focus on the relationship of the Palestinian and Jewish communities to universal plaudits.
Judge Clopton was appointed by Mayor Frank Jordan to the San Francisco Civil Service Commission in 1993 and was re-appointed by Mayor Willie L. Brown in 1999. During her tenure she streamlined the classification system and personal services contracting process. She was serving an unprecedented fourth term as President of the Commission when the Port Commission recruited her in 2000 to become the Port's first Chief of Operations, overseeing Human Resources, Information Systems, Communications, Legislative Affairs, Business Services, Contract Compliance, and Environmental Health and Safety.Judge Clopton also served on the San Francisco Mayor's Advisory Employee Relations Panel from 1992-94 chaired by the Honorable Joseph Grodin under Mayor Jordan. She was awarded the prestigious Individual Award of Achievement for Distinguished Service to the Profession and the Public by the State Bar of California's Young Lawyers Association in 1994, which is awarded to one of the state's 40,000 young lawyers each year. In 1998, the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women honored Judge Clopton with the Women Who Make a Difference Award for making a positive difference in women's lives in the areas of employment and economic development.
Judge Clopton is an accomplished author and lecturer on professional responsibility and corporate governance, regulatory practices and procedures, workplace diversity and discrimination issues, sexual harassment prevention and investigation policies, and alcohol and substance abuse policies. She is the Immediate Past President of the San Francisco League of Women Voters. She is a graduate of Vassar College cum laude and Antioch University School of Law and was awarded the highly competitive Maguire Fellowship by Vassar College for post-graduate study in international and comparative labor-management relations in London, England. She earned a certificate in administrative law and fair hearings from the National Judicial College. Judge Clopton serves on the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' Administrative Law Judge Subcommittee. Judge Clopton received the 2011 Trailblazer Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, San Francisco Chapter and was recognized for this honor by the Congress, the California State Senate, San Francisco's Mayor, and the Board of Supervisors. She also received the 2011 History Maker Award for the March into National Women's History Month, "Celebrating the Contributions of Powerful Women of the Bay." For more information: www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc and www.lwvsf.org
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