Klee, F&ES Alum, to Succeed Esty As Connecticut's DEEP Commissioner

robert klee deep commissioner fes
Robert Klee

Robert K. Klee  M.E.S. ’99, J.D. ’04, Ph.D. ’05 — who received both his master’s degree and Ph.D. at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies — has been nominated by Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy to become commissioner of the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). 

If confirmed, Klee will succeed Daniel C. Esty, who announced last week that he is returning to his position at F&ES and Yale Law School after leading the state department for three years.

Klee has served as Esty’s chief of staff since 2011. 

“I am honored to be nominated as Commissioner and it will be a privilege to serve the state of Connecticut in this capacity,” Klee said in a statement. “Governor Malloy and Commissioner Esty have developed a forward-looking agenda for this agency that has made Connecticut a national leader in our approach to environmental and energy policy.

“I look forward to building upon their efforts and to implementing the many groundbreaking programs we have developed with the help of a dedicated DEEP staff, the legislature, the business community, and environmental and energy advocates.”

Having served as Esty’s chief of staff, Klee already has a strong familiarity with the initiatives implemented over the last three years to tackle the state’s energy and environmental challenges, Malloy said. 

“I’m confident that with Rob serving as Commissioner, we can continue these important efforts to protect our natural resources and quality of life while strengthening our economy and creating jobs,” Malloy said.

Prior to joining DEEP,  Klee was an appellate attorney for the law firm Wiggin and Dana, specializing in energy and environmental law.

“We are very proud that another member of the F&ES community has been nominated to fill this important leadership role in the state of Connecticut,” said Peter Crane, Dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

“Robert Klee’s experience in energy policy and environmental science — not to mention his distinguished record of public service — make him uniquely qualified to continue the work done by Dan Esty toward protecting the state’s natural resources and achieving a sustainable energy policy.”

Klee will assume his new position on Feb. 3.

– Kevin Dennehy    kevin.dennehy@yale.edu    203 436-4842