In many ways, Elizabeth (Liz) Moore’s new position as general counsel for Consolidated Edison, Inc. (Con Edison), reminds her of the twelve years she spent serving in the administration of former New York governor Mario Cuomo. During her tenure as general counsel to the governor from 1991 to 1994, she explains, “I was responsible for providing legal advice on every issue that came across his desk. I dealt with an array of legal issues—tax, environmental, social service, and labor laws on a daily basis.” Similarly, at Con Edison (one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $14 billion in annual revenues and $34 billion in assets), she works closely with the CEO and senior management on a wide variety of legal matters.
Another likeness between the jobs, notes Moore, are the people: “Both New York state government and Con Edison are made up of a lot of dedicated workers doing their best to supply a critical service to a population—in Con Edison’s case, its energy-related products and services to the residents of New York City and its suburbs.”
Before joining the company in May, Moore was a partner in Nixon Peabody’s New York office, where she specialized in public finance, employment law, procurement policy, and government compliance and regulatory issues. She also served as co-chair of the firm’s diversity committee. “If you’d asked me six months ago,” shares the native New Yorker, “I would have told you that I planned to be a partner at Nixon Peabody for a long time; I was very satisfied there. But when Con Edison first approached me about the general counsel position, I thought hard and decided pretty quickly to pursue it. The challenge of learning a completely different, highly regulated hot industry like energy appealed to me.”
“Now is not an easy time for any corporation, including Con Edison,” she continues. Among the challenges she faces are the daily issuance of federal proposals related to corporate governance issues; greater involvement by regulators and government; the difficulty for people on budgets to afford the necessities, such as electric services; and an onslaught of resumes from unemployed attorneys who, just a few years ago, would have had no trouble finding jobs.
“The challenge of learning a completely different, highly regulated hot industry like energy appealed to me.” by Elizabeth D. Moore
Despite the effects of the downturn in the economy, Moore is not in the least cowed. The challenges, the work environment, and the people she has encountered at Con Edison have only increased her enthusiasm. “I would have never predicted my coming to Con Edison as general counsel,” she concludes. “But I couldn’t be more pleased.” DB
From the July/August 2009 issue of Diversity & The Bar®