Kris Mayes, a Prescott native, attended ASU on the prestigious Flinn scholarship and was editor-in-chief of the State Press, interned in Washington, D.C., for Congressman Bob Stump, and completed an internship with the Johannesburg Star in Johannesburg, South Africa. She won the Truman Scholarship, the nation’s top scholarship for public service, was a national finalist for the Rhodes scholarship and graduated valedictorian from ASU with a degree in political science.
She was a reporter for the Phoenix Gazette, and later for The Arizona Republic, before going to graduate school at Columbia University in New York, where she earned a Master of Public Administration. She returned to The Republic, and covered the 2000 presidential campaigns of Sen. John McCain, former Vice President Dan Quayle, publisher Steve Forbes and then-Governor George W. Bush. During this time, Mayes co-authored a book entitled Spin Priests: Campaign Advisors and the 2000 Race for the White House.
After the presidential campaign, Mayes attended the College of Law and graduated magna cum laude. While in law school, she was press secretary for Janet Napolitano’s campaign for governor in 2001 and served as her Communications Director in 2002-2003. In October, 2003, Napolitano appointed her to fill an open seat on the Corporation Commission. Mayes was elected to the seat in 2004 and re-elected to a four-year term in 2006, and was prohibited by term limits from running again.
During her time on the Corporation Commission she helped co-author the Arizona Renewable Energy Standard, which requires that by 2025 utilities must generate 15 percent of their overall energy portfolio from renewable sources, like wind solar, biomass, biogas, geothermal and other technologies. The Standard contains the most aggressive distributed generation requirement in the country, requiring utilities by 2011 to acquire 30 percent of their energy from residential or non-utility owned installations, like rooftop solar panels on someone’s home or on a shopping mall.
Mayes also helped establish one of the most ambitious energy efficiency standards in the nation, requiring utilities to sell 22 percent less energy by 2010 than they would have under current forecasts.
Assistant: Deb Relph
B.A., Arizona State University
Master of Public Administration, Columbia University
J.D., Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law