Snyder taps new Energy Agency chief

Michael Gerstein
The Detroit News

Lansing — Gov. Rick Snyder has changed course and selected a different person to lead the Michigan Agency for Energy on Friday after originally appointing someone else.

Anne Armstrong Cusack

The switch-up follows former MAE director Valerie Brader’s announcement of her plan to resign in February and join the Rivenoak Law firm in Troy this March. Snyder in January appointed the agency’s deputy director, Madhu Anderson, as acting director but announced Friday that Anne Armstrong Cusack will instead take over that role.

But Anderson apparently decided to spend more time pursuing future elected office than taking over the Agency for Energy.

“Madhu asked the governor to remove her from consideration as director,” Snyder spokeswoman Anna Heaton told The Detroit News in a Friday email.

Anderson is currently running as a Republican to be a state representative in the 93rd House district, House Speaker Tom Leonard’s current seat, which encompasses Ithaca, Dewitt, East Lansing and Grand Ledge. She will remain the agency’s deputy director, Heaton said.

In January, Snyder said in a statement that he was looking forward to “working with Madhu and the Public Service Commission as we restructure the agency to continue its positive work on behalf of all Michiganders.”

Anderson’s replacement, Cusack, was previously associate director of the Office of Urban Initiatives where she worked as a community liaison to help with transportation, affordable housing and environmental initiatives, among other projects.

“Anne is an incredibly motivated individual who leads by example and is well-known for finding great solutions to tough issues,” Snyder said in a Friday statement. “I’m pleased to have someone who is so dedicated to public service take the helm at the Michigan Agency for Energy and work toward further solutions that improve our energy future in efficient and affordable ways.”

She also previously chaired the Michigan Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity and worked at the then-Michigan Department of Community Health. He served as a policy adviser to Republican former Gov. John Engler, who is now interim president of Michigan State University.