Observer Staff

WASHINGTON — La Grande native Ray Baum has found a place on U.S. Rep. Greg Walden’s staff. Walden, R-Oregon, appointed Baum as the staff director of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Last week, Walden was elected by his colleagues as chairman of that committee, which has broad jurisdiction over health care, energy and telecommunications policy. Baum will replace Gary Andres.

“Ray Baum is a gifted policy leader and a true pro who will bring nearly three decades of policy experience to the committee’s top staff role,” Walden said. “As a long-time energy and commerce staffer, state regulatory board chairman and Oregon House Majority Leader, Ray has put into place common-sense policies to help consumers and grow jobs in America. We’re fortunate to have him on our team.”

Walden and Baum were both elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1988. Baum served in the Legislature for eight years, the last two as House Majority Leader. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and a juris doctor degree from Willamette University.

Baum joined the staff of the Energy and Commerce Committee in 2011, serving as senior policy advisor and chief strategist on state initiatives, cyber security, telecommunications and technology. Prior to that, he served as the chairman of the Oregon Public Utility Commission, as well as the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Telecommunications Committee. He has chaired the Oregon Broadband Advisory Council, served as a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and was state chair of the Federal/State Joint Board on Universal Service.

“I’d like to thank outgoing staff director Gary Andres for his long record of dedicated service to the committee,” Walden said. “Gary is a remarkable leader who has done great work for the American people. I will continue to turn to him for advice, counsel and