Gov. Martin O'Malley appointed Kevin Hughes and Kelly Speakes-Backman on Wednesday to fill vacancies on the Maryland Public Service Commission.
The appointments come as the state's energy regulatory body prepares to tackle several important cases later this year, including the proposed sale of Constellation Energy Group to Chicago-based Exelon Corp. in a $7.9 billion deal.
Hughes has served as O'Malley's deputy legislative officer since 2007, focusing on energy policy, among other issues. O'Malley's office said Hughes played a "vital role" in implementing the governor's electricity reliability standards. He will began a five-year term ending in 2016.
Speakes-Backman, the clean energy director at the Maryland Energy Administration, will finish the term of Therese Goldsmith, who left to become the state's Insurance Commissioner. Speakes-Backman has worked in the areas of sustainability and renewable energy in the private sector.
Speakes-Backman's term will end in 2014.