Ron Knecht

Ron Knecht, MS, JD & PE (CA)

District 9 – Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Esmeralda, Lander, Lyon, Mineral, Storey and Washoe Counties (map)

1009 Spencer Street 
Carson City, NV 89703 
Phone: (775) 882-2935 
Fax: (775) 882-6348 

Regent Ron Knecht was elected to the Board of Regents in 2006 and was re-elected in 2012 as the representative for District 9. He currently serves on the Audit Committee, Business and Finance Committee and the Cultural Diversity Committee. He has chaired the Business and Finance Committee twice, the Audit Committee and two Presidential Performance Review Committees. He previously served on the Research and Economic Development, Board Development and Cultural Diversity and Security committees and various presidential search and performance review committees.

Ron Knecht is an economist and policy analyst, Registered Professional Mechanical Engineer (in California), and law school graduate who has spent half of his 41 working years in public service and half in private entrepreneurial small business, all in professional and managerial positions. He conducts a wide range of economic, financial, technical and policy analyses as an economist, and he has written and testified extensively as an expert witness in all those areas. He now works as a consultant, after serving as Senior Economist at Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission, where he worked from 2001-2012. Twice a year he co-teaches a two-day seminar for SNL Financial on utility finance, cost of capital, economic and policy analyses for regulators, professionals, managers, securities analysts and others from around the country and Canada.  He also presents a seminar twice a year for SNL Financial on Valuations for similar audiences.  He has been a founder, executive or board member for six business firms and five public interest and charitable groups. He was elected to the Nevada Assembly for the 2002-04 term, representing District 40 (Carson and Washoe Cities).

The most important things in Ron’s life are his wife, Kathy, their 11-year-old daughter, Karyn, and Ron and Kathy’s mothers and families. Born and raised in a small town in the Midwest, he has a lifetime record in public, community, charitable and professional services, and in writing, speaking and teaching. With some scholarship support, he worked his way through undergraduate and early graduate studies at a public university (Illinois). Spending most of his working career in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, he paid his way through private graduate and law schools (Stanford and San Francisco) while working full time. He has been a Nevadan By Choice since 2001.

All his life, Ron has been active in a wide range of athletics and outdoor activities, but his skills being very modest, he had to get his high school letters and college numerals as a distance runner. As an observer, he enjoys ballet and modern dance, symphony, opera, theater and film. He also collects baseball cards and pursues other hobbies.

Education, Teaching and Professional Registration

  • University of San Francisco Law School, 1995: Juris Doctor
  • Stanford University, 1989: M.S., Engineering-Economic Systems
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1971: B.A., Liberal Arts & Sciences (major in Mathematics; minor in Physics & Chemistry); completed additional economics and engineering course work and Civil Engineering masters degree project (American Nuclear Society award winner) in Power Generating Economics, 1977
  • Instructor, “Managing Your Life and Family Finances”, for clients of Friends in Service Helping (FISH) faith-based charity, Carson City NV, 2005 and 2007-2008
  • Economics Instructor (Micro- and Macro-Economic Analysis), Western Nevada Community College, Carson City, NV, 2003-06
  • Instructor, Regulatory & Legal Aspects of Telecommunications, for graduate students, Golden Gate University, Sacramento CA, 1991
  • Registered Professional Mechanical Engineer, State of California, since 1986

Professional, Managerial and Business Experience and Elected Office

  • Senior Economist, Resource and Market Analysis Division, Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, 2010-2012
  • Economist, Resource and Market Analysis Division, Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, 2001-2009
  • Assemblyman, District 40, Nevada Assembly (Carson and Washoe Cities), 2002-04; Commerce and Labor, Government Affairs, and Transportation Committees
  • President, Economic & Technical Analysis Group (San Francisco and Los Altos CA), 1990–2001
  • Board of Directors, Minimax Research Corporation (Campbell CA), 1988-94
  • Vice-President, Spectrum Economics, Inc. (Palo Alto and Mountain View CA), 1988-90
  • Principal, QED Research, Inc. (Palo Alto CA), 1986-88
  • Senior Economist, Dames & Moore, Engineers & Consultants (San Francisco CA), 1986
  • Section Supervisor, principal analyst (economics, finance, technical analysis and policy) and member of all division management committees, California Public Utilities Commission (San Francisco CA), 1979-86
  • Cofounder, Chairman, CEO & CFO, The Rainbow Connection, Inc. Restaurant (Springfield IL), 1979-83
  • Commissioner’s Senior Advisor and then principal analyst (economics, technical analysis and policy), California Energy Commission (Sacramento CA), 1978-79
  • Partner, Bertschi & Knecht Engineers & Consultants (IL and CA), 1976-86
  • Energy Research Engineer (1974-77); Center for Advanced Study Research Associate (1973-74); Research Assistant (Economics, 1970-71; Social Work, 1971-72); Grader/Consultant (Computer Science, 1969-71); Daily Illini Reporter (1971-72) and Columnist (1973-75); Assistant to Dean of Student Services (1970-71); Student Senate Office Manager (1968-69); hourly student non-professional employment, 1967-71 – all at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Assistant City Engineer, City of Urbana IL, 1972-73

Areas of Experience, Publication and Expert Testimony (100+ times; 25 jurisdictions)

  • Regulation: Electric; Natural Gas; Nuclear Power; Coal; Communications; Water, Wastewater and Sewers; Insurance; Transportation; Environmental; Land Use; Finance and Securities; Discount Rates for Public Policy and Business
  • Utilities: Ratemaking (all aspects); Finance; Strategic and Resource Planning and Forecasting; Operations and Modeling; Operating and Facilities Certificates
  • Business Analysis and Management: Planning, Strategy, Finance, Valuations, Cost of Capital, Market Power, and Operations
  • Regulatory and Industrial Change: Incentive-based Regulation; Industry De- and Re-regulation and Restructuring; Public versus Private Provision of Services
  • Energy: Electricity, Natural Gas, Nuclear Power, Coal, Oil, Cogeneration, Conservation, Renewables, Distribution Companies, Transmission and Independent System Operators, Transportation and Industrial Use
  • Economics and Policy: Micro- and Macro-economic Analysis; Taxation, Budgeting and Public Finance; Resources and Pollution; Transportation; Public Safety; Health Care; Human and Social Services; Education
  • Law and Economics: Anti-trust; Due Diligence; Mergers and Acquisitions; Bankruptcy Workouts; Litigation Settlement; Alternative Dispute Resolution; Diversification
  • Engineering Economics: Systems Analysis and Control; Optimization; Decision and Probabilistic Analyses
  • Other: Mechanical and Civil Engineering; Statistics; Program and Project Management; Staff Supervision

Civic, Community, Charitable, Public and Professional Service

  • Co-instructor, Cost of Capital & Utility Financial Analysis Seminar, SNL Finance, Washington DC, 2009-present
  • Seminar Presenter, Valuations Seminar, SNL Finance, New York, 2012-present
  • Board of Directors, CC Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA), 2005-present; Chairman 2012-13
  • Carson City Navy League Chapter member, 2004-present
  • Board of Directors, Carson City Kiwanis Club, 2002-04 & 2005-07; Scholarship Committee, 2004-06; Member 2001-present 
  • Co-sponsor, Carson High School Science Fair, 2004; active local education support, 2002-present
  • Carson City Republican Central Committee, 2001-2011; Chairman, 2005-07; Member, 2001-present 
  • Member, Western Economics Association (WEA), 1988-present
  • Carson City Chairman, Governor Jim Gibbons Re-election Campaign, 2010
  • Member, Society of Utility and Regulatory Financial Analysts (SURFA), 2007-2009
  • Organizing Committee, Rutgers Univ. Center for Research in Regulated Industries Western Conference, 2005-07
  • Carson City Methamphetamine Task Force Public Awareness Committee, 2005-06
  • Carson City School District Social Studies Textbook Selection Committee, 2004-05
  • Co-organizer, “Thank You” event honoring Carson City Waterfall Fire First Responders, 2004
  • Chairman, Carson City (Water and Sewer) Utilities Advisory Committee, 2002-03
  • Associate Member, Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce, 2002-06
  • Nevada Republican Central Committee, 2002-07
  • Candidate (non-partisan), Los Altos CA City Council, 1999
  • California Republican Central Committee, 1998-2001
  • Director, Santa Clara County CA Lungren for Governor Operations, 1998
  • Co-founder and Principal, Advocates for the Public Interest (San Francisco and Los Altos CA), 1998-2001
  • Founder, University of San Francisco Federalist Society, 1994-95; Advisor, 1997-2001
  • Senior Editor and Writer, University of San Francisco Law School Forum, 1994-95
  • Board of Directors, Minimax Research Corporation (Campbell CA), 1988-94
  • Co-founder, Chairman, CFO, CEO, The Rainbow Connection Inc. (Springfield IL), 1979-83
  • Founding Board Member, Illinois Public Action Council (Chicago IL), 1976-77
  • Co-founder and Executive Director, Illinois Power Project (Urbana IL), 1976-78
  • Chairman, Electric Load Forecasting Statewide Committee of Energy Experts Advisory to IL Legislature, 1975-76
  • Board of Directors, Illinois Committee on Freeways (Urbana IL), 1975-76
  • Member and Secretary, City Board of Zoning Appeals (Urbana IL), 1974-78
  • Democrat Candidate, City of Urbana IL City Council, 1973
  • Member, Mathematics Association of America, 1970-72 
  • Senator and Member, Steering Committee, University of Illinois, Urbana, Student Senate, 1968-69
  • President, Independent Freshmen Men, University of Illinois, Urbana, 1967-68
  • Southern Illinois Jurisdiction Master Councilor and other positions, Order of DeMolay, 1966-68
  • Assistant Editor, HyNews, Belleville, IL Township High School (West), 1966-67
  • Class President, National Science Foundation Summer Math & Computer Science Program, St. Louis Univ., 1966
  • Master Councilor and other positions, Tancred Chapter, DeMolay, Belleville IL, 1964-68
  • Senior Patrol Leader and other positions, Cub and Boy Scouts, Belleville IL, 1957-64