Sarah Michael

Public policy expert Sarah Michael has 30 years of proven leadership in local and state government and in the private and non-profit sectors. She has divided her career between Blaine County, Idaho, and Sacramento, California. A full-time Idaho resident since 1993, Sarah is an acknowledged community leader who was elected to three terms as Blaine County, Idaho, County Commissioner (2000-2008). Under her leadership, Blaine County instituted greater land use protections for water quality, wildlife, open space and agricultural lands, hillsides, riparian areas and also limited the potential for urban sprawl. She spearheaded the creation of Mountain Rides, the regional public transportation system, which now carries almost 500,000 passengers a year. In California, Sarah served as senior legislative staff to the California State Legislature and then led renewable energy, energy research and development, and transportation energy programs and public policy at the California Energy Commission. Subsequently, as a lobbyist, she represented multi-national corporations before the California Legislature, including Luz International, the world’s largest solar energy developer. In this role, she was instrumental in negotiating landmark California legislation relating to solar tax credits and property tax exemptions for solar facilities. From 2009-2012, Sarah returned to the California Energy Commission to serve as special advisor to Vice Chairman Commissioner Jim Boyd. During this period, the energy commission permitted numerous large solar power plants, and Sarah assisted Commissioner Boyd in his responsibilities providing program and policy direction for California’s multi-million dollar energy R&D efforts and the state’s major alternative transportation fuels and vehicle initiatives. Sarah has been active on environmental issues and founded the national organization, Winter Wildlands Alliance, and is the current president of the Nordic and Backcountry Skiers Alliance of Idaho. She is on the board of Wood River Land Trust and International Women’s Forum of Idaho. In 2015, Sarah was recognized as one of Idaho’s Women of the Year.