Denise leads the federal policy practice at Michael Best Strategies with over 30 years of experience in trade association and coalition management as well as development of public policy strategies, at both the state and federal level.
She is an expert in trade, developing her expertise in trade in staffing the Senate Finance Committee for U.S. Senator David L. Boren (D-OK), leading a Section 232 Investigation on crude oil imports for the domestic energy industry and managing a large portfolio of trade clients on Section 301, Section 232, USMCA and U.S. Japan trade negotiations. She has presented on behalf of the firm for Lex Mundi in Shanghai, China and for the Young President’s Organization on Navigating U.S. Trade Policy under the Trump Administration. She was also active, on behalf of firm clients, during the recent federal tax reform debate, much as she was during the last major tax reform in 1986.
Denise has been involved in every energy policy debate since 1976, and as a leader in all sectors of the energy industry, as well as having served as their regulator in Oklahoma and the Southwest Power Pool.
- She led the Independent Petroleum Association of America as its CEO during early battles to allow oil exports from Alaska, protecting their tax treatment and waters of the U.S.
- She was also elected for two terms state-wide in Oklahoma and served as the energy and utility industry’s principal regulator as Chair and Commissioner of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
- Denise established the American Clean Skies Foundation, and as CEO, helped to educate and advocate the use of natural gas as part of a sustainable energy future establishing a natural partnership with renewables and environmental groups.
- She served as CEO of the American Wind Energy Association working to transform it into one of the world’s leading energy trade associations, through the largest growth periods in the wind industries history.
- Key advisor to David L. Boren (D-OK) and served as the senator’s legal counsel and finance committee counsel working on tax, trade and health care policies
- Assistant for Energy and Natural Resources for Oklahoma Governor David L. Boren working on natural gas deregulation
- First President of the Regional State Committee of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) working on the first regional electric tariff
Honors & Recognitions
- Top Association CEO in the United States, CEO Update, 2010
- “Woman of the Year,” Women’s Council for Energy and Environment, 2009
- 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington, Washingtonian, 2009
- Byliner Award for Government, Association for Women in Communication, 2002
- Distinguished Service Award, Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, 2002
- State Official of the Year, Oklahoma Association of Community Action Agencies, Inc., 2001
- Energy Award for Public Service, Hearst Newspapers, 2001
- Woman of the Year, Journal Record (Oklahoma City), 1999
- “Women of Influence,” Oklahoma Family Magazine
- Hill Top Lobbyists 2011, 2012
- Founder and Member, Tax Coalition
- Member, American Society of Association Executives
- Member, Board of Trustees and Vice Chair, Avalon Foundation
- Lifetime Member, Oklahoma Cattleman’s Association
- Member, Oklahoma Bar Association