About Michael Shames

Founded and directed –San Diego Consumers’ Action Network, a non-profit consumer protection agency serving San Diego County.  (June 2012 – present)

Executive Director and Co-founder – Utility Consumers’ Action Network (UCAN) a non-profit consumer watchdog group made up of 41,000 San Diego house­holds and small businesses.   Represents the interests of San Diegans in energy, telecommunication and Internet matters before the state and federal regulatory bodies. (September 1985 – June 2012)

Academic Background

o  Admitted to California and Federal Bar (1983)

o  Graduate of UCLA (1978, B.A. Public Administration) and University of San Diego School of Law (1982, Juris Doctor)

Other Recent Activities

o Member, Ethics Panel of California State Accountancy Board, Appointed by Pro Tem Steinberg. (2010-2012)

o Member, California Public Interest Energy Research Project, California Energy Commission. (2007-2009)

o Member, SDG&E Policy Advisory Group and its Peer Review Group on Energy Efficiency Programs and Smart Grid deployment (2005-2009)

o Adjunct Professor, University of San Diego School of Business.  Teaching Corporate Ethics and Business Responsibility to undergraduate and graduate students (1991-2006)

o  Member,  South Bay Power Plant Advisory Group to Port Commission  (2003-2004)

o  Member,  Regional Energy Policy Advisory Council  to San Diego Area Governments (2002-3)

o  Member, California Board on Energy Efficiency Board  (1997-2000)   Appointed by the Public Utilities Commission.

o  Member,  Consumer Education Advisory Panel  (1997)  Appointed by the Public Utilities Commission.

o  Member,  California Joint Task Force on Privacy   (1997-1999)   Appointed by Senator Steve Peace.

o  Member, California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan Oversight Committee. (1992-1995)    Appointed by Commissioner John Garamendi

o  Member, Chula Vista Environmental Commerce Zone Task Force (1992-1994)

o  Member, San Diego City Task Force on Water and Sewer Policy (1992)

o  Member, Environmental Health Coalition Board of Directors.  (1987-2001)

o  Chair, California State Sierra Club Political Committee (1994-1997)

o  Member, San Diego County Water Authority Committee on Repurified Water  (1990)

o  Director, Environmental Court Project, University of San Diego. Conducted analysis of City Code Enforcement activities (1989-1990)

o  Founder, San Diego Municipal Mediation Office. Office within City of San Diego City Manager’s office that resolves disputes between City and citizens on zoning and city code enforcement matters. (1990)

o  Member, Pacific Bell Consumer Advisory Panel  (1989-1991)

o  Member, Blue Ribbon Panel on San Diego County Water Authority committee to evaluate utility municipalization. (1989-90)

o  Member, San Diego County Public Works Board (1992-1993)

o  Graduate of LEAD, San Diego: Leadership Training Program. (1988) — Coordinator of LEAD Environmental and Government seminars (1990-1993)


Author of articles on Electric, Telephone, Cable and Insurance regulation. Expert Witness on utility-related issues before the California Senate and Assembly oversight committees and Public Utilities Commission.   Testified on the electric, telephone, insurance and other regulatory issues.     He has also authoredtwo fiction novels, one play and numerous consumer-related articles for various print and Net-based publications.

Recently Published Books and Academic Articles on Energy Policy

  • Adumbrations of the World’s Greatest Consumer (Summer 2010)
  • Gruminations of the World’s Greatest Consumer   (Summer 2006)
  • Secrets of the World’s Greatest Consumer; Essential Tools for the 21st Century Consumer.  (World’s Greatest Publishing, Summer 2005)
  • 10 Lessons Learned From California’s Energy Experiment,  Energy Law Journal  (Spring 2003)
  • “Preserving Consumer Protection and Education in a Deregulated Electric Services Industry”, Who Benefits From Privatization, Hossain & Malbon, eds.  (Routledge, 1998)
  • “Electric Utility Deregulation Sparks Controversy “,  Harvard Business Review, May-June 1996
  • “Consumer Principles for Electric Utility Reform”,  in Electric Utilities Moving into the 21st Century,  Enholm & Malko, eds.  PUR Inc. (1994)


Distinquished Alumni of the Year –  2005  (University of San Diego School of Law)

Distinquished Advocate for a Non-Profit Agency – 2002  (University of San Diego School of Law)

Newsmaker of the Year (Business) – 1991  (San Diego Press Club)

Newsmaker of the Year (Civic) –  2001  (San Diego Press Club)

Summary Biography of Michael Shames

Michael Shames co-founded the non-profit consumer advocacy group UCAN (Utility Consumers Action Network) in 1981 and served as executive director of the non-profit consumer watchdog group until 2012.   He received a BA from UCLA and JD from University of San Diego School of Law.   He has published over 30 articles on energy and telecommunications policy.

In addition to serving as the UCAN Executive Director,  He represented UCAN as an attorney and expert witness in numerous proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission, state legislative and federal agencies on energy, telecommunications, insurance, cable and Internet-related issues.   In addition to his advocacy activities, he has also served as an adjunct professor at University of San Diego School of Business teaching corporate responsibility and business ethics.   He has served on a number of policy-oriented Boards and Commissions and created a Code Enforcement Mediation Center for the City of San Diego in 1990.