Robert Nelson was originally appointed by Governor John Engler on May 10, 1999. He was subsequently reappointed for a term ending July 2, 2005.
Mr. Nelson served as President of the Michigan Electric and Gas Association from December 1987 until his appointment to the Commission in 1999. From 1979 to 1987, he was Director of the Commission's Office of Regulatory and Consumer Affairs, overseeing the legislative, legal, public affairs and consumer services functions of the Commission. From 1976 to 1979, he served as both Assistant and Deputy Director of Policy at the Commission. From 1974 to 1976, he was an Assistant and, later, Senior Assistant Prosecutor for Ingham County. From 1970 to 1974, he was a trial attorney for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Mr. Nelson served on the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' Consumer Affairs Committee and the Telecommunications Committee, of which he was the chairman. He served on the Advisory Council for the Center for Public Utilities at New Mexico State University.
Mr. Nelson was a member of the North American Numbering Council, an advisory committee to the FCC on numbering issues, and a member of the Universal Services Joint Board. He previously served as chairman of the Administrative Law Section of the Michigan Bar Association. He has also served as Chairman of the East Lansing Cable and Telecommunications Commission.
Mr. Nelson received a B.A. in Political Science from Wayne State University (1968), and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School (1970).