Valerie West, Principal, draws on over 20 years of Capitol Hill experience on energy, energy tax policy, and natural resources issues to help our clients achieve their policy objectives. Before joining VH Strategies, Valerie worked for 11 years as Natural Resources Director for Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR), who served on the Finance Committee and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. On behalf of the Senator, she managed legislation and appropriations related to energy and energy efficiency, energy taxes, climate change, water policy, the Endangered Species Act, and public lands management. She took a leadership role on contentious policy issues such as the 2000-2001 West Coast energy crisis and water management in the Columbia and Klamath River Basins. She also managed numerous legislative initiatives, including the 2005 Energy Policy Act and the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.
Prior to her time in the Senate, Valerie worked for the House Natural Resources Committee, handling issues related to the federal power marketing administrations and western water policy. During her tenure, she represented the Committee Chairman on the Western Water Policy Review Commission, created by Congress to examine critical water issues facing arid western states. Valerie began her Capitol Hill career as an aide to several U.S. House members. She also served for four years, from 1991 to 1995, as the congressional liaison for the Bureau of Reclamation.
Born and raised in the Washington area, Valerie is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and speaks French. She currently serves on the board of the DC-based non-profit Women’s Energy Resource Council.