Hickenlooper names three cabinet members

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Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper has named three of his cabinet members this week.

Maj. Gen. Michael Edwards will be the executive director of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; T.J. Deora will be director of the governor’s energy office and Sue Birch will be the executive director of the department of health-care policy and financing.

Edwards is continuing the role he played in Gov. Bill Ritter’s cabinet. He is the adjutant general for Colorado and is responsible for the command administration of more than 5,500 Colorado Army and Air National Guard members.

Edwards oversees the National Guard and is responsible for supporting the missions of the Civil Air Patrol’s Colorado wing.

He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force academy and joined the Colorado Air National Guard in 1980 after serving as a pilot and instructor in the active-duty Air Force.

Deora now leads state and regional policy advocacy efforts for Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy’s government affairs team, focusing on promoting investment friendly environments for renewable energy.

Deora lives in Denver and led Horizon’s early-state project development efforts in the Rockies and worked in Kit Carson, Cheyenne and Baca counties. He helped found and serve as co-chairman of the Colorado Renewable and Conservation Collaborative. He also served on the boards of the Interwest Energy Alliance, the Colorado Independent Energy association and Renewable Energy New England.

Birch is chief executive officer of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association in Steamboat Springs, where she has worked for 17 years.

Before moving to Colorado, Birch served at Georgetown University Hospital and in a number of nursing roles with Kaiser Permanente n Colorado. She is a trustee of the Caring for Colorado Foundation, the Colorado Health Institute and is a past-president of the Home care Association of Colorado.

Hickenlooper is expected to name the rest of his cabinet this week.