News / The Diaspora

Joe Neguse named Colorado’s chief business regulator

By  STAFF WRITER    MAY 15, 2015

Joe Neguse, an Eritrean-American attorney who ran unsuccessfully last year for Colorado secretary of state, will be the next executive director of the state’s Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), Gov. John Hickenlooper announced this week.

Neguse takes over from Barbara Kelley, who has led DORA since 2009. He  will assume office on June 1st.


Joe Neguse

“Joe’s experience as an attorney, civic leader, and public servant will be an invaluable asset to DORA,” said Hickenlooper. “Our business friendly environment is an essential part of Colorado’s economic success, and Joe will champion that effort to further grow our vibrant business community and protect consumers.”

DORA is the regulatory body mandated to keep the integrity of the marketplace and to promote a fair and competitive business environment in the state.

An associate at Holland & Hart LLP, the state’s largest law firm, Neguse currently works as a litigator representing clients in employment, commercial and regulatory matters.

“I am deeply honored for the opportunity to be part of Governor Hickenlooper’s administration, and look forward to continuing DORA’s important work in creating a fair and competitive business environment and reducing regulatory burdens for businesses and consumers alike,” said Neguse.

Before joining Holland & Hart, Neguse was elected to serve on the University of Colorado (CU) Board of Regents. He served a six year term representing the 2nd Congressional District on the Board, which oversees the University of Colorado System — the third largest employer in the state with an operating budget of $3.4 billion.

Prior to his election as Regent, Neguse was appointed by the Boulder City Council to serve as a Commissioner on the Boulder Housing Authority.

Last year, he ran for Colorado secretary of state but narrowly lost to Republican Wayne Williams by 2.57 percentage points.

He has a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from CU, graduating summa cum laude, and also received his juris doctorate from the Law School where he served as class president.

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