As a member of the firm's Energy and Utilities practice, Kari is committed to achieving results for her clients through collaboration and purposeful planning and execution. She brings a wealth of experience serving clients in the areas of energy, utilities, and related environmental law issues gained through a variety of significant roles in the private and public sectors over the past 30 years.
Prior to joining Calfee's Indianapolis office in 2023, Kari served as the President of Aqua Indiana, Inc., where she led a team of professionals committed to reliable, safe, and compliant delivery of water and wastewater services in 15 counties across Indiana. There, she directed the development and execution of company strategy, operations, safety, environmental compliance, infrastructure improvement projects, and customer growth.
Also in the private sector, Kari served as the Executive Director of External Affairs at the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO). At MISO, she drove the implementation of customer experience strategy and delivery, led teams responsible for the success of organizational engagement with members, stakeholders, and employees, and directed strategic communication, including media relations, crisis communication, digital strategy, and brand and reputation management. At MISO, Kari also served as Senior Corporate Counsel and Senior Director of Program Strategy. In this role, she designed and prosecuted regulatory filings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and led the development of strategy and collaboration to achieve organizational success on key transmission system, reliability, and energy market initiatives.
In addition, Kari served as an attorney with Barnes & Thornburg LLP for six years, where she counseled business and municipal clients to achieve favorable resolutions to complex environmental and other regulatory issues, including legislative and regulatory development, permitting, compliance, and enforcement. There, she litigated cases on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, public utilities, and municipalities in federal, state, and administrative courts.
In the public sector, Kari served as Commissioner for the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels, Kari served as one of five Commissioners charged with balancing the interests of ratepayers and public utilities (electric, natural gas, water, sewer, and telecommunications in setting just and reasonable rates for service. Kari also presided over hearings, decided case outcomes, and issued written orders subject to judicial review. She also managed a team of senior technical staff and assistant general counsel in advocating positions and developing comments on federal and regional energy policy.
As General Counsel for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Kari provided strategic legal advice to inform policy and administration of the 1,400-person agency charged with managing Indiana's natural resources and public lands and waters. In this role, she oversaw all forms of agency litigation, including administrative appeals and cases before state and federal courts. She also served as the ethics officer, public records official, and hearing officer for personnel matters.
As Policy Director for Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, she coordinated the implementation of the governor's policy for the environment, natural resources, agriculture, labor, workers' compensation, financial institutions, and the arts. She formulated, negotiated, and promoted key legislation with the Indiana General Assembly, and she developed and advocated for policy on significant national, regional, and state issues, including air quality standards and attainment designations and the Great Lakes water quality and quantity.
Kari served as an Attorney and Environmental Manager for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, where she coordinated all administrative rulemaking activities for the Indiana Water Pollution Control Board (the state body responsible for adopting water quality regulations) and provided technical assistance on regulatory and compliance issues to businesses, communities, and citizens.
In the nonprofit sector, Kari also serves as the Director of Land Development and Production for Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County, where she is responsible for steering property acquisition, infrastructure development, permitting, and construction to complete 10 new homes for partner families annually. In this role, Kari leverages her experience to achieve optimal outcomes through project management and coordination with multiple government entities and developed significant working relationships with individuals involved in the county's utilities as well as with subcontractors and volunteer organizations.
J.D., University of Minnesota Law School, cum laude, 1998
Bachelor's degree, Philosophy, Environmental Science, Miami University (Ohio), cum laude, 1993
Effective Facilitator certification, Leadership Strategies (2019)
Prosci Certified Change Practitioner (2018)
Professional & Community
Professional & Community
- Indiana Canine Assistant Network, Board Member and Volunteer
- Brown County Habitat for Humanity, Land Acquisition Committee
News & Events
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit