The chairman of the state’s Public Utility Commission has been appointed to a powerful state board.

Governor Rick Perry appointed Barry Smitherman of Austin to the Railroad Commission of Texas.

Smitherman has served as chairman of the Public Utility Commission since 2007, and is also a member of the U.S. Department of Energy Electricity Advisory Committee.

Prior to his service at the PUC, Smitherman spent more than 18 years in various public banking and legal positions.

He is filling the unexpired term left by Michael Williams, who has announced his intention to run for U.S. Congress in the newly created Congressional District 33 seat.