Richard Maullin, a key figure in Jerry Brown’s rise to California governor, died Wednesday after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 78.
“Richard helped me begin my political career in 1969 when I was elected to the junior college board in Los Angeles,” Brown told City News Service. “He was a key leader of my campaign for governor. Richard was the first chairman of California’s Energy Commission, where he developed pioneering energy efficiency standards that were the first in the nation.”
Maullin and Tom Quinn were the two chief deputies for Brown when he was California secretary of state before being elected to his first term as governor in 1974. During the gubernatorial campaign, Quinn was campaign manager and Maullin was associate campaign manager.
After the gubernatorial election, Maullin was named by Brown to chair the newly created Energy Commission in 1975.
It was as the head of the state Energy Commission that Maullin became the “chief architect” of energy efficiency in California, leading the nation in efforts to cut down on the use of electricity, according to Quinn.
“Richard was the chief architect of California energy efficiency standards,” said Quinn, who served as chairman of the state Air Resources Board and worked closely with Maullin on energy and environmental matters.
“At the Energy Commission, Richard mandated America’s very first efficiency standards for appliances for everything from hair dryers to refrigerators to air conditioners,” Quinn said. “That was the first step in the United States for energy conversation. He was methodical, careful, very smart and always pushing technology beyond traditional boundaries.”
Maullin, who earned a doctorate in political science from UCLA, spent his career working in public opinion research and energy and technology. After Brown returned to the governor’s office eight years ago, he appointed Maullin to the California Independent System Operator Board of Governors that is tasked with managing the flow of electricity across state power lines.
Maullin was a founding partner in 1981 of the polling firm of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates, remaining with his company until 2017.
He was the CEO of MCR Geothermal Corp. from 1980 to 1985, chairman of the board of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute at Vilnius University in Lithuania and a member of the board of directors of the Los Angeles Regional Hillel Council.
Before working with Brown, Maullin was a member of the social science research staff at the RAND Corp., specializing in Latin American politics and economics. According to Brown, he and Maullin first met in Bogota, Colombia in 1966 when Brown was traveling and Maullin was there working for RAND.
Maullin is survived by his wife Michele, daughter Nathalie Maullin and her husband Hugh Nathanson, and daughter Celine Maullin and her husband Jet Wharton.
Funeral services will be held at Hillside Memorial Park in Los Angeles on Monday at 11 a.m.
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