Steven McGrath of Cape Elizabeth, a former executive in Maine’s oil industry, has been chosen by Gov. Paul LePage to head the Governor’s Energy Office.

McGrath is the past chief financial officer of Downeast Energy Corp., where he was also responsible for oil and propane supply and hedging. For the past four years, he served as the CEO of Greystone Advisors, a financial and management advisory company.

“Steve’s experience in the energy industry will help us move Maine forward,” LePage said in a statement announcing the appointment. “I am pleased he has joined my administration, and I look forward to his insight into this vital policy area.”

LePage has made energy prices a priority over the past seven years, but has been frustrated in bids to expand natural gas pipeline capacity in the region and tap Canadian hydropower.

“Steve McGrath will face some challenges, as any political appointee or staffer would face in the final year of any administration,” said Jeff Marks, executive director of E2Tech, an energy and environment council based in Portland. “But as a former oil company executive, he’s likely up for it and ready to roll with the punches.”

McGrath replaces Patrick Woodcock, who left last November to serve in the Massachusetts energy office. In the interim, the director’s job has been filled by Angela Monroe, a deputy director in the energy office.

McGrath started his corporate career in New York City, where he worked for Bristol-Myers Co., now Bristol-Myers Squibb. He has also held senior financial management roles at Beiersdorf AG, Hyperion Software and Wright Express, now Wex.

McGrath’s degrees include a master of business administration in finance from New York University, a master of arts in mathematics from the University of Maine and a bachelor of science from Bates College.

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