Dan Esty's resignation last week as head of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection left many wondering about his legacy at the agency.

DEEP chief of staff Robert Klee [pictured above] was announced as Esty's successor today, and that news ensures continuity at an agency that plays a large role in determing the state's economic competitiveness.

“The promotion of Robert Klee highlights Governor Malloy’s commitment to continuous improvement,” said CBIA president and CEO John R. Rathgeber.

As a key staff member working with Esty, Klee played a critical role in the agency’s efforts to improve customer service, increase efficiencies, and consider economic impact in its decision-making.

“Through lean practices and process streamlining, the agency is a good example of how best practices from the business world can be applied to state government,” Rathgeber said.

Klee served as Esty's chief of staff since April 2011. Like Esty, he is a Yale graduate, with a master's degree in environmental management, a law degree, and a Ph.D. in forestry and environmental studies.

Rathgeber also noted that he is pleased that both Katie Dykes and Macky McCleary will remain with the agency as deputy commissioners.

“It’s vital that the agency further its initiatives to remove barriers to economic competitiveness and reduce energy costs while continuing to fulfill its role as steward of Connecticut’s natural resources,” he said.

To that point, Rathgeber also added his support to today’s announcement advancing the regional initiative to expand energy infrastructure and lower costs.

“Finding ways to reduce energy costs while helping manufacturers, other businesses, and residents gain access to cheaper, cleaner, more reliable energy from a diversity of sources will make Connecticut a more attractive place for business investment and job creation.”