Doug Heller

Consumer advocate and consultant to public interest and nonprofit organizations

Consumer Advocate Douglas Heller is a nationally recognized insurance expert and former non-profit executive who serves as an independent consultant to consumer organizations and other public interest causes. From 2004-2012, Heller served as the Executive Director of Consumer Watchdog. Recognized as one of the nation’s most vocal critics of the insurance industry, Heller has also led legislative, regulatory and public education campaigns related to energy issues, healthcare reform, whistleblower protections and political accountability, and he is a frequent media commentator on these issues.

Heller has authored numerous reports on issues such as energy deregulation, medical malpractice and insurance industry low-balling. He has served on several consumer- and social justice-oriented boards and has testified before Congress, several state legislatures and regulatory agencies. He is an appointee of California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones serving as a Consumer Representative to the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan Advisory Committee.

In 2010, Heller led the California coalition that defeated the anti-consumer, auto insurance industry sponsored Proposition 17, despite being outspent by more than 12 to one. Heller also led the 2001 lobbying effort that blocked the proposed bailout of California’s electric utilities in the wake of the state’s deregulation debacle. Through both advocacy work and community outreach, Heller has been California’s consumer leader in the effort to implement and expand the nation’s first low-cost auto insurance program for low-income motorists.

Prior to advocacy work, Heller was a community organizer, training and managing volunteers. After graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, Heller spent two years as a Teach For America teacher in rural Louisiana, where he was awarded his school district’s highest teaching honor, the Crystal Apple.
In addition to his consulting practice, Heller is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree at the University of Southern California.