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Science advisor joins national oil leak commission

By Mike Ahlers, CNN Producer

Washington (CNN) -- The commission, comprising seven members appointed by President Barack Obama, will hold public meetings Monday and Tuesday in New Orleans. It is charged with determining the causes of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and recommending changes in policies and law to prevent any such future calamities.

Sears worked as Royal Dutch Shell's vice president for exploration and deepwater technical evaluation and, more recently, as a visiting scientist with the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Commission spokesman Pete Nelson said the commission is also hiring Jay Hakes as its research director. Hakes, an alumnus of the Carter administration, served as director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum and headed the Energy Information Administration at the U.S. Department of Energy during the 1990s.