The appointments come as the state's energy regulatory body prepares to tackle several important cases later this year, including the proposed sale of Constellation Energy Group to Chicago-based Exelon Corp. in a $7.9 billion deal.
Hughes has served as O'Malley's deputy legislative officer since 2007, focusing on energy policy, among other issues. O'Malley's office said Hughes played a "vital role" in implementing the governor's electricity reliability standards. He will began a five-year term ending in 2016.
Speakes-Backman, the clean energy director at the Maryland Energy Administration, will finish the term of Therese Goldsmith, who left to become the state's Insurance Commissioner. Speakes-Backman has worked in the areas of sustainability and renewable energy in the private sector.
Speakes-Backman's term will end in 2014.