Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Debra Jacobson, energy-law expert

Debra Jacobson, 69, a lawyer who served as counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on oversight and investigations from 1979 to 1994 and then was a senior adviser to the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy until 2000, died Sept. 15 at her home in McLean, Va. The cause was liver cancer, said her son, Andrew Jacobson.

Mrs. Jacobson was born Debra Denkensohn in Kingston, N.Y. After her work at the Energy Department, she ran her own consulting company, was an adjunct professor of energy law at George Washington University Law School and was co-director of the university’s Solar Institute.

She was co-founder of the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment. She received awards from the Energy Department and the Sierra Club.

Claire Ackerman, volunteer

Claire Ackerman, 97, a volunteer at the National Gallery of Art from 1985 to 2000, died Sept. 2 at an assisted-living home in Rockville, Md. The cause was a heart ailment, said her son Ken Charney.

Mrs. Ackerman was born Claire Rabinowitz in Manhattan. She settled in the Washington area in 1964.

Barbara Kober, journalist, music teacher

Barbara Kober, 88, a former reporter and editor for the old Washington Star newspaper who became a piano teacher, died Sept. 9 at a hospice center in Rockville, Md. The cause was complications of a stroke, said her niece Virginia Ferrell Ross.

Ms. Kober was born in Pittsburgh and was a reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s women’s section early in her career. While working for Hearst newspapers in the early and mid-1960s, she covered social and political news in Washington and also was a United Nations correspondent. She was with the Star from the late 1960s until the paper closed in 1981, with a range of assignments including music and politics.

She then received a master’s degree in music from American University and opened a private piano studio at her home in Chevy Chase, Md., and then later in Bethesda, Md. She also performed as a soloist and accompanist and published articles in music magazines. She was a volunteer tour guide at the Kennedy Center.

— From staff reports