Palm Beach, Fla. (January 11, 2017) – Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Executive Vice President David K. Owens today announced he will retire on June 30, following 36 years of distinguished and exemplary service to EEI and its member companies. Owens made the announcement during EEI’s winter Board of Directors meeting.
“For nearly four decades, David Owens has provided pioneering leadership to EEI and to our member companies across the country and throughout the world,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “David has contributed to so many important EEI successes over the years, and he is an invaluable partner and dear friend to me personally. On behalf of the entire EEI team, I wish him well in his retirement and know that he will be sorely missed by his colleagues and by a legion of friends and admirers throughout the electric power industry and beyond.”
“David Owens is a tremendous leader and visionary who has made substantial contributions to our industry throughout his distinguished career,” said EEI Chairman Tom Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company. “On behalf of the industry, I thank David for his dedication and service, and wish him well in his retirement.”
Owens began his career at EEI as director of rates and regulation, and he is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on electric company issues and industry restructuring. In his capacity as the first African American to hold an officer title at EEI, Owens has had significant responsibility over issues that affect the future structure of the electric industry and new rules in evolving com¬petitive markets. He has been responsible for the strategic areas of energy sup¬ply and finance, environment, energy delivery, retail energy services, state regulatory issues, and international affairs. Additionally, he has spearhead efforts to enhance the public policy climate for investments in America’s electric infrastructure with emphasis on the role of new technologies to address climate change and to enhance energy effi¬ciency through smart buildings, smart appliances, smart meters, and smart grids.
Throughout his career, Owens has led efforts to achieve favorable public policy results on a range of issues in Washington and in the states. He has frequently appeared before U.S. congressional committees and has testified in more than 50 proceedings on energy issues before state bodies. He also has lectured at universities across the nation, made hundreds of presentations in business forums, and frequently appears on television and radio. Owens also played a critical role in the industry’s response to Superstorm Sandy. Unfailingly generous with his time and knowledge, Owens also has mentored innumerable young men and women in their careers in the energy industry, and he strongly believes in giving back to the community.
Owens served as chief engineer of the Division of Corporate Regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission and also was an engineer in the Division of Rates and Corporate Regulation at the former Federal Power Commission. He worked as a design and test engineer for General Electric and Philadelphia Electric Companies.
“It has been my tremendous honor to work with Tom Kuhn, EEI’s leadership team and staff, and our member company CEOs and employees throughout my career,” said Owens. “After 36 years of service to EEI, I have made the decision to retire at the end of June. I look forward to spending more time with my children and grandchildren and to pursuing other hobbies and passions in this next phase of my life. I am confident that my colleagues at EEI will continue their great work on behalf of EEI’s member companies and the customers they serve.”
Among the many honors he received throughout his career, such as Who’s Who In the Government and Outstanding Leader in the Utility Industry, Owens was the recipient of the James E. Stewart Award, the highest distinction for an American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) member, and he was awarded the President’s Cup by AABE for his leadership on public policy matters. Additionally, he was awarded the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment 2013 Champion. He currently sits on the Board of the National Academy of Sciences, served as Chair of the IDEA Public Charter School Board of Trustees, Chair of AABE Legislative Issues and Public Policies, Chairman of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Smart Grid Advisory Com¬mittee, and is an active member of a number of professional and community-based organizations.
Owens received both his Bachelors and Masters of Engineering degrees from Howard University. He also has a Masters in Engineering Administration from George Washington University, and attended executive courses at How¬ard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Michigan State University.