Celebrating Black History Month
February 2020

​Each February, EEI and our member companies celebrate Black History Month. This year’s trailblazer series highlights African Americans who have helped shape and advance the electric power industry throughout their careers.

Vicky Bailey
Served with FERC and DOE

Vicky Bailey has more than 30 years of high-level, national, and international corporate executive and governmental experience in energy and regulated industries. During her impressive career, Bailey was appointed to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from 1993 to 2000. She also served as the leading international official at the Department of Energy from 2001 to 2004 as the Assistant Secretary for both International Affairs and Domestic Policy. During that appointment, Bailey served as Vice Chair of the International Energy Agency and was chair of several bilateral international working groups among energy-producing nations. In the early 2000s, Bailey served as president and CEO of PSI Energy, she currently serves on the board of directors for PNM Resources. She has vast business experience on top of her government experience, and is the founder of Anderson Stratton International, an energy consulting firm. She also is involved as an entrepreneur and principal of BHMM Energy Services, a certified minority energy facilities management organization. Among her various non-profit and service positions, Bailey was appointed in 2001 to the Presidential Commission for the Smithsonian’s National Museum for African American History and Culture, which opened on the National Mall in September 2016.
Colette Honorable
Served with FERC

Appointed by President Barack Obama, Colette Honorable served as a commissioner with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from 2014-2017. As a commissioner, Honorable focused on reliability of the bulk power system, cyber and physical security, oversight of wholesale markets, transmission planning and cost allocation in regional transmission organizations, natural gas-electric coordination, renewables integration, energy storage integration and valuation, ratemaking, infrastructure development, and enforcement matters. Honorable is a member of law firm Reed Smith’s Energy and Natural Resources Group in the Washington, D.C., office. She is a highly regarded policymaker in domestic and international energy sectors.
Garrett Morgan
Patent Holder for Traffic Signal

Despite only having an elementary school education, Garrett Morgan blazed a trail for African-American inventors with his various patents. Born in Kentucky, he was the child of two former slaves. When he was only 14 years old, Morgan moved to Ohio to look for a job. He eventually owned several businesses, including a repair shop, a garment shop, and a newspaper called the Cleveland Call.

Morgan transformed automobile safety with his three-position traffic signal that he patented in 1923. Morgan, the first black man in Cleveland to own a car, was inspired to create the signal after he witnessed a carriage accident at a dangerous intersection. He sold the rights to his invention to General Electric for $40,000. He also patented inventions including an improved sewing machine, a hair-straightening product, and a respiratory device that would later provide the blueprint for World War 1 gas masks.
Granville Woods
Patent Holder 

Known as “Black Edison,” Granville Woods registered nearly 60 patents in his lifetime including a telephone transmitter, a trolley wheel, and the multiplex telegraph. He held various engineering and industrial jobs before establishing a company to develop electrical apparatus. Most of his patents were for electrical devices, including his second invention, an improved telephone transmitter. The patented device, which combined the telephone and telegraph, was bought by Alexander Graham Bell.

Woods was sued by Thomas Edison after he registered a patent for his multiplex telegraph, which helped speed up communications. Woods defeated the lawsuit and turned down Edison’s later offer to make him a partner.