Fanning elected as chairman of the Edison Electric Institute

CHICAGO (June 14, 2016) – Thomas A. “Tom” Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of Atlanta-based Southern Company, today was elected chairman of the board of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the national association of investor-owned electric companies, international electric companies, and industry associates worldwide.

Also elected today were three vice chairmen: Christopher M. “Chris” Crane, president and CEO of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation; Patricia “Pat” Vincent-Collawn, chairman, president and CEO of Albuquerque, New Mexico-based PNM Resources; and Gregory E. “Greg” Abel, chairman, president and CEO of Des Moines, Iowa-based Berkshire Hathaway Energy.

The announcement was made during EEI’s annual convention in Chicago. The Institute’s chairmanship rotates on an annual basis, and Fanning replaces Nick Akins, chairman, president and CEO of Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power, as EEI chairman.

“On behalf of the entire EEI team, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to outgoing EEI Chairman Nick Akins for his tremendous leadership and contributions throughout the last year as EEI chairman. Nick is a great leader for our industry, and we greatly value his many years of service to EEI,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn.

“We are excited to announce today that Tom Fanning has been elected EEI chairman,” added Kuhn. “Since 2013, Tom has been an invaluable member of our leadership team, while serving as an EEI vice chairman and as co-chair of the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council. Tom is a visionary leader and is at the forefront in developing innovative customer solutions as our industry continues its transformation.”

“In an increasingly electrified economy, America’s electric power industry can invent a better energy future by partnering to deliver innovative solutions for customers,” said Fanning. “As EEI chairman, I look forward to collaborating with leaders across the industry to find new and better ways to serve the customers and families who depend on us.”

Kuhn also praised the vice chairs who will be supporting Fanning as part of EEI’s leadership team, calling Crane, Vincent-Collawn, and Abel “a proven team of leaders who are committed to our industry’s ongoing efforts to build smarter energy infrastructure, provide clean energy, and create innovative energy solutions for our customers.”

Tom Fanning became chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company in 2010. Fanning has worked for Southern Company for more than 35 years and has held 15 different positions in eight different business units. Previously, Fanning served as COO and CFO of Southern Company, as well as president and CEO of Gulf Power.

Fanning serves as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and is on the Georgia Tech College of Management advisory board, the board of trustees for the Georgia Tech Foundation, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations board of directors, and the World Association of Nuclear Operators – Atlanta Centre governing board. He serves on the board of directors for Vulcan Materials Company and is a member of the Business Roundtable. Fanning also is a co-chair of the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council and a member of the international advisory board of the Atlantic Council, which promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs.

Fanning earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial management, and was also awarded an honorary doctor of philosophy degree, from Georgia Tech. His executive education includes programs at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Harvard University School of Business, and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

Chris Crane is president and CEO of Exelon Corporation, where he oversees a family of companies representing every stage of the energy value chain with business operations in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. The companies include Exelon Generation, Constellation, Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva Power, PECO, and Pepco.

Crane joined Exelon, which was then ComEd, in 1998, and was named chief nuclear officer in 2004. He later served as Exelon president and COO, where he oversaw the company’s portfolio of electric generating capacity and directed a broad range of business operations, including major acquisitions, transmission strategy, cost management initiatives, oversight of major capital programs, generation asset optimization, and generation development. Prior to joining Exelon, Crane served as Browns Ferry Site vice president for Tennessee Valley Authority, and worked in new plant start-up at the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant in Texas and Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona.

Crane is chairman of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, and an executive committee member and immediate past chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nation’s nuclear industry trade association. He also is a member of the board of directors of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., the board of governors of the World Association of Nuclear Operators, and the board of directors of AEGIS Insurance Services. Crane studied at New Hampshire Technical College and attended Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

Pat Vincent-Collawn is chairman, president and CEO of PNM Resources, the parent company for electric companies PNM in New Mexico and TNMP in Texas. Vincent-Collawn joined PNM Resources in 2007, serving as utilities president with responsibility for overseeing the daily operation of PNM and TNMP. In 2008, she was named president and chief operating officer, and in March 2010 became president and CEO of PNM Resources. The Board elected her chairman in January 2012. While at PNM Resources, she has led the company from a partially deregulated entity to a pure-play electric company with a focus on customer satisfaction, reliability, safety, and sustainability.

Prior to PNM Resources, Vincent-Collawn served eight years at Xcel Energy, where she was president and CEO of Public Service Company of Colorado. Previous to that, as Xcel’s president of Customer and Field Operations, she oversaw transmission and distribution operations as well as customer service across 10 states. Vincent-Collawn also held management positions with Arizona Public Service, and outside the energy industry with Price Waterhouse and Quaker Oats.

Vincent-Collawn serves as chair of the board of EPRI. She also serves on the board of CTS Corporation, where she chairs the compensation committee. In the community, Vincent-Collawn is chair of the Kirtland Partnership Committee. She is past chair of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Central New Mexico. Vincent-Collawn is also a member of the Economic Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Drake University and an MBA from the Harvard University School of Business.

Greg Abel is chairman, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Energy. Abel became chairman in 2011 and has served as CEO since 2008.

Abel serves on the boards of the Kraft Heinz Company, AEGIS Insurance Services, Inc., Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited, and Kum & Go, L.L.C. He is a member of the executive board of the Mid-Iowa Council Boy Scouts of America, and a past member of the American Football Coaches Foundation and the Drake University board of trustees.

Abel holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Alberta.


EEI is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Our members provide electricity for 220 million Americans, operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and directly and indirectly support more than 1 million jobs. EEI has more than 70 international electric companies as International Members, and 270 industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members.