David K. Owens is Executive Vice President, Business Operations, of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). EEI is the international trade association of shareholder owned utilities whose members are responsible for providing electric service to three quarters of the U.S. population. Since the early 90’s, this $800 billion electric utility industry has been involved in major restructuring and deregulation, and the industry is now confronting several transformational challenges which include enormous infrastructure investments, rising costs and prices with tremendous uncertainty on energy and climate policy.
In his capacity as the first African American to hold an officer title at EEI, Mr. Owens has significant responsibility over a broad range of issues that affect the future structure of the electric industry and new rules in evolving competitive markets. He has responsibility over the strategic areas of energy supply and the environment, energy deliver, energy services and international affairs. He also spearheads 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 enhance energy efficiency through smart buildings, smart appliances, smart meters and smart electric grid.
Mr. Owens has frequently appeared before the U.S. Congressional Committees, testified in over 50 proceedings on energy issues before state bodies, lectured in universities across the nation, made hundreds of presentations in business forums, and has frequently appeared on TV and radio. He is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on electric utility issues and industry restructuring. He has been at EEI for over 29 years, starting his EEI career as Director, Rates and Regulation.
His distinguished career began at Philadelphia Electric and General Electric where he worked as a test and design engineer, respectively. Prior to EEI, Mr. Owens served as the youngest and first African American Chief Engineer of the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also worked for the Federal Power Commission, which is the predecessor of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
He is a graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor and Masters of Engineering degrees. He also has a Masters in Engineering Administration from George Washington University, and has attended executive courses at Howard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Michigan State University.
Mr. Owens has distinction in Who’s Who Among Black Americans, Who’s Who In The Government, and has been honored as Outstanding Leader in the Utility Industry. He is the recipient of the James E. Stewart Award, the highest distinction for an AABE member. He has also been awarded the President’s Cup for his leadership on public policy matters.
Mr. Owens sits on the Boards of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association of Blacks in Energy, the IDEA Charter School, and is an active member of a number of professional and community-based organizations.