Washington, D.C. – The American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC) announced today that Thomas A. Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company, has joined the council.
Fanning joins a group of America’s leading business executives, including Norman Augustine, John Doerr, Bill Gates, Mike Graff and Chad Holliday, who came together in 2010 to promote American energy innovation. The group is united in its belief that technology innovation—especially in energy—is at the heart of our nation’s economic growth, national security, global competitiveness and environmental sustainability. AEIC works with business leaders, Congress and the Department of Energy to build broad bipartisan support for public and private investments in innovation.
“During my time leading Southern Company, we have placed a priority on finding real solutions to tomorrow’s energy challenges, such as building new nuclear, inventing first-of-its-kind, scalable, carbon capture technology, and evolving our business model to provide customer-focused energy technology beyond the meter,” said Fanning. “As an industry, we must do more to plan for the future and play offense, which is why I am proud to join the council’s work to advance energy innovation in America. It is critically important to cultivate the economic and security benefits of innovation in the energy sector and AEIC has displayed impressive leadership on this issue.”
Chairman, president, and CEO of Southern Company since 2010, Fanning has worked across a variety of business units over his more than 35 years with the company. Before becoming CEO, Fanning served as COO and CFO of Southern Company, as well as president and CEO of subsidiary Gulf Power. Fanning also serves as chairman of the board of the Edison Electric Institute, the association of investor-owned electric companies, international electric companies, and industry associates worldwide.
“Tom’s extraordinary efforts at Southern Company demonstrate a strong commitment to innovation,” said Norm Augustine, AEIC co-chair. “Developing the next generation of energy technologies will require smart leadership and we are excited to have the benefit of Tom’s foresight and expertise as we work to help solve our country’s energy challenges.”
AEIC Co-Chair Chad Holliday added, “Being a first mover in commercializing new technologies is incredibly difficult work that requires visionary leadership. Tom’s grasp of the importance of innovation make him an outstanding addition to the Council. We are delighted to have him join us at such a pivotal time in our nation’s energy future.”
Jason Grumet, president of the Bipartisan Policy Center, which hosts AEIC, said, “The keys to meaningful energy innovation are speed, scale and cost. Tom’s experience creating commercial scale innovation is essential to charting an aggressive and viable course toward deep decarbonization.”