Ben Fowke is executive chairman of Xcel Energy, one of the largest public utilities in the country. The company is in the Fortune 500 and headquartered in Minneapolis. Xcel Energy serves parts of eight states, providing electricity to 3.6 million customers and natural gas service to 2 million customers.
Widely respected in the industry, Fowke serves as Vice Chair of the Edison Electric Institute and on the boards of the Nuclear Energy Institute, Energy Insurance Mutual and Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. He is also a frequent contributor to important policy topics in Washington, D.C.
In 2016, President Obama appointed Fowke to serve on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), representing the energy industry. The NIAC is a private-public partnership that advises governmental agencies on how to mitigate risk and ensure the integrity of the country’s critical infrastructure.
In 2017, Fowke testified before two Senate committees, providing his expertise on the industry’s cyber security preparedness and on Xcel Energy’s industry-leading Unmanned Aircraft System program. Xcel Energy is the first regulated utility to partner with the FAA to facilitate the safe and routine use of UAS beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) to monitor, inspect and sustain the utility grid.
Fowke has also testified before Congress about the importance of hiring military veterans in the private sector following their service to our country. Xcel Energy has executed on aggressive hiring goals, doubling the number of military veterans hired in just two years. Fowke was honored with the Responsible CEO of the Year award from Corporate Responsibility magazine for Xcel Energy’s efforts to recruit and retain military veterans.
Fowke is active on several industry and community boards, including Greater MSP and the Minnesota Business Partnership, and served as co-chair of the 2017 Greater Twin Cities United Way campaign with his wife, Kathleen. He was recently named president of the Minnesota Business Partnership and chosen as the 2018 Executive of the Year by Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal and the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Citizen Award from the Northern Star Council of the Boy Scouts of America.