Willie L. Phillips was named by President Biden to be Acting Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on January 3, 2023 and is serving a Commission term that ends June 30, 2026.
He most recently served as the Chairman of the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia, named to that role in 2018. He served on the Commission since 2014. He is an experienced regulatory attorney combining nearly 20 years of legal expertise in public and private practice. He has an extensive background in the areas of public utility regulation, bulk power system reliability, and corporate governance.
Prior to being appointed to the DCPSC, Mr. Phillips served as Assistant General Counsel for the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), in Washington, D.C. Before joining NERC, he also worked for two law firms, where he advised clients on energy regulatory compliance and policy matters.
Mr. Phillips has also served on the boards of several organizations, including the board of directors for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the Organization of PJM States (OPSI). He also has served as president of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC), and he has held leadership roles on several advisory councils, including the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Advisory Council.
Mr. Phillips has a Juris Doctor from Howard University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Montevallo. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two children.
Norah O’Donnell is the anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News,” anchor of CBS News Election Specials, including primary, debate and election nights, and a “60 Minutes” contributing correspondent. O’Donnell is a multiple Emmy Award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience covering the biggest stories in the world and conducting impactful, newsmaking interviews. She has covered six presidential elections and traveled around the globe to interview some of the world’s most important leaders, including six U.S. presidents.
Named anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” in 2019, O’Donnell leads CBS News’ flagship broadcast from Washington, D.C., becoming the only network evening news anchor based in the nation’s capital. Previously, O’Donnell was co-host of “CBS This Morning” and a contributor to 60 Minutes. O’Donnell joined “CBS This Morning” as a co-host in July 2012. Prior to that, she served as CBS News’ chief White House correspondent covering the administration of President Barack Obama.
As the anchor of the “CBS Evening News,” O’Donnell has conducted interviews with newsmakers in Washington and beyond, including President Joe Biden’s first interview since taking office; an exclusive sit-down with Vice President Mike Pence on the killing of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani; an exclusive 60 Minutes interview with Dr. Rick Bright, the former top federal scientist following his whistleblower complaint about the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus; a live interview House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy during the insurrection of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021; an exclusive interview with a former staffer for New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo who alleged sexual harassment by the then-governor, and more. As anchor of the “CBS Evening News,” O’Donnell also covered the historic first summit between President Joe Biden and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland; anchored live from Surfside, Fla., hours after a deadly beachfront condo building collapse; and interviewed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and reported live from the Kennedy Space Center for the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch.
At CBS News, O’Donnell has sat down with some of the world’s most influential leaders. In September 2019, O’Donnell spent a week reporting in Saudi Arabia for 60 MINUTES where she interviewed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his first interview following the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. She also interviewed MBS in 2018. O’Donnell is the only western television journalist to have interviewed the Saudi Crown Prince twice. She has also interviewed South Korean President Moon Jae-in; the Duke of Sussex Prince Harry; Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai; and the Dalai Lama. She also covered the historic election of Pope Francis in Vatican City, as well as his first Apostolic Voyage to the United States. She has reported from the scenes of Hurricanes Dorian and Harvey; reported and anchored from the country’s largest migrant processing facility on the southern border; George Floyd’s memorial services in Minneapolis and Texas; mass shootings in Las Vegas, Annapolis, Maryland, and El Paso, Texas; and the Boston Marathon bombing.
O’Donnell led CBS News’ political coverage throughout the 2020 presidential election, the transition of presidential power, the new administration, and beyond. Over the course of the year, O’Donnell anchored CBS News’ top-rated coverage of the impeachment proceedings against then-president Donald Trump, moderated CBS News’ Democratic debate in Charleston, S.C., led CBS News’ 2020 Election Day coverage until a winner was named, and more. O’Donnell has reported extensively on the U.S. military, including launching “Profiles in Service,” a “CBS Evening News” series highlighting stories of veterans, members of the military and Americans from coast to coast who are giving back to their communities.
O’Donnell was awarded a prestigious 2022 duPont-Columbia Award and the Scripps Howard Award for Excellence in Broadcast National/International Coverage in 2021 for an exclusive, year-and-a-half long investigation into sexual assault in the U.S. military. This followed her Emmy-award winning reporting in 2018 on sexual assaults at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Her reporting on sexual assault at the Air Force Academy was also recognized by the prestigious White House Correspondents’ Association.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, O’Donnell spearheaded dogged reporting and offered compelling, newsmaking stories. Her work was recognized with two Headliner Awards. One in the Pandemic Coverage category for her exclusive interview with Dr. Rick Bright on the urgency of the unfolding COVID-19 crisis and how it was at odds with the administration’s view that the contagion was far less serious. O’Donnell also received the Headliner Award in Business and Consumer Reporting for her 60 MINUTES report on the front lines of automotive industry factories for Ford and GM as they pivot from making cars to COVID-19 PPE and ventilators in a rapid changeover not seen since World War II.
O’Donnell and the “CBS Evening News” was recognized with an Edward R. Murrow Award for ‘Best Newscast’ for its on-the-ground and exclusive coverage from the U.S.-Mexico border, including O’Donnell gaining first access inside migrant detention centers and her interview with Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.
O’Donnell received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Breaking News Coverage for her contributions to CBS News’ coverage of George Floyd and the forces of change. O’Donnell was part of the CBS News team that received an Alfred I. DuPont Award for the Network’s coverage of the 2012 Newtown massacre. She has earned several Gracie Awards including being named Outstanding News Anchor in 2020 and Best National News On-Air Talent for the year 2018 and 2016. O’Donnell is a 2019 New York Women in Communications Matrix Award honoree. She also received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast of 2017 and was named Broadcaster of the Year by the New York State Broadcasters Association in 2014. Additionally, O’Donnell was awarded the Merriman Smith Memorial Award for excellence in presidential news coverage for her exclusive 60 MINUTES interview with then-Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, on his decision not to run for president in 2016.
Prior to joining CBS News, O’Donnell worked for more than a decade at NBC News, where she covered the Pentagon, Congress, and the White House. At NBC, she reported from the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, and received a second Sigma Delta Chi Award for Breaking News Coverage for a Dateline NBC story titled “D.C. In Crisis.” In the months following the attacks, she traveled extensively with then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, including on his first trip to Afghanistan following the terrorist attacks.
O’Donnell has covered every presidential election since 2000, including as NBC News’ White House correspondent in 2004 when she covered the campaigns of then-President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry. Prior to covering the White House, O’Donnell was NBC News congressional correspondent, reporting on the lead-up to the Iraq War. She began her career as a print reporter for Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, for which she covered the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and traveled the country covering congressional elections.
A firm believer in empowering women, O’Donnell sits on the board of directors of the International Women’s Media Foundation. At the “CBS Evening News,” O’Donnell also created and led a series of original reports called “Women and the Pandemic,” which offered an in-depth look at COVID-19’s long-lasting and disproportionate effect on women.
Born into a military family, O’Donnell grew up in San Antonio, Texas; Landstuhl, Germany; Seoul, South Korea and Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy as well as a Master of Arts in liberal studies. She is married to Geoff Tracy, a restaurateur in Washington, D.C. They have three children.
Jay Faison founded ClearPath in 2013. Prior to founding ClearPath, Jay was the founder, CEO and Chairman of SnapAV, the largest supplier in the custom audio video industry. SnapAV’s explosive growth won Jay the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Southeast region. Jay sold SnapAV in order to pursue his passion for philanthropy.
Jay currently serves as the Chairman of the American Flood Coalition, is a member of the Nuclear Energy Advisory Council, and the American Energy Innovation Council. Jay was named by Politico Magazine as one of the top “Politico 50” ideas changing politics and the people behind them.
Duane Highley serves as CEO of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, a not-for-profit power supply cooperative of 45 members, including 42 electric distribution cooperative and public power district members in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Tri-State and its members deliver reliable, affordable and responsible power to more than a million electricity consumers across nearly 200,000 square miles of the West.
Highley has served the electric cooperative movement for nearly four decades, and currently serves as co-chair of the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC), coordinating security efforts between electric utility CEOs and cabinet-level officials of the U.S. Government. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Keystone Policy Center, an independent, not-for-profit organization focused on finding lasting solutions to significant policy issues in energy, environment, education, health, and agriculture.
In addition to his service at ESCC and the Keystone Policy Center, Highley is engaged throughout the industry, and is well known for working tirelessly to bring together leaders with different backgrounds, views and opinions. He understands and appreciates the dynamics of competing forces and strives for win-win solutions, especially in times of great change.
Since joining Tri-State as CEO, Highley has driven real change at the cooperative through his ability to collaborate and innovate. With governance and direction provided by the Tri-State member-comprised Board of Directors, he is advancing a remarkably rapid clean energy transition to the benefit of Tri-State’s members and their communities across the West, while also demonstrating a path forward for other electric utilities.
Growing up and working on a farm in Illinois, Congressman Don Bacon learned first-hand how the value of hard work and commitment contributes to the success of a small business. He moved from the family farm to attend Northern Illinois University, from which he graduated with a Bachelors of Political Science in 1984, the same year he married Angie, the love of his life. They have three sons, one daughter, and six grandchildren. One year later, he began his military career by joining the U.S. Air Force and serving nearly 30 years, ultimately retiring as a Brigadier General.
During his career in the Air Force, Congressman Bacon specialized in electronic warfare, intelligence and reconnaissance. His career highlights include two tours as a Wing Commander, at Ramstein Airbase in Germany and Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska; group command at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona; squadron command in Arizona, and expeditionary squadron command in Iraq. In total, Rep. Bacon served 16 assignments including four deployments in the Middle East to include Iraq in 2007 to 2008 during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.
Congressman Bacon’s military decorations include the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, two Bronze Stars, two Legion of Merits, five Meritorious Service Medals, and the Aerial Achievement Medal. Additionally, he was selected as Europe’s top Air Force Wing Commander for his time at Ramstein Airbase, as well as recognized as a distinguished graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, Navigator-Electronic Warfare School, and Officer Intelligence School. Further, Congressman Bacon has earned two Masters Degrees, from the University of Phoenix in Arizona and the National War College in Washington D.C.
Upon his retirement from the Air Force in 2014, Congressman Bacon served as the military advisor to Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01), where he specialized in military affairs focusing on Offutt Air Force Base and the Nebraska National Guard. He also was an Assistant Professor at Bellevue University where he taught Undergraduate Leadership along with American Vision and Values (The Kirkpatrick Signature Series), until his 2016 election to Congress, representing Nebraska’s Second Congressional District.
Presently, Congressman Bacon serves on two committees within the House of Representatives: the House Armed Services Committee, and the House Agricultural Committee.
Born in 1944 in Marks, Mississippi, Frederick W. Smith, Yale College 1966, is the founder of FedEx Corporation and Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors. The original analyses about the logistic needs of a highly automated future society were done during his tenure as an undergraduate.
After four years of service in the Marines, including two tours of duty in Vietnam, he launched the original air-ground Federal Express network, which began operations in 1973 to serve the rapidly growing high-tech, high-value-added sectors of the economy Smith had predicted. The company has since grown into a global enterprise that serves more than 220 countries and territories.
As Executive Chairman, Smith focuses on Board governance, as well as issues of global importance, including sustainability, innovation, and public policy. FedEx operations include 697 aircraft, more than 210,000 vehicles, and more than 5,200 operating facilities. Nearly 600,000 team members worldwide currently handle 16.5 million shipments each day.
FedEx has been widely acknowledged for its commitment to total quality service. FedEx Express was the first service company to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1990. FedEx has been recognized by Time magazine as one of the “Time100 Most Influential Companies” and has consistently been ranked on FORTUNE magazine’s industry lists, including “100 Best Companies to Work For” and “World’s Most Admired Companies.”
Smith is a trustee for the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a member of both the Business Council and Business Roundtable. He served as chairman of the U.S.-China Business Council and co-chair of the French-American Business Council. Smith has served on the boards of several large public companies — Malone and Hyde (AutoZone), First Tennessee, Holiday Inn, EW Scripps, and General Mills — and charitable organizations including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Mayo Foundation. He was formerly chairman of the Board of Governors for the International Air Transport Association and chaired the executive committee of the U.S. Air Transport Association.
Smith has received several honorary degrees and numerous civic, academic, and business awards including the Global Leadership Award from the U.S.-India Business Council; the George C. Marshall Foundation Award; the Atlantic Council’s Distinguished Business Leadership Award; the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy; and the Circle of Honor Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. In addition, Smith is a member of the Aviation Hall of Fame and the Business Hall of Fame. He served as co-chairman of both the U.S. World War II Memorial project and the campaign for the National Museum of the Marine Corps. He was cited in Forbes “100 Greatest Living Business Minds” and has been named a top CEO by both Barron’s and Chief Executive magazines.
Diane Regas is the president and CEO of Trust for Public Land where she leads a national team dedicated to creating equitable access to the outdoors by creating parks and protecting public land where it is needed most. Prior to Trust for Public Land, Diane worked for more than a decade at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), most recently as executive director, where she helped EDF advance solutions that promote prosperity for all people and for the planet. She guided work to improve ocean health, stabilize the climate, reduce toxins in everyday products, and promote collaboration and partnerships. Prior to EDF, Diane served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, working under both Democratic and Republican administrations as the top civil servant protecting our nation’s rivers, lakes, and bays.
Diane earned her A.B., M.S. in energy and resources, and J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, and resides in Berkeley, CA. An avid outdoor explorer, Diane enjoys hiking, cycling, diving, camping, and spending time in nature with her husband, children, and grandchildren.
Scott Gottlieb, MD is a physician and served as the 23rd Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 2017 to 2019. Dr. Gottlieb’s work focuses on advancing public health through developing and implementing innovative approaches to improving medical outcomes, reshaping healthcare delivery, and expanding consumer choice and safety. He is currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a member of the board of directors of Pfizer, Inc, Illumina Inc, and Tempus Labs. Dr. Gottlieb is a partner at the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates where he is a member of the firm’s healthcare services and biopharma investment teams. For NEA, he serves on the boards of National Resilience and Aetion.
Under his leadership, the FDA advanced new frameworks for the modern and safe and effective oversight of gene therapies, cell based regenerative medicines, targeted drugs, and digital health devices. The agency advanced new models for the regulation of artificial intelligence devices, veterinary medicines, and orphan drugs; and implemented new reforms to standardize drug reviews and make important improvements in post market data collection and the use of realworld evidence. The agency’s historic and prolific advances in new policy distinguished his tenure as the FDA’s commissioner, in addition to a record-setting number of approvals of novel drugs, medical devices, and generic medicines in 2018 and again in 2019.
Dr. Gottlieb promoted policies to reduce death and disease from tobacco, improve food innovation and safety, expand the agency’s oversight of areas of emerging risk such as dietary supplements and cell-based medicine, and aggressively confront addiction crises. The FDA advanced new legislative frameworks to address the opioid crisis, grow its field operations, and modernize the regulation of diagnostic tests and over-the-counter drugs, among other initiatives. Dr. Gottlieb forged collaborative relations with Congress that saw FDA increase its total budget by about $1 billion over two years. During his tenure, he testified before Congress 20 times.
Previously, Dr. Gottlieb served as the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs and before that, as a Senior Adviser to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, where he helped implement the Medicare drug benefit, and advance policies to improve healthcare quality and promote the effective use of new medical technologies.
Dr. Gottlieb is author of the New York Times bestselling book “Uncontrolled Spread” and is widely published in leading medical journals and periodicals, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. He holds an editorial position on the Journal of the American Medical Association. Fortune Magazine recognized him as one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” in 2018 and again in 2019. Modern Healthcare has named Dr. Gottlieb as one of the “Most Influential Physician Executive and Leaders” in its annual survey of 50 physician executives, and Time magazine named Dr. Gottlieb as one of its “50 People Transforming Healthcare in 2018.” He is a contributor to CNBC and CBS News Face the Nation.
Dr. Gottlieb was a practicing hospitalist and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the New York University School of Medicine. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.
About Debbie Stabenow
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow made history in 2000 when she became the first woman from Michigan elected to the United States Senate. She is known for her ability to build coalitions to get things done for Michigan and our nation.
As Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Budget Committee, and a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, she has a powerful and unique role to play in shaping our nation’s health care, manufacturing, infrastructure, environment, and agriculture policies.
Senator Stabenow is laser focused on standing up for Michigan families, expanding affordable health care and lowering the costs of prescription drugs, helping Michigan businesses create good jobs here at home, and protecting our Great Lakes and outdoor heritage. She is a true champion for Michigan.
Early Life & Career
Born in Gladwin and raised in Clare, Debbie Stabenow learned the value of a hard-day’s work from her parents. Her family owned the local Oldsmobile dealership, and her mother was Director of Nursing at the local hospital. She graduated at the top of her class from Clare High School and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University. She worked with youth in the public schools before running for public office.
Senator Stabenow was inspired to run for office after leading a successful effort to stop the closure of a local nursing home. She was elected to the Ingham County Board of Commissioners when she was 24 years old and two years later was elected Chair of the Board. She served for 12 years in the Michigan House of Representatives (1979-90) and four years in the State Senate (1991-94). Two years later, she was elected to represent Michigan’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She made history in 2000 when she became the first woman from Michigan elected to the United States Senate.
A Michigan Voice in Senate Leadership
Today Senator Stabenow is Michigan’s senior U.S. Senator and a member of Senate leadership. As Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, she makes sure there is a Michigan voice at the table and that Congress’ priorities stay in line with the priorities of middle class families.
A Focus on Job Creation
Creating jobs in Michigan is Senator Stabenow’s top priority. As Co-Chair of the bipartisan Senate Manufacturing Caucus, she is a leader in helping Michigan’s businesses create jobs, leveling the playing field in international trade, and ensuring that our workers have the skills they need to excel in the international marketplace. As Senator Stabenow likes to say, “We want to export our products, not our jobs.”
A Champion for Health Care Quality and Access
Senator Stabenow is a national leader of the effort to make sure people have quality, affordable health care, including prescription drugs, mental health care, and addiction treatment. In the wake of the Flint water crisis, she led efforts to pass $170 million in assistance for Flint to repair and replace pipes and to address critical health needs.
Senator Stabenow is committed to bringing veterans the care they need close to home. She led the fight to open new and expanded V.A. clinics in Alpena, Bad Axe, Cadillac, Clare, Cheboygan County, Grayling, Oscoda, Traverse City, and Wyoming.
As Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care, Senator Stabenow is a champion for Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and a passionate advocate for Michigan’s community health centers.
An Advocate for Michigan’s Diverse Agricultural Industry
Senator Stabenow knows that we don’t have an economy unless we make things and grow things. She is a national leader on food and agriculture policy and a forceful advocate for Michigan agriculture – the state’s second biggest source of jobs. Serving on Agriculture Committees in the state legislature, U.S. House, and U.S. Senate, she has shaped forward-thinking food and farm policy, expanding the diversity of what we grow and how we grow it.
As Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Stabenow authored the 2014 Farm Bill, which strengthened Michigan agriculture and made historic investments in land and water conservation, clean energy, local food systems, specialty crops, cutting-edge research and biobased manufacturing. She built on that success in coauthoring the 2018 Farm Bill, which passed on a strong bipartisan vote of 87-13 – the most Senate votes ever. Thanks to her leadership, the Farm Bill provides historic levels of support for all types of farmers in Michigan – big and small, urban and rural. It also improves the dairy safety net, strengthens support for fruit and vegetable growers, protects land and water, expands local food economies, and invests in Michigan’s small towns and rural communities. As she likes to say, it has Michigan on every page.
Senator Stabenow has also led successful efforts to protect and expand access to healthy foods for children, families, and seniors.
A Protector of Our Great Lakes
After her election to the U.S. Senate, one of the first bills Senator Stabenow passed into law was a ban on oil and gas drilling in the Great Lakes. Today she is Co-Chair of the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan Great Lakes Task Force and one of our greatest champions for protecting the Great Lakes and our waterways.
Senator Stabenow authored the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is helping Michigan communities improve the quality of their water and restore wildlife habitats. No one has fought harder to secure federal funding in support of the Great Lakes, from cleaning up our waterways, to fighting invasive species, to modernizing the Soo Locks, a critical link for Michigan businesses to the global economy.
Senator Stabenow is deeply concerned about the number of Michigan families and service members who have been exposed to per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS). She has fought hard to secure funding to clean up contaminated sites, study the health impacts of PFAS exposure, and connect homes to safe drinking water supplies. She has also called on the Environmental Protection Agency to establish federal drinking water standards for PFAS.
Michigan Through and Through
With six offices around the State, Senator Stabenow is always ready to help Michigan residents who are having issues with federal programs. She fights for resources that local communities need such as new hospital emergency rooms and life-saving equipment for local fire departments.
A musician at heart, Senator Stabenow sings and plays both the piano and the guitar. She is a United Methodist and grew up performing with her family in church and in the community. Her home is in Lansing. She has two grown children, Todd and Michelle; a daughter-in-law, Sara; a son-in-law, Scott; and five beautiful grandchildren.
Wolf Blitzer has been with CNN for over three decades. He anchors The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, a weekday news program airing on CNN daily at 6 p.m. ET and The Newscast, which airs weekdays at 7:30 p.m. ET on CNN+. Blitzer plays a pivotal role in the network’s political coverage, during the 2020 election cycle he moderated several Democratic presidential town halls as well as CNN’s January debate in Iowa. Blitzer also anchored special coverage of Election Night in America surrounding the 2020 election, which lasted several days until CNN was the first to project Joe Biden as the winner with Blitzer announcing the projection. He has also played a critical role in the network’s expanded coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, often anchoring seven days a week during the peak of the pandemic in 2020. In addition, Blitzer is known for his in-depth reporting on international news and his Middle East expertise. He began his career in 1972 working for Reuters in Tel Aviv.