Ben Fowke is Executive Chairman at Xcel Energy, one of the largest public utilities in the country. The Fortune 500 company, headquartered in Minneapolis, serves parts of eight states, providing electricity to 3.7 million customers and natural gas service to 2.1 million customers.
Fowke served as Xcel Energy’s CEO for a decade – from 2011 to 2021 – and was instrumental in driving the clean energy transition. Under his leadership, the company reduced carbon emissions 51% (from 2005 to 2020) and was the first to announce a vision to produce carbon-free electricity by 2050.
In his new role, Fowke will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board and focus on national energy policy, specifically advocating for federal funding for emerging technologies needed to complete the clean energy transition.
Widely respected in the industry, Fowke recently completed his term as chairman of Edison Electric Institute (EEI), our industry trade association. He continues to serve on the board of EEI, along with the board of directors for Energy Insurance Mutual and Institute of Nuclear Power Operations.
Fowke serves on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), representing the energy industry. The NIAC is a private-public partnership that advises governmental agencies to mitigate risk and ensure integrity of the country’s critical infrastructure.
In recent years, Fowke testified before several Senate committees, providing his expertise on the industry’s cyber security preparedness, on Xcel Energy’s industry-leading Unmanned Aircraft System program, the need for a clean energy standard and the importance and limitations of battery storage solutions.
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, ensuring that 10 percent of our new outside hires are military veterans. 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 serves on the board of directors for Securian Financial 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 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. Utility Dive named Fowke as its 2020 Executive of the Year and Junior Achievement North named him a 2021 Hall of Fame laureate.