Fortnightly Magazine - September 2023

Power by Association

The Tom Kuhn Model

Tom Kuhn has taken a distinctive approach to leading the Edison Electric Institute. He tirelessly sought to drive his diverse membership of investor-owned electric utilities to an agreement to act that was significantly tougher to come to, but significantly more impactful for the utilities industry, for the customers the industry serves, and for our nation.

PUF's Highest Honor to EEI's Tom Kuhn

Owen Young Award

Conversations with Ameren Executive Chair Warner Baxter; Southern Company Executive Chair Tom Fanning; Xcel Energy Executive Chair Ben Fowke; American Electric Power Executive Chair Nick Akins; Edison International CEO Pedro Pizarro; Portland General Electric CEO Maria Pope; PNM Resources CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn; retired DTE Energy CEO Gerry Anderson; retired NV Energy CEO Michael Yackira; retired Sierra Pacific Resources CEO Walt Higgins; retired TXU Corporation CEO Erle Nye; and retired EEI Executive Vice President David Owens.

Tom Kuhn: Warner Baxter


“When you put all these ingredients together: a purpose driven mindset, a humble, servant leader who seeks to collaborate and bring people together to develop sustainable constructive solutions, you have a secret sauce like no other.”

Tom Kuhn: Tom Fanning

Southern Company

“Tom took it upon himself to assure that EEI, as part of now its central mission, was able to support activities like national response events and cyber activity.”

Tom Kuhn: Ben Fowke

Xcel Energy

“It starts with building that one voice within the industry. There’re a lot of different CEOs. Everybody has their own playbook, and not everybody agrees on everything. But Tom, under his tenure, has taken building consensus to a new level.”

Tom Kuhn: Nick Akins

American Electric Power

“Utilities were focused on what’s happening in the states where they operated and had different opinions about what could be done from a national standpoint. To bring all of that together, Tom’s ability to leverage leaders and others to broker deals was something to behold.”

Tom Kuhn: Pedro Pizarro

Edison International

“He is bipartisan in every sense of the word. Our industry needs to work with all sides of the aisle. There are not just two sides because there are all sorts of shades and he’s been masterful in navigating us through that.”

Tom Kuhn: Maria Pope

Portland General Electric

“Tom is a consensus builder, and his approach and focus on collaboration helps to shape public policy both in Washington and across the country. Passage of the clean energy tax package in the Inflation Reduction Act is just one example of a significant and recent legislative achievement.”

Tom Kuhn: Pat Vincent-Collawn

PNM Resources

“The contribution that Tom Kuhn made on the ESCC and getting us to understand that has made a huge difference for our national security, in terms of cyber and physical. That is oftentimes overlooked, and everybody thinks that EEI is just this policy shop. But we are in a much better and more secure place as an electric industry, a grid, and a country because of Tom’s leadership.”

Tom Kuhn: Gerry Anderson

DTE Energy

“Tom’s secret sauce is his ability to create relationships across such a wide array of personality types and viewpoints. That happened within industry, in Congress, several agencies, and in the states. His personality and demeanor enable him to create relationships and unity.”