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Naval Reactors Director Bowman Named President-Elect at Nuclear Energy Institute

WASHINGTON—Admiral Frank L. “Skip” Bowman has been named president and chief executive officer-elect at the Nuclear Energy Institute, the organization announced today.

Bowman will begin at NEI on Jan. 1, 2005, working with NEI President and CEO Joe Colvin during a transition period, after which Bowman will begin serving as President and Chief Executive Officer. Bowman is Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion, Naval Sea Systems Command, and will retire from the Navy at the end of the year. He also is deputy administrator – Naval Reactors in the National Nuclear Security Administration at the Department of Energy. Bowman is the third successor to Admiral Hyman G. Rickover.

In these dual positions, Bowman is responsible for 105 reactors aboard 83 warships and four training sites. He also oversees two Department of Energy laboratories in Pittsburgh and Schenectady, N.Y., that employ approximately 6,000 scientists. Bowman also supervises the 25,000 Naval officers and enlisted personnel who operate the Naval reactors program safely and reliably. U.S. Naval nuclear ships have safely traveled more than 130 million miles, equivalent to more than 5,000 times around the earth.

“Admiral Bowman’s strong leadership qualities, political experience and knowledge of nuclear technology make him an excellent choice to lead NEI and the industry at a time when there is great opportunity for both our current plants and the potential for new plant deployment,” said George Hairston, chairman of the NEI Board of Directors and president and chief executive officer at Southern Nuclear Operating Company. “He has demonstrated exemplary leadership of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear fleet – maintaining a world-class safety and operational record for more than 100 reactors on U.S. Navy ships around the world.

“Joe Colvin has provided superb leadership to our industry as NEI’s CEO. He has helped the industry create the opportunities that are before us now. Further, his expertise and vision have developed NEI into the policy leader for our industry,” Hairston continued. “The nuclear industry is grateful for Joe’s significant contributions.”

“Admiral Bowman brings to the industry the policy and technical expertise that is imperative as we look to expand the significant role of nuclear energy to our nation’s energy security, environmental protection and economic growth,” Hairston said.

“Skip has overseen the design, development, maintenance and operation of reactors onboard 40 percent of the Navy’s major combatant fleet, and he has demonstrated leadership that has earned him international recognition,” said Colvin, NEI’s president and CEO since 1996. “He is well respected by members of Congress with whom he has worked during his Navy career and by commissioners at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).”

In his role directing the joint U.S. Navy and DOE program, Bowman has worked closely with Congress and the Executive Branch on policy issues in addition to maintaining an impeccable efficiency and safety record among the U.S. Navy’s nuclear fleet. Bowman also meets with the NRC on issues related to naval nuclear propulsion.

“America is at a crossroads in determining our energy future, and what our quality of life will be in the decades ahead,” Bowman said. “This is a critical time for our nation and for the nuclear energy industry. Nuclear energy plays and will continue to play an important role in our nation’s energy future. We must take the necessary steps to maintain the high levels of safe and reliable operations at our current plants and ensure that these plants as well as new reactors are part of a diverse energy supply for our high-tech, electricity-driven economy. NEI plays an important role in leading the industry in taking those steps. I am proud to have been selected and look forward to the role I will play in that.”

Prior to these assignments, Bowman served as Chief of Naval Personnel from 1994 to 1996, as Director of Political-Military Affairs on the Joint Staff from 1992 to1994, and as deputy director of operations on the Joint Staff from 1991 to 1992. Bowman has served on active duty for 38 years.

His crews have earned the Meritorious Unit Commendation (three awards), the Navy Battle Efficiency "E" Ribbon (five awards), the Navy Expeditionary Medal (two awards), the Humanitarian Service Medal (two awards), the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (three awards), and the Navy Arctic Service Ribbon. His personal awards include the

Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, and four Legions of Merit.

Bowman is a 1966 graduate of Duke University. In 1973, he completed a dual master's program in nuclear engineering and naval architecture/marine engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was elected to the Society of Sigma Xi.

Bowman has been awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Duke University. He also serves on two visiting committees at MIT (Ocean Engineering and Nuclear Engineering), the Engineering Board of Visitors at Duke University, and the Nuclear Engineering Department Advisory Committee at the University of Tennessee.


The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at