WASHINGTON, D.C.—Joe Colvin, a U.S. Navy veteran who became a seminal figure in nuclear energy policy, was honored with the U.S. nuclear energy industry’s William S. Lee Award for Leadership at the Nuclear Energy Institute’s annual conference.
The Lee Award recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to technical development, an improved regulatory climate or public acceptance of nuclear energy.
Colvin served as NEI’s president and chief executive officer from 1996 until his retirement in 2005. He also led an NEI predecessor organization, Nuclear Utility Management and Resources Committee, as president and CEO from 1991 to 1994, and from 1980 to 1987 held numerous senior management and leadership positions at the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations (INPO). Most recently, he served as president of the American Nuclear Society from 2010 to 2011. Colvin’s organizational leadership was instrumental in the formation of INPO in the aftermath of the 1979 Three Mile Island accident.
“When Joe was named NEI’s president and CEO, NEI was still a fledgling organization, formed just two years earlier through the merger of several industry organizations with different charters, different operating styles and different personalities,” said Marvin Fertel, NEI’s current president and CEO. “Under Joe’s leadership, NEI streamlined the industry’s approach to address key issues on the national stage, and transformed a relatively small but dedicated professional staff into a powerful force of advocates for the industry. He fully embodies the essence of the William Lee Award.”
Before joining INPO, Colvin served 20 years in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear submarine officer. He currently serves on the board of directors of Cameco Corp., American Nuclear Society and several other energy-related groups. Additionally, he served on the George W. Bush administration’s energy transition team. In a statement entered into the Congressional Record on Feb. 8, 2005, U.S. Rep. Joe Barton of Texas praised Colvin for his dedication and commitment to the nuclear energy industry.
“Mr. Colvin has led the industry through a period of extraordinary change. When he began (at NEI), the future of nuclear energy was by no means certain … . Today, our
country’s 103 reactors are essential to the stability of our electricity supply and our clean air,” Barton said.
“In the course of more than 40 years of service Joe has truly been a global leader and ambassador for our industry,” Fertel added.
The industry’s top leadership award was renamed in William S. Lee’s honor following his death in 1996. Lee, one of the nuclear industry’s most determined safety advocates, was chairman emeritus of Duke Power Co. and was the industry’s acknowledged leader. He was the first recipient of the industry’s leadership award in 1995.