Michael Howard, senior vice president of research and development at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), has been elected as the next president and CEO.

The appointment is effective in September at the retirement of current president and CEO, Steve Specker.

“Michael has a deep knowledge of the electricity industry and the technology challenges it faces that will be essential as EPRI helps the industry navigate a future that has no shortage of challenges,” said EPRI Board Chair Jim Turner of Duke Energy, announcing the appointment. “He has demonstrated exceptional commitment to EPRI’s public interest research mission and has a driving intellectual curiosity that will be invaluable as EPRI addresses those issues.”

Howard has more than 30 years of leadership experience in organizations ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to large public companies and has developed a track record for locating, hiring and mentoring top-tier scientific and technical talent. In his current position, he oversees annual research spending in excess of $350 million and is responsible for overseeing EPRI’s entire research portfolio including renewable, fossil, and nuclear generation; transmission and distribution; energy efficiency; electric transportation; and the environment.

Previously he served as president and CEO of EPRI Solutions, Inc., formerly a wholly-owned subsidiary of EPRI. Before joining EPRI, he was president of venture capital firm Beta Development Corporation, and later became president of the Tennessee Center for Research and Development in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Howard began his career in 1980 with Westinghouse Electric Corp. in Pittsburgh as an applications engineer for the fossil and nuclear digital control systems group.    

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee, a Master of Science in business and engineering management from the University of Pittsburgh, and a doctorate in engineering science from the University of Tennessee.  He has completed the MIT Nuclear Reactor Technology program.