Craven Crowell


by Craven Crowell

by Craven Crowell


Biography of Craven Crowell

Craven Crowell, former Chairmain of TVA

Craven Crowell has served in a number of leadership positions in the energy industry, including eight years as Chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). He was appointed to the three-member TVA Board of Directors by President Clinton, who designated him as Chairman following his confirmation by the U.S. Senate in 1993. Crowell retired from TVA in 2001 after 25 years of federal government service.

Following his government service, Crowell has specialized in energy and water resources consulting, most recently as a partner with Oliver Wyman, an international management consulting firm with offices in 16 countries.

In 2012, Crowell joined the board of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) as an unaffiliated director and Chairman. Prior to joining the ERCOT board, Crowell served as an independent director and Chairman of the Texas Reliability Entity (TexasRE).

Crowell is a former Chairman of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) of Palo Alto, California, and has served as a member of the EPRI Advisory Council and as a director of EPRI Worldwide. He also served on the Board and Executive Committee of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), of Washington, DC. In addition, he has served on several boards in the TVA region, including Chairman of Partnership 2000 at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

In 2002, Governor Niu Maosheng appointed Crowell to the position of International Economic Advisor to the People's Government of the Hebei Province, China. Earlier, in 1997, Crowell became the first non-Chinese citizen to be named honorary president of Hohai University in Nanjing, China.

During his service as Chairman of TVA, the agency recorded many significant and historic achievements, including the following:

  • Capping TVA's debt after 35 years of uninterrupted increases and then lowering it by more than $1.7 billion.[1]

  • Completing construction on the first unit at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in 1996, giving it the distinction of being the last commercial nuclear unit to be brought on line in the United States in the 20th century.[1] [2]

  • Achieving a reputation of excellence for TVA's nuclear power program, with all five units among the top performers in the nation. All five received the prestigious INPO 1 rating, the highest possible rating from the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations.[3] [4]

  • Launching TVA's first "green power" renewable energy program, featuring the largest wind turbine project in the Southeast.[1] [3]

  • Transferring responsibility for funding TVA's "non-power" activities to TVA's general budget, thereby saving the U.S. taxpayers about $100 million a year and ending direct taxpayer funding of TVA programs.[5]

  • Having only one increase in electric rates in eight years, with all the proceeds from the increase going to debt reduction.[1]

  • Adopting a comprehensive management policy for the 11,000 miles of shoreline along the Tennessee River System.[3]

  • Improving benefits for employees and retirees, including giving veterans more retirement credit for their military service.[3]

    Crowell's international work after his retirement from TVA was a continuation of his efforts in promoting TVA's international activities with global bond issues in Europe and Asia and business partnerships in China. In 1996, working with the State of Tennessee, TVA sponsored the Economic Opportunities through Water and Energy Conference in Beijing.

    After Crowell signed three Memorandums of Understanding with the Chinese Ministries of Water Resources and Electric Power, TVA began sharing its expertise on several large projects in China relating to river management, hydroelectric dams, and upgrading of electric power systems. In 2001, Crowell keynoted a conference in Beijing on the South-to-North Water Diversion Project.

    In speeches at Harvard University, Stanford University, the City Club of Cleveland, the Orange County World Affairs Council, and the Institute of Economic Affairs European Electricity Conference in Brussels, Crowell emerged as an industry expert on the importance of promoting public power's continuing role in a deregulated electric utility industry.

    He also has lectured at the Hohai University and was a keynote speaker at the first International Yellow River forum in Zhengzhou, China.

    Crowell had more than 17 years of experience with the TVA, having served previously as a vice president and member of the senior management team. Prior to becoming Chairman of TVA, he was Chief of Staff to U. S. Senator Jim Sasser, who was Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and who later served as Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.

    Early in his career, Crowell was an award-winning reporter and city editor at the Nashville Tennessean. Among those on his staff was reporter Al Gore, the future Vice President of the United States and Nobel Prize winner. Crowell won the National Headliner Award for investigative reporting in 1969.

    He is a native of Nashville, Tennessee, and received his bachelor's degree from Lipscomb University. He was named Alumnus of the Year in 1995. Crowell served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was a commissioned officer in the Naval Reserve. Crowell and his wife, Freddie, have one daughter.

    Craven Crowell can be contacted by telephone (865-671-3398); by fax (865-671-3399); or by e-mail (

    1. The Associated Press, December 15, 2000

  • 2. Watts Bar Nuclear Plant

    3. Inside TVA, April 10, 2001 issue

    4. TVA’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Earns Highest Rating

    5. Metro Pulse, March 29, 2001 issue



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