We were deeply saddened by the news of Jim Rogers’s unexpected death in December 2018 at the age of 71. Jim was a Senior Advisor at Broadscale, a dear friend, and a mentor too many. You can read Andrew Shapiro’s remembrance here.
Jim Rogers, former Senior Advisor, was the chairman of the board at Duke Energy until his retirement on December 31, 2013. He also served as Duke Energy's president and CEO from April 2006 until July 1, 2013.
Jim became president and CEO of Duke Energy following the merger between Duke Energy and Cinergy in 2006. Before the merger, he served as Cinergy's chairman and CEO for more than 11 years. Prior to the formation of Cinergy, he joined PSI Energy in 1988 as the company's chairman, president and CEO.
During his 25 years as a CEO in the utility industry, Jim engineered a series of acquisitions and mergers creating the largest electric utility in the U.S., as measured by market capitalization. Also, he delivered an average annual shareholder return of more than 12 percent by focusing on sustainable growth during his tenures as CEO. He also owned and/or operated assets in 17 countries in Africa, South Asia, Europe, and Central and Latin America. Under Jim's leadership, Duke Energy was recognized as a leader in sustainability. In 2010 and 2011, the company was named to the elite Dow Jones Sustainability World Index; it has been a part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for the past nine years.
In 2013, Jim was awarded the Edison Electric Institute’s Distinguished Leadership Award by his industry peers in recognition of his 25 years of service and exemplary contributions to the electric utility industry. The Alliance to Save Energy honored Jim with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Prior to becoming a CEO, Jim served as deputy general counsel for litigation and enforcement for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); executive vice president of interstate pipelines for the Enron Gas Pipeline Group; and as a partner in the Washington, D.C., law office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Jim also served as assistant to the chief trial counsel at FERC; as a law clerk for the Supreme Court of Kentucky; and as assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, where he advocated for the state's consumers in gas, electric and telephone rate cases. Jim was also a reporter for the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader for three years.
In the course of his career, Jim served on the boards of directors of nine Fortune 500 companies. In 2010 and 2011, he was named by the National Association of Corporate Directors' Directorship magazine to its annual Directorship 100, recognizing the most influential people in corporate governance. Jim also served on the boards of the Aspen Institute, Brookings Institute, Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, The Nature Conservancy and Asia Society. He also served on a number of advisory boards including Bloomberg’s Clean Energy Finance Group. Jim was a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Jim was recognized as an outspoken and accessible voice for business, earning the reputation as a "CEO Statesman." In 2009, Newsweek named him one of "The 50 Most Powerful People in the World." He testified more than 20 times before U.S. Congressional Committees, and addressed international forums including the United Nations General Assembly, the World Economic Forum and the Clinton Global Initiative.
Jim advocated investing in energy efficiency, modernizing the electric infrastructure, and pursuing advanced technologies and nuclear energy to grow the economy and transition to a low-carbon future. He served as vice chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Jim was also a founding member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a collaboration of leading businesses and environmental groups that came together to call on the federal government to enact legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In the U.S., he was chairman of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) when it changed its position to support federal climate change legislation in 2007. He served on the executive committee of EEI. He was also the founding chairman of the Institute for Electric Efficiency, former co-chair and current board member of the Alliance to Save Energy and past co-chair of the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency. He was a former member of the Boards of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and the World Association of Nuclear Operators.
Jim has been honored with various awards and recognition. He was the 2013 recipient of the United States Energy Association Award. He was named the most influential person in the power generation industry by Power Engineering magazine and the energy industry's CEO of the Year by Platts. He was also named to the STEMconnector® List of 100 CEO Leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). In 2011, he was presented with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Charlotte Regional Partnership Jerry Award. The Charlotte Business Journal also named Jim its Business Person of the Year for 2011.
In 2011, Jim received the Asia Society of Washington's International Business Leadership Award and the Committee of 100's Business Excellence Award for his efforts to improve business relations between the U.S. and China that benefit customers, the environment, and improve dialogue between the two nations. He was also recognized by the U.S.-China Policy Foundation with their Global Executive Leadership Award. Later the same year, the Asia Society elected Jim to serve a four-year term on the organization's board of trustees.
Jim was an active community leader and has received a number of honors and awards for his service including the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Honoree from the Mecklenburg County Council; the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO); the 2006 Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee, Cincinnati Chapter; the 2005 Ronald McDonald House Lifetime Achievement Award; the 2005 Keystone Center Leadership in Industry Award; the 2004 National Conference for the Community and Justice (NCCJ) Distinguished Service Citation; the 1998 Hebrew Union College Cincinnati Associates Tribute Honoree; and the 1996 Energy Daily Corporate Leadership Award.
In Fall of 2014, Jim co-taught a graduate seminar at Duke University entitled "Renewables and the World’s Poor," focusing on meeting the needs of 1.2 billion people who lack access to power, and wrote a book on the same topic, Lighting the World.
Jim earned Bachelor of Business Administration and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Kentucky, where he was a member of the Kentucky Law Journal and Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society.