John W. Rowe is the chairman and chief executive officer of Exelon Corporation, a utility holding company headquartered in Chicago. Exelon has the largest market capitalization in the electric utility industry. Its retail affiliates serve 5.4 million customers in Illinois and Pennsylvania, and its generation affiliate operates the largest fleet of nuclear power plants in the nation.
Mr. Rowe is the senior chief executive in the utility industry, having served in such positions since 1984. Mr. Rowe has led Exelon since its formation in 2000 through the merger of PECO Energy and the parent of Commonwealth Edison. Mr. Rowe previously held chief executive officer positions at the New England Electric System and Central Maine Power Company, served as general counsel of Consolidated Rail Corporation, and was a partner in the law firm of Isham, Lincoln and Beale. Mr. Rowe serves on the board and executive committee of the Nuclear Energy Institute and is the past chairman of NEI and the Edison Electric Institute. He is also co-chairman of the National Commission on Energy Policy, an industry and environmental organization dealing with climate change. He is a member of the boards of directors of Sunoco and the Northern Trust Company. In both 2008 and 2009, Institutional Investor named Mr. Rowe the best electric utilities CEO in America.
Mr. Rowe is committed to a wide variety of civic and charitable activities, with a focus on education, science, history and diversity. He serves as chairman of the Illinois Institute of Technology and President of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. He is the former chairman of the Commercial Club of Chicago and the Chicago History Museum. He is a member of the boards of the Field Museum, the Civil War Museum of Philadelphia, and the Morgridge Institute for Research. Along with his wife, Jeanne, and son, William, he established the Rowe Family Charitable Trust. The Rowes and the Family Trust have founded the Rowe Professorship of Architecture and the Rowe Family Endowed Chair in Sustainable Energy at IIT, the Rowe Professorship of Byzantine History and the Rowe Family Professorship in Greek History at the University of Wisconsin, and the Curator of Evolutionary Biology at the Field Museum. The Trust also co-founded the Rowe-Clark Math and Science Academy in Chicago’s West Humboldt Park neighborhood. The Rowes serve as patrons of the Pope John Paul II parochial school on Chicago’s southwest side and the Rowe Elementary School.
Mr. Rowe has been widely recognized for his civic and professional leadership. Recent awards include the Edison Electric Institute Distinguished Leadership Award (2009), election as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2009), the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Global Leadership Award (2009), the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s Daniel H. Burnham Award for Business and Civic Leadership (2008), induction into the Junior Achievement’s Chicago Business Hall of Fame (2008), Illinois Holocaust Museum’s Humanitarian award (2008), Civic Federation of Chicago’s Lyman Gage Award for Outstanding Civic Leadership (2008), the National Latino Education Institute Corporate Leadership Award (2008), University of Arizona’s Executive of the Year Award (2007), the Union League of Philadelphia’s Founder’s Award for Business Leadership (2005), the American Jewish Committee’s Civic Leadership Award (2004), El Valor’s Corporate Visionary Award (2003), the City Club of Chicago’s Citizen of the Year Award (2002), and the Anti-Defamation League's World of Difference Award (2000).
Mr. Rowe holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and the Order of the Coif. He has also received that university’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Mr. Rowe holds honorary doctorates from the University of Wisconsin, DePaul University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Drexel University, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, Bryant College and Thomas College.