Nebraska Public Power District veteran Tom Kent promoted to CEO

Published on March 16, 2020 by Chris Galford

Tom Kent

Thomas Kent, the current COO of Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), was promoted to the roles of president and CEO last week, following approval from the Board of Directors.

A 30-year veteran of the utility has spent the last nine years as an executive vice president and chief operating officer but was appointed to his new role following the resignation of Pat Pope. In February, Pope announced intentions to resign from his CEO tenure at the end of April and take on a new role as a special assistant to a new CEO, with his focus shifting to e-connective and future generation strategies.

“It’s an honor to be selected by the Board to serve as the next CEO of NPPD,” Kent said. “I have been very fortunate over my career to work in many parts of the District, and I have experienced first-hand the talent and dedication of my teammates across the state to providing low-cost, highly reliable energy and outstanding service to our customers.”

Before his most recent position, Kent had also served as Transmission and Distribution Manager, Corporate Planning and Risk Manager, along with positions in Columbus, Scottsbluff, Ogallala, and at Cooper Nuclear Station. The registered professional electrical engineer is also a U.S. Navy veteran and a graduate of the Reactor Technology Course for Utility Executives hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A Nebraska native, he also currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Midwest Reliability Organization and as a member of the Board of Directors of RMEL, an energy trade association.

“As board members, we have had the opportunity to observe Tom’s knowledge, leadership, and integrity, and the Board’s executive committee felt strongly that he is the right person to succeed Pat Pope,” NPPD Board Chair Barry DeKay said. “We believe it is important to develop leadership internally so that we have potential successors who know our organization, our culture, our customers, and our employees. Tom brought us these attributes.’

Over the past nine years, Kent has worked to draw in more than $700 million of new investment to NPPD’s transmission system, through his leadership role of NPPD’s non-nuclear operations.