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Montevallo alum named chair of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

A University of Montevallo alum recently made history after becoming the first ever African-American to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Willie Phillips was named acting chairman of the organization in early January by President  Biden. As of this week, however, the word acting has officially been dropped from his title and he is now simply the Chairman.

FERC is an independent federal agency that regulates the interstate transmission and sale of natural gas, oil, electricity, and other energy projects. It also helps with the transportation of oil by pipeline in interstate commerce.

“We are so proud that Willie Phillips has achieved this high, national position,” said Dr. John W. Stewart III, UM president. “He brings great honor and credit to our institution as an alum, but also as an individual of high integrity. I also personally know him to be a wonderful family man. We offer him our congratulations and know he will serve our country with distinction and efficacy. This is a historic moment during which President Biden appointed Willie as the first Black person to head the FERC.”

“We are proud of all of our alums for their important contributions and accomplishments.”

“This is indeed a special one.”

Phillips holds a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Montevallo. He was also the youngest chairman of the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia and has served as an assistant general counsel for the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. Phillips has also worked for law firms in an advisory capacity.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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