More than six months after their recommendation for appointment by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and over 11 months since their nomination by President Trump, nominees Beth Harwell and Brian Noland have been confirmed and sworn in as the newest board members of the TVA Board of Directors.
Harwell, a political science professor who has taught at Lipscomb University, Belmont University, and Middle Tennessee State University, was the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House in Tennessee. She served in the Tennessee House of Representatives for twenty years. She took the oath of office for her new role as TVA board member in a ceremony in Nashville, Tenn. on January 5.
Brian Noland currently serves as Chancellor of East Tennessee State University where he ran the most successful capital campaign in the university’s history. He received his oath of office during a ceremony on December 31, 2020, in Johnson City, Tenn.
Both new board members have experience working with TVA in some capacity through their respective roles in the state legislature and at Tennessee’s fourth-largest state university. Outgoing United States Senator Lamar Alexander, who is credited with shepherding both nominees through the approval process, praised the nominees saying “Beth Harwell understands how important it is for TVA to continue to provide cheap, clean, reliable electricity for homes and businesses throughout the seven-state Tennessee Valley region.”
Regarding Noland, Alexander added, “His administrative experience makes him the right person to help keep TVA on a good path – to continue to provide clean, cheap, reliable electricity at the lowest possible rates for homes and businesses.”
On Sunday, January 3, President Trump re-nominated Bill Cook, CEO of Cook Consulting, a Mississippi-based telecommunications consultancy, to fill the vacancy left by Richard Howarth, Mayor of Oxford, Miss. Cook’s Senate subcommittee confirmation hearing was held on December 9, however, the Senate did not act upon the nomination before adjourning.
Both Harwell’s and Noland’s terms end on May 18, 2024.
The next meeting of the TVA Board of Directors, which now has six of nine seats filled, will be on Thursday, February 11, 2021, at 10 a.m. ET. The meeting will be held in a virtual format in order to comply with COVID-19 guidelines.