Jim Powell served as the Federal Representative to the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) during the Obama administration. He was appointed to this position by President Barack Obama in September 2013. In this role, he served as the official liaison between the SSEB members and all federal agencies. SSEB is a non-profit interstate compact organization created in 1960 with a mission to enhance economic development and the quality of life in the South through innovations in energy and environmental policies, programs and technologies. Sixteen southern states and two territories comprise the membership of SSEB, and each jurisdiction is represented by the governor and a legislator from the House and Senate.
Powell also works as an independent energy efficiency and renewable energy consultant to states, local governments and industry. He is the owner and managing consultant for NORAVA Consulting. NORAVA Consulting provides a number of services related to energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives such as the identification of funding sources, liaison and partnership building with state and federal government agencies, development of funding proposal documentation and support for project reporting and project management. As a former Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Energy and former Federal Representative to the Southern States Energy Board, Jim uses both his technical knowledge and essential relationships developed over his career to give clients an advantage in completing energy and environmental projects and securing funding and partners for those projects.
In 2008, Powell was the statewide candidate for the Georgia Public Service Commission. Powell won the primary election by getting 85% of the vote. He went on to win the general election by earning the majority of the vote, but not getting the 50% plus 1 required by Georgia law. The Public Service Commission race joined the U. S. Senate race in the December runoff election. Powell lost the runoff election along with U. S. Senate candidate Jim Martin. Powell was the top performing statewide Democratic candidate in the primary, general and runoff elections. During the campaign, Powell was praised by former President Jimmy Carter for “his knowledge of the issues” along with his vision of energy policy for Georgia that reflects the “forward-thinking approach we need.”
Powell retired in 2007 after a 35-year career with the U. S. government. Prior to retiring, Jim was a member of the Senior Executive Service with the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE). In this capacity, he served as the national Program Manager (Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency office), managing a number of initiatives and a budget of over $300 million. Among other duties, he directed planning and budgeting for the development and implementation of the State Energy Program, Weatherization Assistance Program, Tribal Energy Program, Renewable Energy Production Incentive Program and International Renewable Energy Program.
Powell served proudly and honorably in the U. S. Navy from 1968 – 1972 where he became a Vietnam-era service connected, disabled veteran. He began his federal career as an auditor with the Department of the Navy. He has held management positions with the Navy in London, Washington, D.C. and Jacksonville, Florida. Prior to moving to Atlanta to serve as Deputy Director for DOE’s Southeast Regional Office, he was Finance Director for the DOE’s Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina. In 1994 he became the Director of DOE’s Southeast Regional Office. In that capacity he provided leadership in the creation of numerous public and private partnerships, including ongoing work with the State Energy Offices in the Southeast, which facilitated the adoption of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies and practices.
Powell served as a Georgia 9th Congressional District elected Joe Biden delegate to the Democratic National Convention and as a volunteer member of the Biden Harris Policy Committee. Jim holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of North Florida, and is a graduate of the prestigious Federal Executive Institute. Jim and his wife of 50 years live in Hiawassee, Georgia. They have two adult sons and three adorable granddaughters.