Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers

Former CEO and Chairman of the Board, Duke Energy (Deceased)

As a Rubenstein Fellow, Rogers built coalitions of students and faculty to focus on the challenge of how to increase energy access for the 1.2 billion people worldwide living without it. He also authored a book on the same subject, Lighting the World, and co-taught a graduate seminar on energy access with Tim Profeta, Director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Rogers also served as a co-leader to a Bass Connections project team exploring Rural Electricity Access projects. This work continues today at Duke through the Nicholas Institute’s Energy Access Project.

Rogers also brought his significant experience in business, energy, the environment, policy, and law to the university by delivering speeches, participating in seminars, and mentoring students across multiple schools.


Jim Rogers (September 20, 1947 - December 17, 2018) was the chairman of the board at Duke Energy until his retirement on December 31, 2013. He also served as Duke Energy's president and CEO from April 2006 until July 1, 2013. Rogers became president and CEO of Duke Energy following the merger between Duke Energy and Cinergy in 2006. Before the merger, he served as Cinergy's chairman and CEO for more than 11 years. Prior to the formation of Cinergy, he joined PSI Energy in 1988 as the company's chairman, president and CEO.

During his 25 years as a CEO in the utility industry, Rogers engineered a series of acquisitions and mergers creating the largest electric utility in the U.S., as measured by market capitalization. Also, he delivered an average annual shareholder return of more than 12 percent by focusing on sustainable growth during his tenures as CEO. He also owned and/or operated assets in 17 countries in Africa, South Asia, Europe, and Central and Latin America. Under Rogers' leadership, Duke Energy was recognized as a leader in sustainability. In 2010 and 2011, the company was named to the elite Dow Jones Sustainability World Index; it has been a part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for the past nine years.

In 2013, Rogers was awarded the Edison Electric Institute’s Distinguished Leadership Award by his industry peers in recognition of his 25 years of service and exemplary contributions to the electric utility industry. The Alliance to Save Energy honored Rogers with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Prior to becoming a CEO, Rogers served as deputy general counsel for litigation and enforcement for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); executive vice president of interstate pipelines for the Enron Gas Pipeline Group; and as a partner in the Washington, D.C., law office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Rogers has also served as assistant to the chief trial counsel at FERC; as a law clerk for the Supreme Court of Kentucky; and as assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, where he advocated for the state's consumers in gas, electric and telephone rate cases. Rogers was also a reporter for the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader for three years.

In the course of his career, Rogers has served on the boards of directors of eight Fortune 500 companies. In 2010 and 2011, he was named by the National Association of Corporate Directors' Directorship Magazine to its annual Directorship 100, recognizing the most influential people in corporate governance. Rogers served on the boards of the Aspen Institute, Brookings Institute, Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, The Nature Conservancy and Asia Society. He also served on a number of advisory boards including Bloomberg’s Clean Energy Finance Group. Rogers was a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Rogers was recognized as an outspoken and accessible voice for business, earning the reputation as a "CEO Statesman." In 2009, Newsweek named him one of "The 50 Most Powerful People in the World." He testified more than 20 times before U.S. Congressional Committees, and addressed international forums including the United Nations General Assembly, the World Economic Forum and the Clinton Global Initiative.

Rogers advocated investing in energy efficiency, modernizing the electric infrastructure, and pursuing advanced technologies and nuclear energy to grow the economy and transition to a low-carbon future. He served as vice chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and was a member of the global board of directors of The Nature Conservancy. Rogers was also a founding member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a collaboration of leading businesses and environmental groups that came together to call on the federal government to enact legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

He was chairman of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) when it changed its position to support federal climate change legislation in 2007. He served on the executive committee of EEI. He was also the founding chairman of the Institute for Electric Efficiency, a co-chair and board member of the Alliance to Save Energy and a co-chair of the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency. He was a member of the Boards of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and the World Association of Nuclear Operators.

Rogers was honored with various awards and recognition. He was the 2013 recipient of the United States Energy Association Award. He was named the most influential person in the power generation industry by Power Engineering magazine and the energy industry's CEO of the Year by Platts. He was also named to the STEMconnector® List of 100 CEO Leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). In 2011, he was presented with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Charlotte Regional Partnership Jerry Award. The Charlotte Business Journal also named Rogers its Business Person of the Year for 2011.

In 2011, Rogers received the Asia Society of Washington's International Business Leadership Award and the Committee of 100's Business Excellence Award for his efforts to improve business relations between the U.S. and China that benefit customers, the environment, and improve dialogue between the two nations. He was also recognized by the U.S.-China Policy Foundation with their Global Executive Leadership Award.

Rogers was an active community leader and received a number of honors and awards for his service including the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Honoree from the Mecklenburg County Council; the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO); the 2006 Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee, Cincinnati Chapter; the 2005 Ronald McDonald House Lifetime Achievement Award; the 2005 Keystone Center Leadership in Industry Award; the 2004 National Conference for the Community and Justice (NCCJ) Distinguished Service Citation; the 1998 Hebrew Union College Cincinnati Associates Tribute Honoree; and the 1996 Energy Daily Corporate Leadership Award.

Rogers earned Bachelor of Business Administration and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Kentucky, where he was a member of the Kentucky Law Journal and Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society.

Rogers passed away on December 17, 2018. He is survived by his wife, M.A., his three children and their spouses, eight grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

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Jim Rogers News & Events

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14Jan, 2015

Jim Rogers Awarded Posthumously for Leadership in Sustainable Business Practices

Monday, June 10, 2019

CSRwire| June 11, 2019 CEF presented the 2019 C.K. Prahalad Award in two categories: leadership by a collaboration to TerraCycle’s Loop Shopping Platform; and leadership by an individual executive to former Duke Energy CEO, Jim Rogers. The awards were announced at the 2019 CEF Annual Leadership Retreat, attended by senior executives representing CEF member companies…

14Jan, 2015

E Source Seeks Nominations for Jim Rogers Innovation Award

Thursday, March 21, 2019

PRWEB | March 19, 2019 E Source is pleased to announce the launch of a new energy industry award in memory of Jim Rogers, former chairman and CEO of Duke Energy. To honor his commitment to promoting industry innovation as well as the key role he played in advising E Source on how to better support…

14Jan, 2015

Remembering Duke Energy's Jim Rogers: A 'Cathedral' Thinker

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Forbes | January 8, 2019 By Brian Murray The unexpected death last month of James E. (Jim) Rogers at the age of 71 left the energy sector bereft of one of the boldest leaders in its history. Rogers, a CEO in the electric utility and natural gas industry for 25 years, amassed a jaw-dropping track record…

14Jan, 2015

Power for All: Energy Access for the Rural Poor

Sanford 223, Rhodes Conference Room - Friday, October 30, 2015

Duke-RTI Professors and Practitioners in Conversation In an era of accelerating innovation and increasing dependence on technology, much of the world’s rural population still lacks reliable access to energy. Living without power inhibits household incomes, access to education, good health outcomes, and labor productivity. Drawing on a wide range of experiences, panelists will discuss the…

14Jan, 2015

Energy Mix with Jim Rogers

Gross Hall portico - Tuesday, September 15, 2015

All students, faculty, staff, and external friends working in energy-related fields are invited to the Energy Initiative’s first Energy Mix of the year — featuring Jim Rogers, barbecue and networking opportunities. Rogers, former CEO of Duke Energy and Rubenstein Fellow at Duke, will sign copies of his new book, Lighting the World, which outlines his vision to provide…

14Jan, 2015

Through the Eyes of a CEO: The Many Paths to Making a Positive Environmental Impact

Field Auditorium in Environment Hall - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the Nicholas School of the Environment Special Lecture Students, faculty and staff are invited to attend this special lecture by Jim Rogers, 2014-15 Duke University Rubenstein Fellow and former CEO of Duke Energy. No registration necessary.  Jim Rogers is an inaugural Rubenstein Fellow at Duke University, where he has spent…

"What I love the most is the students who are great critical thinkers. These students cut to the chase. It's refreshing."
- Jim Rogers, 2014-16 Rubenstein Fellow

"I was interested in the topic, and when I saw there was a real-live CEO, it seemed like an opportunity I couldn't pass up."

Julia Mote

MBA, Class of 2015

“We’re delighted to have Jim Rogers bring his deep experience in the energy industry, business, law, and policy to Duke. As students and faculty across the university think about important and complex issues such as energy access in the developing world, they can benefit from this tremendous opportunity to work closely with such an accomplished leader.”

Richard H. Brodhead


“I knew coming to Duke would be transformative in many ways, but the chance to work closely with Jim completely exceeded my expectations. His generosity with his time and willingness to share his experiences resulted in one of the most valuable educational experiences I’ve ever had. I’m grateful that Jim made time amid a busy schedule to share his expertise with Duke students.”

Josh Seidenfeld

MEM/MBA, Class of 2015