NAWC CEO Powelson receives Financial Research Institute award


The Financial Research Institute (FRI) has awarded Robert Powelson, president and CEO of the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC), its FRI Crystal Award for Distinguished Contribution. The FRI Crystal Award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to public utility regulatory policy.

“I am honored to receive this incredible recognition from the FRI for my work both at the state and federal levels helping to promote meaningful utility infrastructure investment. In accepting this honor, I would be remiss in not thanking my fellow NARUC colleagues for their steadfast commitment to helping advance these policies,” said NAWC President and CEO Robert Powelson. “For over 30 years, FRI has helped advance sound regulatory policies on behalf of consumers, regulators and industry. These regulatory policies provide a framework through which NAWC member companies can thrive and ultimately provide even more Americans with high-quality, reliable water service.

I’m proud to accept this honor on behalf of the NAWC member companies who work very hard to provide clean, safe and reliable water service to over 73 million customers here in the US.”

Prior to joining NAWC in 2018, Powelson served as a Commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Powelson came to FERC from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, where he served starting in June 2008, and led as Chairman between 2011 and 2015. Under Powelson’s leadership, Pennsylvania ratepayers had an active voice on issues such as competitive energy markets, renewable investment, infrastructure development and unaccounted-for water. Powelson is also a past president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), was a member of the NARUC Board of Directors and Chaired the NARUC Water Committee for several years.

FRI was established in 1988 within the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business at the University of Missouri to promote education, research and service across various areas of finance. Today the FRI, through its public utility division, provides a neutral environment for stakeholders in the regulated public utility industry to come together to examine, understand and debate current issues relating to public utility policy.

The FRI Crystal Award was officially presented to Powelson during the FRI Symposium on Sept. 25 at the University of Missouri.

The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) represents regulated water and wastewater companies, as well as ones engaging in partnerships with municipal utilities. NAWC members provide 73 million Americans with safe and reliable water service every day and have an exceptional record of compliance with federal and state health and environmental regulations. Ensuring this high standard of quality requires extraordinary amounts of capital investment. NAWC estimates that its ten largest members alone collectively invested $3 billion in 2018 in their water and wastewater systems. For more information about NAWC, please visit or follow on TwitterFacebook and YouTube.

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