University of South Carolina

Top business leaders to discuss clean energy and jobs

The leaders of GE and Duke Energy and the state director of the Nature Conservancy will discuss the future of clean energy in South Carolina at a forum Oct. 22 at the University of South Carolina.

Panel members are James E. Rogers, chairman, CEO and president of Duke Energy; Jeffrey R. Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric; Mark Robertson, executive director of the Nature Conservancy of South Carolina; and Dr. Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina.

The forum, which will include a question-and-answer session with the audience, is at 3 p.m. in Amoco Hall in the Swearingen Engineering Center, 301 S. Main St., on the USC campus. A reception will follow in the lobby in front of Amoco Hall.

The panel will be moderated by Charles Bierbauer, dean of the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies at USC. The discussion is open to the public. To attend, RSVP to

Duke Energy will have its Tesla Roadster Sport, the electric car that goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, and a plug-in electric Toyota Prius hybrid on display outside the Swearingen building. The URS hydrogen truck, which has a hydrogen internal combustion engine that uses hydrogen gas instead of gasoline, will also be on display.

Parking is available in the Horizon garage at South Main and Wheat streets.

For more information, contact Amanda Wilson at (803) 777-4091. About the panel

James E. Rogers is chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Duke Energy. Rogers has more than 21 years of experience as a chief executive officer in the electric-utility industry. He was named president and chief executive officer of Duke Energy following the merger of Duke Energy and Cinergy in April 2006. Before the merger, Rogers served as Cinergy’s chairman and chief executive officer for more than 11 years. Prior to the formation of Cinergy, he joined PSI Energy in 1988 as the company’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. Duke Energy, one of the largest power companies in the United States, supplies and delivers electricity to approximately 4 million customers in the Carolinas and the Midwest. The company, headquartered in Charlotte, also distributes natural gas in Ohio and Kentucky. Its commercial power and international businesses operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing renewable energy portfolio.

Jeffrey Immelt is the ninth chairman of GE, a post he has held since Sept. 7, 2001. Immelt has held several global leadership positions since coming to GE in 1982, including roles in GE's plastics, appliance and medical businesses. In 1989, he became an officer of GE and joined the GE Capital Board in 1997. In 2000, Immelt was appointed president and chief executive officer. Immelt has been named one of the "World's Best CEOs" three times by Barron's, and since he began serving as chief executive officer, GE has been named "America's Most Admired Company" in a poll conducted by Fortune magazine and one of "The World's Most Respected Companies" in polls by Barron's and the Financial Times. Immelt is also a member of The Business Council and is on the board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

Mark L. Robertson has served as executive director of the Nature Conservancy of South Carolina since 1999. He directs a multi-disciplinary staff in five locations around the state. Since 1969, the Conservancy has helped to protect more than 333,000 acres in South Carolina, from the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean beaches. In addition to land protection, the South Carolina chapter implements conservation actions in prescribed fire, aquatic and marine ecology, land management and has led statewide efforts to create new financial incentives and funding sources in state government for conservation. Robertson has worked for the Nature Conservancy since 1985, working previously at the Virginia Coast Reserve and the Florida Keys office.

Dr. Harris Pastides became president of the University of South Carolina in 2008 after a decade of service as a USC professor, dean and vice president. Under Pastides' leadership as vice president for research and health sciences, research funding and sponsored programs at South Carolina increased 89 percent since 2002. Pastides continues to take a leading role in the development of Innovista, the university’s research innovation district. As president, Pastides has launched Focus Carolina, the most comprehensive strategic planning initiative in the university's history. Among the major goals Pastides has identified for the university’s long-term future: sustainability; innovation; the university’s role in the development of a knowledge economy; more access to education for South Carolinians; and stronger cohesion among the university’s eight campuses.

Future of clean energy

  • What: Public forum
  • Who: Panelists include James E. Rogers, Duke Energy; Jeffrey R. Immelt, General Electric; Mark Robertson, Nature Conservancy of South Carolina; Harris Pastides, USC
  • When: Oct. 22, 3 p.m.
  • Where: Amoco Hall, Swearingen Engineering Center

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 10/20/10 @ 10:25 AM | Updated: 10/20/10 @ 10:26 AM | Permalink