Robert Rowe

Bob Rowe served as CEO of NorthWestern Energy from August 2008 until retiring in January 2023, and was also the only non-independent director on NorthWestern’s Board. Bob is widely respected throughout the electric and natural gas sectors, and in the regulatory and investor communities. Bob and his strong and cohesive management team tripled NorthWestern’s market capitalization, earnings per share, and rate base. They built a national reputation for excellent corporate governance. Bob’s areas of focus include long-term infrastructure planning; building a diversified electric supply portfolio; employee safety and culture; customer service and community engagement.

Bob continues to be active in a wide range of industry projects, including serving as a venture partner with The Westly Group.

Bob’s strengths include collaborative approaches to working with boards and management; excellent corporate governance skills; strategic planning and execution; legal and regulatory experience; public policy development; financial acumen; and, technical acumen.

Bob served on the American Gas Association (AGA) Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He served on the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and co-chaired both EEI’s Institute for Electric Innovation, and its CEO Committee on State Policy and Engagement. Bob also served on the Western Energy Institute (WEI) Board of Directors and Executive Committee (Past Chair). In addition, Bob serves on multiple non-profit boards, including Yellowstone Forever, the non-profit partner of Yellowstone National Park.

Bob has been an NACD Governance Fellow since 2011, and in 2021 earned the NACD Directorship Certified (trademark).

Prior to joining NorthWestern, Bob was Co-founder and Principle of Balhoff, Rowe & Williams, LLC, a national policy and financial consulting firm, focusing on technology and telecoms companies, including transactions and strategy. Clients included mid-cap and large-cap wireline and wireless companies and associations.

From 1993 to 2004 Bob was a Commissioner on the Montana Public Service Commission. During this time he served as President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC); as Chair of the NARUC Telecommunications Committee; as a member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service; as proposer and member of the FCC Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Services; and as proposer and Chair of the thirteen state Operations Support Systems Collaborative working with Qwest and its competitors on compliance with the 1996 Federal Telecommunications Act. Rowe also served on the National Research Council, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Committee on Broadband Technology; and, on numerous university-based advisory boards focused on technology, utilities, regulation and public policy.

From 1980 until 1993, Bob was an attorney with Montana Legal Services Association, having served as a VISTA Volunteer (Volunteers in Service to America) immediately after law school.

Bob earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oregon. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lewis & Clark College in Portland Oregon. Bob also completed the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Advanced Management Program; and, the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government Executive Program, among other professional education programs.

About the Author