Huntsville, Ala., attorney Joe Ritch was elected today as the next chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Ritch, who was appointed to the TVA board by President Obama two years ago, will succeed Bill Sansom as head of TVA's 9-member, part-time board.
The 5-year term of Sansom, the longest serving TVA director, ends in May, although he may serve until his successor is chosen.
Ritch will be the first Alabama chairman since the current TVA board structure was adopted by Congress in 2006.
Fitch has served on many boards, including serving as chairman of the Tennessee Valley Base Realignment and Closures Committee.
Sansom praised his successor as "a real leader in Alabama and a real asset on this board."