Dr. Marilyn Brown tapped for TVA board

photo Dr. Marilyn Brown
Arkansas-St. John's Live Blog

Dr. Marilyn Brown is returning to the Tennessee Valley Authority board nine months after her presidential reappointment as TVA director was held up by Tennessee's U.S. senators.

The U.S. Senate late Tuesday confirmed Brown to fill the last remaining vacant seat on TVA's nine-member board. Brown, a Nobel Prize winner who serves as a professor of American geography at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, previously served for two years on the TVA board.

President Obama nominated her for another five-year term last year. But U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, both Tennessee Republicans, initially balked at her appointment and urged the president to nominate someone else "with credentials better suited for the TVA board."

Brown left the board in December, but will return to the panel for its next board meeting in November. She will serve on the TVA board through 2017.

Corker and Alexander raised questions about her approach to TVA's finances, conservation incentives and views on fossil fuels. Brown shared a Nobel Prize with former Vice President Al Gore in 2007 for her wok on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. She previously worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and has written extensively on the need for energy efficiency and conservation and the problems of global warming.

Obama declined the senators' request to replace Dr. Brown on the board and ultimately she was confirmed for another term. Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director for Southern Alliance for Clean Energy in Knoxville, praised Brown for her valuable experience and knowledge" about energy issues in the Valley.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6340.