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Climate Change as the Foremost Challenge of Our Generation with Dr. Ralph Izzo,
Chairman, President and CEO of PSEG

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Happy Earth Day weekend.  Monday, April 22nd is Earth Day.  In celebration and recognition, we welcome you to our special Earth Day 2019 episode. 


I am joined by Dr. Ralph Izzo, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) in Newark, New Jersey.  This Episode 21 covers a number of topics relevant to our Mother Earth including the subject of climate change which Dr. Izzo considers to be the foremost challenge of our generation.  Our sweeping climate-oriented discussion ranges from the utility industry’s role in combatting climate change, PSEG’s actions and service orientation, cognitive biases in political decisioning, the insurance industry’s role, nuclear energy’s opportunities in the war on climate change, among other items.  


Newark, New Jersey-based PSEG has a $30 billion market cap as a public utility holding company that provides regulated electric and gas service through its subsidiaries, as well as investing in solar generation projects and energy efficiency programs.  Dr. Ralph Izzo has served as President and CEO since 2007.  His educational foundation is in Mechanical engineering and physics. He holds a PhD in Applied Physics from Columbia University.


We would like to express our special thanks to the clients of Lyceum Leadership Consulting that enable us to bring you this podcast.


Thanks for listening.  We can’t improve without your feedback – write us through our website and subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Informative and Helpful Links:

Illustration of the omission bias through the trolley problem - 1 min 37 sec

Program Guide Episode 21

You can listen to this episode via the link above and follow along with the program guide or subscribe to our podcast where ever you listen to your podcasts.

0:00      Introduction to Episode 21 and Dr. Ralph Izzo, Chairman, President and CEO of PSEG

2:33      Introduction of Climate Change as the foremost challenge of our generation

7:08      A board of directors’ role and interaction with society beyond the boundaries of the corporation

10:44    Break 1

11:06    A utility company’s natural position of responsibility and influence in society. 

13:16    PSEG’s actionable steps for society: Step 1 - Energy efficiency and reference to Lyceum’s Earth Day 2018 Episode 15 on Energy Efficiency

15:17    PSEG’s actionable steps for society: Step 2 – Clean energy production and supply

15:52    PSEG’s actionable steps for society: Step 3 – Reliability of energy supply

16:39    Break 2

16:54    What’s in a name?  “Public Service” Enterprise Group

21:10    The human affinity to socialize and associate with reference to Lyceum’s Episode 18 on Associations and Alexis de Tocqueville 

22:55    Break 3

23:14    Cognitive Bias in group decisions on climate change and the role of policy

29:24    Break 4

29:42    The role of nuclear energy in combatting climate change

29:54    What is working against the expansion of nuclear energy in the US?

34:04    The insurance industry’s role in combatting climate change. Reference to Lyceum’s article: Risk & Reward: The Insurance Sector on the Climate Frontlines

35:54    Concluding statements - optimism in the face of climate change.


Biographies of Guests


Dr. Ralph Izzo


Ralph Izzo was elected chairman and chief executive officer of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) in April 2007. He was named the company’s president and chief operating officer and a member of the board of directors of PSEG in October 2006. Previously, Dr. Izzo was president and chief operating officer of Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G).

Since joining PSE&G in 1992, Dr. Izzo was elected to several executive positions within PSEG’s family of companies, including PSE&G senior vice president – utility operations; PSE&G vice president – appliance service; PSEG vice president - corporate planning; and PSE&G vice president - electric ventures.  In these capacities, he broadened his experience in the areas of general management, strategic planning and finance.

Dr. Izzo is a well-known leader within the utility industry, as well as the public policy arena.  He is frequently asked to testify before Congress and speak to organizations on matters pertaining to national energy policy.

Dr. Izzo’s career began as a research scientist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, performing numerical simulations of fusion energy experiments.  He has published or presented more than 35 papers on magnetohydrodynamic modeling. Dr. Izzo received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in mechanical engineering and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in applied physics from Columbia University.  He also received a Master of Business Administration degree, with a concentration in finance, from the Rutgers Graduate School of Management. He is listed in numerous editions of Who’s Who and has been the recipient of national fellowships and awards.  Dr. Izzo has received honorary degrees from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (Doctor of Science), Thomas Edison State University (Doctor of Humane Letters), Bloomfield College (Doctor of Humane Letters), Rutgers University (Doctor of Humane Letters) and Raritan Valley Community College (Associate of Science).

Dr. Izzo is the chair of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).  In addition, he is on the board of directors for the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited (NEIL) and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. He also is on the advisory board for the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics Department, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Peddie School and Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment Advisory Council, as well as a member of the Visiting Committee for the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion.  Dr. Izzo is a former member of the Columbia University School of Engineering Board of Visitors.  In addition, he is a former chair of the Rutgers University Board of Governors and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. 

Program Disclaimer

The only purpose of the podcasts is to educate, inform and entertain. The information shared is based on the collection of experiences of each of the guests interviewed and should not be considered or substituted for professional advice. Guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, experience and conclusions, and neither The Leadership Lyceum LLC nor any company providing financial support endorses or opposes any particular content, recommendation or methodology discussed in this podcast.


This podcast Leadership Lyceum: A CEO’s Virtual Mentor has been a production of The Leadership Lyceum LLC. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

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