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For his dedication to shaping U.S. energy policy, and for his steadfast advocacy of the responsible use of nuclear power.

Vice President for Policy Development and Public Affairs at the Nuclear Energy Institute

  • BS, 1989, Nuclear Engineering, University of Illinois
  • MBA, 1995, University of Maryland

As the vice president for policy development and public affairs at the Nuclear Energy Institute, John Kotek is responsible for providing policy and public affairs leadership on financial, economic, tax, electricity market, and environmental issues related to the nuclear energy industry.

John began his career with the U.S. Department of Energy in 1989, where he managed a variety of nuclear energy research and production programs. He joined Argonne National Laboratory-West in 1999, and in 2002, John was selected as the American Nuclear Society’s Glenn T. Seaborg Congressional Fellow. He worked under Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), who was the Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee. After completing the fellowship, John returned to the Department of Energy, serving as Deputy Manager of DOE’s Idaho Operations Office. In this role he was responsible for federal management of the newly-formed Idaho National Laboratory.

In 2007, John became the managing partner of the Gallatin Public Affairs office in Boise, ID. He advised energy, natural resources, and other clients facing complex communication and government relations challenges. During this time, he also served as staff director to the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future from 2010 – 2012, which recommended a new strategy for managing nuclear waste in the United States. And in 2012, John was named to the Governor of Idaho’s Leadership in Nuclear Energy Commission.

In January 2015, John was appointed to the position of principal deputy assistant secretary for the Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy. Later that year, in October 2015, he was nominated by President Obama to serve as assistant secretary for nuclear energy, which is the country’s top nuclear energy office. In 2017, he was honored with the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

John holds a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Maryland.