Thomas Kuhn

President of Edison Electric (since 1990)

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Why He Matters

Kuhn wears two hats in Washington. A leading energy lobbyist and president of one of the largest energy trade groups in the country, Kuhn is a leading voice on climate change and energy policy. It's a natural role for Kuhn, who has been involved in energy for most of his professional life. Before joining Edison, Kuhn led the energy section of an investment bank and headed the American Nuclear Energy Council.

But the Yale alum and former member of the Navy also has close ties to the Republican Party. In fact, Kuhn was roommates at Yale with former President George W. Bush. He has continued to play a lead role in the GOP through fundraising and by working behind-the-scenes to draft energy policy, access that has frustrated many environmentalists.


At a Glance

  • Career History: Chief Operating Officer, Edison Electric (1988 to 1990); Executive Vice President, Edison Electrist (1985 to 1990)
  • Alma Mater: Yale University, B.A. (economics), 1968; George Washington University, M.B.A., 1972
  • DC Office: 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.,Washington, D.C. 20004(202) 508-5000

The Network

Kuhn was George W. Bush's roommate at Yale, and he has maintained ties to several other top Republicans. He sat on President Bush's 2000 Energy Department transition team with Roger Hirl, Ken Lay, Erle Nye and James Langdon. The team shaped the administration's supply-side energy policy.


Campaign Contributions

Kuhn has donated several thousand dollars to the Edison Electric Institute over the last ten years. He has also given hundreds of dollars to several politicians, including some Democrats like Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).

However, the bulk of Kuhn's fundraising efforts have benefitted former Yale roomie George W. Bush. Kuhn raised $100,000 for the Texan during the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. He coaxed fellow energy associates to donate by assuring them that their industry "will be credited" for their investments.

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