Robert C. “Bob” Rowe BA’77 received his degree with a dual major in history and political science. He earned his JD from the University of Oregon, and then moved to Montana as a VISTA Volunteer with Montana Legal Services Association. There, he met his wife, Melanie Reynolds, who was also a VISTA Volunteer. He also completed the Kennedy School Senior Executives’ Program in 1980 and the University of Chicago Booth School Advanced Management Program. Bob served on the Lewis & Clark Board of Alumni from 2009 to 2015. In 2010, he and Melanie established the Rowe Family Scholarship at the college to support students with demonstrated financial need who are from Montana.
Bob Rowe was appointed president and CEO of NorthWestern Energy Corporation (NASDAQ:NWE) on August 13, 2008. He was succeeded as president in February 2021 and retired as CEO and board member in December 2022.
Prior to joining NorthWestern Energy, Bob co-founded and was a senior partner with Balhoff, Rowe & Williams, LLC, a specialized national professional services firm providing financial and regulatory advice to clients in the technology, telecommunications and energy infrastructure industries. His energy and utility industry experience includes serving as chairman and commissioner of the Montana Public Service Commission from 1993-2004 and as president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).
An Oregon native, he first visited Washington D.C. with Professor Don Balmer of Lewis & Clark College, where he received his first introduction to public policy. He has served on national advisory boards, including the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service. Bob has served on boards of university-based institutes, including the Columbia University Institute for Tele-information and the University of Florida Public Utility Research Center where he is currently a senior fellow. Bob is also a member of the board of Yellowstone Forever and a trustee of the University of Montana Foundation.
Bob and his spouse, Melanie Reynolds, a retired health officer for Lewis & Clark County, have two children, Maggie and Sam. Bob and Melanie received the “Spirit of Philanthropy” award in 2020 from the Helena Area Community Foundation. They were selected for the award because of their generous philanthropy in Montana and particularly for their contributions to the Helena Area Emergency Relief Fund for COVID-19.