1995 to present: Senior Fellow (1995 to 2003), Senior Visiting Fellow (2003 to 2005), and, since 2005, Senior Visiting Fellow, Lecturer, and Resident Fellow at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, with primary focus in the Industrial Environmental Management Program. Instructor in five graduate-school courses–Industrial Ecology, Business Concepts for Environmental Managers, Environmental Aspects of the Technological Society, Greening Business Operations, and Environmental Management and Strategy–and in the Corporate Environmental Leadership Seminar. Guest lecturer in several other courses. Advisor of several independent projects of master’s students. Member of the Advisory Board for the Next Generation Project. Advisor to Master’s Degree candidates. Member of the School’s Leadership Council. Member of the Managing Board, Journal of Industrial Ecology.
1976 to 1995: Senior executive officer of Northeast Utilities (Berlin, Connecticut), New England’s largest electric utility. 1993-1995–chairman of the board. 1983-1993–chairman and chief executive officer. 1980-1983–president and chief operating officer. 1978-1980–president and chief financial officer. 1976-1978–executive vice president and chief financial officer.
1969 to 1976: Management consultant at McKinsey & Company, Inc. (Partner 1975-1976.) Clientele primarily energy- and petrochemical-industry companies and equipment manufacturers, regulatory agencies, banks, insurance companies, and government lending agencies, in various locations in the United States, Europe, and South America.
Presently: a member of (1) the Board of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change; (2) the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Mellon University, as well as six Advisory Boards of that University, viz., those for the Carnegie Institute of Technology, the Mellon College of Science, the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, the Engineering and Public Policy Department, the Biological Sciences Department (past chairman) and the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research; and (3) the Fuel Cell RFP Steering Committee for the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund.
Presently also: a member of the boards of directors of MassMutual Financial Group (insurance products, investment management, and other financial services) and MetroHartford Chamber of Commerce, as well as a member of the Board of Advisors of Soltage, Inc., a developer of solar-power facilities.
Doctor of Philosophy in chemical engineering, University of Maryland, 1966. Doctoral thesis: The Mechanism of Mass Transfer in Single Oscillating Drops in Extraction Systems. Minors in mathematics and physical chemistry. Qualification in French and German. National Science Fellow.
Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering, Carnegie Institute of Technology, (now Carnegie Mellon University), 1962. Tau Beta Pi and Union Carbide Scholar.
Co-author of three technical papers
- “Desalination by Liquid-Liquid Extraction,” R. B. Beckmann and W. B. Ellis, Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Water Desalination, October 3-9, 1965, Washington, D. C., SWD-19.
- “Fundamentals of Mass Transfer in Liquid-Liquid Extraction,” L. E. Johns, R. B. Beckmann, and W. B. Ellis, British Chemical Engineering, volume 10 (1965), page 86.
- “Liquid-Liquid Extraction,” W. B. Ellis and R. B. Beckmann, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, volume 57 (1965), page 103.
Additional course work at Central Connecticut State University, Wesleyan University, and Yale University in geology, meteorology, conservation science, and ecology, 1991 to the present.
Civic awards received: Connecticut Business Leader of the Year (Hartford Courant, 1986), Businessperson of the Year (New England Magazine, 1987), Doctor of Humane Letters (St. Joseph College, 1989), New Englander of the Year (New England Council, 1994), Connecticut AIDS Leadership Award (1989), and Urban League award for heightening public awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic (1993), among others.
Former civic activities: Member of and, for one term each, chairman of the boards of directors of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, the Connecticut Economic Development Corporation, and the Connecticut Capitol Region Growth Council. Member of The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Science Advisory Board.
Former corporate board involvement: At various times during the past thirty years, member of the boards of directors of Emhart Corporation; Bank of New England; Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company; Advest Group; Nuclear Electric Insurance, Ltd. (chairman of the board); Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company (chairman of the board); Yankee Atomic Power Company; Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Company; and Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Company.