Stephen G. Burns served as a Commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) from November 2014 through April 2019. He was the NRC’s Chairman from 1 January 2015 through 23 January 2017. Prior to his service as Commissioner, Mr. Burns was the Head of Legal Affairs of the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris from 2012 to 2014. He was a career employee at the NRC from 1978 to 2012 during which he served in a variety of roles, including as General Counsel from May 2009 until April 2012. Commissioner Burns is currently a Senior Visiting Fellow at Third Way in its climate and energy program, and he provides consulting services on nuclear energy law. He was appointed the chair of the IAEA’s International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group in May 2022.
Commissioner Burns received his JD degree from George Washington University in Washington, DC, and his BA degree from Colgate University. In 2020 the Government of Japan awarded Commissioner Burns the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, in recognition of his contributions to enhancing co-operation between Japan and the United States on nuclear safety regulation.
Nuclear is critical to achieving US climate goals, but its potential is hindered by challenges within the nuclear licensing process.