African-American Partnership Champion, Chris Womack
Executive Vice President and President of External Affairs, Southern Company

Chris joined Southern Company in 1988 and has held a number of leadership posts within Southern Company. Chris is an active civic leader in our community serving in leadership positions with many organizations including the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, the East Lake Foundation and the National Center for Civic and Human Rights.

AAP: Tell us about your role at  Southern Company and how you impact the company’s strategic goals.
Chris: As executive vice president and president of external affairs, I am responsible for the company’s public policy strategies, federal and state governmental and regulatory affairs, corporate communication initiatives and other external engagements.

I work with my teams to shape national energy policy that goes beyond building a better business. We are constantly developing innovative programs and leveraging strategic partnerships to meet Southern Company’s goal – to build the future of energy.

AAP: What are your suggestions for individuals who are interested in a career in energy?
Chris: It’s an exciting time to be a part of the energy industry. With advancing technologies, an evolving regulatory environment and shifting customer preferences., those wanting to work in energy must be excited about the future of the business and the opportunity to deliver solutions.

The rapid evolution of the industry means you’re always learning and growing, no matter which part of the business you work in. It is important to stay up to date on industry trends as the business and expectations of customers continuously changes.

AAP: How long have you been involved with the African-American Partnership?
Chris: I moved to Atlanta some 20 years ago. Once I relocated here, I have been involved and contributing to the United Way since that time. Giving has always been important to me. I’ve been excited since the being a giver.

AAP: Why did you join the African-American Partnership?
Chris: I think it is very important for us to give back and help others. Because of all the wonderful blessings that we have received, it’s important to share. So with the good work that flows through the United Way, it was a wonderful platform to engage and help others.

AAP: AAP is building libraries where youth play and learn, what is your favorite book and why?
Chris: My favorite book is Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven. Making my bed is something my grandmother always challenged me to do. In the book, McRaven shares the ten lessons he learned from overcoming the trials of Navy SEAL training. The ten lessons shared are equally important in dealing with the challenges of life — no matter who you are.