The biographies for all of the former Commissioners in this section are the official ones they used during their Commission terms.
The Honorable Stephen G. Burns was sworn in as a Commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on November 5, 2014, to a term ending June 30, 2019. He served as the 16th Chairman of the NRC from Jan. 1, 2015, through Jan. 23, 2017. As a Commissioner, he continues to be engaged in the work of the agency, and its safety and security mission.
Commissioner Burns has had a distinguished career as an attorney both within the NRC and internationally. Before returning to the NRC, he was the Head of Legal Affairs of the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. In that position, which he held since April 2012, Commissioner Burns provided legal advice and support to NEA management, carried out the legal education and publications program of the NEA, and provided advice and secretariat services to the Nuclear Law Committee and to the Contracting Parties to the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy.
Commissioner Burns joined the NRC as an attorney in 1978. Prior to assuming his post at the NEA, he served as General Counsel of the NRC from May 2009 until April 2012 after having served as the NRC's Deputy General Counsel from 1998. He also served as Executive Assistant to former NRC Chairman Kenneth M. Carr.
Commissioner Burns received a bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, in 1975 from Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y. He received his law degree with honors in 1978 from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he was an editor on the George Washington Law Review.
Commissioner Burns received the NRC's Distinguished Service Award in 2001 and the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award in 1998 and 2008.