LES Board approves Emeka Anyanwu as CEO; mayor, Lincoln City Council must approve next

LINCOLN — Emeka Anyanwu, Energy Innovation & Resources officer at Seattle City Light, was confirmed Oct. 20, 2023, as the next CEO of Lincoln Electric System. The Lincoln City Council and Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird also must approve his appointment. If he is approved by both, Anyanwu’s start date is Jan. 2, 2024. His salary was set at $610,000.

“We are very happy with the employment agreement we have negotiated with Emeka,” said LES Administrative Board Chair Andrew Hunzeker. “The agreement is appropriate given the responsibilities and comparable compensation agreements for local utilities. We look forward to the final approvals being completed so we can welcome Emeka to our community.”

In his current role at Seattle City Light, one of the nation’s largest community-owned, not-for-profit utilities, Anyanwu leads functions that include utility technology, information security, electrification, grid modernization, and current and future power resource strategy. Prior to Seattle City Light, he spent 16 years at Kansas City Power & Light (now Evergy) in various roles in leadership and transmission and distribution operations. Anyanwu has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and a Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst University.

He currently serves as a Public Power Council executive committee member, Climate Solutions board member, Seattle City Light – Energy Northwest board representative, and Western Resource Adequacy Program committee representative. Recent awards include the Smart Electric Power Alliance’s Individual 2021 Power Player of the Year and the Energy Thought Summit’s 2023 Thought Leader of the Year. 

Anyanwu will replace outgoing LES CEO Kevin Wailes, who is retiring after more than 13 years of leading the publicly owned electric utility. More information is available at