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John Szoka

John D. Szoka

CEO, Clean Energy Network (CEN)
Raleigh, N.C.


John Szoka began his service on the UNC Institute for the Environment’s Board of Visitors in October of 2021 when he was a member of N.C. House of Representatives. In May of 2023, Szoka was named CEO of Clean Energy Network (CEN). He became an advocate for clean energy during his ten years of service (2013-2022) in the North Carolina House of Representatives. During his legislative tenure, he served as the House Republican Conference Leader, senior chairman of the Finance Committee, chairman of the Energy and Public Utilities Committee, and chairman of the Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy. Szoka sponsored major pieces of legislation that modernized North Carolina’s energy policy to take full advantage of the benefits of low-cost clean energy and protect ratepayers. In 2017, he sponsored HB589 which saved ratepayers over $350 million in energy costs by 2021. He was widely recognized as the leading advocate for free market solutions to a clean energy future and has spoken frequently on the topic at conferences across the nation.

Szoka graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served as an infantry officer, ranger and airborne qualified, in a variety of command and staff positions. He retired from active duty at Fort Bragg as a lieutenant colonel after 20 years of service. While in the Army, he earned his master’s degree in operations research from the University of Texas at Austin.

Since his retirement from the Army, Szoka has owned several successful small businesses. He owns a manufacturing business and holds two U.S. patents for one of the products they produce.

Szoka and his wife, Laurie, also a retired Army officer and a nurse practitioner, reside in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and have two grown children, Hunter and Morgan. When not working, they relax with their three dogs, Szolar (solar), Wzynd (wind) and Fuzion (fusion) at home.