Ratcliffe new senior vice president, external affairs

The Southern Company’s board of directors has appointed David M. Ratcliffe to the newly created position of senior vice president for external affairs, A.W. Dahlberg, chairman, president, and chief executive officer, announced today.

Ratcliffe will direct The Southern Company’s public relations, corporate counsel, environmental policy, and federal government relations functions. He also will be the company’s corporate compliance officer. He will be based at The Southern Company’s corporate headquarters in Atlanta.

“As our industry moves toward a more competitive business environment, it becomes increasingly important to sharpen our focus on the critical areas that David Ratcliffe will be overseeing in this new position,” Dahlberg said in announcing the appointment.

The Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the parent firm of five electric utilities: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power, and Savannah Electric. Other subsidiaries include Southern Electric International, Southern Communications Services, Southern Company Services, Southern Development and Investment Group, and Southern Nuclear. The Southern Company’s common stock is one of the 20 most widely held corporate stocks in America.

Ratcliffe, 46, has served as president and chief executive officer of Mississippi Power, based in Gulfport, Miss., since 1991. He joined The Southern Company in 1971 as a biologist at Georgia Power and held several environmental positions before being named general manager of fuel services in 1981. Five years later, he transferred to Southern Company Services as vice president of fuel services. He became executive vice president of Southern Company Services in 1989, overseeing fuel services, operating and planning services, marketing services, and research and environmental affairs.

Ratcliffe is a member of the Edison Electric Institute’s CEO Global Climate and Electric and Magnetic Field committees. He serves on the board of directors of the Southeastern Electric Exchange and is a member of the Georgia Bar Association.

A native of Tifton, Ga., Ratcliffe received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Valdosta State College and a law degree from the Woodrow Wilson College of law. He is chairman of the Public Education Forum of Mississippi and serves on the board of directors of the Mississippi Business Roundtable, the University of Southern Mississippi Foundation, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Development Council, the Institute for Technology Development, and Leadership Gulf Coast.

He serves on the board of trustees of the Mississippi Nature Conservancy and is director of the Pine Burr Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, a member of the Mississippi Economic Council, and an advisory director of the Business and Industry Political Education Committee.