Walker L. Cisler
Walker Lee Cisler, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of The Detroit Edison Company, was born in Marietta, Ohio, October 8, 1897. He has spent his entire business career in the electric power industry. He has found time, however, to participate in a large number of activities, civic and governmental, not directly related to his business responsibilities. Following his graduation from Cornell University in 1922, with the degree of Mechanical Engineer, Mr. Cisler became associated with the Public Service Electric and Gas Company of New Jersey. He remained with that organization until 1943, advancing to the position of Assistant General Manager of the Electric Department.
In 1943 he resigned from Public Service Electric and Gas Company to become Chief Engineer of Power Plants for The Detroit Edison Company. He was elected Executive Vice President in January, 1948, a Director in September, 1951, and President on December 1, 1951. July 1, 1954. the duties of the Chairman of the Board were incorporated with those of the President. On May 4, 1964 the office of Chairman was again created and he was elected Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.
As an executive of The Detroit Edison Company he has been actively engaged in the atomic energy development since shortly after the end of World War II. He served as executive secretary of the AEC Industrial Advisory Group (1947-1948) and has been responsible for the Company's participation in the activities of the Atomic Power Development Associates, Inc., and the Power Reactor Development Company.
During the war Mr. Cisler held many responsible assignments, first in the War Production Board, Office of War Utilities, and later with the Armed Forces in Europe. In 1943 he was commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel and assigned to the rehabilitation of the electric, gas and water facilities in the Mediterranean Area. Later he was appointed a Colonel and head of the Public Utilities Section of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF) and was responsible for similar activities in the European Theatre of Operations. He continued in this capacity until late 1945 when he retired from active duty. His services to the government since the war have continued without interruption. He has served on many government committees and as a consultant to the Army, State Department, Atomic Energy Commission and most recently to the Defense Department as a special consultant in connection with the space and missile program.
He serves as a member of the Business Council. In 1955 he was appointed to a Special Task Group studying disarmament. In the same year he was designated an advisor on the United States Delegation to the International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, in Geneva.
Mr. Cisler has continuously been concerned with affairs of broad interest to industry and government, including the professional societies and other technical and service organizations. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the American Institute of Management and has served on many of the technical and administrative committees of those societies. In 1960 he served as President of ASME and was President of the Engineers Joint Council and The Edison Electric Institute, and was a Founding Member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Dr. Cisler has received decorations from the United States Government and ten foreign governments, honorary doctorates from ten universities, and numerous awards from technical societies, to which the addition of the Edison Medal is an appropriate expression of the esteem of his fellow electrical engineers.