Board of Regents

Howard L. Hawks

Chairman 2005, 2014
Vice Chairman 2004, 2013
Re-elected 2008, 2014
Elected to the Board of Regents 2002

Personal and Professional

  • Born in Carleton, Nebraska, Reared in Denver, Colorado and Bruning, Nebraska
  • Married to Rhonda Hawks, two stepdaughters
  • Married to Myrna Hawks until her death in 2001, three sons
  • Tenaska - 1987-present
    Founder and chairman of Tenaska, an independent energy company known for its expertise in power plant development, ownership and operations; natural gas and electric power marketing; natural gas exploration and production; and private equity fund management
  • Chairman, Tenaska Capital Management, LLC, manager of the Tenaska Power Fund and TPF II - private equity limited partnerships formed to invest in the energy industry
  • Founder and Chairman of the Hawks Foundation - 1994-present
  • Endowed Howard Hawks Chair in Business Ethics and Leadership at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL) College of Business Administration, 2003
  • InterNorth/Enron Corp. - 1966-1986
    Served as president of three subsidiary operating groups:
    • Northern Natural Resources
    • Northern Liquid Fuels Group
    • Northern Plains Natural Gas Company
  • General Motors - 1957-1966

Awards and Honors

  • Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska Douglas E. Parrott Faith in Action Award (2010)
  • Honorary Chair for University of Nebraska Medical Center Ambassador of Hope Gala (2010)
  • American Red Cross Spirit of Philanthropy Award (2009)
  • Project Harmony “Speaking of Children”, Honorary Chair (2009)
  • Omaha Habitat for Humanity 2008 Women’s Build, Honorary Chair
  • Salvation Army "Others" Award (2007)
  • United Way Citizen-of-the-Year (2007)
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Medallion for Entrepreneurship (2006)
  • Leadership Family Award, Heartland Family Service (2006)
  • Humanitarian Award from National Conference for Community Justice (2006)
  • Honorary Chair for the Community Alliance's "Breaking the Silence" event (2005, 2006)
  • Honorary Chair for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Gala (2005)
  • Volunteer of the Year Award from (Nebraska) Thayer County Hospital (2005)
  • Methodist Hospital Foundation's "Spirit of Philanthropy" Award (2005)
  • Omaha Community Playhouse Gala, Honorary Chair
  • UNL College of Business Administration Lifetime Achievement Award (2004)
  • Finalist for CEO of the Year in the Energy Industry by Platts Power Magazine (2003, 2004)
  • Downtown Omaha Rotary Club Free Enterprise Award (2003)
  • Omaha Business Hall of Fame (2002)
  • Methodist Hospital Honorary Board Member (2001)
  • Clarence Swanson Memorial Award for Outstanding Dedication to the University and to Nebraska Football (2000)
  • UNO College of Business Administration Distinguished Alumni Award (1999)


  • Master of Business Administration, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 1971
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1957
  • Bruning High School, Bruning, Nebraska, 1953

Community Activities

Current Activites

  • Ak-Sar-Ben Future Trust, Board of Directors
  • Creighton University, Board of Directors
  • Heritage Services Board of Directors
  • Joslyn Art Museum, Board of Governors
  • Joslyn Art Museum, Bodmer Society Member
  • Joslyn Art Museum, Durham Center for Western Studies Advisory Committee
  • Lasting Hope Recovery Center, Co-founder
  • Methodist Hospital, Advisory Board of Trustees Committee
  • Mid-American Council Boy Scouts of America, Board of Trustees
  • Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo Foundation, Board of Directors and Executive Committee
  • Omaha Zoological Society, Board of Trustees
  • Supporter of other area colleges, including Midland Lutheran College and Luther Seminary
  • University of Nebraska Board of Regents
  • University of Nebraska Foundation Advisory Committee

Past Activites

  • Assistance League of Omaha, Advisory Board
  • Boys & Girls Club of Omaha, Board of Governors
  • Boys Club, Board of Governors, President
  • Creighton – Nebraska Universities Health Foundation, Board of Directors
  • Dana College Legacy Campaign; 2000-2001 Capital Fund Drive, Chair
  • Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors
  • Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Omaha Business Hall of Fame Selection Committee
  • Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Presidents Club, President
  • Ironwood Golf & Country Club, Board of Directors
  • Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben, Board of Governors
  • Lutheran Church of the Master, Strategic Planning Committee, Council Member
  • Madonna School 2008 Capital Campaign, Chair
  • Martin Luther Homes Strategic Planning Committee, Chair
  • Methodist Hospital, Board of Trustees
  • Mid-American Council Boy Scouts of America, Chair of Citizen of the Year Event (2003)
  • Midland Lutheran College Vision 2000 Capital Campaign (1997-2000), Chair
  • Nebraska Business Higher Education Forum
  • North American Electric Reliability Council, Vice Chair of Stakeholder Committee
  • Omaha Symphony Association, Board of Directors
  • Salvation Army Tree of Lights Campaign and Kettle Klub, 2002 Honorary Vice Chair; 2003 Honorary Chair
  • University of Nebraska Foundation Board of Directors