© 2018 by Fear & Courage Podcast

  • Michael Gasser

Episode 3 - Major General (Retired) David Burford

Updated: Mar 25, 2018

I have known MG (Ret) Burford for over 15 years. I met his when he worked with my father at Southe


rn Nuclear and benefitted from his advice and input throughout my career. MG Burford has weighed in on career path decisions, ideas on duty stations, family life in the military, my professional aspirations, transitioning to civilian life, and various other topics at times in my career all to my great benefit. He has the rare combination of great humility with the willingness to be forthright with his thoughts based on experience.


Dave Burford is in Fleet Operations Support for Southern Nuclear Operating Company, a subsidiary of Southern Company. In his current role, he is responsible for oversight of the “GOSP” management model (Governance/Oversight/Support/Performance) for Southern Nuclear t


hat utilizes Corporate’s Subject Matter Experts to achieve Fleet excellence. He has previously been the Acting Director of Fleet Security and was SNC’s first Manager for the emerging field of Cyber Security. Dave has been with Southern Company for 40 years and Southern Nuclear since 2005.


Dave graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Chemical Engineering and started with Southern Company in Research & Environmental Affairs (R&EA). His early assignments included research on flue gas scrubbing, selective catalytic reduction, synthetic fuels, cyclic reheat and cooling tower flow testing. Dave also spent two years in Southern Company’s Washington office as the Legislative Affairs Coordinator during the Clean Air Act debate and was a registered federal lobbyist. He then served as Project Manager of a joint public-private environmental project at Georgia Power’s Plant Yates that was named PowerPlant Project of the Year for the Chiyoda ‘scrubber’ work. Following that, Dave


worked international projects with Southern Development & Investment Group (SDIG) then managed the engineering of Southern Electric International’s siting and permitting efforts in California. Later, he served as Assistant to the Executive Vice President of Engineering and then Project Manager for Southern’s first full-scale scrubber retrofit at Georgia Power’s Plant Bowen. Dave is a past advisor to the Electric Power Research Institute, a speaker at the Washington Coal Club and a graduate of both


Harvard University and George Washington University’s Senior Executive Program. He is also the past Chairman of the Nuclear Sector Coordinating Council in Washington DC and holds a current Top Secret security clearance.


On the morning of 9/11, Dave was mobilized to serve as Deputy Commanding General of Army Special Forces as second in command of the Army’s Green Beret force in several combat theaters, se


rving almost three years on active duty. Dave retired as a Major General after thirty-eight years in uniform as the Deputy Commander, US Special Operations Command, while concurrently serving as Special Assistant to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau in the Pentagon.


He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Birmingham, as Vice President of Birmingham’s Veterans Day Foundation and is a past Chairman of the Board for a 501(c)(3) non-profit; ‘Three Hots & A Cot’ that supports the needs of homeless veterans; one of the nation’s top twenty-five veteran support groups as recognized by the President George W. Bush and the Bush Presidential Library in 2014. Dave was Alabama’


s Distinguished Military Veteran of the Year for 2012 and was awarded the Department of Defense “Seven Seals Award” for his work with veterans from the seven reserve components in 2017.