The founder of Citizens Energy Corporation, Joseph P. Kennedy II has served as chairman and president of the company since 1998, following 12 years of service in the US House of Representatives. Establishing the nonprofit company to provide low-cost heating oil to the poor and elderly, Kennedy grew the organization to encompass seven separate companies, including the largest energy conservation firm in the US and one of the largest independent lifters of crude oil.
During Kennedy’s tenure, Citizens became one of the nation's first energy firms to move large volumes of natural gas to over 30 states. Anticipating market changes under electricity deregulation in the late 1990s, Citizens was a pioneer in moving and marketing electrical power over the grid. Citizens has more recently expanded its oil heat program to serve customers in 23 states and the District of Columbia and is pursuing renewable energy projects involving wind and geothermal generation. Each commercial venture is aimed at generating revenues that in turn would be used to assist the poor and those in need in the US and abroad.
Throughout his career on Capitol Hill, Kennedy devised innovative approaches to addressing social needs, particularly in the ways that the private sector, rather than government agencies, could help communities achieve economic growth and prosperity. Kennedy's many initiatives included legislation that expanded the availability of credit to working Americans and helped create affordable housing units through tax credits. He also proposed a balanced budget amendment, overhauled federal public housing law, and preserved and expanded federal research and development accounts that create new technologies, jobs, and growth.
Kennedy has served with distinction on the House Banking Committee throughout his career in Congress, playing an active role in the federal savings and loan bailout, credit reporting reform, Glass-Steagall overhaul, and financial modernization. He also served on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, passing legislation to strengthen the veterans healthcare system, investigate the causes of Persian Gulf Syndrome, and provide medical treatment for veterans of the first Persian Gulf War.
In addition to his role as chairman and president of Citizens Energy, Kennedy advises and serves on the boards of several companies in the energy, telecommunications, and healthcare industries. The son of the late US Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy, Joe Kennedy is married to Beth Kelly Kennedy and is the father of twin sons. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
Joseph Kennedy II On Leadership
Citizens Helping Citizens: It Doesn't Take a Politician to Get Things Done
The Political Landscape
Doing Good While Doing Well
There's a Time for Talk & a Time for Action: Now Is a Time for Action
"I really wanted to take a moment to say thank you for all you did to allow this visit from Mr. Kennedy. He was utterly charming and I was very impressed with how he made the conference so special."
World-Leading Expert on Climate Solutions & Executive Director of Project Drawdown
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