MEET THE TEAM
JOSEPH P. KENNEDY II
Founder & Chairman
Joseph P. Kennedy II founded Citizens Energy in 1979 and over the next seven years built up successful ventures in the oil, natural gas, electricity trading, energy conservation and mail-order pharmaceutical industries. Each subsidiary produced profits used to make life’s basic needs more affordable for the poor. The eldest son of the late U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy, Joe left the company in 1986 to represent the 8th District of Massachusetts in Congress. During his 12-year tenure on Capitol Hill he authored landmark legislation that used the levers of private enterprise to deliver social and economic benefits to millions of Americans, from fair lending laws to tax credits to stimulate affordable housing development. He was a champion of human rights, social justice, humanitarian aid and democracy in Northern Ireland, Haiti and Armenia. After returning to the helm of Citizens Energy in 1999, Kennedy expanded the company’s oil heat program, launched a major health-care company and started ventures in the wind, solar, battery storage, microgrid and high-voltage transmission industries.
JOSEPH P. KENNEDY III
Joseph P. Kennedy III serves as Managing Director of Citizens Energy to advance commercial and policy initiatives that align with the company’s mission. His focus is on renewable power, using successful energy ventures to generate revenues to lower the cost of green energy for struggling households. He also is the founder of the Groundwork Project and served eight years as a U.S. Representative for the Fourth District of Massachusetts.
In Congress he served as a member of the influential House Energy & Commerce Committee where he prioritized economic opportunity for working families. He authored several pieces of legislation in Washington aimed at improving access to the modern economy, including the Perkins Modernization Act, STEM Gateways Act and the Revitalize American Manufacturing Act.
Throughout his tenure in Washington and entrepreneurial pursuits at home in Massachusetts, Kennedy has become a powerful voice for social justice, championing issues like employment non-discrimination, pay equity, marriage equality and comprehensive immigration reform.
PETER F. SMITH
Peter F. Smith is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard and is responsible for all aspects of Citizens Energy's business and charitable activities, overseeing the company's day-to-day operations.
Ernie Panos manages all the corporate finance and investment activities for Citizens Energy and has almost 30 years of financial service industry experience.
Kristina Perez oversees all of Citizens Energy's charitable initiatives, including our JOE-4-SUN low-income community solar program and our Shelter Heating Assistance Program.
DIRECTOR OF CHARITABLE PROGRAMS
Brian Morrissey is a U.S. Army veteran and manages all of Citizens Energy's renewable-related activities, including project origination, development, construction and asset management.
DIRECTOR OF CITIZENS RENEWABLES
MICHAEL L. KENNEDY
Michael L. Kennedy, whose father led Citizens while Joe served in Congress, develops new business opportunities in the energy sector for Citizens Energy, with a focus on renewables.
VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
BRIAN WRIGHT O'CONNOR
Brian Wright O'Connor served as the Communications Director for Joseph P. Kennedy II during his tenure in Congress and now oversees all aspects of Citizens Energy's communications, marketing and public outreach.