CEO, Southern Company Gas
Jim Kerr is the chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Southern Company Gas, one of America’s top natural gas providers and a subsidiary of Southern Company. In this role, he ensures the delivery of clean, safe, reliable and affordable natural gas to nearly 4.4 million utility customers in communities across Georgia, Illinois, Tennessee, and Virginia, and 600,000 retail customers through brands that market natural gas. In addition, Kerr oversees other non-utility businesses including investments in interstate pipelines, a natural gas storage facility and a renewable natural gas facility.
He began his Southern Company career in 2014 as the executive vice president, chief legal officer, and chief compliance officer where he led the Office of the General Counsel, which includes the company’s legal, corporate governance, audit, and compliance functions. During his tenure at Southern Company, Kerr helped direct the successful execution and regulatory approval of several transactions including the merger with AGL Resources, acquisition of PowerSecure, and divestitures of Gulf Power and other assets. He coordinated the company's approach to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, ensuring the integration of current and emerging ESG topics into the strategic direction, governance and reporting of the company and engagement efforts with institutional investors and other stakeholders.
Kerr has established himself as a respected voice in the energy industry due to his extensive knowledge of federal and state energy policy and regulations from his work as a utility executive, an attorney in private practice, and a public servant. In his career, Kerr has been asked to testify on a variety of energy and regulatory issues before the United States Congress, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and state legislatures.
His involvement in the community speaks to his commitment to the customers we serve. Currently he serves on the board of directors for the American Gas Association, Georgia Aquarium, civic group Buckhead Coalition and mental health treatment organization Skyland Trail. He is an active supporter of community legal organizations such as the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta. Additionally, Kerr is a former director of the Electric Power Research Insitute and currently vice chair of the Institute for the Environment board of visitors for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Before joining Southern Company in 2014, Kerr was a partner at McGuireWoods LLP and senior advisor at McGuireWoods Consulting LLC. Kerr was a member of the North Carolina Utilities Commission, which regulates the rates and services of all public utilities in the state, for eight years. He served as president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners from 2007 to 2008 and president of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners from 2002 to 2003. He earned a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Washington and Lee University and a juris doctorate degree, with honors, from the University of North Carolina School of Law. Kerr and his wife, Frances, have two children.