Presentation: Tuesday, October 25th, 7:30am
Susan P. Kennedy was nominated by Governor Gray Davis to serve on the California Public Utilities Commission on January 10, 2003, and was confirmed by the California Senate on April 14, 2003. Focusing heavily on telecommunications issues, Kennedy has taken on some of the most important cases before the Commission, including implementation of the FCC's Triennial Review Order and review of the New Regulatory Framework.
As a CPUC Commissioner, Kennedy has become a leading voice for regulatory consistency, infrastructure investment and promoting economic development. She is a strong advocate for competition and regulatory restraint, particularly as it relates to emerging technologies in the area of telecommunications. She was among the first utility commissioners in the nation to speak out against regulation of Internet telephony, and has proposed that competition in the telecommunications industry be allowed to drive the development of new technologies and services without regulatory constraint.
Commissioner Kennedy has also taken on a leadership role in the area of advanced services, including broadband, internet telephony and wireless services. She is the Assigned Commissioner on Broadband Deployment, and was appointed by FCC Chairman Powell to serve on the Federal Communications Commission's Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Telecommunications Services. She also serves on the Board of Governors of the National Regulatory Research Institute and is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, where she serves on the Committee on Water and Resources, and the Committee on Finance and Technology.
Prior to joining the CPUC, Kennedy served as Cabinet Secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff in the administration of Governor Gray Davis. As Cabinet Secretary, she served as the principal liaison for the Governor to his cabinet and over 100 state agencies, departments, boards and commissions. She coordinated the development and implementation of major policy initiatives for the Governor, including all regulatory oversight, legislation, and development of the $100 billion State Budget. Among the significant policy initiatives Kennedy managed for the Governor: strengthening the state child support enforcement system, landmark HMO reform and a Patients Bill of Rights, the historic CalFed Record of Decision on restoration of the San Francisco Bay Delta, and improving health insurance programs for children.
During the California energy crisis, Kennedy coordinated administration efforts to streamline construction of new power plants and promote energy conservation. Under the Governor's emergency authority, she coordinated the activities of more than a dozen state agencies to simplify the permitting process, reducing the time required to obtain a permit for a power plant from an average of 12 months down to 21 days. She also drafted the Governor's Executive Orders that allowed maximum operation of privately owned and municipal power plants during energy alerts, generating more than 1,300 megawatts of additional power during the energy crisis. Under Kennedy's direction, California also launched the most aggressive, and most successful, energy conservation campaign ever conducted. California's "Flex Your Power" campaign is credited with saving more than 4,000 megawatts of electricity each day during peak use periods of the energy crisis, and has received national recognition and numerous awards for its success.
Prior to joining the Davis Administration, Kennedy served as Communications Director for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. As a senior member of the Senator's Washington, D.C. staff, Kennedy assisted the Senator with the development of legislation and policy initiatives, media relations, and community outreach.
Kennedy previously served as Executive Director of the California Democratic Party and as Executive Director of the California Abortion Rights Action League. She managed two of the most successful Get-Out-The-Vote campaigns in recent California history, including the 1992 Coordinated Campaign for Clinton/Gore and the 1998 Coordinated Campaign that elected Governor Gray Davis.
In addition to her service on the CPUC, Kennedy was confirmed by the California Senate on August 25, 2003 to serve on the California Bay-Delta Authority, the statewide body responsible for overseeing one of the largest water projects in the world - the $8 billion, 10-year restoration of the San Francisco Bay Delta ecosystem to increase storage, promote efficiency and protect California's extensive levee system.
A resident of Marin County, California, Kennedy attended San Francisco State University.
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