Jessie J. Knight, Jr.
Jessie J. Knight is chairman of San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E); chairman of SoCalGas, an affiliate of SDG&E; and executive vice president for Sempra Energy. SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 861,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.
Previously, Knight was executive vice president of external affairs and chief sustainability officer for Sempra Energy, where he oversaw all communications, government relations, regulatory and international affairs, as well as corporate social responsibility.
From 2010 through 2013, he was chairman and CEO of SDG&E. Prior to that, he was executive vice president of external affairs for Sempra Energy.
Before joining Sempra Energy in 2006, Knight was president and chief executive officer of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, which represents 2,800 companies with more than 400,000 employees. The San Diego chamber is the largest business organization in California and the third largest chamber of commerce in the western United States.
From 1993 to 1999, Knight was commissioner for the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), after being appointed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson. The agency has regulatory oversight for California’s energy, telecommunications, railroad, transportation and water industries.
Prior to his appointment as CPUC commissioner, Knight was executive vice president of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, responsible for international operations, economic development and business development for that chamber’s 2,100 businesses.
From 1985 and until 1992, Knight was vice president of marketing for the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner newspapers, overseeing business-to-business and circulation marketing, research and strategic planning. While there, he won five coveted national Clio Awards for television, radio, and print advertising and a Cannes Film Festival Golden Lion Award for business marketing.
Knight began his corporate career in 1975 with Dole Food Company Inc., where he worked 10 years in both domestic and international operations, including five years as director of marketing for the U.S. and Canadian pineapple business, Dole's largest subsidiary.
Knight is a board member of the Seattle-based Alaska Air Group and Alaska Airlines (NYSE: ALK), life member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and member of the corporate council of the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.
Knight earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University, was a fellow of the University of Madrid, and holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin.