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James Y. Kerr II

Vice Chair, UNC Institute for the Environment Board of Visitors; Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Southern Company Gas
Atlanta, GA


Jim Kerr is vice chair of the UNC Institute for the Environment’s Board of Visitors. In April of 2023, he was named the chairman of the board of directors, CEO and president of Southern Company Gas. Prior to his current position, Kerr was executive vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer of Southern Company, which is one of America’s largest electricity providers.

Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company and serves 4.4 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with more than 600,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas.

Previously, Kerr was a partner at McGuireWoods LLP and senior advisor at McGuireWoods Consulting LLC, where he co-chaired the energy industry team. He joined McGuireWoods in 2008, serving clients in various sectors of the energy industry, including Southern Company. Kerr has also been active in other electric utility matters, including transmission and generation siting and development, environmental regulation, energy efficiency and smart grid.

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. Kerr is a member of the Georgia Aquarium board of directors. He previously served on the board of directors of Consert Inc., a company focused on smart grid initiatives, and as a member of the board of directors for the Electric Power Research Institute. 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.