Michael Chesser is a nonresident senior fellow in the Energy Security Initiative, part of the Foreign Policy Program at Brookings. He is retired as chairman and chief executive officer of Great Plains Energy and its subsidiary, Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L). He joined Great Plains Energy and KCP&L in October 2003 and retired as CEO in May of 2012 and chairman of the board in May of 2013.
Chesser’s notable career in the utility industry began at Baltimore Gas and Electric. He subsequently served as president and chief operating officer at Atlantic Energy Inc., chairman and CEO at Itron Inc. and president and CEO at GPU Energy, an electric utility serving New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Great Plains Energy, he was chairman and CEO of United Water, which owns and operates several regulated water utilities along with its contract operations.
Chesser received a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Master of Business Administration in finance from Loyola College, Baltimore. He is a graduate of the advanced management program at Harvard University and a member of the Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni of Georgia Institute of Technology.
While at Great Plains Energy, Chesser took a national role in the research and development of energy technologies as chairman of the Electric Power Research Institute’s board of directors. He also served as a member of the board of directors of the Edison Electric Institute; Polypore Inc., based in Charlotte, N.C.; and Allegion, based in Swords, Ireland. Currently, Chesser serves on the executive committee of the Committee for Economic Development in Washington, D.C., where he chairs the subcommittee on education.