New York Power Auhority logo




Power Authority Board Elects Kessel President, CEO

Christine Pritchard

September 23, 2008


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Board of Trustees today elected Richard M. Kessel to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer.  NYPA, a non-profit, public-benefit energy corporation, is the largest state-owned electric utility in the nation.  

“Richard Kessel has extensive experience in both the energy industry and in consumer advocacy, and has the vision and leadership essential to advancing the Power Authority’s mission of providing clean, economical and reliable energy,” said Michael  J. Townsend, NYPA’s acting chairman. “I am confident that Mr. Kessel will lead NYPA in achieving its critical goals in advancing renewable energy, addressing New Yorkers’ energy needs through aggressive energy efficiency initiatives and partnering with other state officials to use its resources for job creation and retention throughout the state.”

Mr. Kessel, an expert on New York energy issues, served as chairman and chief executive officer of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) from 1997 to 2006, and chief executive officer in 2007. Prior to this, he served as LIPA Chairman from 1989 to 1997. Mr. Kessel was responsible for several notable achievements during his tenure at LIPA.

Mr. Kessel helped negotiate LIPA’s acquisition of Long Island Lighting Company, which contributed to an immediate reduction in utility rates on Long Island. Mr. Kessel led the decommissioning of the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant, the first closing of a commercial nuclear facility in the United States. Mr. Kessel received regional and national recognition for LIPA’s commitment to the next generation of clean energy technologies such as fuel cells and wind power.

Mr. Kessel began his career in public service as Executive Director of the New York State Consumer Protection Board from 1983 to 1995, where he successfully negotiated rate freeze agreements with Consolidated Edison, Niagara Mohawk, and Orange and Rockland Utilities. Mr. Kessel was a Professor of Consumer Studies at Five Towns College from 1995 to 1997. He also taught at Brooklyn College from 1975 to 1983.

He served on the Board of Trustees for Nassau County Community College from 1981 to 2000, and was appointed to serve on the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority from 2000 until 2007.

Mr. Kessel attended Colgate University and then received a bachelor's degree from New York University and his master's degree from Columbia University.

Mr. Kessel will join the Power Authority on October 14, 2008.

 About NYPA:

■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.  ■   For more information, please go to

Return to Press Center