Jessie J. Knight, MBA

Member, JCVI Board of Trustees
Executive Vice President, Sempra Energy (retired)


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Jessie J. Knight Jr. retired November 2015 as executive vice president for Sempra Energy and chairman of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas Company, both subsidiaries of Sempra Energy. Sempra Energy is a San Diego-based Fortune 500 energy services holding company whose subsidiaries provide electricity, natural gas and value-added products and services with 17,000 employees, and serving over 32 million consumers worldwide. From 2010 through 2013, he was chairman and CEO of San Diego Gas & Electric.

Before joining Sempra Energy in 2006, Knight was president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, which represents 2,800 companies with more than 400,000 employees.

From 1993 to 1999, Knight was commissioner for the California Public Utilities Commission, the agency with regulatory oversight for California’s energy, telecommunications, railroad safety, 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 to 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.

Knight began his corporate career in 1975 with Dole Food Company Inc., where he worked 10 years in both domestic and Latin American operations, including five years as director of marketing for the U.S. and Canadian Dole pineapple business.

Knight is a board member of the Seattle-based Alaska Airlines (NYSE: ALK), the J. Craig Venter Institute, the U. S. Chamber of Commerce (Washington D.C.), the Timken Museum and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.  He is a trustee of the University of California San Diego Foundation, and is on the advisory boards of the Rady School of Management, Calit2, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

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-Madison.