Chairman Robert S. Kenney was appointed to the Missouri Public Service Commission on July 29, 2009 by Governor Jay Nixon. He was unanimously confirmed by the Missouri State Senate on January 13, 2010. He was named Chairman of the PSC by Governor Nixon on March 1, 2013.
Since his appointment, Chairman Kenney has been working proactively to enhance the quality of regulation at the PSC. To this end, he has instituted programs aimed at elevating the level of advocacy at the commission and the level of consumer outreach and education. Chairman Kenney is responsible for the creation of the PSC's Speakers Bureau, the annual Public Utility Law Symposium, and the creation of a dedicated Consumer Outreach and Education Specialist.
A nationally recognized leader in public utility law and regulation, Chairman Kenney serves on the boards and advisory boards of numerous organizations including: Institute for Electric Efficiency; National Regulatory Research Institute; Electric Power Research Institute; Financial Research Institute at the University of Missouri, Columbia; Eastern Interconnection States' Planning Council; Critical Consumer Issues Forum; and the Center for Public Utilities at New Mexico State University.
Chairman Kenney is an active member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). He serves as Chair of the Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment and on the NARUC Board of Directors. He also serves on the Consumer Affairs Committee, the Subcommittee on Utility Market Place Access, and the International Relations Committee.
Chairman Kenney served as President of the Organization of MISO States from 2011 to 2013. As President of the Organization of MISO States, Chairman Kenney led efforts to enhance and strengthen the role of the state regulatory sector in the MISO market. His leadership resulted in enhanced authority for the OMS whereby the OMS has the ability to make certain filings pursuant to section 205 of the Federal Power Act. This major enhancement will provide state regulators increased ability to protect the consumers' interests.
Prior to his appointment to the PSC, Chairman Kenney served as Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster's Chief of Staff.
As Chief of Staff, Chairman Kenney was instrumental in leading the office through the transition process. He was responsible for overall management of the Attorney General's attorney and non-attorney employees in five offices throughout the state. Chairman Kenney was also responsible for managing and litigating complex cases involving, among other things, election law, petition initiatives, and representation of statewide elected officials. Chairman Kenney was also tasked with monitoring and advocating on behalf of legislation affecting the Attorney General's Office. As a part of the executive leadership team, Chairman Kenney was responsible for the management and administration of a $23 million budget. Chairman Kenney also acted as the primary liaison with multiple constituencies including the Missouri General Assembly, statewide elected officials, local/municipal elected officials and leaders, and the labor, law enforcement, agriculture, minority, and other communities.
Previously, Chairman Kenney was a shareholder at the St. Louis law firm Polsinelli Shalton Flanigan Suelthaus PC (now Polsinelli Shughart), where he practiced in the commercial and business litigation practice group and the product liability practice group. He litigated complex cases in state and federal courts in Missouri, Illinois, and other courts throughout the country. Chairman Kenney chaired Polsinelli's diversity committee and served on the firm's recruiting committee.
Prior to his time in private practice at Polsinelli, Chairman Kenney was an Assistant Attorney General in the Missouri Attorney General's Office, practicing in the Consumer Protection Division. In that division, Chairman Kenney worked to enforce state and federal consumer protection laws. Chairman Kenney also served the community by implementing community education and outreach efforts. Chairman Kenney also played an instrumental role in the initial implementation and enforcement of Missouri's Telemarketing No-Call List Law.
Chairman Kenney remains actively involved in a host of civic and bar related activities. Chairman Kenney is a member of the Missouri Bar Board of Governors. Chairman Kenney served as the Co-Chair of the 2009-2010 Missouri Bar Leadership Academy. He is Vice-Chair of the Missouri Bar's Twenty-Second Circuit Judicial Evaluation Committee and Vice-Chair of the Missouri Bar's Environmental and Energy Law Committee. Chairman Kenney is a past President of the Mound City Bar Association. Chairman Kenney has also served as a member of the board of governors of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, serving as a presidential liaison.
Chairman Kenney has served on the Board of Trustees for Fontbonne University, the Board of Directors for The St. Louis Black Repertory Theater, and the Board of Directors for the Portfolio Gallery and Educational Center. Chairman Kenney is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Epsilon Lambda Chapter.
Chairman Kenney appears in the St. Louis Business Journal's Who's Who in Energy and has received its Inclusive Leadership and 40 Under 40 Awards. He was recognized by Missouri Lawyers Weekly as an "Up and Coming Lawyer" and by Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers, as a "Rising Star" in the Business Litigation practice area. Chairman Kenney also appears in Who's Who In Black St. Louis.
Chairman Kenney earned his undergraduate degree in 1994 from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. He earned his law degree in 1998 from Saint Louis University School of Law. While in law school, Chairman Kenney was an Articles Editor for the Saint Louis University Public Law Review. He was also a member of the National Moot Court Team and the Moot Court Board. He is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Illinois (inactive). He is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the Energy Bar Association, and the Mound City Bar Association
Chairman Kenney is married to Michelle (Oakley) Kenney. They have two children: daughter, Mackenzie; and son, Robert, Jr. They live in the Carondelet neighborhood in the City of St. Louis, Missouri.