Meet the Keynote Speaker: Hon. Joseph P. Kennedy III
Joseph P. Kennedy III has dedicated his career to social and economic justice, fighting for the basic needs of every American family and a political system that is inclusive, representative, and fair. The U.S. Representative for Massachusetts’s 4th congressional district from 2013-2021, he ran for office to tackle the systemic inequities – from health care and housing to climate and education – that have left countless American families locked out and left behind. A former Peace Corps member, legal aid volunteer, and assistant district attorney, he has worked tirelessly for the people most at risk, most marginalized, and most in need.
Over his four terms in the House of Representatives, Kennedy emerged as a national figure in the Democratic Party’s most pivotal debates while demonstrating a unique talent for building diverse coalitions and the political will to get things done. Sitting on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, he built an impressive legislative record in a polarized Washington – spearheading bipartisan efforts to extend mental health coverage for children and pregnant women, support the domestic manufacturing industry, protect consumer voices online, make hearing aids more affordable, and defend access to legal assistance for struggling families.
Kennedy is currently the Managing Director at Citizens Energy, a non-profit energy company founded in 1979 by his father, Joseph P. Kennedy II. Under its innovative business model, Citizens builds major energy infrastructure projects while serving the needs of low-income and frontline communities. Throughout its history, Citizens has provided millions of citizens with free or discounted heating oil, run global and national energy ventures, developed the largest low-income community solar program in the nation and pays the heating bills of over 130 homeless shelters and food pantries across Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Kennedy was elected to Congress in 2012, after serving as an Assistant District Attorney in Massachusetts. He is the founder of Groundwork Project, a non-profit dedicated to supporting local community organizing efforts in communities that do not receive the investment they deserve. He serves on numerous non-profit boards, including the Woodwell Climate Research Center, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate and is a special advisor to the Poor Peoples Campaign.
He attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School and spent two years in the United States Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. He is married to Lauren Birchfield Kennedy and they have two young children, Eleanor and James and a rescue dog, Banjo.