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API names Paul G. Afonso Vice President and Chief Legal Officer


202.682.8114 | press@api.org



Strategic addition expands API’s legal reach, bolsters executive leadership team

WASHINGTON, September 18, 2019 – The American Petroleum Institute today named Paul G. Afonso as its new vice president and chief legal officer. Afonso is a partner and currently serves as co-practice leader of the energy, utilities and environmental group at Brown Rudnick in Boston.

“Paul comes to API with deep energy, legislative, and regulatory experience, and we are lucky to have him, said Mike Sommers, API president and CEO. “Paul’s background in both the public and private sectors is a perfect fit for our association, which sits at the intersection of the two. His leadership will add substantial value to an already first-rate legal team here at API, and I’m thrilled to welcome him aboard.” 

“I’m honored to join the flagship association for this industry, which is so foundational and critical to our country and our planet,” said incoming vice president and chief legal officer, Paul Afonso. “I’m grateful to have the opportunity to help lead this talented team into the future in the service of all our members.”

"Given Paul's extensive energy, legislative and regulatory experience, API could not have chosen a better candidate for vice president and chief legal officer," said William Baldiga, Partner and CEO of Brown Rudnick LLP. "We are saddened to lose such an extraordinary partner and wish Paul the best in this new venture," added Baldiga.

With over 25 years of energy, legislative and regulatory experience, Afonso has served at senior levels in state and city government as well as a trusted advisor to C-Suite energy executives in private practice.

Afonso served as both Chairman and General Counsel of the Massachusetts Public Utilities Commission as well as Chairman of the Energy Facilities Board. During his tenure at the state’s chief energy regulator, he led a talented group of professionals overseeing the development of competitive electricity markets, gas and electric transmission infrastructure projects; the development of renewable energy projects and energy efficiency programs, while maintaining a safe, reliable and affordable energy sector for Massachusetts consumers. He also served as President of the New England Conference of Public Utility Commissioners.

Afonso also served the City of Boston when Mayor Thomas M. Menino appointed him as Chairman of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission where he led New England’s largest and oldest water infrastructure system.

Most recently has been in private practice with Brown Rudnick in Boston and Washington, serving as the firm’s Co-Practice leader of the Energy and Utilities practice and the Boston Government Law & Strategies Group. In his practice he has served clients in the electric, gas, telecommunications, renewable energy, energy infrastructure and innovative technology sectors.

He is a graduate of Boston College Carroll School of Management and the Georgetown University Law Center. 

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the natural gas and oil industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 47 million Americans. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In its first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.