​​​​​​Meet the Board of Directors

At CenterPoint Energy, our board of directors and executive management team are committed to building a company that is Always There for its customers, employees and shareholders.

Leslie D. Biddle Leslie D. Biddle has been a director since April 2018. She has served as a Partner and the President of Serengeti Asset Management since 2013 where she heads its risk committee and its energy research efforts. Before joining Serengeti, Ms. Biddle spent nearly ten years at Goldman Sachs, where she was most recently Global Head of Commodity Sales and the Chief Financial Officer of its investments in the metals and mining sector. Ms. Biddle was responsible for many of the structured transactions in the private equity and power spaces, including the Texas Genco acquisition and the TXU leveraged buyout, and was also a member of Goldman Sachs’ Finance Committee, Business Practices Committee, Firmwide New Activity Committee, Structured Investment Products Committee and European Audit and Compliance Committee. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Ms. Biddle served as a Vice President at the AES Corporation focusing on project finance and power plant development. Ms. Biddle has served on the Board of Directors of Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. since March 2017. She also serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Colby College.
Milton Carroll Milton Carroll, age 68, has been a director since 1992. He has served as Executive Chairman since June 2013 and previously served as Chairman from September 2002 until May 2013. Mr. Carroll has served as a director of Halliburton Company since 2006. He has served as a director of Health Care Service Corporation since 1998 and as its chairman since 2002. He previously served as a director of Western Midstream Partners, LP from February 2019 to August 2019, Western Gas Holdings, LLC, the general partner of Western Gas Partners, LP, from 2008 to February 2019, LyondellBasell Industries N.V. from July 2010 to July 2016 and LRE GP, LLC, the general partner of LRR Energy, L.P., from November 2011 to January 2014.
David Lesar David J. Lesar has been a director since May 2020. Mr. Lesar has served as the Interim Chief Executive Officer of Health Care Service Corporation, a member-owned health insurance company, since July 2019 and as a director since 2018. He will step down as Interim Chief Executive Officer on June 1, 2020. Previously, Mr. Lesar served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Halliburton Company from 2000 to 2017, as its Executive Chairman from June 2017 to December 2018 and in other leadership roles since joining the company in 1993 including as its Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He has also served on the board of directors of Cordant Technologies, Lyondell Chemical Company, Southern Company, Mirant Corporation (now GenOn Energy) and Agrium, Inc.
Scott J. McLean Scott J. McLean has been a director since December 2013. Since March 2014, Mr. McLean has been President of Zions Bancorporation and assumed the additional title of Chief Operating Officer in June 2015, and he joined its Board of Directors in October 2018. He also serves as Chairman of Amegy Bank of Texas, where he previously served as Chief Executive Officer from December 2009 through February 2014 and President from July 2003 to December 2009. Prior to joining Amegy in 2002, he was with JPMorgan Chase for 23 years, where he served in a number of roles, including President in Dallas, Chief Executive Officer in El Paso and President in Houston. He currently serves on the Southern Methodist University Board of Trustees, the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System board and the United Way of Greater Houston board.
Martin Nesbitt Martin H. Nesbitt has been a director since April 2018. Since 2013, he has served as Co-Chief Executive Officer of The Vistria Group, LLC, a Chicago-based investment firm focused on the education, healthcare and financial services industries. Prior to co-founding Vistria, Mr. Nesbitt served as Chief Executive Officer of PRG Parking Management (known as The Parking Spot), an owner and operator of off-airport parking facilities, from 1996 to 2012. Prior to The Parking Spot, Mr. Nesbitt also served as officer of the Pritzker Realty Group, L.P. and as Vice President and Investment Manager at LaSalle Partners, with a variety of responsibilities including investment management for regional retail properties. Mr. Nesbitt has served on the Boards of Directors of Jones Lang LaSalle since 2011, Norfolk Southern Corporation since 2013 and American Airlines Group, Inc. since 2015. He is a Trustee of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art and serves as Chairman of the Barack Obama Foundation.
R.A. Walker Theodore F. Pound has been a director since April 2015. Mr. Pound is a private investor. He served as Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Select Energy Services, LLC, a private company providing water solutions and well-site services to energy producers, from January 2013 to January 2016. He previously served as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Allis-Chalmers Energy, Inc., a publicly traded oilfield services company, from September 2004 to March 2011, when it was acquired by Seawall Limited. Mr. Pound has practiced law in Texas for nearly 40 years, primarily in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, securities, compliance and governance.
Susan O. Rheney Susan O. Rheney has been a director since July 2008. Ms. Rheney is a private investor and a Managing Director of Kerr-Rheney Group, LLC, a consulting firm providing services to charitable organizations. She served as a director of QEP Midstream Partners GP, LLC, the general partner of QEP Midstream Partners, LP, a former publicly traded limited partnership which owned, operated, acquired and developed midstream energy assets consisting primarily of interests in gathering systems and pipelines to provide natural gas and crude oil gathering and transportation services, from June 2013 until July 2015, when QEP Midstream Partners, LP was acquired. From 2002 until March 2010, she served as a director of Genesis Energy, Inc., the general partner of Genesis Energy, LP, a publicly traded limited partnership. From 2003 to 2005, she was a director of Cenveo, Inc. and served as chairman of the board from January to August 2005. She also served until 2001 as a principal with The Sterling Group, a private financial and investment organization. Ms. Rheney is a National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Fellow.
Phillip R. Smith

Phillip R. Smith has been a director since March 2014. Since December 2019, Mr. Smith has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Marathon-Sparta Holdings, Inc., a private company involved in non-healthcare related employee benefits programs and affiliated through common ownership with Torch Energy Advisors, Inc., a private energy company with interests in oil, gas and renewable energy, where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer from January 2013 through December 2019. Prior to joining Torch, Mr. Smith was a partner with KPMG LLP from 2002 to September 2012. Mr. Smith also serves on the Board of Directors and as audit committee chair for Oilstone Energy Services, Inc., a position he has held since October 2014.

Barry Smitherman

Barry T. Smitherman has been a director since May 2020. He is principle of BARRY SMITHERMAN, P.C. and a former partner at Vinson & Elkins LLP. Mr. Smitherman served as Texas Railroad Commissioner from 2011 through 2014 and was Chairman of the Commission from March 2012 through August 2014. Prior to joining the Railroad Commission of Texas, Mr. Smitherman was Chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), a position he held from November 2007 through July 2011. His service as a PUCT Commissioner began in April 2004. Over this time period, Mr. Smitherman served two terms on the U.S. Department of Energy Electricity Advisory Committee, on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), Chairman of the NARUC Gas Committee, on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Board of Directors, and on the Regional State Committee of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). Prior to beginning public service, he spent 16 years as a public finance investment banker with several prominent firms, including J.P. Morgan Securities, The First Boston Corporation (now part of Credit Suisse), Lazard, and Banc One Capital Markets (now part of JP MorganChase). Mr. Smitherman also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas School of Law. He received his J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law, his M.P.A. from Harvard University, and his B.B.A. summa cum laude from Texas A&M University.

John Somerhalder

John W. Somerhalder II has been a director since October 2016. He was named Interim President and Chief Executive Officer in February 2020. Mr. Somerhalder is a private investor. He most recently served as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of Colonial Pipeline Company, a privately held company that operates a refined liquid petroleum products pipeline system, from February 2017 to October 2017. Prior to joining Colonial Pipeline Company, Mr. Somerhalder served as President, Chief Executive Officer and as a director of AGL Resources Inc., a former publicly traded energy services holding company, whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas, from March 2006 through December 2015 and as Chairman of the Board of AGL Resources Inc. from November 2007 through December 2015. Prior to joining AGL Resources Inc., he served in a number of roles with El Paso Corporation, a publicly traded natural gas and related energy products provider, and its subsidiaries since 1977, including as Executive Vice President. Mr. Somerhalder currently serves on the board of directors of Enable GP, LLC, the general partner of Enable Midstream Partners, LP. He served as a director of Crestwood Equity GP LLC, the general partner of Crestwood Equity Partners LP, from 2013 to February 2020 and as a director of SunCoke Energy Partners, L.P., from 2017 to July 2019. He also serves as director and trustee on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations .