Michael Connelly is a proven authority in diversity inclusion and development in both the legal profession and energy industry. In his roles from 1990 to 2012 with Xcel Energy-vice president of human resources, vice president and general counsel, and later senior vice president of strategy and planning-Connelly used his leadership and influence to guarantee the law firms with which Xcel did business paid “more than ’lip service’ to the notion of diversity and inclusion, and, where deficient, had concrete plans for improvement.”
Connelly earned a B.A. in economics with a concentration in science, technology, and public policy from Carleton College before completing a J.D. degree at the University of Chicago in 1986. From 1986 to 1990 he was an associate attorney at Oppenheimer, Wolff, and Donnelly in St. Paul. Recently he started a business consulting practice, JBL Consulting.
Since 2004, Connelly has been a director and now chair of the Twin Cities Housing Development Corporation; he is also a trustee for Friends of the St. Paul Public Library (2008-present), a board member of the Greater Twin Cities United Way (2008-2012), and a board member and chair of Twin Cities Diversity in Practice (2010–2012). In 2011, Governor Mark Dayton appointed Connelly to the Governor’s Health Care Reform Task Force.
In 2010 Connelly received the Qwest Diversity Trailblazer Award. That year he was also a panelist on the topic of social responsibility in corporate governance for the Society of Corporate Secretaries & Governance Professionals and on best practices for women’s advancement in the legal profession at Dorsey & Whitney.