Mr. Hemphill for much of his career was employed at AES, a global electric power generating and distribution company, where he served as Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff to the CEO. Hemphill was one of the three executives who started the company in 1981, growing it from a million dollar six person start up. AES owns and operates 32,000 MW of power plants in 18 countries around the globe, is publicly listed on the NYSE, and had approximately $39 billion in assets and $17 billion of revenues in 2014.He initiated and led the transaction by which AES entered into the wind business– the purchase of SeaWest, a 90 MW wind company, in 2004. He also started the AES utility battery storage business, which has now grown to be the largest such utility effort in the world.
Hemphill was the Founder and CEO of AES Solar Power Ltd from its inception until the end of 2013. The company, formed in March 2008, was a joint venture of the AES Corporation and Riverstone LLC, an energy focused private equity fund. AES Solar grew from a small start-up to become a leading developer, owner and operator of utility-scale photovoltaic solar plants providing power to the grid. Under his leadership, the company designed, permitted, financed and constructed fifty-one solar plants (526 MW) in seven countries: Spain, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, India and the US, a portfolio of $2.5 billion in assets.
Since leaving AES Solar, Hemphill has published two books about his energy, international and business experience: Dust Tea, Dingoes and Dragons, and Stories from the Middle Seat. He is a columnist for Huffington Post, and advises several small renewable energy companies. He is on the Advisory Board of the Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy, and the Advisory Board of the UCSD California Institute for Innovation and Development.
Earlier in his career he was a senior policy official at the Department of Energy and Deputy Manager of Power at the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Mr. Hemphill has served on a number of Boards of Directors of for profit companies, including the AES Corporation, AltairNano, an advanced battery company, American Grid, an energy conservation company, and Phoenix Motorcars International, an electric car company. He has been on the board of several non-profits including the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the US Botanic Garden, the Museum of Contemporary Art of La Jolla and Counterpart International.
Mr. Hemphill graduated Magna Cum Laude from Yale University and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He has earned an MA from UCLA and an MBA from George Washington University. He served as an airborne infantry officer in the US Army in Vietnam, and in the Special Forces. He was awarded a combat infantryman’s badge and Senior Parachutist wings.