Ontario Smith is a seasoned professional with a diverse background in leadership, policy, politics, community engagement, and infrastructure development. He currently holds the position of Principal of Infrastructure and Land Use Strategy and serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Somos Group.
In these roles, Ontario is deeply committed to addressing complex challenges related to labor, land use, and infrastructure in the state of California. His distinctive approach revolves around fostering collaboration among various stakeholders to drive innovative solutions that transcend the limitations of individual projects.
Ontario began his career at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, where he initially led regulatory efforts related to ratemaking. As he progressed within the organization, he took on the responsibility of leading local lobbying and community outreach strategies in the City and County of San Francisco. His work included pivotal projects such as renegotiating the Interconnection Agreement at FERC, gaining approval for significant transmission and distribution projects within the city, and providing testimony at the CPUC regarding competitive issues and energy procurement.
After his tenure at PG&E, Ontario assumed the role of leading local and state regulatory relations for AT&T as a regional director. In this capacity, he concentrated on the deployment of fiber and critical infrastructure, including FirstNet.
In 2018, Ontario co-founded S2 Partners, a public affairs and strategy firm headquartered in San Francisco. The primary focus of this firm is to enhance relationships between clients, local and state government officials, local stakeholders, and organized labor. Ontario’s mission at S2 Partners has been to establish an environment where collaborative zoning, land use, and workforce strategies are developed to ensure that important projects receive equitable design, approval, and construction in diverse communities. His analytical, policy, and political expertise have played a pivotal role in transforming this vision into reality.
In 2023, Ontario and his team merged S2 Partners with a group of planners, attorneys, and communications professionals to establish Somos Group. Somos Group is a multi-disciplinary team of experts dedicated to creating effective solutions that enhance community resilience, promote economic development, increase social equity, and accelerate prosperity.