William E. “Wilber” James Co-Founder & General Partner

William E. “Wilber” James

Path to RockPort

Wilber has been an energy entrepreneur for over three decades. He pioneered the unregulated marketing and trading of crude oil and petroleum products, natural gas, and electricity as Chairman and CEO of Citizens Corporation, an unaffiliated, independent energy company. Building on that success, he expanded into oil exploration and energy conservation. He created Citizens Lehman Power, a joint venture between Lehman Brothers and Citizens that was the nation’s first electricity trading and asset acquisition/restructuring company, and then successfully sold it to The Energy Group PLC. Prior to co-founding RockPort, Wilber was Non-Executive Chairman of Citizens Power and a member of the Executive Committee of Peabody Energy, and was instrumental in the LBO of Peabody and Citizens from The Energy Group in 1998. Wilber is a graduate of Colorado College with a BA in History.

Other Passions & Pursuits

  • Peabody Energy Corporation, board member
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Center for Regenerative Medicine Innovation Fund, co-founder.
  • Defense Venture Catalyst Initiative, co-founder.
  • African Wildlife Foundation, director and former acting chairman.
  • National Peace Corps Association, member of the advisory board and Peace Corps (Kenya) alumnus.
  • Cape Ann Museum (Massachusetts), trustee.
  • Colby College Museum (Maine), trustee.


Company Boards serving on

Co-founded RockPort

Colorado College


Wilber’s life’s calling is creating jobs and empowering others. The field of venture capital blends his passion for supporting entrepreneurs with his ability to foresee unconventional business opportunities. He believes that VC-backed companies will play a leading role in making the U.S. energy-independent, while fueling the economy with high quality jobs and addressing the need to safeguard natural resources