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Mark R. Kennedy
The Hon. Mark Kennedy writes on how to apply 360° Vision to bridge differences between business and society; the political left and right; the United States and the world.

Kennedy's unmatched combination of global experiences in business - expanding Häagen Dazs globally, serving as Treasurer of Macy's; politics - U.S. Congressman, international trade advisor under both Presidents Bush and Obama and now leading George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management fuels his passion for encouraging leaders to develop and discover new opportunities to bridge differences in order to succeed in life, politics, business, and world affairs.

Professor Kennedy has lectured at leading universities around the world, including the University of Pennsylvania, New York University, the Johns Hopkins University, the London Business School, HEC Paris, University of International Business and Economics (Beijing), Meiji University (Tokyo), the National University of Singapore, Fundação Getúlio Vargas (São Paulo, Brazil) and Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico).

Kennedy serves as chairman of the Economic Club of Minnesota. He is a member of the Economic Club of Washington and Chatham House in London.

John King of CNN said, “Kennedy doesn’t ignore the elephant in the room; to the contrary, he looks it straight in the eye.” Fred Barnes of FOX News called Kennedy “bold and smart.”

Kennedy has a record of effective collaboration. While a Republican congressman, he partnered with 20 Democrats to introduce and lead several pieces of legislation, and more than half of the Democrats in the U.S. House cosponsored one of his bills.

Entries by Mark R. Kennedy

EPA 'Slug Bug' of VW Highlights Need for Crisis Prevention

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2015 | 12:17 PM

Photo by Mark R. Kennedy

As VW is finding out, the political, regulatory, media, and activist actors that I call shapeholders may have little stake in its success but can significantly shape its opportunities and risks.

VW has already taken...

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Taylor Swift's Apple Approach Lives Up to Her Name

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 4:37 PM

Two groups prevailed in their quest to receive compensation for their labor, but one quickly convinced a broad coalition that "You Belong with Me" while another's efforts withered on the vine for decades.

It took raisin growers over six decades to get the U.S. Supreme Court to confirm that...

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TPA Pivot Is Democracy at Work

(10) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 12:30 PM

No one ever said legislating would be pretty.

President Barack Obama, Republican Congressional leaders and pro-trade Senate Democrats are working together to overcome special interest opposition on trade. This struggle is a perfect example of democracy functioning as it was constitutionally intended.

Those who lament partisan gridlock and...

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Indiana and Arkansas Fail to Understand That the Question Is Always the Answer

(2) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 5:00 PM

When dealing with the political, regulatory, media and activist actors that I call shapeholders, the question is the answer to every political contest.

Legislators in Indiana and Arkansas were the latest to find out this hard truth. In an increasingly contentious world, it is vital to know...

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Disruptive Innovators Must Navigate Political Resistance

(1) Comments | Posted March 6, 2015 | 1:21 PM

When launching a firm that pursues disruptive innovation, it's best that you authentically deliver your promised benefits to society while anticipating and assessing how and where the disrupted will attempt to fight back so that you can respond in a strategic manner.

When Uber launched its hail-a-car service, it...

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Advertising Purpose During the Super Bowl

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 2:12 PM

Many of the advertisements that companies ran during the Super Bowl reflected themes that advanced a societal aim. On the surface these ads seem completely altruistic. Deeper examination reveals that they reflect the company embracing a purpose for their business that benefits both their bottom line and society. That is...

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State of the Union Enhanced by Better Business-Government Relations

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 1:50 PM

In last night's State of the Union address, President Barack Obama was triumphant in taking credit for a growing economy, being "as free from the grip of foreign oil as we've been in almost 30 years," and noting that Russia's economy was "in tatters." What the president failed...

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In a Transactional Town, You Need Real Relationships

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 2:16 PM

Why did Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, win another term in the House on the first ballot Tuesday? It all comes down to one word: relationships.

"If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." That line, misattributed to President Harry Truman, has been taken as gospel by scores of...

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How An Election Night Loss Can Be Your First Victory

(1) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 9:05 AM

To all the candidates across the United States: tonight's the night, good luck. After a long day of pep talks and get out the vote efforts you're going to get the only set of poll numbers that matter. The people will speak and the verdict will be final.


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Change Coming Soon for Political Consultants

(1) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 5:31 PM

In his piece "You Lose, We Win: Consultants Profit Even When Candidates Underperform," Brendan Nyhan wonders when consultants will begin to "be held accountable for their performance on Election Day." That day is not only coming, but already happening. Political consulting is maturing in the same ways as...

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World Cup More Than a Game for Dilma Rousseff

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 2:43 PM

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was on hand for Thursday's World Cup opener in São Paulo cheering on the home team, which is without a doubt the republic's most popular state entity. Thanks to a fortuitous (or questionable depending upon your perspective) foul in the penalty box that led to a...

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Advocacy Is the Key to Truly Making a Difference in the Global Environment

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 3:39 PM

Believing in a candidate, cause or policy to move minds and markets is easy. Transforming from believer to leader, though, requires the essential skill of advocacy.

The powers of persuasion, prose, data, and engagement inherent in advocacy help both commerce and ideas to overcome the friction that...

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Hill Staffers: Your Reality Is Not Made for TV

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 10:27 AM

There are reports that a reality show starring "D.C. up-and-comers" is in the works. If you wanted to attach an anchor to your career in politics, my advice to you would be to sign up.

Whether this show ever gets off the ground remains to be seen,...

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Putin Is the Prototypical Political Opponent for U.S. Lawmakers

(1) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 6:04 PM

With his bellicose rhetoric and aggressive actions in the Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin is rapidly turning himself into the most hated Russian since Ivan Drago. His regime's sanctions against several White House officials and members of Congress were perhaps an attempt to counter penalties levied by...

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Seeing and Speaking 360 Degrees on Immigration

(5) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 10:04 AM

GSPM student Kara Dunford co-authored this piece

Earlier this week I shared one approach to tackling immigration reform devised by students at the Graduate School of Political Management. In the interest of being bipartisan, here is a presentation from that our students developed from the Republican perspective.

They worked...

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Consensus on Immigration Reform? These Students Think It's Possible

(25) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 6:07 PM

GSPM Student Jalakoi Solomon co-authored this piece

America is a nation of immigrants, whose hard work and determination have created the most prosperous and free nation in the history of mankind. Our country's diversity is a key component of our society and innovative economy. That is why it is so...

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Will Obama Go Big or Base on Budget?

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 7:07 AM

Federal budget plans are about much more than dollars and cents. The proposals provide a glimpse into the types of policies a leader favors and how much he or she is willing to risk to advance them.

Recently, two men have come forward with big proposals in an extremely...

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Camp and Hagel Swing for the Fences

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2014 | 12:30 PM

In an environment where others are only bunting, two individuals, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel are swinging for the fences with big plans that have the potential to shape policy for years to come. Camp is floating an overhaul of the...

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Hollywood's Secrets for Success

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 3:44 PM

It may not be destined for the silver screen, but my life story has had its Horatio Alger moments. The lessons learned from my first jobs picking strawberries, washing dishes, and pumping gas gave me the drive to become the first boy in my family to graduate from college. After...

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CVS Dropping Tobacco Can Benefit Both Its Bottom Line and Society

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2014 | 11:55 AM

GSPM Strategic Public Affairs Program Director Larry Parnell co-authored this piece

Society continues to place ever-higher standards of conduct upon corporations. Companies have also started to demand more of themselves and set the tone for others. CVS Caremark's decision to eliminate tobacco from its shelves is an example...

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