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Mark R. Kennedy
The Hon. Mark Kennedy has acquired a unique combination of perspectives from his experiences leading in C-suites, serving in the halls of Congress, leading a premier academic institution and traveling around the world to engage business, political and civic leaders in nearly 40 countries. Kennedy shares insights taken from his broad experiences that overturn conventional wisdom.

Kennedy leads the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, the first and foremost graduate school of applied politics, and serves as a professor of political management. Previously, Kennedy led as a senior executive of a Fortune 100 company (Macy’s), helped Pillsbury acquire Häagen Dazs and expand its markets around the world, served three terms in the U.S. Congress (2001 to 2007) and then returned to the private sector in a global role with Accenture, a leading consulting firm, while continuing public service as a presidential appointee to the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy under both President Bush and President Obama.

Kennedy shares insights into how political dynamics affect you, your company and your country; how society can best address its most vexing challenges (preserving competitiveness, balancing budgets and reigniting trade); and how businesses can effectively engage with political, regulatory, media and activist group forces to simultaneously advance their market strategies and benefit society.

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, the University of Mannheim, the National University of Singapore, and Fundação Getúlio Vargas (São Paulo, Brazil). Kennedy also serves as chairman of the Economic Club of Minnesota.

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

Change Coming Soon for Political Consultants

(1) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 4:31 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

(1) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 1:43 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 | 2:39 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 | 9:27 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 | 5:04 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 | 9:04 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 | 5:07 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 | 6:07 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 | 11:30 AM

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 | 2:44 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 | 10:55 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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Political New Year's Resolution - Say Yes to Action

(0) Comments | Posted January 4, 2014 | 8:40 AM

As the "Just Say No" approach that forced a fruitless U.S. government shutdown goes global, political leaders and voters in America, Europe and elsewhere must resolve to make 2014 a year to say yes to action. A world seeking desperately to find the path towards renewed economic vibrancy...

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My Advice for President Obama

(27) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 2:39 PM

It seems like every new poll shows President Obama's approval rating slipping lower and lower. The second term slump is nothing new for presidents. In fact, it's generally been the rule rather than the exception.

What has been striking is how quickly Democrats have started

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Time to Revive JFK's 'Ask Not' Call

(23) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 4:22 PM

It is one of the most famous lines ever uttered in an inaugural address: "Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country." President John F. Kennedy's call sought to invigorate a nation that was just beginning to use...

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Remembering President Kennedy Then and Now

(24) Comments | Posted November 15, 2013 | 8:15 AM

Larry Lane co-authored this piece.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, many Americans are remembering where they were that fateful November afternoon.

I will never forget my first grade teacher interrupting my first grade class to tell us that John F. Kennedy had been shot....

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2016 Score Sheet: Shutdown Edition

(3) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 11:13 AM

The presidential election is three years away, but the recent government shutdown and the way aspirants responded to it will be a key metric for partisans choosing their next nominee. So how did they fare?

Some lawmakers jumped up or onto the charts, whereas others took a step back....

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Students Seek Solutions, Hopefully Congress Can Too

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2013 | 2:34 PM


Students meeting and sharing solutions with Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Penn.

Graduate School of Political Management student Lisette Garcia co-authored this piece

Ours is the longest-running democracy in the world, a status we achieved by not buckling at every turn. We have survived forces from without...

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US Faces Hangover From Short Term Highs

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2013 | 4:07 PM

GSPM Professor Lara Brown co-authored this piece

Why has the government shut down and why is there uncertainty over the fate of the debt ceiling later this month? Facing a difficult path ahead, some politicians on both sides of the aisle continue to choose short-term highs (base building and political...

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The Value of a Full Spectrum View

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2013 | 12:53 PM

My very first quote in the media nearly three decades ago addressed an innovative financing I had just completed as a corporate financial executive. I said, "It doesn't matter what I think. It matters what the market thinks." Whether you are a financier, a retailer, an entertainer, or a political...

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Syria Politics Perilous for President Obama

(18) Comments | Posted August 30, 2013 | 3:04 PM

Leaving aside whether or not military action in Syria is a wise policy move for President Obama, politically a move to consult with Congress and debate the matter on the floor offers both risk and reward for the White House. In the worst case, the president suffers a

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