Mark Kennedy
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Pitchforks Into Profits

Political actors have a strategy for your business. Do you have one for them?


Business success requires effectively engaging what Kennedy defined as shapeholders — the political, regulatory, media, and activist actors that shape a firm's opportunities and risks. See Mark's Seven Steps for Shapeholder Success.

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Kennedy’s 360° Insights

 Globally engaged business executive, Congressman, Professor


 Kennedy is a thought leader on engaging to win, whether businesses engaging society, officials seeking to govern, advocates pressing to achieve or avert action, or countries marshaling support for global action.

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Bring Kennedy's ideas to your organization

Kennedy speaks and leads executive education programs around the world on Pitchforks Into Profits, politics, trade, and world affairs.

Contact to confirm availability and honorarium.

Sign up for Kennedy's insights on public affairs or trade.

Kennedy in the news.

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BNew Online Course Offerings for GW

GW Today article announcing courses by Mark Kennedy and Ben Bernanke

March 11, 2015

"Business in a Political Age," will be taught by Mark Kennedy, director of the Graduate School of Political Management. Focusing on the interweaving paths of business and political interests, students will focus on case studies, taking the roles of major players in current and historical events."

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Unions to make trade pacts an issue in U.S. 2016 campaigns

Reuters Article

May 10, 2015

I was one of the "nineteen former lawmakers from both parties wrote to Congress on Tuesday urging support for the fast-track bill, including former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle, a Democrat, and Trent Lott, a Republican."

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Republicans Must Support Free Markets and Fast Track

Foreign Policy Opinion Piece

March 9, 2015

"the Republican brand stands for anything at all, it's a belief in free markets. Advancing free trade agreements has the added benefit of spreading that ethos beyond our borders to the benefit of global society.

However: before passing a free trade agreement, Congress must first pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), or so called "Fast Track," to allow American negotiators to effectively negotiate a deal with other nations. There is no doubt that opposing TPA is tempting for some Republicans outraged by President Barack Obama's preference for executive action over earnest negotiation in other arenas. Republicans that make the case for abandoning the party's keystone commitment to free markets to spite a president who will be gone in under two years are doing a disservice to themselves and the GOP."

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LDisruptive Innovators Must Navigate Political Resistance

Huffington Post - Business

Photo (© Kennedy ) - London

March 6, 2015

"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 rightly assessed that those political actors aligned to protect the turf of taxi drivers had little stake in Uber's success. Only after markets were foreclosed to them did Uber finally recognize the degree to which this political resistance could shape their prospects."

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Mark Kennedy Elected to Council on Foreign Relations

GW Today Article

March 3, 2015

"Graduate School of Political Management Director Mark Kennedy has been elected to the nonpartisan think tank Council on Foreign Relations.

Mr. Kennedy, who has served as GSPM director since 2012, is a former three-term U.S. congressman from Minnesota who served as a presidentially appointed trade advisor under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. A longtime business executive with expertise in trade and U.S. foreign policy, immigration and global affairs, Mr. Kennedy also is a faculty member of the Elliott School of International Affairs’ Institute for International Economic Policy and has overseen the creation of two international-focused GSPM master’s programs in the past three years: Political Communications and Governance and Advocacy in the Global Environment.

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