Mark Kennedy
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Business in a Political Age

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 7A Framework.

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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 Business in a Political Age, 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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NAMState of Manufacturing Address - Trade Report

Hosting Jay Timmons at Economic Club


February 4, 2015

It was an honor for the Economic Club of Minnesota that I chair to host the kickoff to the National Association of Manufacturers annual State of Manufacturing Report. The NAM President Jay Timmons emphasized the importance of passing trade legislation pending before Congress.

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Will Ash Carter's Confirmation Hearing Reveal Obama's Syria Strategy?

Foreign Policy Opinion Piece

February 3, 2015

"In his State of the Union address last month President Barack Obama called on Congress "to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL," using another name for the so-called Islamic State. Now he is asking the Senate to ratify his appointment of Ash Carter to be the next Secretary of Defense.

Before members of Congress affirm that they are "united in this mission" in the manner in which President Obama is directing it, they need to better understand his strategy in the region. Carter's confirmation hearing is a perfect venue to seek clarification."

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NYAdvertising Purpose During the Super Bowl

Huffington Blog Post

Photo (© Kennedy) - NFL Headquarters - New York

February 2, 2015

"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 an imperative for any business that seeks to sustain profit over the long term.

Super Bowl ads are the most expensive of the year. The fact that companies let their purpose shine during these pricey ads reflects what I have been teaching for years: that engaging society and the societal actors that I call shapeholders is the best way for a company to truly differentiate itself."

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WA Guide for D.C.'s Soul Survivors

Panel with Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Torie Clarke

Washington, DC

January 27, 2015

"You should be willing to share informed insight," said Graduate School of Political Management Director Mark Kennedy, who served three terms in Congress. "The really good leaders want to hear people that can add to their knowledge and give them new views. If you have somebody who punishes you for expressing something that's not in-line with their thinking, you are working for the wrong person."

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Risky Business - Economic Impact of Climate Change

Event with Secretary Hank Paulson


January 23, 2015

The Economic Club of Minnesota of Minnesota ( that I founded and chair hosted former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and the Chairman of Cargill, Greg Page, to discuss the release of a new report on the economic impact of climate change in the Midwest  by the Risky Business initiative. The focus of the discussion, moderated by ECOM President and former CEO of General Mills Steve Sanger, focused not on controversial political disputes, but the practical responses demanded of businesses and local government officials to address the impact of climate changes.

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