Mark Kennedy
  • Engage to Win5
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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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TShapeholders - 7A Approach


Toyo Keizai Interview

Photo: Tokyo, Japan - Speech to JANE

January 4, 2014

Toyo Kezai, a leading Japanese publication, published an extended interview of me on Shapeholders and my 7A Approach to Shapeholder Engagement in two installments

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NYCIn a Transactional Town, You Need Real Relationships

Huffington Blog Post

January 6, 2015

"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 politicians, staffers, and operators in our nation's capital. People, including "Give 'Em Hell Harry," would have you believe that politics is nothing more than "you scratch my back and I will scratch yours."

While tradeoffs are an essential ingredient to reconciling conflicting positions, the transactional view in some ways puts the cart ahead of the horse. In reality, genuine personal relationships are essential to create any hope of bridging differences and finding common ground."

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NYCWhy 2015 Should be the Year of Trade

Foreign Policy Opinion Piece

Photo: New York

January 5, 2015

"Wen surveying the global landscape, there are many reasons for concern. At least two countries — China and Russia — show signs of seeking regional hegemony. Whether your foreign policy goals are to balance power, strengthen global institutions, or advance our ideals, the emergence of an authoritarian regional hegemon should be highly disturbing. At the same time, America's key allies — Europe and Japan — struggle with anemic economies.

Pending trade agreements in both the Pacific and Europe offer the opportunity to strengthen each region's commitment to the global order and boost our allies economic prospects, all while also enhancing America's economic growth and job creation. That is why advancing trade agreements should be the United States' top geopolitical priority in 2015."

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lAdvocating in the United Kingdom

GWU Course


Photo: With Lord Borwick on balcony of Westminster Palace

December 12, 2014

It was wonderful to lead a course in London on Advocating in the United Kingdom.  The course included visits to the U.S. Embassy, lectures at the London School of Economics and Oxford University, a Member of the House of Lords, a Shadow Minister from the House of Commons, panels with corporate public affairs executives, NGO representatives, journalists, and visits with public affairs firms.

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SThe Promise and Peril of Falling Oil Prices

Foreign Policy - Opinion Piece

Photo (© Kennedy) - San Sebastian, Spain

December 5, 2014

"The 40 percent fall in oil prices since June will significantly reduce the coffers of oil producing states and oil companies while boosting other countries and corporate bottom lines. That is clear on its face, but they're not the only ones with something to lose or gain from the oil market.

Many shapeholders — the political, regulatory, media, and activist actors that may have little or no stake in an organization's success, but nevertheless shape, constrain or expand its opportunities and risks have seen a shift in their opportunities. One of these actors, OPEC, contributed to falling oil prices by deciding to keep production constant. Let's briefly review the changes impact on three other shapeholders."

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