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GWU Names Former Congressman Mark Kennedy Director of the Graduate School of Political Management | Politics

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GWU Names Former Congressman Mark Kennedy Director of the Graduate School of Political Management
Politics, Schools


From Jill Sankey: The George Washington University today announced the appointment of former Congressman Mark Kennedy (R-MN) as director of the Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) and professor of political management in the university’s College of Professional Studies (CPS).  He brings to the position vital first-hand experience in electoral politics and public service as well as a background as a business leader who has taught at leading academic institutions on the intersection of business and politics.


            "We had an incredibly strong applicant pool and Mark Kennedy stood out," said GW Provost Steven Lerman. “His unique combination of experience in public service, academia and business make him ideally suited to raise the profile of GSPM and position its programs for future growth and success.”


Mr. Kennedy will begin his service at GSPM on January 23.


            “I am excited to help validate GSPM’s position as the premier school of applied politics in the United States and world,” said Mr. Kennedy.    


Mr. Kennedy was elected to three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving Minnesota’s 2nd district from 2001-2003 and 6th district from 2003-2007.  He was noted for reaching across the aisle, leading 20 bipartisan bills.  During his service in Congress, Mr. Kennedy served on the Financial Services, Transportation and Agriculture Committees.


In addition, he was a presidential appointee to the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy under both President Bush and President Obama.


"Finding the right leader who would fit the mission of GSPM in professional and applied politics was key to the search process. Mark Kennedy's practical experience as a member of Congress, as well as his educational background and entrepreneurial spirit make him ideal for the role," said Ali Eskandarian, Dean of the College of Professional Studies. “I look forward to working with him to build on the national reputation established by the GSPM founding leader, Professor Chris Arterton.”


Mr. Kennedy currently serves as chairman and CEO of Chartwell Strategic Advisors LLC.  He is also founder and chairman of the Economic Club of Minnesota and will continue to serve as chairman after he begins his new role at GW.  


Former Congressman Tim Penny (D-MN, 1983-1995), Co-Chairman of the Economic Club, commented, “Mark’s track record of success developing the Economic Club as a premier nonpartisan forum is testimony to his ability to build organizations.”


Mr. Kennedy’s academic experience includes teaching at Johns Hopkins University and as a Faculty Advisor at The Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, he served as the global retail business development lead at Accenture and held executive positions in business, including with Federated Department Stores (now Macy’s) and The Pillsbury Company (now General Mills). 


A graduate of St. John’s University (MN), Mr. Kennedy received an M.B.A. with distinction from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Mr. Kennedy and his wife Debbie have four children.


GW’s Graduate School of Political Management, the pioneer school in the nonpartisan study of political management and applied politics, offers graduate programs in political management, legislative affairs, strategic public relations and PAC management, as well as international programs in Latin America and Europe. The school educates students and professionals in the tools, principles and values of participatory democracy; preparing them for careers as ethical and effective advocates and leaders at the international, national and local levels.  For more information on GSPM, please visit www.gspm.gwu.edu.


In the heart of the nation's capital with additional programs in Virginia, the George Washington University was created by an Act of Congress in 1821. Today, GW is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. The university offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts study, as well as degree programs in medicine, public health, law, engineering, education, business and international affairs. Each year, GW enrolls a diverse population of undergraduate, graduate and professional students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 130 countries.

Politics, Schools