Mark Kennedy
  • 1a 1
  • 7 Steps
  • 3a 3
  • 4a 3
  • Pitchforks

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

RWhat America Could Learn from Xi Jinping and Pope Francis

Foreign Policy  Opinion Piece

Photo (© Kennedy) - St. Peter's in Rome

September 28, 2015

"Two leaders came to Washington last week, each embodying heritages instrumental to building the foundations for a hemisphere: China in the East, and the Catholic Church in the West. They visited a nation that not only laid the foundation for a hemisphere, but really the entire world, by establishing institutions and norms that coalesced the globe in the direction of freedom and the rule of law. You can dispute the aims of the visiting leaders, but one must recognize that they embraced their heritages. America? Not so much."

Continue Reading

MCPitchforks Into Profits Goes Global - Online Course Offered in Spanish

GW Hatchet Article

Photo (© Kennedy) - addressing audience in Mexico City

September 28, 2015

"GW’s online presence is now bilingual.

Next month, the University will launch its first massive open online course taught in a foreign language. Experts say the MOOC will help GW reach a more global audience, which could strengthen the University’s international reputation.

The curriculum is identical to a MOOC launched in April by the Director of the Graduate School of Political Management Mark Kennedy, which discusses seven ways for businesses to engage with companies and organizations that can impact business activity.

Kennedy said in an April interview that the goal of the English version of the MOOC is to increase enrollment at GSPM. He added through a University spokeswoman last week that the course will act as a “vehicle to attract students to its other Spanish language programs.”

Kennedy said the Spanish MOOC will extend GSPM’s ties to Spanish-speaking countries. GSPM also offers a master’s degree in political communications in governance, which began in 2012, he said.

“Launching a MOOC in Spanish leverages the great strengths that GW’s Graduate School of Political Management has in Spain and Spanish-speaking Latin America,” he said."

Continue Reading

GSPM Fratto Lockhard GarrettThe Fight Between Spin and Truth

George Washington University Alumni Panel

September 27, 2015

It was great to kick off an insightful panel on The Fight Between Spin and Truth with Bush's Deputy Press Secretary, Clinton Press Secretary Joe Lockhart, Dr. Lara Brown and CBS News' White House Correspondent Major Garrett at George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management.

Continue Reading

VWEPA 'Slug Bug' of VW Highlights Need for Crisis Prevention

Huffington Business Blog Post

September 23, 2015

"As VW is finding out, the political, regulatory, media, and activist actors that I call shapeholders may have little stake in its success but can significantly shape its opportunities and risks.

VW has already taken a $7.27 billion charge to earnings only days after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alleged the company used software to circumvent emission standards. And the fines from the EPA alone could total $18 billion. Both numbers are billions with a "B." Ouch! That is quite a slug for a digital bug. While VW's crisis management technique of immediately expressing regret and committing to finding answers is a textbook perfect response, the company would have been far better off investing a bit more in crisis prevention instead."

Continue Reading

Beijing IMG 7450Five Questions for Obama Ahead of Xi Jinping’s Visit

Foreign Policy Opinion Piece

September 22, 2015

"At last Wednesday’s debate, Hugh Hewitt suggested that the “biggest elephant in a room full of elephants” was Jeb’s last name. I respectfully disagree. Commenting on my 2006 U.S. Senate race advertisement presaging the surge in Iraq, CNN’s John King observed, “Kennedy doesn’t ignore the elephant in the room; to the contrary, he looks it straight in the eye.” My view: The biggest elephant in the room being ignored was what America must do in order to continue as the world’s leader after a rising China’s economy eventually surpasses the size of America’s. And ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Washington on Thursday, this question becomes only more pressing.

If China supplants America as the world leader, many of the questions that consumed the debate will be trivial. America can and, in my mind, must continue to lead even if we eventually are no longer the largest economy. That will only happen if our leaders shine the light on and advance solutions to the many obstacles we face in assuring a peaceful coexistence with China.

Suggestions to not roll out the red carpet or pass on an official state visit with the only country with the potential to be our economic peer would make America look small. Rather than petty pandering, America needs to be astute in analyzing China’s actions, not reading ill will into every action, but acting with confidence and firm resolve when China does seek to undermine our interests."

Continue Reading

More Articles ...