"Kennedy doesn't ignore the elephant in the room; to the contrary, he looks it straight in the eye" John King – CNN
Mark Kennedy was named the 12th President of the University of North Dakota on March 15, 2016. During his tenure, UND adopted and is diligently pursuing a strategic plan that positions the university for success in today's fast-changing higher education environment. The Grand Forks Herald lauded Kennedy's leadership by naming him Person of the Year for 2017. U.S. News and World Report recognized UND as one of America's 25 most innovative universities.
In his current role, Kennedy draws on experience as an academic leader at George Washington University, author of Shapeholders, trade advisor for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, U.S. Congressman and Treasurer of Macy's.
In his book from Columbia Business School Press on Shapeholders - Business Success in the Age of Activism, Kennedy updates the rules for business engagement with society reflecting the rise of activism and expanded political involvement in commercial affairs.
Kennedy introduced the concept of "Shapeholders" to the field of business strategy - the political, regulatory, media, and activist actors that have no natural stake in an organization's success, but can shape its opportunities and risks. Kennedy reveals how to effectively engage shapeholders both at home and abroad to profitably advance organizational strategies while benefiting society.
Mark believes collaborating is essential to success. While a Republican Congressman, he partnered with twenty Democrats to introduce and lead legislation; more than half of the Democrats in the U.S. House co-sponsored one of his bills and nearly all voted in support of at least one of his initiatives.
Mark is a frequent commentator in media including BBC, Bloomberg, CNN, Financial Times, Foreign Policy, FOX, MSNBC, NPR, Politico, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post.
Kennedy has lectured or led research projects on five continents, including at the University of Cambridge, University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, University of Notre Dame, New York University, University of Tokyo, National University of Singapore, Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico.
A graduate of St. John's University, Kennedy received a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) with distinction from The University of Michigan.
Mark and his wife Debbie have four adult children. They live in Grand Forks, North Dakota.