MRK UND"Kennedy doesn't ignore the elephant in the room; to the contrary, he looks it straight in the eye" John King – CNN


Mark Kennedy became the 12th President of the University of North Dakota on July 1, 2016. Mark is the third generation of his family to live in North Dakota.

Kennedy's breadth of experiences as Treasurer of Macy's, U.S. Congressman, trade advisor for both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, academic leader at George Washington University and now as President of UND has convinced him that life is a game of addition – in business (organizations + society), geopolitics (America + allies), adapting to digital disruption (humans + machines), higher education (liberal arts + career skills) and leadership (you + those you lead).

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.

Kennedy is Chairman of the Economic Club of Minnesota and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Chatham House in London.

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 at the University of Pennsylvania / Wharton, Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, NYU, Maryland, Minnesota, London Business School, HEC-Paris (Paris, Doha), Mannheim (Germany), LUISS (Rome), Deusto (Spain), Vienna, University of International Business and Economics (Beijing) Globis (Tokyo), Meiji (Tokyo), Waseda (Tokyo), NUS-Singapore, Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico) and Fundação Getulio Vargas (São Paulo).

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.