Mark Kennedy Named President at University of North Dakota

Former congressman has led the Graduate School of Political Management since 2012.

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy has been named the new president at the University of North Dakota. (William Atkins/GW Today)
March 16, 2016

By James Irwin

Mark Kennedy, who has served as director of the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management since 2012, has been named the new president at the University of North Dakota.

The announcement was first reported Tuesday. Mr. Kennedy is expected to begin his new post July 1.

“Mark Kennedy’s energetic leadership of GSPM has been informed by his deep experience in both the private and public sectors. He also became, on the national stage, a strong and eloquent advocate of reasoned dialogue across partisan lines,” George Washington President Steven Knapp said. “We will be sorry to see him leave GW, but I am confident that he will make an important contribution to higher education in this exciting new role.”

Mr. Kennedy is a former three-term U.S. congressman from Minnesota, who served as a presidentially appointed trade advisor under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. A longtime business executive with expertise in trade and U.S. foreign policy, immigration and global affairs, Mr. Kennedy also is a faculty member at the Elliott School of International Affairs’ Institute for International Economic Policy.

“Debbie [M.F.A. '16] and I are thrilled to be returning as president and first lady for the flagship university in the region we call home,” Mr. Kennedy said. “We will always treasure our time at GW and the many friends we have gained here. I will always be willing to help in any way I can to keep GSPM the first and foremost school of applied politics and strategic communications on the planet.”

In his four years as GSPM director, Mr. Kennedy expanded the breadth and depth of the school, including overseeing the creation of two international-focused master’s programs: Political Communications and Governance and Advocacy in the Global Environment. He was elected to the nonpartisan think tank Council on Foreign Relations last March.