Kennedy biography

Mark Kennedy was selected to be the 12th president of UND on March 15 by the State Board of Higher Education. His selection was the result of an extensive search process that spanned most of the 2015-2016 academic year.

Kennedy will begin his presidency in July. He is currently the director of the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management in Washington D.C., where he has worked since 2012.

Prior to his work in academia, he represented Minnesota’s second district from 2001 to 2003 and the state’s sixth district from 2003 to 2007 in the U.S. House of Representatives, and after his time in elected office, he continued to work in public service for several years as a trade representative in both the Bush and Obama administrations.

Before he was elected to office, Kennedy worked in executive positions at the Pillsbury Company and Federated Department Stores, now known as Macy’s. He has an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan and a B.A. from St. John’s University in Minnesota. More information about Kennedy can be found at

Kennedy will take over for Interim President Ed Schafer, who took over for Robert Kelley this past January. Kelly had served as UND’s president since July 2008.

“I am honored and humbled to serve as the next president of UND. It is important to have quality education for students and research that impacts our community, state and nation,” Kennedy said following his selection as president. “As a leader, I will be collaborative, accessible and seek input from all constituents to connect and have a shared vision for UND. We are focused on the future.”

Staff Report