A former chief of staff for Senator John F. Kerry has been named chief executive officer of the JFK Library Foundation.
David McKean was selected by the foundation's board of directors, according to a press release issued this morning. McKean, 53, served as chief of staff for Kerry from 1999 to 2008 and "was a key player in laying the groundwork for Senator Kerry's presidential run in 2004," according to the release.
"The Kennedy presidency continues to have enormous relevance and importance for policymakers, scholars and, indeed, anyone interested in the American identity," McKean said in the release. "The opportunity to return to Massachusetts and to work for an institution that is so central to the economy of Boston and to the life of the city also has great appeal for me. But what attracts me most of all to the Kennedy Library is the opportunity through the example of President Kennedy to inspire a new generation of young people to make a difference locally, nationally and globally."
The entire release from the library foundation follows below.
David McKean Named CEO of JFK Library Foundation BOSTON, MA - The Board of Directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation today announced that it has selected David McKean as Chief Executive Officer.
McKean, who is currently Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the 111th Congress, served as Chief of Staff for Massachusetts Senator John Kerry from 1999 to 2008 and was a key player in laying the groundwork for Senator Kerry's presidential run in 2004.
McKean will oversee all operations of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization that provides financial support, staffing, and creative resources for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, a federal institution under the direction of Thomas J. Putnam and governed by the National Archives. The Kennedy Library Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors and administered by Caroline Kennedy, the President of the Foundation, Kenneth R. Feinberg, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, and the Chief Executive Officer. The foundation currently employs 26 full and part-time staff who work closely with the Library’s federal employees to help fulfill the mission of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
Raised in South Hamilton, MA, McKean, 53, graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, and magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1980. He went on to receive a law degree from Duke University Law School, and a master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
McKean taught at the Waterford Kamhlaba School in Swaziland from 1981-1982. He also served on the Senate Committee on Government Affairs, as Special Counsel for the Commodity Futures and Trading Commission, and as Chief of Staff to Congressman Joseph Kennedy from 1993-1994. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the National Archives.
“David McKean has devoted his entire career to public service and he shares my father’s belief that politics is a noble profession,” said Caroline Kennedy, President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. “As we prepare to mark the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s administration, the Library is fortunate to have David McKean to help us engage a new generation, and connect President Kennedy’s values and aspirations to the challenges of our time.”
“The priorities of the new CEO are to ensure that the legacy of President Kennedy endures and inspires future generations,” said Kenneth R. Feinberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kennedy Library Foundation. “David McKean has devoted his entire career to public service, demonstrating the ideals of President Kennedy that we so admire and treasure. His diverse experience as a leader, visionary, public servant and historian makes him highly qualified to lead this organization to new levels of national and international exposure. I am so very delighted we were able to recruit such an extraordinarily talented person to lead the Kennedy Library Foundation.”
“The Kennedy presidency continues to have enormous relevance and importance for policymakers, scholars and, indeed, anyone interested in the American identity,” McKean said. “The opportunity to return to Massachusetts and to work for an institution that is so central to the economy of Boston and to the life of the city also has great appeal for me. But what attracts me most of all to the Kennedy Library is the opportunity through the example of President Kennedy to inspire a new generation of young people to make a difference locally, nationally and globally.”
McKean is the author of the highly acclaimed political biography Tommy the Cork: Washington's Ultimate Insider from Roosevelt to Reagan, and co-author of Friends in High Places: The Rise and Fall of Clark Clifford, and The Great Decision: Jefferson, Adams, Marshall, and the Battle for the Supreme Court.
McKean is the son of the late Katharine Winthrop McKean of Hamilton, Mass., and the late Shaw McKean. His mother was a top-ranked tennis player in the late 1930's and 1940's under her maiden name, Katharine Winthrop. His father was a private investor.
McKean is married to Kathleen Kaye, formerly of Littleton, Mass. She is a graduate of Boston College and received her master's degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania. They have three children.
McKean succeeds John Shattuck who resigned as CEO on August 1, 2009 to accept the position of President and Rector of the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary.
Today’s announcement of McKean’s appointment follows the recent election of Kenneth R. Feinberg as Chairman of the Board of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Feinberg succeeded Paul G. Kirk, Jr., who resigned as Board Chairman in September when Governor Deval Patrick appointed him interim United States Senator from Massachusetts.
Feinberg is Founder and Managing Partner of Feinberg Rozen, LLP -- the nation's foremost law firm for mediation, arbitration, and alternative dispute resolution -- and currently serves as the Obama Administration’s Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation, popularly called the “Pay Czar,” overseeing the compensation of top executives at companies which received federal bailout assistance.
The private financial support provided by the Kennedy Library Foundation enables the federal government to expand the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum’s research and archival capacity, to undertake marketing and public information projects, to offer intern and research fellowship programs, to enhance its museum and exhibits, and to offer nationally recognized educational and public programming such as the Kennedy Library Forums.
By sponsoring and administering programs such as the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, the New Frontier Award, and John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest for High School Students, the Foundation is united with the Library in a common mission to perpetuate President Kennedy's ideal that political and public service be conducted and exemplified as an honorable and patriotic profession. The close relationship between the Library and Foundation illustrates the benefits to society and the American taxpayer that accrue from such public/private partnerships.
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