Former Congresswoman Barbara Kennelly is founder and President of her own advocacy organization, Barbara Kennelly Associates, a boutique firm dedicated to providing comprehensive legislative advocacy, government relations, public affairs and strategic communications to clients who wish to have an impact on decision-makers in Washington, D.C. She is also Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC. In April, 2011, she completed nine years as President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, a seniors’ organization advocating for the protection of Social Security and Medicare for today’s seniors and for future generations.
Congresswoman Kennelly served 17 years in the United States House of Representatives representing the First District of Connecticut. She was the first woman named Chief Deputy Majority Whip, and she was subsequently elected to the position of Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus. At the time, this made her the highest ranking woman ever in the Democratic Party leadership. Congresswoman Kennelly was the first woman to serve on the House Committee on Intelligence and to chair one of its Subcommittees. She was also the third woman in history to serve on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
Congresswoman Kennelly began her political career as a member of the Hartford, Connecticut, City Council and subsequently served as Secretary of the State of Connecticut. Upon leaving Congress she served in the Clinton Administration as Counselor to the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. She served on the Policy Committee for the 2005 White House Conference on Aging and was appointed to the Social Security Advisory Board by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in 2006 and reappointed in 2012.
She has served on numerous Boards, including as President of the United States Former Members of Congress Association, a Member of the Social Security Advisory Board, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), and her current positions as a National Advisory Board Member of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut and on the Advisory Board of the Center for Medicare Advocacy.
Congresswoman Kennelly received a B.A. in Economics from Trinity College, Washington, D.C. She earned a certificate from the Harvard Business School on completion of the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration and a Master's Degree in Government from Trinity College, Hartford.