Hon. Barbara B. Kennelly

Headshot of IFES board member Barbara Kennelly.

Barbara B. Kennelly is the President and founder of Barbara Kennelly Associates, a government relations and lobbying firm specializing in health and tax issues, and also serves as a Distinguished Professor of Government at Trinity University in Washington, D.C. She was President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare for nine years after a distinguished 23-year career in elected public office. Ms. Kennelly served 17 years in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the First District of Connecticut.

During her congressional career, she was the first woman elected to serve as the Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. Ms. Kennelly was also the first woman to serve on the House Committee on Intelligence. She was the first woman to serve as Chief Majority Whip, and the third woman in history to serve on the 200-year old Ways and Means Committee. During the 105th Congress, she was the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Social Security. Prior to her election to Congress, Ms. Kennelly was Secretary of State of Connecticut.

After serving in Congress, she was appointed to the position of Counselor to the Commissioner at the Social Security Administration. As counselor, Ms. Kennelly worked closely with the Commissioner of Social Security Kenneth S. Apfel and members of Congress to inform and educate the American people on the choices they face to ensure the future solvency of Social Security. She served on the Policy Committee for the 2005 White House Conference on Aging. She was appointed to the Social Security Advisory Board by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in 2006 and reappointed in 2012.

Ms. Kennelly received a bachelor’s in economics from Trinity College, Washington, D.C. and a master’s degree in government from Trinity College, Hartford. She earned a certificate from the Harvard Business School on completion of the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in business administration.


Email Address: 
+1 (202) 350-6700