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Declan Kelly

Declan Kelly

Chairman & CEO

Declan Kelly is the Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Teneo. He is responsible for running all of the company’s operations globally.

Declan is a trusted advisor to several of the world’s leading CEOs and corporations.

Prior to Teneo, Declan served as the U.S. Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland at the U.S. Department of State, appointed by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in September 2009.

In his role as Envoy, Declan is recognized as having helped bring significant investment to the region from U.S. corporations. He also played a significant role in supporting the efforts that led to the historic devolution of policing and justice powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly, giving Northern Ireland fully devolved political governance for the first time in its modern history.

Declan started his career as a journalist for more than a decade. He was selected as the recipient of the AT Cross Business Journalist of The Year Award in 1994.

Declan is a graduate of The National University of Ireland (Galway). In 2012, he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, presented to individuals of different ethnic backgrounds who distinguish themselves by their contributions to society in the United States.

In 2008 he became the youngest-ever recipient of the American Irish Historical Society’s prestigious Gold Medal, given annually to one person deemed to have made a unique contribution to Irish American society.

Declan is an honorary Visiting Professor in Management and Leadership at Queen’s University Belfast. In 2011 he also received an honorary doctorate from the University in recognition of his service to the community and economy of Northern Ireland.

He created and continues to underwrite and personally oversee The Northern Ireland Mentorship Program which enables young university graduates from Northern Ireland to spend a year working within several leading corporations in the United States with a view to using their experience to embark on new careers in Northern Ireland. To date there have been over 100 participants in the program.

Declan serves on the board of Global Citizen, a leading international advocacy organization dedicated to ending extreme poverty by 2030. Through his involvement with Global Citizen, Declan served as an Executive Producer of ‘One World: Together At Home’ a historic broadcasting event held on April 18th, 2020 which has raised $127 million in commitments to date in support of health care workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also served as an Executive Producer of the ‘Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100’ which brought together heads of state, dignitaries, many of the world’s most talented artists and influencers, and thousands of global citizens to celebrate the centenary of Nelson Mandela and led to 60 commitments and announcements worth $7.2 Billion, set to affect the lives of 121M people.

Declan’s life story has been featured in two books:  A Few Wise Words by Peter Mukherjee and Journeys – An American Story by Andrew Tisch and Mary Skafidas.

He is also a member of The Council on Foreign Relations.

Related Service Areas
Awards & Recognitions
  • AT Cross Business Journalist of The Year Award (1994)
  • American Irish Historical Society Gold Medal Recipient (2008)
  • Ellis Island Medal of Honor (2012)
  • Honorary Doctorate Recipient, Queens University (Belfast) (2011)
Memberships & Affiliations
  • Founder and Board Member, Northern Ireland Mentorship Program

Articles by Declan Kelly