Christopher G. Kennedy is Chairman of Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises, Inc., which is the investment firm of the Kennedy Family and which is responsible for the development of the Kennedy Family's real estate holdings in Chicago known as Wolf Point. Mr. Kennedy is also Chairman of Top Box Foods, a non-profit hunger-relief organization that addresses societal issues of hunger, malnutrition and related health problems through the delivery of high-quality and high-nutrition meats, fruits, vegetables and other food products throughout the city of Chicago.
From October 2000 to July 2011, Mr. Kennedy was the President of Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI). MMPI managed ten million square feet of space, including the world famous The Merchandise Mart as well as Design Centers and tradeshow facilities across North America. Under Chris' leadership, The Merchandise Mart, along with its sister building, the Chicago Apparel Center, earned LEED certification. The Merchandise Mart is the largest LEED-certified building in the world, and The Merchandise Mart and the Chicago Apparel Center are the first- and second-largest LEED-certified buildings in Chicago, including the largest hotel in the United States to receive LEED certification and the first hotel in Chicago to be LEED certified.
Mr. Kennedy serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University of Illinois. In August 2009, Governor Pat Quinn (D-IL) appointed Chris to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Mr. Kennedy was elected chairman of the Board by his fellow trustees at the first board meeting. He was re-elected as chairman in January 2010, January 2011 and January 2012. The University of Illinois has nearly 78,000 students and the largest alumni community in the world. The University has the second-highest enrollment of international students of all colleges and universities in the United States.
Mr. Kennedy sits on the Board of Trustees of Ariel Investments Mutual Fund and the Board of Directors of Interface, the world's leading manufacturer of carpet tiles. Mr. Kennedy is a member of the Executive Committee for The Chicago Community Trust and is the treasurer of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation. He is also co-chair of the Cook County Sustainability Council.
Mr. Kennedy is a member of the Board of Trustees for Catholic Theological Union, the largest graduate school of its kind in the United States, and is a member of the Deans Advisory Board for Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. In October of 2011, he was appointed to the Council of Board Chairs for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, the country's premier authority on higher education governance.
Mr. Kennedy earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Boston College and a master's of management from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management of Northwestern University. He is the son of Robert and Ethel Kennedy and is the eighth of their eleven children. He and his wife, Sheila Berner Kennedy, have four children—Katherine, Christopher Jr., Sarah and Clare.
9:00 a.m Chicago Metropolitan Resilience: Redefining the new normal