Declan Kelly, the co-founder of global consulting firm Teneo, has a well-rounded and accomplished CV that lends itself well to international relations and business. With roots firmly planted in Ireland and a far-reaching network of operations with Teneo, Kelly has made himself a widely respected expert within international business.
Kelly was born in Tipperary, Ireland and earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and law through the National University of Ireland. Upon graduation, Kelly began his career as a sports columnist and business journalist. From there, he segued into a public relations and consulting career, founding his first company, Gallagher and Kelly Public Relations, in 1999.
Gallagher and Kelly Public Relations was eventually sold to Financial Dynamics (FD), and this transition enabled Kelly to move to the United States, where he was the president and CEO. In 2006, Financial Dynamics was sold to FTI Consulting. Kelly continued to serve as an executive officer of FTI until 2009, where he was responsible for global operations, client management, and strategy, to name just a few.
In 2009, Kelly was named as the US Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland after serving on Hillary Clinton’s campaign. He focused his efforts on business rather than politics and served in this role until 2011 when he said he had completed the goals he had set for himself.
Declan Kelly Founding Teneo
Teneo was founded in June 2011 by Kelly along with his colleagues Douglas Band and Paul Keary. Kelly served as chairman and co-CEO. Teneo was founded to be a strategic consulting firm for forward-thinking CEOs to assess risk and make moves in an ever shifting global economy.
By amassing well-respected senior counsel members such as Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, Teneo has established itself as an authority on a wide array of issues posed to CEOs and senior executives.
“Teneo views all risks and opportunities through the eyes of the CEO, while being able to advise and execute across all levels of an organization,” is the mission statement for Teneo, which is widely known for its all-encompassing strategy. With global offices in New York and Dubai, Teneo has boosted its worldwide presence and signed high-profile clients such as Coca Cola. Teneo has also expanded to 12 operating divisions that even include intelligence.
Awards and Philanthropy
Declan Kelly has received multiple awards and recognition for his work in international business as well as journalism and philanthropy. In 2008, Kelly was the youngest recipient of the American Irish Historical Society gold medal for his contributions to Irish American society. He also received an honorary doctorate from the Queen’s University Belfast and was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2012 by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations. Additionally in 2012, he was named to the annual Global 100 list by Business & Finance.
As a nod to his background and upbringing, Kelly has kept up involvement with several organizations in Ireland on a philanthropic basis. Having served on the board of several nonprofits, Kelly continues to seek to empower others to have opportunities in the business world and in the US. For example, Kelly founded the Northern Ireland Mentorship Program with the American Ireland Fund. This program gives graduates from Northern Ireland the opportunity to work with corporations in the United States.