Councilmember John J. Kennedy Bio

John J. Kennedy

As a leader of complex and diverse organizations, John J. Kennedy has significant experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. He has devoted his life to community service as a civic leader and community organizer. His political involvement and extensive travel have provided him with knowledge and understanding of local, national and international government practices and procedures.

Since January of 2015, Mr. Kennedy has worked for a family company, with responsibility in philanthropy, real estate, and business development. Also, he continues to provide senior management consulting on a wide-range of projects. Before his most recent position Mr. Kennedy has served as the Senior Vice President of one of the oldest and most respected civil rights organizations in the United States. Prior to that position, Mr. Kennedy was Director of Special Projects for Southern California Edison (SCE) for seven years. He served in several capacities at SCE – including managing community investments of up to $1 Million provided to various non-profit organizations.

As Vice President of a major international financial institution, he built the business continuity department and recruited high-level international information technologists. As Deputy Chief of Police – Administrative Services, for the Richmond Police Department in the Commonwealth of Virginia: he designed community policing programs; secured federal and state funds to upgrade systems and equipment; instituted a partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Union University to allow police offers to obtain their baccalaureate degree; and adroitly managed a $42 Million dollar budget.

Locally, he worked in the Finance, City Attorney, Police and Public Works Departments of the City of Pasadena. He served as Founder and Secretary of the Pasadena Police Foundation; Chair of Community Health Alliance of Pasadena; Board Member of the Pasadena Child Health Foundation; Chair of the Community Development Committee; Co-Chair of the Library Task Force for Alternate Funding; and Chair of the Developers’ Selection Committee for Heritage Square. He wrote Pasadena’s first recycling ordinance, the Pasadena taxicab ordinance and waste haulers ordinance.

At the age of 25, he was the youngest person to serve as President of the Pasadena Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He has dedicated much of his spare time to community organizing and working to elect and support Democratic Candidates.

He has visited, many on official missions, such far-flung places as China, Taiwan, Egypt, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nigeria, The Gambia, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Montenegro, Serbia, Austria, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Mexico, Scotland and Ireland.

Mr. Kennedy is a board member of the Tom Bradley Legacy Foundation at UCLA; Black Alumni Council at the University of Southern California (USC); and serves on the National Finance Committee for the President of the United States.

A Pasadena native, Mr. Kennedy was Student Body President at Blair High School and a Student Senator while at USC. He holds dual degrees from USC in International Relations and Social Science Communications (Economics) and several professional certificates as well as his Juris Doctor Degree from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.