Declan Kelly, chairman and CEO, Teneo: Power List 2017

2017 rank: 19

Look up "connected" in the dictionary, and you’ll find a picture of Declan Kelly, chairman and CEO of global public affairs giant Teneo. With a Rolodex just about unequaled in the industry, Kelly helped to build Teneo into one of the most powerful behind-the-scenes forces in consulting — though clearly not the most self-promotional.

Prior to cofounding Teneo in the summer of 2011, Kelly worked as an independent
contractor for FTI Consulting while also serving as economic envoy to Northern Ireland for the State Department, headed by future Democratic Party standard-bearer Hillary Clinton. Previously, the Northern Ireland native became a part of the business of FTI predecessor Financial Dynamics when he sold his PR firm Gallagher and Kelly Public Relations in 2000.

Kelly’s long list of contacts has paid off at the helm of Teneo, helping to build the firm into an international powerhouse, but it’s also earned the firm controversial head-
lines. A late October story in The Washington Post described the work of Teneo executive Doug Band to monetize the post-presidency of Bill Clinton, referring to the series of arrangements as "Clinton Inc." Of course, Kelly’s former boss lost the presidency to Donald Trump less than two weeks later.

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