Lena L. Kennedy is a visionary leader and owner of LLKennedy & Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in community and consensus-building strategies for political candidates; building community coalitions; philanthropic consulting; corporate advisement; and leadership and life-coaching initiatives.
Over a lifetime in politics, Kennedy has developed a passion for helping others become involved in strategic ways. Through her organization Women in Leadership Vital Voices (WLVV), she wants to make members “the most informed women in the United States” about public policy, politics and how they both really work.
“Time is important,” she says. You need to figure out your whole purpose and how to empower yourself and maximize what you are already doing in terms of your community and philanthropy work. There is strength in numbers and what people need to do is meet and build relationships. I teach individuals how to strategically build on those relationships to impact communities and change outcomes.”
Her core values of trust and respect have served her well in building her own relationships and coalitions. Kennedy got her start in the political arena more than 36 years ago when she led fundraising and campaign activities for Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley’s gubernatorial bid. She has since worked with President Barack Obama; the Reverend Jesse Jackson; Congress members Diane Watson, Elijah Cummings, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Judy Chu, Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters; U.S. Senators: Kamala Harris, Barbara Boxer, Harry Reid, John Kerry, Patrick Leahy, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. At the state level, she has worked with Speaker of the House Karen Bass and State Senator Carol Liu, to name a few. She also served as a key member of President Obama’s finance committee and organized several successful fundraising events for him throughout the country. In 2008, she co-chaired the National Women’s Leadership Initiative and later she was appointed by Chair Hon. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as Vice Chair of the National Democratic Committee. In 2016 President Obama appointed her to the advisory board for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts.
Although she already was a political veteran, Kennedy was astounded by what she learned from the Obamas. The most important lesson from the former President was that one needs to lead always “with your head and your heart.”
Kennedy served as a member of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Majority Trust under the leadership of Senator Chuck Schumer and was appointed National Co-Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Kennedy has served on the boards of several notable organizations – including the Pasadena Arts Council, Pasadena NAACP, Community Health Alliance of Pasadena, First AME Church - Pasadena Trustee, Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel and the Pasadena Symphony Advisory Council. She currently serves on the Pasadena Playhouse Diversity Committee.