Member & Global Head of Public Affairs, KKR; Former Chairman of the Republican National Committee
Ken is a Member at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, LP, helping assess and improve the companies in which KKR invests by engaging stakeholders & leveraging geopolitical & public policy trends. Mr. Mehlman also oversees the firm’s global external affairs, including corporate marketing, regulatory affairs & public policy, and communications. Ken leads KKR’s responsible investment efforts that seek to create shared value for KKR investors and other stakeholders. This includes a partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund that now includes more than 27 KKR portfolio companies and has achieved $1.2 billion in financial impact; reduced environmental impact (2.3 million fewer metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, 6.3 million tons less waste and 27 million cubic meters reduced water use since 2008); the hiring of more than 30,000 veterans in KKR portfolio companies; and an employee wellness collaboration with the American Heart Association.
Mr. Mehlman spent a dozen years in national politics and government service, including as 62nd Chairman of the Republican National Committee and Campaign Manager of President Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign, the only Republican presidential campaign in 25 years to win the popular vote. Michael Barone, author of the Almanac of American Politics, compared Mehlman’s success to Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton’s, particularly in their revolutionary approaches to identifying new customers and constituents. Before joining KKR, Ken was a Partner at the global law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Mr. Mehlman also served in high level positions in Congress and the White House.
Mr. Mehlman, who currently lives in New York City, graduated with a B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College and holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Mr. Mehlman is Chairman of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Policy Advisory Board and also chairs the American Investment Council, the association representing the private equity industry. He is a trustee of Mt. Sinai Hospital of New York, Franklin & Marshall College, Teach for America, and Sponsors of Educational Opportunity (SEO). Mehlman is also co-chairman of the American Enterprise Institute’s National Council and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.