Vice President of Philanthropic & Strategic Initiatives
Kelly Kennedy oversees individual philanthropic giving for Shedd Aquarium – creating a culture of philanthropy and creating unique opportunities for the public to donate at any level of giving.
M.S., Higher Education and Administration, Northwestern University; B.A. Political Communication, The George Washington University
“I have the pleasure of helping the public see how they can be a part of Shedd Aquarium’s incredible mission. From small donations to once-in-a-lifetime gifts, witnessing how the aquatic world brings out the best in all of us is truly inspiring and fulfilling.”
Kelly Kennedy is an integral leader advancing Shedd Aquarium’s Development efforts, directing a team that is tasked with expanding and diversifying the pipeline of giving opportunities to support the aquarium’s broad ambitions. This includes everything from fostering a culture of philanthropy and gratitude throughout the onsite guest experience, to strengthening and empowering a passionate and growing base of aquarium members and leadership volunteers, to creating engagement opportunities for donors to see first-hand how their support fuels Shedd’s mission. Kennedy is an advocate for the aquarium’s closest supporters while also weighing in on new, emerging and inspiring pathways for giving and engagement with the aquarium.
Kennedy joined the aquarium in 2014 as the Senior Director of Major & Principal Gifts. Before that, she spent nearly three and a half years in development, Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law.
Kennedy holds an M.S. in higher education and administration policy from Northwestern University. She earned her B.A. in political communication from The George Washington University.