Ford Media Center

William E. Kennard

William E. Kennard was elected to the Ford Motor Company board of directors in 2015. He serves on the finance committee and the sustainability, innovation and policy committee, and as chair of the nominating and governance committee.

Kennard is non-executive chairman and cofounder of Velocitas Partners, an asset management firm, and is a member of the operating executive board of Staple Street Capital, a private equity firm.  He serves on the board of AT&T, MetLife and Duke Energy Corporation. He has a rich history with telecommunications and media industries, having served as director of several public companies including Sprint Corporation, FON Group (formerly Sprint Nextel Corporation), The New York Times Company and Dex Media, as well as a number of private companies.

Kennard served as United States Ambassador to the European Union from 2009 to 2013, working to promote transatlantic trade and investment and to eliminate regulatory barriers to commerce. He was a key force behind President Barack Obama’s decision in 2013 to launch negotiations on the ambitious Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that aims to expand trade and investment across the Atlantic.

From 2001 to 2009, Kennard was managing director of global private equity firm The Carlyle Group, leading investments in the telecommunications and media sectors. From 1997 to 2001, he was chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, shaping policies that created an explosion of new wireless phones, brought the Internet to a majority of American households, and incentivized billions of dollars of investment in new broadband technologies. At the same time, he implemented bold new policies to bridge the digital divide in the United States and around the world.

U.S. News and World Report dubbed Kennard a “consumer champion for the digital age.” He has received honorary degrees from Howard University, Gallaudet University and Long Island University, and awards from Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Easter Seals Foundation, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union.

Kennard has served on several nonprofit boards including Yale University Council, Gallaudet University, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and One Economy Corporation. Kennard serves as a fellow of the Yale Corporation and is a member of Secretary of State John Kerry’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board.

He graduated from Stanford University and earned a law degree from Yale Law School.