Meet the Commissioner: Moorhead Kennedy

Moorhead Kennedy

Moorhead Kennedy

Entering the US Foreign Service in 1960, Dr. Kennedy pursued a career that took him to Yemen, Greece, Lebanon, and Chile. In the Department of State, he founded and was the first Director of the Office of Investment Affairs, 1971-74. This was the first time that the Department addressed institutionally the international role of major corporations. In Iran, his final overseas post, he was held hostage, 1979-81.

Following his release, and retirement from the Foreign Service, Dr. Kennedy has applied lessons learned in throughout his career to cross-cultural problems abroad and in the United States. Author of books, Op-Eds, and articles, and lecturer, Dr. Kennedy has been a frequent guest on TV.

A director emeritus of the National Institute of Social Sciences, he serves on the Maine Library Commission, and is one of Maine's representatives on the Board of the New England Board of Higher Education. Past Chairman of the Northeast Harbor Library, he is the President of Acadia Senior College, in which he has taught a course Introduction to Islam.

Among other honors, he has been awarded the Medal for Valor by the Department of State and the Gold Medal of the National Institute of Social Sciences. Honorary doctorates include the University of Pittsburgh and Middlebury College.

Dr. Kennedy was born in New York in 1930. His family first became summer residents of Mount Desert Island in 1877. A graduate of Groton School, Princeton University, where he majored in Oriental Studies, and of the Harvard Law School, where he was among the earliest students of Islamic Law, and of the National War College, he was qualified by the Department of State in Arabic, French, and Spanish. He served in the US Army, 1952-54. His principal hobby is gardening. He has four sons and eight grandchildren, and, with Ellen Kappes, lives year-round on Mount Desert.