HIGH POINT, N.C., March 3, 2021 – High Point University welcomes William “Bill” E. Kennard, formerly U.S. Ambassador to the European Union and the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as HPU’s Global Leader in Residence.
He currently serves as the chairman of the Board of Directors of AT&T, Inc. He also serves on the boards of Yale University, MetLife, Inc. and Ford Motor Company. His undergraduate degree is from Stanford University. He received a law degree from Yale Law School.
“We are excited to welcome William Kennard as HPU’s Global Leader in Residence,” says HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein. “He brings a wealth of leadership experience and substantive knowledge from his distinguished career in government and business. HPU students will benefit immeasurably from his insights on life skills, leadership, service and living a life of both success and significance.”
“I am delighted to be associated with the premier life skills university and to share my life’s learnings with students,” says Kennard.
Kennard joins a long list of faculty in residence at HPU. The Access to Innovators program at HPU connects students with industry leaders for networking and mentorship opportunities. Kennard joins Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak, HPU’s Innovator in Residence; Netflix Co-founder Marc Randolph, HPU’s Entrepreneur in Residence; Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall, HPU’s Sports Executive in Residence; ABC News’ “Nightline” Anchor Byron Pitts; American Actor, Producer and Television Presenter Dean Cain, HPU’s Actor in Residence; and many others.
Kennard served as the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union from 2009 to 2013. As ambassador, he worked actively to promote transatlantic trade and investment and to eliminate regulatory barriers to commerce. For his contributions, the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union awarded Ambassador Kennard the Transatlantic Business Award, the organization’s highest honor.
Before serving as an ambassador, he was a managing director at The Carlyle Group, a global asset management firm, where he led private equity investments in the telecommunications and media sectors. Before joining The Carlyle Group, he served as chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He served as the FCC’s General Counsel before his appointment as chairman. During his tenure at the FCC, he shaped 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 Chairman Kennard “a consumer champion for the digital age.” He has received many honors for his accomplishments including honorary degrees from Howard University, Gallaudet University and Long Island University, and awards from numerous nonprofit and business organizations.
In 2013, Kennard returned to the United States from his ambassadorship to resume his career in the private sector. He co-founded and serves as chairman of Velocitas Partners LLC, an asset management firm. He is also a founding partner of Astra Capital Management, a private equity firm.