next steps

Kenneth I. Chenault ’69

 

“An Evening With Ken Chenault” premiered on February 1, 2019 on PBS, and is produced by The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive.

The show not only provides a master class on corporate and civic leadership, but features interviews of those who know and have worked with Ken Chenault over his career, including: Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett; former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns; Merck CEO Kenneth C. Frazier; Lazard Freres Senior Managing Director Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.; Media legend Oprah Winfrey; Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of The Carlyle Group David Rubenstein; former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Harvard President Larry Bacow and former Harvard University President Drew Faust; NBA legends and Hall of Famers Julius “Dr. J” Erving and Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr.; Chair of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Katherine Farley; his sons Kenneth and Kevin Chenault and his wife, Kathryn Chenault, among many others

“An Evening With Ken Chenault” peers behind the veil of Chenault’s rise to the head of one of the world’s most successful companies, and sheds light on his effective leadership as well as his legacy. – PBS

 Read More


Kenneth I. Chenault is Chairman and Managing Director, General Catalyst

As a managing director at General Catalyst, Ken focuses on investing in fast-growing companies that have the potential to become large, fundamental institutions. He also provides invaluable guidance to portfolio companies, particularly to those with an eye towards global markets and responsible innovation, as they scale their teams and products.  As chairman, Ken leverages his renowned leadership abilities and experience to continue to evolve General Catalyst into a formidable and enduring firm.

Prior to joining General Catalyst, Ken Chenault was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Express Company, a position he held from 2001 to 2018. He joined American Express in 1981 as Director of Strategic Planning and served subsequently in a number of increasingly senior positions, including Vice Chairman and President and Chief Operating Officer, until his appointment as CEO.  Under his leadership, American Express built one of the world’s largest customer loyalty programs – Membership Rewards – and earned global recognition as a leader in customer service.

Ken is recognized as one of the business world’s experts on brands and brand management and has been honored by multiple publications including Fortune Magazine, which named him as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders in its inaugural list in 2014.

Ken serves on the boards of Airbnb, Facebook, IBM, The Procter & Gamble Company, the Harvard Corporation and numerous nonprofit organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution’s Advisory Council for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and Bloomberg Philanthropies.  He also serves on the board of trustees for NYU Langone Health.

Ken holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA in history from Bowdoin College.  He has also received honorary degrees from several universities and awards from a wide variety of civic, social service, and community organizations.

He and his wife, Kathryn, live in New York City, and they have two sons.

Updated June 2018

 

Kenneth I. Chenault

Alumni
More Stories

Kenneth I. Chenault

Alumni

 

“An Evening With Ken Chenault” premiered on February 1, 2019 on PBS, and is produced by The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive.

The show not only provides a master class on corporate and civic leadership, but features interviews of those who know and have worked with Ken Chenault over his career, including: Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett; former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns; Merck CEO Kenneth C. Frazier; Lazard Freres Senior Managing Director Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.; Media legend Oprah Winfrey; Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of The Carlyle Group David Rubenstein; former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Harvard President Larry Bacow and former Harvard University President Drew Faust; NBA legends and Hall of Famers Julius “Dr. J” Erving and Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr.; Chair of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Katherine Farley; his sons Kenneth and Kevin Chenault and his wife, Kathryn Chenault, among many others

“An Evening With Ken Chenault” peers behind the veil of Chenault’s rise to the head of one of the world’s most successful companies, and sheds light on his effective leadership as well as his legacy. – PBS

 Read More


Kenneth I. Chenault is Chairman and Managing Director, General Catalyst

As a managing director at General Catalyst, Ken focuses on investing in fast-growing companies that have the potential to become large, fundamental institutions. He also provides invaluable guidance to portfolio companies, particularly to those with an eye towards global markets and responsible innovation, as they scale their teams and products.  As chairman, Ken leverages his renowned leadership abilities and experience to continue to evolve General Catalyst into a formidable and enduring firm.

Prior to joining General Catalyst, Ken Chenault was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Express Company, a position he held from 2001 to 2018. He joined American Express in 1981 as Director of Strategic Planning and served subsequently in a number of increasingly senior positions, including Vice Chairman and President and Chief Operating Officer, until his appointment as CEO.  Under his leadership, American Express built one of the world’s largest customer loyalty programs – Membership Rewards – and earned global recognition as a leader in customer service.

Ken is recognized as one of the business world’s experts on brands and brand management and has been honored by multiple publications including Fortune Magazine, which named him as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders in its inaugural list in 2014.

Ken serves on the boards of Airbnb, Facebook, IBM, The Procter & Gamble Company, the Harvard Corporation and numerous nonprofit organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution’s Advisory Council for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and Bloomberg Philanthropies.  He also serves on the board of trustees for NYU Langone Health.

Ken holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA in history from Bowdoin College.  He has also received honorary degrees from several universities and awards from a wide variety of civic, social service, and community organizations.

He and his wife, Kathryn, live in New York City, and they have two sons.

Updated June 2018