Restructuring to enhance Alumni Relations, Government and Community Operations

Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr. and George Kenney promoted to new posts

President Neil D. Theobald announced today the appointment of two experienced leaders to new roles in alumni and government relations as part of an administrative restructuring.

Beginning May 1, Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr. will assume the new role of vice president of Alumni Relations. Lawrence has led the Office of Government, Community and Public Affairs since 2008.

"Temple’s alumni are immensely important to the future success of this university. To reflect this priority, I am appointing Ken Lawrence as our first vice president of Alumni Relations," said Theobald. "Ken is a Temple alumnus, and through his numerous community and professional associations, he is already well-known and respected by many in both the university and alumni community. Ken’s task is to dramatically expand Temple’s engagement with its more than 300,000 alumni."

“Ken is already an engaged alumnus as a member of the Conwell Society, Owl Club, Temple Political Science Advisory Board and a longtime season-ticket-holder for men’s basketball and football,” the president noted.

Prior to joining Temple, Lawrence was a successful entrepreneur as founder and president of Public Affairs Strategies, where he represented corporate and nonprofit organizations. He also worked for five years at Merck & Co., handling public, community and media relations, and served as public policy representative for the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Lawrence holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Temple and a master's degree in governmental administration from the University of Pennsylvania. He has been involved with a wide variety of civic organizations. Currently, he serves on the boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania, Cristo Rey High School, James A. Finnegan Foundation, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

Lawrence lives in Plymouth Meeting with his wife, Jen, Fox '94, and their two sons.

In addition to Lawrence's move, the former Office of Government, Community and Public Affairs is being split into two offices. To head the Office of Government Affairs, Theobald promoted George Kenney as senior advisor to the president. Kenney joined Temple in 2010, when he was named Temple's director of commonwealth and federal relations.

"George has a deep understanding of the workings in Harrisburg and Washington and a strong track record of success in building support for the appropriations that are important for fulfilling Temple's mission," Theobald said.

Prior to his work at Temple, Kenney represented the 170th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for 24 years. There, he served as chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committees.

A graduate of LaSalle University, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Kenney serves on the board of the Pennsylvania March of Dimes and as a member of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority.

He and his wife, Liz, live with their six children in the Somerton section of Philadelphia.

To better reflect Temple’s role as Philadelphia’s public university, the Office of Community Relations will now report directly to the President’s Office.

“Our commitment to Philadelphia is already deep and meaningful. For example, Temple educates more low-income Pell Grant recipients than all the other universities in Philadelphia combined,” Theobald said.

“In addition, Temple Health is an indispensable provider of healthcare in this city. Philadelphia is the largest city or county in the United States without a public hospital. As a result, Temple Health serves more Medicaid patients than any other hospital in the commonwealth. In fact, our hospital is among the largest nongovernmental providers of indigent healthcare in America,” explained the president. "Coordination of such major community assets needs to be guided from my office."