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John Kennedy is the vice chancellor for University Relations. He oversees the university’s public affairs activities, which include branding and marketing, media relations, government affairs, issues management, community relations, campus events, and the campus partnership with New England Public Media—the regional public television and radio broadcaster. 

Before assuming his current role at UMass in 2010, Kennedy served in a similar capacity at the American Civil Liberties Union, overseeing the national organization’s communications department. Prior to that, he spent more than two decades as a producer at ABC News, where he covered a range of news stories, both domestically and internationally, that garnered multiple Emmy nominations, an Edward R. Murrow Award, a Peabody Award, and a New York Press Club Award. 

Kennedy received his undergraduate degree from UMass Amherst in 1986.