Ken Mehlman is the Head of Global Public Affairs for Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), where he is in charge of all of the firm’s global external affairs activities. He’s been with the company since 2008, and before that he was involved in high levels of government; he was the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, the White House Political Director, and the Campaign Manager for President Bush’s reelection campaign in 2004.
Ken Mehlman also came out as gay in 2010 and has since been an avid supporter of LGBTA rights. “It’s taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of his life,” he said. “Everybody has their own path to travel, their own journey, and for me… [this] process has been something that’s made me a happier and better person.”
“I can’t change the fact that I wasn’t in this place personally when I was in politics,” he said, “and I genuinely regret that. It was very hard, personally.”
Mehlman has been a key figure in advocating same-sex marriage over the past two years, actively being involved in fundraisers and engaging with and educating the public. He founded Project Right Side, a non-profit focused on researching and improving the political climate for LGBTQ issues, and was a key figure in repealing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in the US military.
Mehlman is a highly educated individual himself. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College (1988) as well as a J.D. from Harvard Law School (1991). He supports the furthering of education and knows that celebrity goes a long way in spreading a message, which is why he is an active public speaker in the inspirational, business, and LGBT realms.