Hartford Seminary

Rion Lecture: Attorney Peter Kelly on ‘Faithful Values at Work: Democracy Building, Relationships, and a Sense of Humor’


As the featured speaker for the biennial Michael Rion Lecture, Hartford attorney Peter Kelly will address “Faithful Values at Work: Democracy Building, Relationships, and a Sense of Humor.”

Mr. Kelly has a distinguished and varied career in public service in Hartford, across the nation, and around the world.  His success and effectiveness has been rooted in core values learned from family and faith, and his lecture will illustrate his conviction that every life makes an impact when motivated by a commitment to justice and respect for all.

The lecture, named in honor of Michael Rion, a former Seminary president, honors an individual who embodies a dedication to ministry in daily life and is committed to service to others. It will take place in the Meeting Room at Hartford Seminary, 77 Sherman St., Hartford, CT.

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About Peter Kelly

Peter Kelly has long been active in politics at every level, in the world of business on a national and international level and the practice of law in Connecticut and nationally.  He has served as National Treasurer and National Finance Chairman of the Democratic Party.  He was a member of the Democratic National Committee for sixteen years.  He has served as senior political advisor to Albert Gore, Jr. in 1986, 1988 and 2000 and William Clinton in 1992 and 1996.  Mr. Kelly was one of the architects of our country’s democratization foundation structure.  He was a director and Treasurer of the American Political Foundation, the originator of the structure.  He was a founder, director and Treasurer of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and Chairman and a director of The Center for Democracy, both based in Washington, DC.  He currently serves as Chairman and a director of International Foundation for Electoral Systems, a bi-partisan foundation,that works around the World assisting emerging democracies in establishing an electoral process.  These include Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Palestinian Territory, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and others.

Mr. Kelly is a graduate of Georgetown University magna cum laude and the Yale Law School where he served as an Editor of The Yale Law Journal.  He is a senior principal of Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C., a law firm with offices in Hartford, Middletown and New Haven, Connecticut.

He is a member of the bars of Connecticut, New York and the District of Columbia.  Among other boards, he serves as Chairman of Saint Francis Foundation and is a member of the board of Saint Francis Care Board and related organizations.  He also serves as a founder and Chairman of Malta House of Care Foundation, a private foundation that provides primary health care for the uninsured in Central Connecticut area and a director of Malta House of Care-Waterbury.

He served as a Chairman of Black, Kelly, Scruggs and Healey, a Washington public affairs firm, and Managing Director of Burson-Marsteller (Latin America). He also served as Chairman of The PBN Company, a strategic planning firm with offices throughout Eastern and Central Europe, London and Washington, DC.

He previously served as Chairman of the following organizations:  The World Affairs Council of Connecticut, The Greater Hartford Arts Council, Greater Hartford Convention and Visitors Bureau and the MetroHartford Chamber of Commerce.  He also served as a director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Hartford Business Journal ran a piece on Peter Kelly in 2012 which can be read here.

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