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Raymond Kelly      

Former New York City Police Department Commissioner

With 50 years in public service, including 14 years as Police Commissioner of the City of New York, Raymond W. Kelly is one of the world’s most well-known and highly esteemed leaders in law enforcement. Kelly was appointed Police Commissioner in January 2002 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, making Kelly the longest serving Police Commissioner in the city’s history, as well as the first to hold the post for a second, separate tenure. He also served as Police Commissioner under Mayor David N. Dinkins from 1992-1994.

In 2002, Commissioner Kelly created the first counterterrorism bureau of any municipal police department in the country. He also established a new global intelligence program and stationed New York City detectives in eleven foreign cities. Under Kelly’s leadership, the NYPD lowered violent crime by 40% from 2001 levels, while also dedicating extensive resources to the successful prevention of any future terrorist attacks. Commissioner Kelly also established the Real Time Crime Center, a state-of-the-art facility that uses data mining to search millions of computer records and put investigative leads into the hands of detectives in the field. These department wide improvements have served as the model for other law enforcement agencies around the world.

The former commissioner opens up about his life in law enforcement and his fight against international terrorism post-9/11 in his memoir "Vigilance: My Life Serving America and Protecting its Empire City," which was released in September 2015 by Hachette Book Group.

Currently, Commissioner Kelly serves as President of Cushman & Wakefield’s Risk Management Services division, a position created specifically for him. As President, Commissioner Kelly focuses on helping clients identify potential vulnerabilities, as well as prepare for and manage risk across a number of critical areas, including physical and cyber security intelligence, crisis management, and emergency preparedness. Kelly is also a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and an ABC News consultant.

In addition to twice serving as the New York City Police Commissioner, Kelly’s career in public service includes directing the International Police Force in Haiti (appointed by then President Bill Clinton), serving as a Vice President of Interpol from 1996-2000, Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service and Undersecretary of Enforcement at the U.S. Treasury Department.

As Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service, he managed the agency’s 20,000 employees and $20 billion in annual revenue. For his accomplishments, Commissioner Kelly was awarded the Alexander Hamilton Medal for Exceptional Service. As Under Secretary for Enforcement at the U.S. Treasury Department (the third highest post in the department at the time), he supervised the Department’s enforcement bureaus including the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Secret Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. For his service as Director of the International Police Monitors in Haiti, Commissioner Kelly was awarded the Exceptionally Meritorious Service Commendation by the President of the United States.

In the private sector, Commissioner Kelly served as Senior Managing Director of Global Corporate Security at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. A 43-year veteran of the NYPD, Commissioner Kelly served in 25 different commands before being named Police Commissioner. He was appointed to the New York City Police Department in 1963. Shortly thereafter he accepted a commission to the United States Marine Corps Officer Program. He served on active military duty for three years including a combat tour in Vietnam. He returned to the Police Department in 1966 and entered the New York City Police Academy, graduating with the highest combined average for academics, physical achievement and marksmanship. He was also a member of the inaugural class of the New York City Police Cadet Corps for three years while a student at Manhattan College. During his tenure time in the NYPD, Kelly received 14 citations of merit for outstanding police work. Commissioner Kelly retired as a Colonel from the Marine Corps Reserves after 30 years of service.

Commissioner Kelly holds a BBA from Manhattan College, a JD from St. John’s University School of Law, an LLM from New York University Graduate School of Law and an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has been awarded honorary degrees from the Catholic University of America, Manhattan College, St. John’s University, the State University of New York, the College of St. Rose, Iona College, Marist College, New York University, Pace University, Quinnipiac University, and St. Thomas Aquinas College.

In September 2006, Commissioner Kelly was awarded France’s highest decoration, the Legion D’Honneur, by then French Minister of the Interior Nicholas Sarkozy.

Speech Topics


Understanding the Risks and Threats America Faces Today

Vigilance: A Life & Legacy in Public Service and Leadership

Technology—Benefits and Threats to Public Safety

Diversity in the Workforce

Leadership in the 21st Century

Cyber Security and Counter-terrorism

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