Michael Kempner

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Michael Kempner
Michael Kempner Headshot 2019.jpg
Member of the U.S. Agency for Global Media
Assumed office
December 12, 2014
Appointed byBarack Obama
Preceded byMichael Lynton
Personal details
Born (1958-01-31) January 31, 1958 (age 64)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Political partyDemocratic Party
Spouse(s)Jacqueline Steinberg-Kempner
Children1 son, 2 daughters
Residence(s)New York, New York
Alma materAmerican University
OccupationBusinessman, political fundraiser[1][2]
Known forFounder and CEO of MikeWordWide
Former Deputy Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee

Michael W. Kempner (born January 31, 1958) is an American businessman. He is the founder and CEO of MikeWorldWide, a public relations firm headquartered in New York, New York. Kempner is also known for his political contributions and fundraising for the Democratic Party.[3][4][5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Kempner was born on January 31, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from American University School of Public Affairs,[7] where he received a Bachelor of Science in 1981.[8][9] In 2013, he received an Alumni Achievement Award from the university.[10] In May 2018, he gave the commencement address to the university's School of Communications and was given an honorary PhD degree.[11][7]


Kempner founded MWW Group in 1986. He is also a founding board member of ConnectOne Bancorp (NASDAQ: CNOB).[8] In 2012, he received the International Business Awards' Public Relations Executive of the Year, the 2012 American Business Awards' PR Executive of the Year, and the 2012 PR News Awards' Professional of the Year. Kempner was presented The Gay And Lesbian Victory Fund's 2014 Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of MikeWorldWide.[12]

Kempner became a member of the U.S. Agency for Global Media in December 2014.[13] In March 2015, Kempner received PRWeek's PR Pro of the Year award.[14] Kempner negotiated a buyout from Interpublic Group of Companies and re-branded the company as MikeWorldWide.[15]

Kempner serves on the Board of Trustees of the American University School of Communications.[16] He formerly served on the International Board of Goodwill Industries and the board for the Coalition for the Homeless in NYC.[17] In 2016, Kempner was recognized on PolitickerNJ's Power List.[18]

Kempner has been recognized by the NJBIZ Power 100 List every year from 2015 to 2021.[19][20][21][22][23][24]

In 2017, he was named Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.[25] He is also a member of the Fulbright-Canada Scholarship Board.[26]

He received a NJBIZ ICON Award in 2018.[27]

In 2020, Kempner was elected to the PR Council Board of Directors.[28]

In 2020, Kempner received the Observer award[29] and was named to the PRWeek Hall of Fame.[30]

Political activity[edit]

Kempner is a government appointee and political fundraiser.[31] He was one of Hillary Clinton's National Finance co-chairs and a lead fundraiser for her 2008 bid for the U.S. presidency.[3] He later took up a "significant fundraising role" for President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign.[3] Kempner was the Deputy Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee and a member of the Obama for President National Finance Committee.[8] He is a member of the DNC National Finance Committee, the New Jersey Finance Chair for the DNC, and a member of the New Jersey Government Advisory Council on Volunteerism and Community Service.[8]

In 2010, Kempner hosted a $30,400/plate Democratic Party fundraising dinner attended by President Obama at his home in Cresskill, New Jersey.[4][32][33]

In December 2010, President Obama appointed Kempner a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions, a council that works to "reengage disenfranchised youth."[8][34]

In September 2012, he was listed by The New York Times as one of the top "bundlers" for Obama's 2012 reelection campaign, having raised $3 million in 2011 and through May 2012.[35]

In 2013, Kempner donated $50,000 to Organizing for Action.[5] In January 2014, President Obama nominated Kempner to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees federally controlled outlets that operate overseas.[36] Kempner took office in December of that year.[37]

Kempner is on the board of directors for three US Agency for Global Media networks: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL); Radio Free Asia (RFA); and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN).[38][39]

Personal life[edit]

Kempner is married to Jacqueline Steinberg-Kempner.[40]


  1. ^ "MWW's Kempner Is Staunch Clinton Supporter". O'Dwyers. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Inside the Clinton Donor Network". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Kempner joins Team Obama". Politicker NJ. Retrieved Nov 19, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Obama's N.J. Fund-Raiser: A Compromise or Two?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved Nov 19, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Obama advocacy group raised almost $5 million so far in 2013". NBC News. Retrieved Nov 19, 2013.
  6. ^ "Alumni Success Stories: Michael Kempner". American University School of Communication. Retrieved Nov 19, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Michael Kempner Commencement Address for AU's School of Communication". YouTube. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Michael Kempner". Huffington Post. Retrieved Nov 19, 2013.
  9. ^ ALUMNI SUCCESS STORY Michael Kempner
  10. ^ "History of Alumni Awards at AU". American University. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  11. ^ Alex, Kelly. "AU Announces 2018 Commencement Speakers". American University. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  12. ^ Ocamb, Karen (26 October 2014). "Victory Fund Honors California LGBT Leaders and Trans Congressional Staffer Ben Panico (Video)". Frontiers LA. Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  13. ^ "Michael Kempner". Broadcasting Board of Governors. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  14. ^ "PR Pro of the Year - Agency 2015". PRWeek. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  15. ^ "MWW Re-Brands to "Matter More"". Everything PR. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  16. ^ Sangillo |, Gregg. "Growth and Promise: Leading PR Executive Gets More Involved at AU". American University. Retrieved 2022-01-31.
  17. ^ "Leadership". Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  18. ^ Max Pizarro (November 17, 2016). "PolitickerNJ's (Full!) 2016 Power List". Observer. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  19. ^ "NJBIZ Power 100 100-71". NJBIZ. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  20. ^ Perry, Jessica (25 January 2016). "Best of the rest Others who were suggested". NJBIZ. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  21. ^ Perry, Jessica (6 February 2017). "The NJBIZ Power 100 The 100 most powerful people in New Jersey business". NJBIZ. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  22. ^ Perry, Jessica (26 March 2018). "The 2018 NJBIZ Power 100". NJBIZ. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  23. ^ Perry, Jessica (25 March 2019). "The 2019 NJBIZ Power 100". NJBIZ. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  24. ^ "MWWPR CEO, Michael Kempner Ranked As One Of New Jersey's Most Powerful People For Seventh Straight Year". citybiz. 2021-03-01. Retrieved 2022-01-31.
  25. ^ "Board of Directors". www.manhattancc.org. Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  26. ^ "Michael Kempner". Wharton Business Radio. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  27. ^ "NJBIZ names 2018 Icon Awards winners". NJBIZ. 6 July 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  28. ^ "PR Council Elects 2020 Officers and New Board Members". Business Wire. 23 January 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  29. ^ "Michael Kempner". Observer. 21 December 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  30. ^ "Michael Kempner Hall of Fame 2020". PR Week. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  31. ^ "Among Top Obama Fundraisers, Influence Seekers Abound". Time. 20 July 2011. Retrieved Nov 19, 2013.
  32. ^ "President Obama to visit N.J. for fundraiser dinner event". The Star-Ledger. 6 October 2010. Retrieved Nov 19, 2013.
  33. ^ "Fund-raiser with Obama likely to be a ritzy affair?". The Record. Retrieved Nov 19, 2013.
  34. ^ "President Obama Announces Members of the White House Council for Community Solutions". whitehouse.gov. 14 December 2010. Retrieved Nov 19, 2013 – via National Archives.
  35. ^ "Obama's Top Fund-Raisers". The New York Times. September 13, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  36. ^ "Obama taps Cresskill man for federal panel". The Record. January 10, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  37. ^ Ramsey Cox (December 12, 2014). "Senate confirms ambassadorships". The Hill. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  38. ^ "New USAGM Acting Head Names New Leadership to Networks". VOA. Retrieved 2022-01-31.
  39. ^ "United States Agency for Global Media replaces leadership at its other networks sharing freedom of press principles". USAGM. Retrieved 2022-01-31.
  40. ^ Sangillo, Gregg (October 21, 2019). "Growth and Promise: Leading PR Executive Gets More Involved at AU". American University.

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