Inaugural Symposium: The Power of the Liberal Arts — American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault ’73, H’96 Gives Liberal Arts the Credit

Ken Chenault '73

Ken Chenault ’73

The Power of the Liberal Arts,” the symposium that is prelude to the inauguration of Clayton S. Rose as Bowdoin’s 15th president, comprises leaders from the worlds of business, design, government, higher education and public health. The symposium will be held in Pickard Theater, Memorial Hall, 2 p.m.­–5 p.m., Friday, October 16, 2015. In advance of the discussion, we begin a series of participant profiles.

American Express Chairman and CEO Ken Chenault ’73, H’96, part of the panel “Making a Living and Making a Life: The Liberal Arts in Commerce and Citizenship,” has been with the company since 1981, taking on his current role in 2001.

Chenault’s celebrated leadership has been highlighted numerous times in the media, including by Advertising Age and Barron’s.

In 2014, Chenault was included in Fortune magazine’s compilation, “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders,” in which he was described as “the most accomplished leader in global finance.”

Quoting a Bowdoin Magazine profile of Chenault, Inc. magazine included him in the 2013 article, ”Is There a Place for Liberal Arts in Business?”

“I am a strong believer in liberal arts education…what we really need today are people who have broad perspectives, people who are willing to take some chances intellectually and learn about subjects that they may not be the best in the world at. We need people who are going to be intellectually curious.”
Read the profile, “A Principled Leader,” in the Winter 2004 issue of Bowdoin Magazine.

Chenault sits on the board of directors at IBM and Procter & Gamble Co., is a member of The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the Harvard Corporation, and is a trustee of the NYU Langone Medical Center.

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