Cody Keenan, Taking Risks in Public Service

Title

Cody Keenan, Taking Risks in Public Service

Description

In an address dated May 19, 2015, former President Obama's Senior Advisor and Chief Speechwriter, Cody Keenan, advises public service graduates to embrace the fear of failure. Fear of failure can help to push oneself in public service, and avoid the plague of complacency. Keenan concludes by stating that no matter how tough public service can be in terms of doubters, you must tread ahead and be able to take big risks.

Cody Keenan wrote speeches with and for former President Barack Obama for more than a decade. Throughout times of challenge and change, Keenan helped President Obama craft remarks on every topic for every audience, a key strongpoint that his career working for President Obama and Congess significantly highlight – Keenan could craft rhetoric for all topics that werre relatable and resonating to all listeners, with the same messaging ringing through from the tiny backyards in Iowa to the biggest stadiums in the country; from a sermon in Selma to Obama's farewell address.

Keenan has been described as the “Springsteen” of Obama’s White House, and was named by British GQ as one of the “35 Coolest Men Under 38 (And a Half).” In January of 2017, after 36 years of hopefully waiting, Keenan finally earned and was thereby given the opportunity to write his "dream speech" – one in which President Obama welcomed the World Champion Chicago Cubs to the White House. Indeed, Keenan demonstrated quite impressive speechwriting career highlights galore!

Having received his higher education at both Northwestern University (class of '02) and Harvard University, Cody Keenan’s passion for public service was polished during his role as a young aide to Senator Edward Kennedy. Upon leaving the White House, President Obama asked Keenan to continue their partnership as his collaborator on his upcoming book, as well as as his post-presidential speechwriter, maintaining the close-knit bond the two had developed while President Obama was in office. 

Creator

New York University, Northwestern University's Department of Political Science

Date

May 19, 2015
2020

Source

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/MHhmYoTKU4o/maxresdefault.jpg
https://time.com/3921833/cody-keenan-nyu-commencement-speech/

https://www.polisci.northwestern.edu/about/featured-alumni/cody-keenan-02.html

Relation

Rights

NYU

Publisher

NYU

Contributor

NYU

Format

Photograph

Language

English

Type

Speech

Identifier

Cody Keenan, Speech, Public Service, Failure, Risk-Taking

Coverage

United States

Files

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/MHhmYoTKU4o/maxresdefault.jpg

Reference

New York University, Northwestern University's Department of Political Science, Cody Keenan, Taking Risks in Public Service, NYU, May 19, 2015 2020

Cite As

New York University, Northwestern University's Department of Political Science, “Cody Keenan, Taking Risks in Public Service,” Virtual Museum of Public Service, accessed August 11, 2022, https://vmps.omeka.net/items/show/695.