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Kelly Veney Darnell

Chief Operating Officer

Headshot of Kelly Veney Darnell

Kelly Veney Darnell is the Chief Operating Officer for the Bipartisan Policy Center. She has extensive experience across several sectors including positions in nonprofit, banking, government, legal and politics.

Kelly has served in the capacity of Chief Operating Officer (COO) for several organizations including The Executive Leadership Council, United Way of the National Capital Area, and for the Washington, D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education. As COO for these organizations, she has been responsible for operations, as well as fundraising, marketing and communications, member services, and events management. In addition to her operational responsibilities in DC government, she also managed the student transportation system.

Prior to her operations positions, she served on the transition team for the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch merger and in Capital Markets Structured Finance, focusing on mortgage finance and derivatives. She also practiced corporate law at Saul Ewing, LLP.

Kelly has held several political positions including serving as a lobbyist representing the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, as the Federal Affairs Director for the City of Atlanta under the leadership of Mayor Bill Campbell and as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman John Lewis in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Her board service includes the D.C. Bar Foundation and Calvary Women’s Services. She is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and has received numerous awards, including the 2019 Washington Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business Award.

She received her B.A. in Economics from Spelman College and a Master’s of Public Management degree from the University of Maryland. She received her law degree from the American University, Washington College of Law.