Photo: Interim Dean Stuart Shapiro with Kevin Drennan MCRP ’07 (right)
Brought up in a family where civic engagement is life, 2022 Bloustein School Career Achievement honoree Kevin Drennan MCRP ‘07 cites his failure to vote in his first election as a major influence in his career path.
From that point, he committed to being part of the next gubernatorial election, first by working on former Governor Jim McGreevy’s 2001 campaign, and then joining Governor Jon Corzine’s transition team and staff (2005). He went on to work in the Office of Economic Growth, the State Commerce Commission, and the Urban Enterprise Zone Authority before joining the Senate Majority Office as Chief of Staff and Executive Director for Senate Presidents Sweeney and Scutari.
During these years he was also building a family and working toward his graduate degree in urban planning at the Bloustein School. In accepting his accolades for Career Achievement at the Bloustein Alumni Awards celebration on October 20, 2022, he said the following:
“I can say with absolute certainty that so much of what I learned here at Bloustein, and during my time working with the Corzine transition, informed my ability to assist the Senate president and the entire state Senate. In several courses at Bloustein, I was tasked with working with teams. While some students complain about group work, in government it’s all group work. Many people have been part of my teams and government and campaigns are here tonight. And I thank you. And I want to not only thank them but congratulate them because, without them, I would not be here.”
In addition to serving on teams that guided the state through Superstorm Sandy and a global pandemic, Kevin has been a champion in the push to move New Jersey forward. He worked on state policies that included: restructuring of higher education; a more equitable school funding formula that invested billions more in public education; expunging thousands of nonviolent offenses that prevented citizens from achieving a new life; providing undocumented immigrants with driver’s licenses and children of undocumented immigrants within state tuition and access to grants; legalizing online gaming, sports betting and marijuana; creating opportunities to make college more affordable; improving the lives of developmentally disabled; reauthorizing the transportation trust fund; increasing state minimum wage; expanding paid family leave; protecting same-sex marriage; and protecting a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.
Now the managing director of Mercury Public Affairs’ Westfield, NJ office, he specializes in government affairs and is responsible for strategic advising and legislative advocacy. He is also a Partner at Field Strategies/Civic Operations Group, responsible for building strategic relationships. He also enjoys spending time with his wife Rachel and daughters, Eva Marie and Jacqueline.