Patrick J. Kennedy
Former U.S. Representative (D-RI) and Founder of The Kennedy Forum
During his time in Congress, Patrick J. Kennedy was the lead author of the landmark Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Federal Parity Law), which requires insurers to cover treatment for mental health and substance use disorders no more restrictively than treatment for illnesses of the body, such as diabetes and cancer. In 2013, he founded The Kennedy Forum, a nonprofit that unites advocates, business leaders, and government agencies to advance evidence-based practices, policies, and programming in mental health and addiction. In 2015, Kennedy co-authored the New York Times Bestseller, “A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction,” which details a bold plan for the future of mental health care in America. In 2017, he was appointed to the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.
Kennedy is also the founder of DontDenyMe.org, an educational campaign that empowers consumers and providers to understand parity rights and connects them to essential appeals guidance and resources; co-founder of One Mind, an organization that pushes for greater global investment in brain research; co-chair of Mental Health for US, a nonpartisan initiative designed to elevate mental health and addiction in policy conversations during the 2020 election cycle; and co-chair of the Action Alliance’s Mental Health & Suicide Prevention National Response to COVID-19.
Amy L. Kennedy
Co-founder of The Kennedy Forum
Amy pursues partnerships and collaborations that emphasize evidence-based research and programming to facilitate policy change in the areas of education and mental health.
With over 15 years of experience working in public schools, Amy has seen first-hand how a child’s mental health and mental health literacy impacts their ability to learn and grow—not only in the classroom, but in life. Her experiences as a teacher and as a mother of five propel her efforts and advocacy around social-emotional learning and mental wellness for children and adolescents. Each day, Amy challenges herself and others to learn to address ACEs and other developmental roadblocks head on through thoughtful interventions and skill building.
Amy knows that by supporting educators and working with community partners to create robust mental health systems within our schools, it is possible to identify students’ needs and intervene early, while neuroplasticity is at its peak. Through strategies like social-emotional learning and integrated systems of care that meet students where they are, we have the power to improve educational, emotional, and health outcomes for all kids.
Amy serves on the boards of Mental Health America, a leading national advocacy organization and Parity.org, which promotes gender parity at the highest levels of business.
She is an advisory board member of Interaxon, a mental health technology company; the JED Foundation which focuses on mental wellness and emotional preparedness for teens; and Brain Futures.
Amy and her husband, former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, live in southern New Jersey with their five children.
Visit Amy’s website to learn more about her work.
Rebecca O. Bagley
President & CEO of The Kennedy Forum
In her role as President and CEO, Rebecca oversees the organization’s efforts to advance evidence-based practices, policies, and programming for the equal treatment of mental health and addiction. She also leads initiatives designed to unite advocates, business leaders, and policymakers around the most pressing opportunities.
Rebecca brings over 20 years of experience collaborating with stakeholders through strategic partnerships that achieve shared goals and outcomes. Utilizing a vast professional network of experts and resources to forge partnerships, she is deeply focused on inspiring cultures of progress and innovation. Prior to joining The Forum, Rebecca was CEO of Cannex Scientific, responsible for commercializing a new anti-anxiety medication from Brigham/Harvard Medical School. Earlier in her career, as Vice Chancellor of Economic Partnerships at the University of Pittsburgh, she sucessfully expanded a network of global partnerships with financial groups, corporations, and government entities to support $850M+ in research. Rebecca was formerly the Chief Executive Officer of NorTech, a technology-focused organization that accelerated products to market by compiling diverse teams. While at NorTech, she also led a national effort to create the Innovation Advocacy Council (IAC), which successfully secured a $50 million line item in the federal budget and contributed to the creation of a $1 billion Build Back Better regional challenge.
Prior to joining NorTech, Rebecca was Deputy Secretary for the Technology Investment Office of the Pennsylvania DCED, which managed $1.7 billion, over 5 years, of programmatic and endowment funding that accelerated commercialization and supported company growth. She also led a cross agency teams that drove the passage of a $650 million Energy Independence Fund.
She has worked for several investment banks, most notably JPMorgan Chase in New York City, and has been engaged in global efforts and organizations including Clinton Global Initiative and the federally appointed National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Rebecca currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA with her family.