Sean Kennedy, a well-known and highly respected government affairs professional in the state, has been named the New Jersey head for CGI, the global consultancy firm announced.
Kennedy, whose title is director – consulting services, will be based in New Brunswick. He will oversee CGI’s New Jersey state and local government accounts, long his specialty. But he also will have a major role with the company’s corporate clients.
Kennedy will report to Mike Reagan, a senior vice president at CGI who oversees a large portion of the Northeast.
For Kennedy, who will oversee approximately 250 people in the firm’s New Brunswick office, the job was a perfect fit.
“I really loved getting to know Mike, learning about his values — and the values of the company,” he said.
It also is a job Kennedy was not necessarily looking for.
Kennedy was working at Rowan University, his alma mater, as vice president of government affairs and corporate partnerships — duties he held for nearly six years.
A global consulting firm based in Montreal, CGI has more than 90,000 employees worldwide. The company, which was founded in 1976, has had a New Jersey presence for more than two decades as a longtime provider of information technology and business consulting services to New Jersey’s public sector, solving complex business problems using technology. Many of its solutions are used by various state and local agencies to help run critical functions in government.
“It was an honor to be able to advocate for my alma mater,” he said. “I loved being there. We had a lot of successes and we built up a lot of great relationships throughout the state.”
Those efforts attracted Reagan.
The two, who met on a Choose New Jersey trip to Ireland with the governor, said they hit it off immediately. Over time, Reagan realized he wanted Kennedy on his team.
“This was a matter of, ‘How do I get this guy on my team?’” Reagan said. “So, we moved a few things around and decided to roll everything under Sean.”
CGI, which has been in New Jersey for more than two decades, specializes in information technology solutions.
“We specialize in digital transformation,” Reagan said. “If you have your strategy, how do you enable that strategy by using technology? For governments, how do you automate citizen services that do not require a lot of interaction — like renewing a driver’s license.
“The shutdown during the pandemic showed there is a lot of digital automation that needs to be done by state and local agencies. We’re here to help.”
Reagan said Kennedy will be a big help.
“Sean’s going to run the state of New Jersey,” he said. “He’s responsible for the well-being of the state government and county business — anything associated with New Jersey on the government side.
“In addition, since Sean has a lot of contacts on the commercial side, he’ll help my team that runs all the commercial business — whether it’s life sciences, manufacturing, utilities, you name it. So, Sean’s going to help us on both sides of the fence.”
The goal, Reagan said, is to expand the territory that fence surrounds.
“Sean’s deep experience in government affairs and creating strategic partnerships, both in the public and private sector, will be an asset to CGI as we expand our presence in New Jersey,” he said.
In addition to his connections at Rowan and New Jersey Legislature, Kennedy also serves as the president of the Burlington County board of taxation.
He also has a long and distinguished history in the state from leading campaigns at the highest levels to business development for highly respected civil engineering firms.
Kennedy also is widely respected for his deep commitment to civic and charitable causes, having raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for numerous causes including teens suffering from cancer to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, premature birth, mental health, families dealing with tragedies and youth sports.
Kennedy said he is eager to get going.
“I am honored to join CGI to lead the New Jersey state and local government accounts,” he said. “Having worked on different projects with Mike over the last few years, I have the highest respect for him, his team and CGI. I’m very excited to help build stronger relationships for CGI in New Jersey.”