Enda Kenny TD was Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland from March 2011 until he stepped down in June 2017.
He led Ireland from its worst recession, when the country had to join an IMF / EU / ECB bailout programme, back to prosperity and to becoming the fastest growing economy in Europe for the last 3 years.
Under his leadership, Ireland regained full access to the financial markets in 2013, unemployment, which had stood at over 15% , dropped to 6%, and interest rates on Irish borrowing fell from 15% to zero, a truly remarkable turn around.
He oversaw a smooth transfer of power to his party colleague, Leo Varadkar, in June 2017 but he will remain a member of parliament until the next General Election.
A politician for over 40 years, he was first elected in 1975 and has been re-elected at each of the 11 subsequent General Elections. He also served as Minister for Tourism and Trade and in Education and Labour, and was a member of many committees including The New Ireland Forum, specially set up to deal with Northern Ireland issues.
In 2015 following the report of a citizens convention on the issue of marriage equality his government held a referendum and changed the Irish constitution to allow for same sex marriages, the first country to do so in this manner.
He also changed the relationship between government and the Catholic Church following a series of scandals exposed within the Church. He conducted the Presidency of the EU in 2013 and oversaw the agreement of its budget of €960 billion. He served as Vice President of the European People’s Party at the European Parliament for 6 years. His contribution in the White House in March 2017 on immigration was followed by millions of viewers.
Mr. Kenny assumed leadership of the Party at a time when it had suffered a major defeat in a general election, and following his campaign to revitalise it, he led Fine Gael to victory at the 2011 General Election, with his party becoming the largest in the state for the first time. Under his leadership Fine Gael became the largest party in local, Dáil and European Parliament level, a result never achieved previously. He became Taoiseach for the second time in 2016.
Throughout his time in politics, he has shown an ability to connect with people from across the spectrum from Heads of State, international business and civil society leaders, to the farming community in his West of Ireland constituency in Mayo.
In his speeches, Mr. Kenny can draw on his vast domestic and international experience to put the current rapidly changing global political and economic landscape into context. Business audiences will learn from his insights into the decision-making and leadership skills required as they navigate a challenging, transformational environment. He can provide an unrivalled perspective on Brexit developments as well as valuable insights on the rise of populist politicians and parties around the globe and the future of Europe in a globalised world.