David McKean is the Director of Policy Planning. He joined the U.S. Department of State in April 2012 as a Senior Advisor to Secretary of State Clinton for the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR). He is the recipient of a Distinguished Honor Award.
In 2011, Mr. McKean was a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He previously served as CEO of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation in Boston. Prior to that, McKean was the Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was Chief of Staff in Senator John Kerry's personal office from 1999 to 2008. Mr. McKean was a key player in laying the groundwork for the Senator's presidential campaign in 2004 and was a co-chairman of the Senator’s presidential transition team. In 1997 and 1998, he served as the Minority Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Mr. McKean taught at the Waterford Kamhlaba School in Swaziland from 1981-1982.
Mr. McKean is the author of three books on American political history: Friends in High Places (with Douglas Frantz), a 1995 New York Times “Notable Book”; Tommy the Cork, a Washington Post Book World cover and “Best Books of 2004”; and The Great Decision (with Cliff Sloan), a History Book Club “Best Books of 2009.” He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1980 and holds graduate degrees from both the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Duke Law School. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the Foundation for the National Archives.