CA-04: Brynne Kennedy (D)
PROFILE

November 2, 2020 by TWN Staff

About Kennedy:

Brynne Kennedy is a candidate for U.S. Congress. Kennedy is the founder of Topia – a software company that has pioneered new tools to help more businesses compete in a changing economy.

She was raised in a rural community that struggled in the aftermath of manufacturing plant closures. Her father was a community college teacher, the first in his family to attend college and a military veteran. Her mother runs a small-town store.

Growing up, Kennedy was a competitive gymnast, who won three State Championships and qualified for the US National Junior Elite Training Team before an injury ended her Olympic aspirations.

After graduating college, Kennedy worked on financing infrastructure and housing projects in high growth communities across the world. Determined to be the best in a field dominated by men, she routinely put in 80-100 hour work weeks – even as she faced many barriers to advancement.

As a business leader, she saw the opportunity for smart investments to uplift and transform communities, but also the importance of holding powerful interests accountable to basic standards and values. In her own job, she faced unequal pay and survived a violent sexual assault from a supervisor thirty years her senior.

These experiences shaped Kennedy’s efforts to develop new ways to support workers in rapidly changing and increasingly mobile work environments. Under Kennedy’s determined leadership, Topia began in 2010 as an idea at a kitchen table, and grew into a global software company.

Since leaving Topia, Kennedy has emerged as one of America’s leading voices on the effects of technology on the workplace, and for policies that enable more workers and businesses to acquire the skills and support to compete in the 21st century. She’s a former columnist for the Financial Times and her first book was published by McGraw-Hill in October of 2019.

She is also the founder of Mobility4All, a charitable initiative that supported refugees displaced by political conflict and environmental disruptions, and has advised lawmakers on policy issues in the face of a changing economy that too often shortchanges rural communities in favor of large coastal cities.

Kennedy earned her bachelor’s degree from Yale University, her M.B.A. from the London Business School, and speaks Mandarin and French. She lives in Roseville, Calif.

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