Kenneth I. Chenault is chairman and a managing director of the venture capital firm General Catalyst. As a managing director, he focuses on investing in fast-growing companies that have the potential to become large, fundamental institutions. He also provides guidance to portfolio companies, particularly those with an eye toward global markets and responsible innovation as they scale their teams and products. As chairman, Chenault leverages his leadership abilities and experience to evolve General Catalyst into a formidable and enduring firm.
Prior to joining General Catalyst, Chenault was chair and CEO of American Express Company from 2001 to 2018. He joined American Express in 1981 as director of strategic planning and also served as vice chair, president, and chief operating officer before his appointment as CEO.
Chenault has been recognized by multiple publications including Fortune magazine, which named him one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” in 2014 and 2021.
Chenault serves on the boards of Airbnb, Berkshire Hathaway, Chief, Guild Education, and the Harvard Corporation. He is a cofounder of OneTen, a coalition of leading executives committing to upskill, hire, and advance one million Black Americans over the next ten years into family-sustaining jobs. He also serves on the board of governors of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Chenault is on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution’s Advisory Council for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Human Centered Artificial Intelligence Institute Advisory Council at Stanford University. He also serves on the board of trustees for NYU Langone Health and as co-chair of Concordance’s First Chance campaign to end the cycle of reincarceration.
Chenault holds a BA from Bowdoin College and a JD from Harvard Law School. He has also received honorary degrees from several universities and awards from a wide variety of civic, social service, and community organizations.