Raymond Kelly

Former Commissioner of the NYPD

Chat to Check Speaker Availability Book Now

Follow Raymond:

View All Videos of Raymond Kelly

At the Podium

In an eye-opening conversation, Commissioner Kelly recounts his experience leading one of the largest—and most widely respected—police departments in the world. Having taken the helm post 9/11, at the height of the city’s uncertainty and fear, Kelly describes how reassuring New Yorkers of their safety and keeping New York City secure against any future threats became the key objectives of his administration. Kelly explains exactly why the security of New York is both germane and important to the security of the entire country, and discusses how he transformed the NYPD into an international counter-terrorism force commensurate with those of the FBI and the Pentagon. Audiences gain insights into the greatest potential threats to our security today, with actionable recommendations that can be immediately implemented in their own organizations.

In addition, as the former Commissioner for the U.S. Customs Service, Kelly also possesses unique insight into the evolving issues surrounding immigration and policing. He offers audiences an expert perspective on the best practices for dealing with immigrants, as well as how steps taken by President Trump and ICE will affect communities across the nation.

Kelly’s expertise extends beyond the realm of policing as well. From his work in law enforcement to his more recent post as the Vice Chairman of K2 Intelligence, Kelly has developed a keen understanding of risk management. At K2, Kelly brought decades of experience setting strategy to combat threats faced by nations around the world, in both the public and private sectors. He provides valuable insight into the design and development of tailored enterprise risk solutions for clients around the world. In addition, Kelly investigates internal and external risks affecting the safety of client assets and the reputation and stability of their key stakeholders. No matter the type of organization, he outlines the steps necessary to identify potential threats and strategic issues, protect business interests, and enhance cyber security. With 50 years in public service, including 14 years as Police Commissioner of the City of New York, Raymond W. Kelly is one of the world’s most well-known and highly esteemed leaders in law enforcement.

My expectations were high and Ray Kelly delivered! One of the best YPO resource/education talks we’ve seen!


About Raymond Kelly

With 50 years in public service, including 14 years as Police Commissioner of the City of New York, Raymond W. Kelly is one of the world’s most well-known and highly esteemed leaders in law enforcement. Kelly was appointed Police Commissioner in January 2002 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, making Kelly the longest serving Police Commissioner in the city’s history, as well as the first to hold the post for a second, separate tenure. He also served as Police Commissioner under Mayor David N. Dinkins from 1992-1994.

In 2002, in the wake of 9/11, Commissioner Kelly created the first counterterrorism bureau of any municipal police department in the country. He also established a new global intelligence program, stationing New York City detectives in eleven foreign cities. Under Kelly’s leadership, the NYPD reduced violent crime by 40% from 2001 levels, while also dedicating extensive resources to the successful prevention of any future terrorist attacks. Commissioner Kelly also established the Real Time Crime Center, a state-of-the-art facility that uses data mining to search millions of computer records and put investigative leads into the hands of detectives in the field. These department-wide improvements have served as the model for other law enforcement agencies around the world.

The former commissioner chronicles his life in law enforcement and his fight against international terrorism post-9/11 in his memoir Vigilance: My Life Serving America and Protecting its Empire City, released in September 2015 by Hachette Book Group.

Commissioner Kelly served as Vice-Chairman at K2 Intelligence, an industry-leading investigative, compliance, and cyber defense services firm. There, he provided unparalleled insight into the design and development of tailored enterprise risk solutions for clients around the world. In December 2016, he joined the Advisory Board of the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), a not-for-profit, non-partisan, international policy organization formed to combat the growing threat from extremist ideology.

In addition to twice serving as the New York City Police Commissioner, Kelly’s career in public service includes directing the International Police Force in Haiti (appointed by then-President Bill Clinton), serving as a Vice President of Interpol from 1996-2000, Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service and Undersecretary of Enforcement at the U.S. Treasury Department.

As Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service, he managed the agency’s 20,000 employees and $20 billion in annual revenue. For his accomplishments, Commissioner Kelly was awarded the Alexander Hamilton Medal for Exceptional Service. As Under Secretary for Enforcement at the U.S. Treasury Department (the third highest post in the department at the time), he supervised the Department’s enforcement bureaus including the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Secret Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. For his service as Director of the International Police Monitors in Haiti, Commissioner Kelly was awarded the Exceptionally Meritorious Service Commendation by the President of the United States.

In the private sector, Commissioner Kelly served as Senior Managing Director of Global Corporate Security at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc.

For over 4 decades, Commissioner Kelly served in 25 different commands before being named Police Commissioner. He was appointed to the New York City Police Department in 1963. Shortly thereafter he accepted a commission to the United States Marine Corps Officer Program. He served on active military duty for three years including a combat tour in Vietnam. He returned to the Police Department in 1966 and entered the New York City Police Academy, graduating with the highest combined average for academics, physical achievement and marksmanship. He was also a member of the inaugural class of the New York City Police Cadet Corps for three years while a student at Manhattan College. During his career with the NYPD, Kelly received 14 citations of merit for outstanding police work. Commissioner Kelly retired as a Colonel from the Marine Corps Reserves after 30 years of service.

Commissioner Kelly holds a BBA from Manhattan College, a JD from St. John’s University School of Law, an LLM from New York University Graduate School of Law and an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has been awarded honorary degrees from the Catholic University of America, Manhattan College, St. John’s University, the State University of New York, the College of St. Rose, Iona College, Marist College, New York University, Pace University, Quinnipiac University, and St. Thomas Aquinas College.

Kelly is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, an ABC News contributor, a member of the advisory board of the Counter Extremism Project and a member of the Board of Directors of the Boys Club of New York. He also serves on the board of Hain Celestial Group, Inc. and the advisory board of Applied DNA Sciences. In 2016, His Eminence Cardinal Dolan named Commissioner Kelly to the Board of Directors of The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation.

In September 2006, Commissioner Kelly was awarded France’s highest decoration, the Legion D’Honneur, by then-French Minister of the Interior Nicholas Sarkozy.

Speech Topics

  • Vigilance: A Life & Legacy in Public Service and Leadership
  • Understanding the Risks and Threats America Faces Today
  • Leadership in the 21st Century
  • Cyber Security and Counter-terrorism
  • Technology—Benefits and Threats to Public Safety
  • Diversity in the Workforce
  • An Afternoon with Commissioner Ray Kelly
  • Risk Management: What I've Learned
  • Immigration and Policing Going Forward

Books and Media

Related News

Speaker Categories