Kenneth Mehlman is a powerful figure in the United States. A Republican, he has deep roots and influence in the Republican Party. In 2005, he was the chair of the Republican National Committee, which is one of the highest positions achievable within the party. He is also a past presidential campaign manager and field director. Today he works for for Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), where he heads up their global external affairs.
In 2010, Kenneth Mehlman came out publicly, instantly becoming a powerful icon fighting for equal rights, same-sex marriage, and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He has been an essential part of the LGBT movement, both publicly and behind the scenes, using his political sway to help garner more support. In the two years since coming out, Mehlman has raised millions for equal rights campaigns.
A member of the board for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), Mehlman is one of the most powerful political proponents for LGBT rights. Where his political party would often turn away from such a movement, he stands by it, convincing others to join the cause and fight for what’s right.
Mehlman has a condo in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, alongside several other prominent gay figureheads. He’s even hosted fundraisers in his home to raise money for Freedom to Marry’s “Win More States” Fund.
Recently, Ken Mehlman was named to the chairman position of the Private Equity Growth Capital Council, where he will work to show lawmakers and stakeholders the positive side of the private equity industry through increased education and outreach efforts.
Kenneth Mehlman is listed as one of New York’s “Power Gays.” On the list alongside him are people such as Christine Quinn, Peter Lyons, Marc Wolinsky, and Lisa Linsky. “It’s taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life,” Mehlman said after coming out; but now that he has, he’s certainly standing by it.