|John F. Kelly|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||????-2009|
|Unit||South Africa Defense Attaché;Judge Advocate General|
|Other work||Professor of National Security Studies, Associate Dean Emeritus , Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Fort Lesley McNair, Washington DC|
John Francis Kelly (born 1949) currently serves as a professor of National Security Studies and Associate Dean Emeritus at the National Defense University's Africa Center for Strategic Studies. Dr. Kelly was a four-term Michigan State Senator and a candidate for the United States Senate. He has 35 years of experience in higher education, civil government and military science, and has served in the United States Army as a Defense Attaché and a Judge Advocate General. His scholarly expertise lies in internal security and homeland defense, civilian management of security sector policy development, electoral reform and democracy, and governance in continental Africa.
John Francis Kelly was born in Detroit, Michigan to parents Margaret Kelly and Robert Corby Kelly. Robert was a studio artist and instructor, and retired as an accountant for the Avon Tubing Company. John was one of seven children. His brother is actor David Patrick Kelly.
Dr. Kelly received a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science from Wayne State University, where he was a Graduate Fellow, specializing in international relations and diplomatic history. Kelly also holds a Master of Public Administration from Wayne University as well as a Juris Doctor degree from Michigan State University. His baccalaureate degree is in political science and education and was earned with Honors at the University of Michigan. Kelly has completed further graduate studies at Georgetown University.
John F. Kelly was elected to the Michigan State Senate in 1978 from Detroit and served four consecutive four-year terms. At his first caucus Kelly was elected as Majority Whip and authored over 100 pieces of legislation and amendments that became law, including the state investment anti-apartheid laws for South Africa and the McBride anti-discrimination employment laws for Northern Ireland. He served on committees with jurisdiction over the judiciary, banking and economic development, health policy, local government and public finance. He served on the National Commission on Uniform Law, the Michigan Law Revision Commission and as a delegate to the National Conference on State Legislatures. Dr. Kelly served on a National Commission on Distressed States and is committed to projects to revitalize the City of Detroit.In 1994 he stood for election to the U.S. Senate requiring retirement from the state legislature.
Dr. Kelly passed the Michigan state bar exam  and served as a Special Attorney General in Michigan from 1995 to 1999. He also practiced law as a principal in the firm of Schwartz Kelly & Oltarz-Schwartz. He is a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, the Michigan Supreme Court and all subordinate Federal and State bars as well as the US Court of Military Appeals. He has expertise in the area of immigration law and corporate law. He also has a high degree of experience in political campaign consulting.
Dr. Kelly retired as a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, Civil Affairs branch. As a Foreign Area Officer, he has served as a defense attaché on multiple tours of active duty assigned primarily to the Republic of South Africa. In his reserve capacity he spent seven years as a liaison to Federal law enforcement on counter-terrorism research. A Graduate of Army Command and General Staff College, he also spent 10 years as a staff Judge Advocate General. He has been decorated repeatedly for his contributions to the defense establishment during times of war.
Dr. Kelly came to Washington, DC as an Associate Professor from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada, where he was a Fulbright Scholar conducting research on comparative federalism. His academic research has focused on retained sovereignty and policy development of sub-national government, and he has received multiple teaching awards. He also served as an elected member of the Board of Governors of Wayne State University from 1998 to 2002. At the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, Dr. Kelly is developing a program to strengthen the rule of law in African governments and promote good governance.
Film Industry Involvement
Since 2007, Dr. Kelly has also served as Director of the Detroit Windsor International Film Festival. The Detroit Windsor International Film Festival began in 2007 and showcases films from across the world as well as local films created and produced in Michigan. The festival is held in the Detroit Cultural Center primarily created tax incentives at Wayne University in Detroit and is affiliated with the University's College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts.
Dr Kelly also served until 2009 as the elected Vice-Chair of the Michigan Film Advisory Board. The Advisory Board provided tax incentives and managed programs designed to attract film production companies to Michigan as well as promote the growth of Michigan's indigenous film industry.
- National Defense University
- Africa Center for Strategic Studies
- Detroit Windsor International Film Festival
- Schwartz, Kelly, & Oltarz-Schwartz
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