Mr. Kenney currently serves as the Director of Legal and External Affairs at the International Maritime Organization, London. In this capacity, he is responsible for advising the Secretary-General on all legal issues associated with the functioning of the Organization, with special emphasis on matters of treaty law and the law of the sea. He provides legal counsel to the Secretariat staff supporting IMO's committees and subcommittees and has particular responsibility as Secretary for the Organization's Legal Committee. He oversees the Organization's role as depositary for the 53 multilateral conventions adopted under the aegis of IMO. He also oversees the operation of the IMO's Public Information Service, its Maritime Knowledge Centre and External Relations Office.
Prior to coming to IMO, Mr. Kenney served as The Judge Advocate General and Chief Counsel of the United States Coast Guard, attaining the rank of Rear Admiral. He was responsible for the delivery of all legal services to the USCG around the globe, with oversight of nearly 300 attorneys and 100 legal support personnel. He served as a Coast Guard judge advocate for 22 years of a thirty-three year military career, including service as the Coast Guard's Chief of Maritime and International Law and a secondment to the US Department of State in the Office of Oceans Affairs. He was a member of the U.S. delegation to twelve different IMO committees and subcommittees and from 2009-2011, was the Head of the US Delegation to the IMO Legal Committee. He also served on several legal capacity-building missions in developing countries on behalf of the United States. Mr. Kenney has spent nearly 5 years at sea, including service on a polar icebreaker as a deck watch officer and conducting law enforcement and security operations.
Mr. Kenney previously served as a judge on the Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals, and has extensive experience as prosecutor, defense counsel and appellate counsel in criminal cases. He also served as lead agency counsel in cases before the United States Supreme Court, and in the litigation arising from the Macondo 252/Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Mr. Kenney holds a juris doctor from the University of San Francisco School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the USF Maritime Law Journal. He also holds a B.A. in Economics from Michigan State University. Mr. Kenney has published several law review articles, has lectured widely, and was an adjunct professor of maritime law at Georgetown University Law Center and the US Defense Institute for International Legal Studies.