Austin Falley
School of Business

Kansas City Chiefs president to deliver leadership lecture

Wed, 04/01/2015

LAWRENCE — Mark Donovan, president of the Kansas City Chiefs, will present “Lessons in Leadership” at 7 p.m. April 15 at the Lied Center.

The event is free and open to the public as part of the J.A. Vickers Sr. and Robert F. Vickers Memorial Lecture series, presented by the University of Kansas School of Business.

Donovan joined the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009 and was named president in January 2011 after serving two years as the club’s chief operating officer. He has worked within the National Football League for 17 seasons, including seven with the Chiefs.

Before coming to Kansas City, Donovan spent six years as senior vice president of business operations with the Philadelphia Eagles. He also has held leadership roles as the NFL’s senior director of sales and marketing and the National Hockey League’s director of sales and marketing.

As Chiefs president, Donovan has renewed focus on the Chiefs fan experience and expanded the team’s media presence. Under his leadership, the team has become a league leader in fan engagement, and in a 2014 Nielsen Scarborough survey, Chiefs fans tied for the fifth-best fan base. Donovan recently was selected as one of eight representatives leaguewide to serve on the Fan Experience Working Group.

A Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, native, Donovan graduated from Brown University with degrees in political science and organizational behavior/management. He played quarterback on the Brown football team and, after graduating, signed with the New York Giants as a free agent.

The Vickers Lecture series was created in 1969 in honor of J.A. Vickers, KU alumnus and founder of Vickers Petroleum Co. in Wichita. His son, Robert, oversaw the lecture until his death in 1995, when Robert’s wife, Susan, added her husband’s name to the lecture’s title.

Previous Vickers speakers include Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and U.S. Sen. Robert J. Dole.

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