“David M. Kennedy Released as Special Representative of the First Presidency,” Ensign, May 1990, 112
David M. Kennedy was released as special representative of the First Presidency on March 31 during the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s annual general conference.
He had served in the position since 1974.
His assistant, Blaine C. Tueller, was also released.
Now eighty-five, Brother Kennedy says he hopes to cut back on his workload by also easing out of some secular institutional commitments. At the same time, however, he will begin teaching a class in international diplomacy at Brigham Young University.
It has been gratifying during his sixteen years of service to witness Church growth in so many countries, he says. He has been grateful for the opportunity to help open many of those countries to the Church. But “it hasn’t been done alone,” Brother Kennedy acknowledges. “It’s really the Lord who is doing it.”
Before being named special representative of the First Presidency, Brother Kennedy had spent many years in banking and government positions. (See Ensign, June 1986, p. 42.) The experience he gained and the friendships he made in those positions helped him later as he sought to open doors for the Church around the world. He was instrumental in helping the Church achieve legal recognition and gain permission to proselyte or expand its operations in countries from Portugal to Korea.
Before accepting the call to his Church position in 1974, Brother Kennedy had served as United States ambassador-at-large (with cabinet rank) from 1971 to 1973 and as ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from 1972 to 1973. He was secretary of the treasury in the cabinet of President Richard M. Nixon from 1969 to 1971.
From 1946 to 1968, David Kennedy worked for Continental Illinois Bank and Trust Company of Chicago. He became chairman of the bank in 1959 and helped move it into the arena of international business.
Brother Tueller had served as Brother Kennedy’s assistant since 1987. A retired U.S. foreign service officer, Blaine Tueller worked as a diplomatic or consular official in seven different countries, from Ireland to the Philippines.