People in the News: Ken Mehlman

The former Republican Party chairman is now head of global public affairs for alternative-investment firm KKR & Co.

Previous | Back to MainAs the Republican Party struggles with immigration reform, one insider is trying to change GOP minds about another demographically important issue: gay rights. Ken Mehlman, a former Republican Party chairman, came out as gay in 2010 and now heads global public affairs for $78 billion, New York–based alternative-investment firm KKR & Co. Earlier this year Mehlman, 46, organized an amicus brief — signed by more than 130 prominent figures on the political right, including libertarian hedge fund manager Cliff Asness — with the Supreme Court in support of gay marriage in the case of Proposition 8, the law that had banned such marriages in California. In a major victory for gay marriage supporters, the court declined to uphold Prop 8. Mehlman believes the political right should embrace gay marriage because it is consistent with conservative values about the importance of family and freedom from government intrusion, but that remains a minority view within the GOP.

Ken Mehlman

Ken Mehlman