Key Words is led by Deborah Kennedy, who founded the company in 1998.

Ms. Kennedy is a skilled writer and editor with degrees in language teaching and the humanities and 25+ years of experience working with governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations. As a writer and editor she focuses on providing plain language material that readers can understand and act on the first time they read it. Her writing and editing projects include web copy, general interest articles on cultural topics, technical reports, and academic papers. She also writes grant and contract proposals; she has been both a program officer for a small private foundation and the development director for a nonprofit. She has written successful proposals to multiple private foundations and to the U.S. Departments of Education, Commerce, Defense, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development.

Ms. Kennedy has deep expertise in English language learning and English for the workplace and is an experienced teacher, instructional designer, and program director. She has taught in and directed programs for adult English language learners at every level of proficiency from basic/beginning through advanced professional, and is experienced in online, face-to-face, and hybrid modes of instruction.

Ms. Kennedy is currently the president of the National Coalition for Literacy. She holds degrees from Boston University, Harvard University, and American University, as well as a certification in online instruction from Quality Matters.

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