Skip to main content

Stream every public session from the 27th annual Global Conference right here on our website.

Kenneth Cole

< Back to previous page

Kenneth Cole

Founder, The Mental Health Coalition
Kenneth Cole

Kenneth Cole is an American designer, social activist, and who believes that business and philanthropy are interdependent. His company, Kenneth Cole Productions, creates contemporary footwear, clothing, and accessories that are distributed worldwide.

For 40 years, Kenneth Cole has leveraged his passion and unique brand platform to make a meaningful impact on people’s wardrobes as well as their communities… touching millions.

In 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kenneth refocused his energy, passion, and resources on an even larger and more debilitating global pandemic: mental illness, and its related stigma.

Shortly thereafter, The Mental Health Coalition, a coalition of the nation's largest, most influential, and diverse mental health organizations, was born. Understanding that 1 in 4 individuals worldwide will live with a mental health condition, largely due to the related stigma, Kenneth believes that 4 out of 4 individuals will be affected.

The Coalition’s mission is to build a like-minded community that works together to destigmatize all mental health conditions and enable equitable access to vital resources and support for all.

The unique proposition of the Coalition is a commitment to marry basic business principles of transparent and quantitative impact, with an emphasis on cross-functional collaboration.

Kenneth’s commitment to public health initiatives goes back decades. He has been one of the leading and loudest voices in the global response to HIV for more than 30 years. Kenneth joined amfAR’s board of directors in 1987 and assumed its chairmanship in 2004. Under his leadership of 14 years, amfAR was instrumental in significant breakthroughs in AIDS research, treatment, and helping to destigmatize the disease. Since 2016 Kenneth has been a UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador with the goal of ending AIDS as a public health crisis by 2030.