Patrick Kennedy, the former Democratic representative and scion of the liberal political dynasty, has emerged as the unlikely go-to player for companies seeking to benefit from the Trump administration’s multibillion-dollar response to the opioid crisis, reaping well over $1 million in salaries and equity stakes in the firms.
The 50-year-old son of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who stepped down from Congress in 2011 amid his own decades-long battles with addiction and mental illness, is a high-profile mental health advocate who sat on President Donald Trump’s opioid commission.
At the same time, he’s served as the CEO of the behavioral health nonprofit Kennedy Forum, which is funded in part by major drug makers and addiction-treatment companies. He received more than $1.1 million in total compensation from the organization between 2014 and 2016. The Kennedy Forum declined to provide details on his pay for 2017.
Kennedy also sits on the boards of eight corporations deeply invested in Washington’s response to the opioid crisis, from which he said he collects director fees and holds an equity stake in the firms. Many of those firms — along with the dozens who support the Kennedy Forum — stand to benefit from fresh efforts in Congress and the Trump administration to combat the opioid crisis by expanding treatment and speeding anti-opioid drugs to market. In the meantime, Kennedy has met regularly with his former congressional colleagues to advocate for higher levels of spending.