Chris Kelley is an award-winning writer with more than 35 years of experience in journalism and strategic communications.
An ardent champion of truth and getting the story behind the story, Kelley began his career as a newspaper reporter fresh out of college, working his way through the ranks of The Dallas Morning News (Dallas-based A.H. Belo Corp.) — from street reporter to city editor over the course of 27 years — and ultimately becoming the founding editor of DallasNews.com, the evolutionary step of the Dallas Morning News, as the major news operation entered the new millennium.
A relentless problem solver, Kelley, after accepting a voluntary severance arrangement from A.H. Belo Corp in 2006, formed The Kelley Group to bring his communications skills to select non-profits, humanitarian organizations and visionary corporations to expand the reach of their message effectiveness, using both traditional media and New Media formats to inspire a greater audience worldwide to take positive action on society’s challenges.
Focusing on human causes and social justice issues, Kelley is an expert in media relations and crisis communications, and through his media consultancy he has partnered with the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, Refugee Services of Texas, SMU, the Lighthouse for the Blind (Envision Dallas), the Deaf Action Center, and Alliance for Greater Works, among other institutions that engage in what he describes as having a big difference to make but needing some help to make it more efficiently and effectively.
When asked for his motivation behind his impactful work, he replied, “At the start of every day and before sleep every night, I ask: ‘What will I do/what have I done to level the playing field for others who are unable to pursue this aim themselves.'”
As an author, Kelley has traveled the world to get the first-person accounts of those who’ve lived through the indescribable trauma of human atrocities, specifically in an effort to keep the stories of those who’ve survived the horrors of the Rwandan genocide of the late 20th Century from being buried by the passing of time. And, through the friendships he’s forged with people of all walks of life, who’ve endured monumental hardships and nevertheless prevailed to grasp their own purpose and meaning and forge their own successes, Kelley has gained an appreciation for the potential within every person and strives to present the triumph of the human spirit in all his work.
Among his works, Kelley is the author of Rwanda: 25 Years Later: A primer on the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and what’s happened since then (2019, Amazon) and I Was a Stranger: Hope for a Hidden World (2008, Brown Books).
He also served as executive producer of the DVD, JFK: Story Behind the Story, on the 40th anniversary of the JFK assassination. He is executive producer of Tragedy Over Texas: The Columbia Shuttle Disaster. And, he has also helped produce an online resource for KERA-TV and Radio, Living with the Trinity (TrinityRiverTexas.org).
Kelley is a contributing author for Demographics: A Guide to Methods and Data Sources for Media, Business, and Government (2006, Routledge).
Kelley is a graduate of Texas Christian University and is a member of both the News Leaders Association and the Dallas Press Club.
Kelley and his wife, Sheryl, live in Dallas and have raised two children who have both followed in their parents’ footsteps of living to enjoy life with meaning and purpose while striving to be servant-leaders in collaboration with others who are seeking to achieve equity and equality for all persons.
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