David Mark Kennet was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, the son of
Moshe Kennet and Elsie Louise Mudie Kennet, on 10 February
1957. Moshe had just completed a master's degree (and earlier, a
B.A.) in history at the University of Pittsburgh, and had accepted a
position as a Hebrew school teacher in Erie. Elsie had her B.A.
from the University of Wisconsin and a master's from Pitt in
education. After about a year and a half, the young family moved to
Allentown, PA, where Moshe got a job, again as a Hebrew school
teacher, at Temple Beth El in that city. Elsie stayed home for
several years to care for Mark and his brothers, Edward and Joel,
but eventually began to teach at Hiram W. Dodd elementary school
Mark's childhood was spent in the South Side of Allentown. During
that period, the South Side was a largely white working class area,
with many of the breadwinners earning their pay at either Mack
Trucks or Bethlehem Steel. Even though Mark's parents were
educators, his upbringing in this neighborhood forged his interest
in manufacturing and technical processes.
On graduation from Parkland Senior High School in the Allentown
suburbs, Mark attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Originally a chemical engineering major, Mark eventually gravitated
toward economics, and ended up also with a double major in
mathematics. He graduated in 1980.
After graduating, Mark and his brother, Joel, bicycled across the
United States with a few acquaintances. Starting in Front Royal,
Virginia, the four young men biked through Virginia, West Virginia,
Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada,
Colorado, and California, with different group members entering
and leaving along the way. At the end of the ride, Mark dipped his
wheels into the Pacific Ocean in Santa Cruz, California.
Returning to the East, Mark took a job as an energy policy analyst at
the Pennsylvania Governor's Energy Council, which evolved into the
Pennsylvania Energy Office. After two years at the GEC, Mark
decided to pursue a doctorate in economics at the University of
Wisconsin. Mark did his Ph.D. thesis with John Rust, a leading
econometrician working in structural microeconometrics.
After completing the Ph.D., Mark took a position as Visiting
Assistant Professor in the economics department at University of
California - Santa Cruz. While at UCSC, he began a lengthy
collaboration with David Gabel, which eventually culminated in the
creation of one of the early network simulation cost models in
telecommunications policy, called LECOM. Mark and David
eventually published a number of professional journal articles
using LECOM, and Mark eventually used some of their joint results
together with other original work in a book published with Farid
Gasmi, Jean-Jacques Laffont, and William Sharkey: Cost Proxy
Models and Telecommunications Policy: A New Empirical
Approach to Regulation (MIT Press, 2002).
Mark spent several years as an assistant professor in the
economics department at Tulane University beginning in 1989,
after which he was asked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in
1993 to help with industrial classification work. As part of the
interagency group that attempted to implement a production-based
industry classification system, Mark helped to create the North
American Industrial Classification System, which brought together
the statistical agencies of the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Mark continued his research on telecommunications cost models,
and after being briefly seconded to the Census Bureau, in 1997
was invited by the FCC to help build the Hybrid Cost Proxy Model in
order to determine the universal service subsidy requirements for
high cost service areas.
In 1999, Mark joined the faculty of the George Washington
University in the Graduate Telecommunications Program. At GWU,
he taught masters students and continued pursuing his research
agenda. In 2002, he was offered a position as Special Economic
Advisor to the Peruvian telecoms regulator, Osiptel, where he
stayed for two years. At Osiptel, Mark helped the regulator
implement the first successful cost-based interconnection
proceeding in Latin America and worked with the rural
telecommunications fund to develop measurement tools in
Since leaving Osiptel in 2004, Mark has worked as an independent
consultant throughout the world, advising governments and
telecoms operators. From 2006 to 2009, Mark also worked
part-time with Telecommunications Management Group, a
Washington-based boutique telecommunications policy consultant.
Mark speaks English, Spanish, and Hebrew fluently. He has two
children, Benjamin and Aaron. He continues to publish articles as
well as consult. Mark has worked in over twenty countries as a
consultant or professor. These include Armenia and Zambia, as
well as Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Portugal, Argentina, and wide
swathes of the Middle East and Africa as well as others.
D. Mark Kennet, Ph.D.