In addition to his role as faculty director of the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute, Kennedy is associate professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and Comparative Literature. As author or editor, Kennedy has published many writings on Arabic literature, including The Wine Song in Classical Arabic Poetry: Abu Nuwas and the Literary Tradition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997); Abu Nuwas: A Genius of Poetry (Oxford: Oneworld 2005–in the series Makers of the Muslim World); On Fiction and Adab in Medieval Arabic Literature (Harrassowitz Verlag 2004–in the series Studies in Arabic Language and Literature); and Islamic Reflections, Arabic Musings (co-editor with Robert Hoyland, Oxford: Oxbow for the E.J.W. Gibb Memorial Trust Series 2004). Kennedy has served on a number of university-wide committees at NYU, and acted both as Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of Graduate Studies for his department. He has participated regularly in the College of Arts and Science NYU selection committees for the prestigious Truman and Rhodes scholarship nominations. As a student, he studied in Oxford, Cairo, Madrid, Aix-en-Provence and the United Arab Emirates.