Mr. Kelley enrolled in a Bachelor's degree in French studies at the Université de Montréal in 1973. He obtained a collegial degree from John Abbott college in 1974, a bachelor’s degree in History in 1981 and a Masters in Modern Canadian History in 1985 from McGill University.
His early career curriculum includes his role as educator at the rehabilitation program for adults with intellectual disabilities from 1977 to 1979, followed by a position of teaching assistant at the History Department at McGill University from 1981 to 1985. He then assumed the role of professor at the continuing education department at the Lakeshore School Board, was a teaching assistant at the Human Sciences department at John-Abbott in 1985-6 and at the Marie-Victorin College in 1987-8. He returned to McGill as part of the continuing education program from 1986 to 1990 and subsequently at the Elderhostel program in 1990. In the meantime, he was Director of Communications and Research at Alliance Québec from 1986 to 1990.
His involvement in provincial politics began with his role as a political staffer for the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, where he was responsible for the enforcement of the Charter of the French Language from 1990 to 1994, after which he joined the Ministry of Public Security in 1994. He also served as director of the Vice-Prime Minister and President of the Treasury in 1994.
His political career further took off in 1994, when he was became the elected Liberal candidate in Jacques-Cartier in 1994. He was then re-elected in 1998, 2003 and 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2014. He later joined the Commission of Public Administration from March 4th 1999 to March 12 2003. Simultaneously in 1999, he was appointed as vice-president of the Commission sur le nouveau cadre de gestion pour la fonction publique. From 2003 to 2005, he was President of the Commission on education, after which he was appointed to the position of Deputy Minister of Indigenous Affairs under Jean Charest until 2007. He moved on to become the President of the Commission on Social Affairs from 2007 to 2008 and later in 2009. He returned to the Ministry of Public Security as Parliamentary assistant from January 2009 to September 2010. Mr. Kelley then transitioned to presiding the Commission on health and social services and the Commission on the question of assisted dying until February 2011. In 2010, he worked at the Ministry of Education as parliamentary assistant. Finally, he was Minister of Indigenous Affairs from in 2011 and from 2014 to 2018.
Mr. Kelley is presently member of the Fondation du centre des soins palliatifs of the West Island and co-president of the Parents’ committee of McGill University.
In June 2021, Mr. Kelley was appointed as the negotiator between the Quebec government and the Mohawk community of Kahnawake.
Complexity Seminar: Stakeholder Management