The spokesman of former PM Tony Blair has been recognised in the Queen's New Year Honours list.
Mr Kelly replaced the more flamboyant Alastair Campbell
Tom Kelly, who worked in Downing Street from 2001 until this year, becomes a Companion of the Order of the Bath.
He replaced the better-known Alastair Campbell as Mr Blair's spokesman, having been director of communications in the Northern Ireland Office.
Mr Kelly was recently appointed as group director of public affairs by the British Airports Authority.
During his time in Downing Street, he was seen a more low-key character than Mr Campbell.
Perhaps Mr Kelly's most difficult moment came during the "cash-for-honours" affair, when he failed to tell the press that Mr Blair was being interviewed by the police, having not been told himself.
Among his duties in his new job is handling publicity surrounding the controversial planned expansion of Heathrow.
Mr Kelly worked for the BBC in Belfast and London before joining the civil service.