OLYMPIA – The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), yesterday elected Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna as its vice president. McKenna will serve in this role through next summer, when he will become president-elect of the organization. He’ll assume the role of NAAG president in 2011.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to serve in a role that will elevate the national awareness of issues crucial to the state of Washington, from protecting the environment, to combating gang violence and reducing the deadly impact of prescription drug abuse,” McKenna said. “This is the most active and effective national association for statewide elected officials. I’m honored that my fellow attorneys general nationwide have selected me for this position.”
McKenna has served in several NAAG leadership positions since assuming office in 2005. He co-chaired the Financial Practices Committee from 2005-2006, where he and his office led multi-state investigations into the sub-prime loan practices of mortgage giants Ameriquest and Countrywide Financial. The Ameriquest investigation eventually resulted in a $9.9 million payout for more than 8,700 Washington residents. The Countrywide investigation led to a settlement that provided desperately-needed loan modifications for nearly 10,000 state homeowners, and compensation for many who had already lost their homes.
McKenna has also co-chaired NAAG’s Tobacco Committee since June 2006, where, along with his committee colleagues, he handles the enforcement of the 1998 landmark Master Settlement Agreement with tobacco companies. As co-chair, McKenna also negotiated a settlement with House of Prince Tobacco ($1.1 million for the state), an agreement with Kroger Co. to limit tobacco sales to minors, and fought RJR Reynolds over advertising to minors, among other accomplishments.
In April, McKenna was appointed co-chair of the NAAG Energy and Environment Committee, where he’ll continue to serve through June 2010. “As vice president and ultimately as president, I’m eager to bring more national attention and support to our state’s work to clean up the Puget Sound and the Hanford nuclear complex, along with addressing climate change issues,” McKenna said.
McKenna also co-chairs NAAG’s Special Committee on Intellectual Property, where he helps develop strategies to protect the growing number of industries – including software and consumer electronics –which are increasingly targeted for copyright theft.
As NAAG vice president, McKenna will become a member of the organization’s executive committee. When NAAG holds its summer meeting in Washington state next summer, McKenna will become president-elect. In that role, he’ll receive additional duties and chair any meetings the president is unable to attend.
“As the current NAAG President I am extremely pleased that Attorney General Rob McKenna has been chosen by our colleagues to serve as Vice- President of NAAG,” said Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning. “Rob's leadership helps all of us serve our citizens better. By choosing Rob the nation's Attorneys General have placed him in position to become President of the Association.”
NAAG is a 103-year-old organization founded to help attorneys general deliver high quality legal services and respond effectively to emerging state and federal issues. NAAG officers have additional access to national decision makers, from members of Congress to White House officials. Both Slade Gorton and Christine Gregoire served as presidents of NAAG while serving as attorneys general.
Janelle Guthrie, AGO Communications Director, (360) 586-0725