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National Association of Attorneys General Appoints New Executive Director

Jim McPherson, Executive Director

Retired Two-Star Rear Admiral and Judge Advocate General Jim McPherson Assumes Helm of 100-year-old Legal Association

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) announced this month the appointment of Jim McPherson as executive director of the 100-year-old association of state Attorneys General.

McPherson, 55, will join the staff on March 10, assuming the helm of a staff of 50 and an annual operating budget of approximately $6 million. Founded in 1907, NAAG is dedicated to helping the Attorneys General and their staffs fulfill the responsibilities of their offices and assist in the delivery of outstanding legal services to the people of their states and territories.

“We are pleased to have Jim assume the helm as NAAG embarks on its second century,” NAAG President and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. “Jim’s lifelong record of public service and commitment to the legal profession have given him the skills NAAG needs to support and advance the work of the Attorneys General as we endeavor to strengthen our states and nation.”

McPherson was chosen following an intensive months-long national search by the Association’s 12-member Executive Committee. His job responsibilities will include furthering the organization’s vision and strategic plan, overseeing the Association’s financial planning, budgeting and management and serving as a liaison to government entities, elected officials, government associations and community groups and leaders.

“It is both an honor and a privilege to be joining the tremendous team of professionals at the National Association of Attorneys General,” McPherson said. “As one of the oldest legal associations in the country, NAAG enjoys a superb reputation for excellence and outstanding service to the Attorneys General and their staffs throughout the country.”

“I bring to NAAG my commitment to a lifestyle of service and I am very excited about joining a staff of individuals who have dedicated their lives to helping the Attorneys General fulfill the responsibilities of their offices and assisting them in delivering the very best in legal services to the people of their states and territories,” McPherson added.

Prior to joining NAAG, McPherson served as the General Counsel for the Department of Defense Counterintelligence Field Activity where he was responsible for providing legal advice and assistance in the areas of counterintelligence operational and policy matters, intelligence oversight and a full range of administrative law matters.

In 2006, McPherson completed a distinguished career in the United States Navy retiring as a two-star Rear Admiral. Highlights of his career include assignments as a trial attorney, senior prosecutor, senior defense attorney and commanding officer at Naval Legal Service and Trial Service Offices; staff judge advocate assignments in the United States, overseas, and afloat; and legal counsel to the Vice Chief and Chief of Naval Operations.

McPherson’s first flag assignment was as the Deputy Judge Advocate General and Commander, Naval Legal Service Command.

In 2004, he was appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the U.S. Navy’s 39th Judge Advocate General — an appointment he held until his retirement.

McPherson was born and raised in Southern California and graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in public administration. He obtained his juris doctor degree from the University of San Diego, School of Law, and was awarded a master of laws degree in military law from The Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Virginia.

During his military career, McPherson received many personal awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (two awards), and the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards). McPherson is a member of the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court and California. He resides in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife, Jennifer.

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