National Association of Attorneys General

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NAAG Announces Formation of Center for Excellence in Governance, Names Founding Director

For Release: March 23, 2020 | 2:00 p.m. ET

Contact: Allison Gilmore | 202-326-6047 |

Twitter: @NatlAssnAttysGn

Washington, D.C. --- The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) has established the Center for Excellence in Governance. 

The new Center is devoted to strengthening individual and collective leadership among state attorneys general by establishing platforms to study and discuss the responsibilities of public leadership and service. The Center will enhance civil, bipartisan dialogue and engagement among state attorneys general, help them respond to the challenges inherent in elected office, and facilitate the exercise of thoughtful and committed leadership in contemporary context.

Mike Kuykendall has been named the Center’s first director. In leading the Governance Center, Kuykendall will be responsible for developing programs to promote bipartisan dialogue and leadership among attorneys general and their staff. He will also serve as chief counsel for the 2020 Presidential Initiative on “Transformational Leadership and Civility.”

“As the national forum for attorneys general and their staff, NAAG promotes the exchange of knowledge, experiences, and insights among the attorney general community,” said NAAG Executive Director Chris Toth. “The NAAG Center for Excellence in Governance will build upon our NAAG’s history of providing a forum where attorneys general and their staffs can engage colleagues on matters of mutual interest in a congenial and inclusive atmosphere where all opinions are respected.”

Kuykendall most recently served as a consultant to NAAG, providing mentorship and training on various subjects including ethics and public integrity, consumer protection, and trial advocacy. He is the founder and former director of the National Center for Community Prosecution (NCCP) at the American Prosecutors Research Institute in Washington, D.C. Kuykendall has worked in the public safety arena for 40 years as a probation officer, mental health therapist, state prosecutor and major police department executive.

“Mike’s extensive knowledge and experience in the fields of ethics, criminal justice, and public safety make him an excellent leader for the new NAAG Center for Excellence in Governance,” continued Toth. “We’re excited to have him on board and look forward to working with him to facilitate increased engagement and inclusiveness among attorneys general and their staff.”

Kuykendall is a graduate of the Northwestern School of Law (J.D.), Indiana State University (M.S.) and DePauw University (B.A.).

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The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) was founded in 1907 to help attorneys general fulfill the responsibilities of their office and to assist in the delivery of high-quality legal services to the states and territories.

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