Derek Schmidt was elected the 44th attorney general of Kansas and took office January 10, 2011. As attorney general, his priorities are providing quality legal services for the State of Kansas and standing up for public safety, economic growth and personal liberty.
Before being elected attorney general, Schmidt served 10 years as a Kansas State Senator representing the 15th district in Southeast Kansas. During his last six years in the Senate, he served as majority leader for the Republican Caucus. He also worked in private practice with the Independence law firm Scovel, Emert, Heasty & Chubb.
Earlier in his career, Schmidt served as special counsel and legislative liaison to Governor Bill Graves, assistant Kansas attorney general for consumer protection, legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum and legislative director and general counsel to U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel.
Schmidt is a graduate of Independence High School and studied at Independence Community College. He earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas, his master's degree in international politics from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
Schmidt currently serves as co-chair of both the Consumer Protection Committee and Social Networking Task Force for the National Association of Attorneys General. He is a Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership with the Aspen Institute. In 2006, he was the first Simons Public Humanities Fellow at the University of Kansas. He has been a Henry Toll fellow with the Council of State Governments and is a graduate of Leadership Kansas.
Schmidt was honored with the Friend of Law Enforcement Award from the Kansas Sheriffs Association for his work to enact the Sheriff Matt Samuels Chemical Control Act. His work to improve the business climate in Kansas was recognized with the Guardian of Small Business Award from the Kansas chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business.
Schmidt and his wife, Jennifer, are the parents of two young daughters.