BIG SKY, Mont. – (June 23, 2017) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt yesterday assumed office as president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). As president, Schmidt will lead the national organization of 56 state and territorial attorneys general for the next year.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to put the interests of Kansans front-and-center on a national platform,” Schmidt said. “The National Association of Attorneys General helps state and territorial attorneys general engage in serious work to solve serious problems. I am grateful to my colleagues around the country for giving me this chance to lead.”
As president, Schmidt will have the opportunity to frame a presidential initiative to focus the association’s work for the next year on a topic of particular interest. He said he will announce the subject of his presidential initiative after the Fourth of July holiday. In recent years, presidential initiative subjects have included human trafficking, consumer privacy and promoting child safety.
NAAG serves as a non-partisan forum for attorneys general to discuss and work together on issues of common interest. The organization also provides training and instruction to help state attorneys general build and maintain professional staff, assists states in ongoing implementation of the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, and helps coordinate multi-state investigations involving consumer or Medicaid fraud.
The nation’s state and territorial attorneys general unanimously elected Schmidt their president yesterday at the NAAG summer annual meeting in Big Sky, Montana. Schmidt is the fourth Kansan to serve as NAAG president since the organization was founded in 1907. The others were Harold Fatzer (1952-53), Robert Stephan (1985-86) and Carla Stovall (2001-02).
Schmidt has served as Kansas Attorney General since 2011 and has led successful efforts to strengthen Kansas laws against human trafficking, build a new forensic science laboratory for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and expand capacity to detect and prosecute criminal fraud and abuse. Under Schmidt’s leadership, the Kansas attorney general’s office has set records for recovering money for defrauded Kansas consumers and taxpayers.
Schmidt also has worked to improve the work of the Attorney General’s Office in appellate advocacy, and he has personally argued and won two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
A native of Independence, Schmidt, 49, holds a law degree from Georgetown University, a master’s degree from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, and a doctorate from the University of Kansas School of Law. Before being elected Kansas Attorney General, Schmidt served as Kansas Senate majority leader and as an assistant to Governor Bill Graves and U.S. Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum.
He and his wife, Jennifer, have two daughters.
Photo 1: Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt receives the gavel from outgoing National Association of Attorneys General President, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen.
Photo 2: Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt presents his first remarks as president of the National Association of Attorneys General.