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Government Accountability Board Director Receives International Award for Distinguished Service

December 8, 2008

MADISON, WI – Government Accountability Board Director and General Counsel Kevin J. Kennedy on Sunday in Chicago received the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) Award for Distinguished Service.

“Kevin has been and is one of the most valued members of COGEL,” said Michael Sullivan, COGEL President and Director of the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance. “His experience and knowledge of the issues that we deal with everyday is invaluable.”
COGEL is an international organization comprised of hundreds of governmental members who administer and enforce elections, campaign finance, ethics, lobbying and freedom of information laws. Each year, the organization recognizes an individual for outstanding long-term contributions to the organization.

“I am very honored by this recognition,” Kennedy said. “It’s a pleasure for me to accept this award on behalf of the many, many people around the world who work hard to ensure ethical, transparent government at all levels.”

Jeff Garfield, executive director and general counsel of the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission, nominated Kennedy for the award.

“Kevin is an acknowledged national expert,” Garfield said. “I have sought his counsel on public financing, voting systems and a host of other issues involving elections.”

A COGEL member since 1986, Kennedy serves as the organization’s parliamentarian, and has served on the COGEL Steering Committee, as well as various committees including Global Affairs and Model Law Development. He has organized, presented and moderated panels on election administration, campaign finance, public funding of political campaigns and regulatory agency organizational structure at its annual conferences since 1988.

Kennedy was named to his current position in November 2007. Before that, he served as legal counsel and then executive director for the Wisconsin State Elections Board for more than 28 years. Kennedy has been Wisconsin’s chief election official since 1983.

In 2006, Kennedy served as president of the National Association of State Elections Directors (NASED). He also served as co-chair of the National Task Force on Election Reform established by the Election Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to training and educational opportunities for state and local election officials.

Kennedy was a member of the National Advisory Panel of State and Local Election Officials for the Federal Election Commission. He has also served on an advisory panel for the Federal Election Commission for its Ballot Access publications. After the implementation of the Help Amercia Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), Kennedy was designated as one of two Wisconsin representatives to serve on the Standards Board of the newly created United States Election Assistance Commission.