The NAACP in a news release indicated that it had selected Kim M. Keenan for the position of General Counsel of the Association. Keenan is the youngest attorney and second woman to hold this position in the organization’s history.
“We congratulate Kim on her historic accomplishment and applaud her for having a forward looking vision for the Association,” stated NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “Her record of advocacy on behalf of African Americans makes her a natural fit for our organization.”
“I am excited to work with Kim Keenan,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Kim’s experience and commitment to public service make her a valuable addition to our staff. She is a leader, a trailblazer and a clear voice for the cause of justice and equality. Her exceptional skills as a litigator will strengthen NAACP’s ability to continue our historic role of using the law to advance the goals of social justice and transform our nation for the better.”
Keenan served as the 62nd President of the National Bar Association, the oldest and largest bar association of lawyers of color in the world with a network of more than 50,000 lawyers, judges, and law students. She was the first woman from the District of Columbia to be elected to this position and only the eighth woman in the organization’s 86-year history to serve in the NBA’s highest elected office.
During her tenure as president, the NBA deployed thousands of lawyers throughout the nation to educate voters regarding new voting laws. Keenan is also the immediate past president of the District of Columbia Bar, the second largest jurisdictional bar in the country. She was the 38th president of the organization, but her service marked only the eighth time that a woman has served as president. In May 2007 the Women’s Bar Association named her “Woman Lawyer of the Year” for her contributions to the profession.
Keenan was recently honored as a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer (2007-2010), was recognized as a Top Lawyer by the Washingtonian Magazine in 2009, and named a “Legal Rebel” by the American Bar Association (2010). In June 2011, Keenan will be given the Wiley A. Branton Award for Civil Rights Under Law from the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Prior to joining the NAACP, Keenan was the principal of the Keenan Firm in Washington, D.C., focused on complex medical malpractice litigation, mediation and arbitration, litigation consulting, and public speaking.
Keenan has received numerous awards for her community service activities, notably recognition from the Louisiana and Virginia State Conferences of the NAACP.
Keenan remains committed to mentoring young professionals on the value of quality education. She is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and the University of Virginia School of Law. She serves on the senior adjunct faculty of George Washington University Law Center, where she co-teaches Pretrial Advocacy and Trial Advocacy. Keenan was also a regularly featured “attorney” on the first season of Fox’s “Power of Attorney” television show. She has been a commentator for Fox News and has appeared on Fox’s legal program “Dayside.” She has also appeared on C-SPAN, Court TV, Fox News and numerous radio programs.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.