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ASAE head lobbyist Clarke to retire

Mary Kate Cunningham to succeed long-time association advocate, who will step down in early 2019

Clarke and CunninghamClarke, left, and Cunningham

Oct. 9, 2018
By Walt Williams

Jim Clarke will retire as ASAE’s head lobbyist at the end of January 2019, ending more than 20 years at the organization. Mary Kate Cunningham, senior director of public policy at ASAE, will succeed him.

Clarke is senior vice president of public policy at the $70 million-revenue ASAE, a position from which he leads all the association’s advocacy activities. He first joined the organization in 1997 after having previously worked as a Republican staffer in Congress.

Clarke was named CEO Update’s 2018 Association Lobbyist of the Year by his association peers. His career achievements were celebrated during the Association Leadership Awards luncheon in September.

“I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished on the advocacy front, and thankful for the many wonderful relationships I’ve developed through this role at ASAE,” Clarke said in a statement announcing his retirement. “I believe strongly in ASAE’s purpose and in ensuring associations are at the table when policy decisions are being made.”

Cunningham will assume Clarke’s duties following his retirement. She first joined the association in 2012 as manager of public policy. She previously was special advisor to the president at the Federation of American Scientists and a former staffer for the House Committee on Armed Services.

Cunningham has a master’s degree in strategic security studies from National Defense University.