It was kind of like old home week, at least for some of the politicos who helped former Congressman David Skaggs celebrate his new position at the McKenna Long & Aldridge law firm in lower downtown Denver last week. The ex-lawmaker is now a senior strategic advisor to the international law firm, which boasts 475 attorneys and public policy advisors.
His addition reinforces MLA’s government affairs presence in Denver and Washington, D.C. Skaggs will be based in the law firm’s Denver office, and will assist firm clients throughout the U.S. Skaggs will continue to work on policy issues that are important to him, including higher education, the environment, technology and national security.
In addition to government affairs consulting, Skaggs will advise clients on legal issues in areas of administrative law, government contracts, and corporate ethics. He will also assist clients in the areas of education, national security and public private partnerships.
“It is a great honor to have such a well-respected political figure partner with our office,” said Mark Meagher, Managing Partner of the Denver office.
Other well wishers included Colorado AG John Suthers, Secretary of State Bernie Buescher, former state Rep. Ruth Wright, Sheila Kowal, Jim Polsfut, Frances Koncilja, Bart Alexander, Bob Noun, Rick Ridder, and attorneys at the firm, Lino Lipinsky de Orlov and Dick Kaufman, to name just a few.
Skaggs served in the cabinet of Colorado Governor Bill Ritter Jr. as executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. He was also the Governor’s appointee to chair the Colorado Higher Education Competitive Research Authority and as a Commissioner on the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Skaggs will remain Chair of the Board of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Office of Congressional Ethics and a member of the U.S. Public Interest Declassification Board.
Prior to joining the Ritter administration, Skaggs was executive director of the Center for Democracy & Citizenship at the Council for Excellence in Government and taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado. These positions followed his twelve years of service in Congress as U.S. Representative from the 2nd Congressional District of and three terms in the Colorado House, the last two terms as Minority Leader. A Marine veteran of the Vietnam War, Skaggs received his law degree from Yale Law School.
Skaggs joins a number of elected and appointed officials, including Gordon Giffin, former U.S. Ambassador to Canada; former Governor Howard Dean; former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense at the Department of Defense and United States Congressman Paul McHale; former Congressman Buddy Darden; former Mayor of Indianapolis Steve Goldsmith; and former U.S. Senator and Governor Zell Miller.
As for his longtime friends from the political world, Skaggs seemed proud to see some old faces mixed in with new on this particular evening.
The reception wasn’t a partisan affair. Republicans and Democrats alike all seemed to have one thing in common: deep respect and admiration for their friend David Skaggs.