John McKechnie, who has headed the NCUA's Office of Public and Congressional Affairs for almost five years, plans to leave the agency early next year to take an as yet unannounced job in the private sector.
As one of the few officials in government who is responsible for dealing with both the media and Congress, McKechnie has been the agency's point person in devising and implementing strategies for several key issues, most notably the corporate credit union crisis.
When wearing his public affairs hat, he explained the corporate credit union crisis to the media. When dealing with Congress, he explained the agency's actions to contain the crisis while shepherding through bills that the agency needed, such as the measure creating the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund.
McKechnie, who has been the agency's chief spokesman and liaison to Capitol Hill under the last three chairmen, worked for CUNA for 18 years before joining the agency, including four years as the association's top lobbyist. Before joining CUNA, he worked as a legislative assistant on Capitol Hill and as a Republican campaign staff member.
In an email announcing his departure, he described the experience as a "wild ride." And said that it was now time after "a multitude of press releases, congressional testimonies, and general attempts at mastering Washington bureaucratic lingo, I have decided to hang up my regulatory spikes and move on to another phase of whatever it is that I do."