The NCUA has confirmed the retirement of Gary Kohn, senior policy adviser for Board Member Gigi Hyland, effective Monday.
“Gary has been absolutely invaluable to me during my tenure here at NCUA, and I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to him for his commitment, loyalty and work over the past six and a half years,” Hyland told Credit Union Times.
Senior policy advisors are “critical to the success of a board member’s efforts,” she added, because they convey the board member’s policy positions and thinking on issues to the other board officers, staff and external constituents.
“Gary has accomplished all of those objectives expertly with consummate professionalism, integrity, alacrity and an irrepressible sense of humor. I feel so lucky to have worked with him and to call him a friend,” Hyland said.
Kohn joined the NCUA Jan. 19, 2006 after spending 12 years at CUNA as the trade association’s vice president of legislative affairs and senior legislative counsel.
Prior to his credit union career, he worked as a lobbyist for the former Independent Bankers Association of America and the Investment Company Institute. He is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center.
Industry lobbyist John McKechnie, a partner at Total Spectrum, worked with Kohn at both CUNA and the NCUA and the two went to battle together on several legislative efforts like H.R. 1151, bankruptcy reform and CURIA. And, both made the transition to the regulatory agency at the same time.
“Gary and I worked together in one form or fashion for 17 years, on every issue imaginable, from every perspective possible. He was lobbyist's lobbyist: substantive, politically smart, an honest broker when that wasn't always the easy thing to be. We differed on our baseball and partisan loyalties, but when it came to credit unions he was a great teammate and a great friend,” McKechnie, an Orioles fan, said of the Yankees booster.
Board Member Hyland has no immediate plans to follow Kohn out of the agency.
“(She) continues to serve on the board,” said Public Affairs Specialist John Fairbanks.