NCSL 2014 Staff Vice Chair


NCSL NewsKarl Aro, Executive Director of Maryland’s Department of Legislative Services, Assumes National Leadership Role for NCSL

MINNEAPOLIS – Karl Aro was elected staff vice chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) at the 2014 Legislative Summit in Minneapolis. Aro, executive director of the Maryland General Assembly’s Department of Legislative Services, will serve as vice chair during the 2014-2015 conference year, and succeed to staff chair in 2015-2016. NCSL, a bipartisan organization, serves the nation’s 7,383 legislators and more than 20,000 legislative staff.

“NCSL is a wonderful organization that enhances legislative staff throughout the country by offering excellent opportunities for professional development and networking,” said Aro. “I have benefited greatly from the professional development programs and my experience working with staff sections, standing committees, the Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee and the Executive Committee.  I am honored to serve as staff vice chair and I look forward to continuing to contribute to the success of the premier organization for legislators and staff.”

NCSL is the only national organization that provides training, professional growth opportunities and information sharing for legislative staff. There are 14 staff sections and networks that sponsor meetings, training and publications. Legislative staffers also are eligible to be members of the NCSL standing committees, which address state policy issues and state-federal issues.

Aro becomes one of seven officers (four legislators and three legislative staff members) on NCSL’s 63-member Executive Committee, elected yearly, which includes both legislators and staff.

Aro has been with the General Assembly since 1979 and when three staff departments were restructured in 1997 to form a single entity—the Department of Legislative Services—he was named executive director. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Monmouth University in New Jersey and a master’s in government with a concentration in public administration from the University of Maryland at College Park. In the legislature he has worked on everything from worker’s compensation to social science research to health care, but is best known for his work on redistricting.

Since 1975, NCSL has served as the bipartisan organization serving the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.