NCSL Welcomes New Leaders
Minneapolis—Nevada State Senator Debbie Smith (D) became president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) during the organization’s 40th annual Legislative Summit in Minneapolis. Smith succeeds Republic Senator of Oregon Bruce Starr, who becomes immediate past president.
NCSL, a bipartisan organization that serves all 7,383 state lawmakers and more than 20,000 legislative staff throughout the country, alternates its leadership between the two parties annually.
“This organization has built such an impressive reputation over 40 years and I am honored to serve as president,” Smith said. “Having been involved with NCSL for many years, I know firsthand the important role NCSL plays in providing legislators just like me with support, ideas and connections to help us lead in our own states. I appreciate the trust my peers from around the country have placed in me to lead this organization.”
Elected to the Nevada Assembly in 2000, Smith became the first Nevada legislator to serve as an officer on NCSL’s 63-member Executive Committee when she was elected vice president in 2012. She has been active in NCSL for several years and served on the Labor and Economic Development Committee.
Other officers include:
- Utah Senator Curt Bramble (R), president-elect. He will become NCSL’s president next year at the 2015 NCSL Legislative Summit in Seattle. Bramble, who was elected to serve Utah's 16th senate district in 2000, has served as Majority Leader and chair of the Revenue and Tax, Business and Labor, and Retirement Committees. He currently serves as Senate President Pro Tem.
- Iowa Senator Mike Gronstal (D), vice president. Senator Gronstal will serve one year as vice president, ascend to president-elect the following year, and then become president at the NCSL Legislative Summit in 2016. Gronstal was a member of the Iowa House from 1983 to 1985 and has served in the Senate since 1985. He currently is Senate Majority Leader.
- Margaret “Peggy” Piety of Indiana, staff chair. Piety is senior staff attorney for the Indiana Legislative Services Agency. She succeeds Tom Wright, chief of staff for Alaska House Speaker Mike Chenault. Wright becomes immediate past staff chair.
- Karl Aro of Maryland, staff vice chair. Aro is executive director of Maryland’s Department of Legislative Services.
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.