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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943

Carnahan Recognized

Carnahan Recognized for Excellence in Governance

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG - 04/20/2007 - Honoring her commitment to Missourians and her role in state government, the UCM Student Government Association presented Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan with the 2007 James C. Kirkpatrick Excellence in Governance Award Thursday, April 26.

A Life of Public Service

Carnahan accepted the award, noting the influence of James C. Kirkpatrick on her daily life. Kirkpatrick served for 20 years as Missouri's Secretary of State, and Carnahan said she passes his portrait daily as she enters her office. She also spoke of the influences of her late father, Gov. Mel Carnahan, and the late Sen. Thomas Eagleton, two Missourians who also dedicated their lives to public service.

"Thank you for honoring me," she concluded, "and thank you more for remembering James C. Kirkpatrick and the legacy he left the state of Missouri."

Background in the Practice of Law

Carnahan was elected to the office of Secretary of State in 2004. She received a bachelor’s degree in economics from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO., which included study at the University of Southampton, England. She then earned a law degree from the University of Virginia Law School, where she served as executive editor of the “Virginia Journal of International Law.” She then returned to Missouri to practice law with the St. Louis law firm of Thompson and Mitchell.

Additional Work in Europe

In 1990, Carnahan worked with the National Democratic Institute in central and eastern Europe to rebuild democracies and economies by drafting voting laws, training political leaders and monitoring elections. She also served as an executive at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, exploring innovative ways to help American companies grow through increased sales abroad.

Accomplishments Since Being Elected in 2004

Since taking office, Carnahan has worked to protect the interest of Missouri consumers. She developed an “Investor Bill of Rights” to assist in the elimination of investment fraud. She also has worked to streamlines processes for required for small business through the use of available technology. As administrator of the Missouri State Archives and overseer of the Missouri State Library, she has improved to available materials, also though technology.

As Missouri’s chief elections official, she has brought Missouri’s election process into compliance with the federal 2002 Help American Vote Act (HAVA) by implementing a variety of improvements.

Family Tradition of Public Service

Carnahan’s family has a long tradition of public service. Her father, Mel Carnahan, served as Missouri’s state treasurer, lieutenant governor and governor, and her mother, Jean Carnahan, was the first woman to serve Missouri in the U.S. Senate. Her grandfather, the A.S.J. Carnahan, a congressman from south-central Missouri, was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to be U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone in West Africa.

Award Named for James C. Kirkpatrick

The award is named for the late James C. Kirkpatrick, the Central Missouri alumnus who served 20 years as Missouri's Secretary of State. Past recipients of the award include Gov. Matt Blunt, State Representative Deleta Williams, Senator Claire McCaskill, Attorney General Jay Nixon and State Representative David Pearce.


Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, center, was the recipient of the James C. Kirkpatrick Excellence in Governance Award presented by the UCM Student Government Association. Attending the presentation were, left to right, UCM President Aaron Podolefsky; Doris Houx Kirkpatrick, wife of the late Mr. Kirkpatrick; Michael Carey, SGA president; and Jessica Daugherty, SGA vice president.