The Congressional Forum is a 54 year institution, and the Chamber's public policy series, which features local, state, and federal representatives to speak about issues relevant to the area's business community.
Representative Sharice Davids speaks to the group as often as she can, but other guest speakers are often featured at the monthly forums.
This month's featured speaker is Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
Derek Schmidt was elected the 44th attorney general of Kansas in 2010 and was reelected in 2014 and 2018. He is the state's second longest-serving attorney general, and in 2018 received more votes than any other candidate for attorney general in Kansas history.
Under Attorney General Schmidt’s leadership, the office has focused on prosecuting crimes against children, protecting senior citizens from scams and rip-offs, recovering record-setting amounts of money for Kansas consumers and taxpayers, providing professional legal services for the State of Kansas, and standing up against illegal overreach by the federal government.
Attorney General Schmidt has personally and successfully argued three Kansas cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He has led the successful efforts to strengthen Kansas law against human trafficking, to toughen penalties for defrauding senior citizens and for stealing from taxpayers, to build a modern forensic science laboratory for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, to strengthen consumer-privacy laws, and to improve investigation of crimes against children.
Schmidt has been honored with the Criminal Justice Professional of the Year Award from the Wichita Crime Commission, the Friend of Law Enforcement Award from the Kansas Sheriffs Association, the Policy Maker of the Year Award from the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association, and the Guardian of Small Business Award from the Kansas chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. He served as the 2017-2018 president of the National Association of Attorneys General and was named the nation's outstanding Attorney General for 2019.
Before being elected attorney general, Schmidt served as a Kansas State Senator representing part of Southeast Kansas, as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and as the Senate Majority Leader. He previously served as counsel to Kansas Governor Bill Graves and as legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum.
Attorney General Schmidt is a graduate of Independence High School and studied at Independence Community College. He earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas, his master's degree in international politics from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and his doctorate in law from the University of Kansas School of Law.
Schmidt and his wife, Jennifer, are the parents of two daughters.