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K Street Files: Fahrenkopf Leaving AGA

Frank Fahrenkopf, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, announced Monday that he is stepping down June 30.

“I have enjoyed my time at the helm of this incredible organization and am proud to have represented an industry that provides tens of millions of men and women with the best entertainment value in the world,” Fahrenkopf said in a statement. “It has been a true honor to work with so many passionate and innovative leaders as we have moved the industry forward during the past 17 ½ years.”

The statement noted that the AGA’s board and Fahrenkopf have been crafting a succession plan for two years. He has been the group’s CEO since its inception in 1995.

Fahrenkopf noted in the press release that when the AGA was created, the image of the gaming industry in Washington, D.C., and throughout much of the country was one based more on myth than reality.

“There’s no doubt that Frank’s political savvy has been instrumental in protecting and promoting our industry’s interests on Capitol Hill, but the impact of his leadership stretches well beyond Washington,” said James Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International. “It hasn’t always been easy to bring our disparate group together, but he did it. Frank’s legacy at the AGA is testament to what we can accomplish together.”

The AGA has retained the executive search firm Korn/Ferry International to find a replacement. The job pays well; according to forms filed with the IRS and made available by GuideStar, Fahrenkopf’s 2010 compensation was about $2.6 million, including a $1 million base salary.

Fahrenkopf was the chairman of the Republication National Committee for six of Ronald Reagan’s eight years in the White House. He continues to serve as co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates, which conducts the quadrennial general election presidential and vice presidential debates.

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