Former DOT Inspector General Mead Joins Baker Botts

New Special Counsel to Assist Firm in Developing Practice Area Designed to Focus on Audits, Investigations

WASHINGTON, D.C., FEB. 16, 2006 -- Kenneth M. Mead, formerly Inspector General of the Department of Transportation (DOT), joined Baker Botts L.L.P. today as special counsel in the firm’s Washington office.  Mead’s career in the federal government spanned more than 30 years. 

Mead, 58, served until last week as Inspector General at DOT. He was nominated to that position by then-President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1997.  As Inspector General, he was a member of the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency. 

Previously, Mead served for 22 years with the U.S. Government Accountability Office, Congress’ investigative arm, where he held the positions of Deputy Assistant Comptroller General for Policy, Director of Transportation and Telecommunications Issues, and Senior Attorney.  During his federal career, Mead testified before committees of Congress on more than 230 occasions, 130 of them as Inspector General. He also testified before the 9/11 Commission on the state of aviation security and corrective actions that should be taken.  

“Ken’s long experience in government will add a new dimension to our capabilities in Washington, and will help us to expand our existing practice in the areas of transportation and homeland security.” said Walt Smith, Managing Partner of Baker Botts.  “The issues surrounding transportation and homeland security are vital to the well-being of our country and are of great concern to many of our clients.”

Kirk Van Tine, a partner in the firm’s Washington office and former deputy secretary of DOT, said that in addition to working on transportation and homeland security matters, “we have asked Ken to develop a new practice area for us, counseling clients and handling their responses in connection with inspector general audits and investigations.”

“During his 30 years in government, Ken established a reputation as both exceedingly competent and completely credible,” Van Tine said. “We are very pleased that he has chosen to join us. With his unique background and experience, Ken will be a great asset for the firm as we continue to develop our transportation, homeland security and government relations practices.”

As DOT Inspector General, Mead was responsible for keeping the DOT Secretary and Congress informed of the effectiveness and efficiency of agency programs and operations through audit reports and management advisories containing findings and recommendations. From the start of his tenure as Inspector General in 1997, OIG issued more than 1,000 reports, which identified more than $7 billion in transportation funds that could have been more effectively used. During Mead’s tenure, Inspector General reports and testimonies addressed a broad range of major transportation matters, including aviation safety and security, railroad, motor carrier, and pipeline safety; FAA’s multibillion dollar air traffic control modernization program, flight delays and congestion; oversight of  large highway and transit projects; strengthening controls over the Title XI ship-building loan guarantee program; and the future structure and funding of intercity passenger rail service. 

Mead also conducted investigations into fraud, waste and abuse and had the authority to refer suspected criminal violations to the U.S. Department of Justice. Under his leadership, OIG investigations resulted in more than 2,500 indictments, 2,000 convictions and more than $500 million in fines, restitutions and recoveries.

Mead received his baccalaureate degree from Southern Connecticut University and his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina. He is an alumnus of the Executive Excellence Program at the Federal Executive Institute and the Harvard  Senior Federal Managers Program.

He received the GAO Distinguished Service Award, the Meritorious Service Award and promotion to the rank of Meritorious Executive in the Senior Executive Service. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the Federal Bar Association and the Association of Government Accountants. He is a veteran of the U.S. Naval Submarine Service.

For more information, please contact:
Michael A. Cinelli
Public Relations Specialist

To read the Washington Post story on this annoucement, please click here.

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