Donald McGahn was sworn into office as a Commissioner of the Federal Election Commission on July 9, 2008. Nominated by President Bush on May 6, his appointment received the unanimous consent of the United States Senate on June 24, 2008. He was elected Chairman on July 10, and served in that capacity through December 31, 2008, and continues to serve as a Commissioner. The six-member FEC is the independent regulatory agency charged with administering and enforcing federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency.
Prior to his appointment to the Federal Election Commission, Mr. McGahn served as head of McGahn & Associates PLLC, a Washington-based law practice specializing in election law. Mr. McGahn has represented federal and state candidates, Members of Congress, political party committees, leadership political action committees (PACs), corporations and corporate PACs, non-profits, trade associations and others involved in issues related to campaign finance law and government ethics. Since 1999, Mr. McGahn served as General Counsel to the National Republican Congressional Committee. He also served as Counsel for the Illinois Republican Party for several years.
Before joining the NRCC, Mr. McGahn practiced law at Patton Boggs LLP in Washington, DC. As a member of the firm's litigation group, he advised and represented elected officials, candidates, national and state parties and others on election law issues. Mr. McGahn has been recognized for his significant pro bono work for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Prior to Patton Boggs LLP, Mr. McGahn served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Charles R. Alexander of the Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania.
Mr. McGahn attended the United States Naval Academy, the University of Notre Dame, Widener University School of Law and the Georgetown University Law Center.