Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. is President and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA). In his role as the chief executive of the AGA, Fahrenkopf is the national advocate for the commercial casino industry and is responsible for positioning the association to address regulatory, political and educational issues affecting the industry.
A lawyer by profession, Fahrenkopf gained national prominence during the 1980s when he served as chairman of the Republican Party for six of President Ronald Reagan’s eight years in the White House (1983 to 1989). When Fahrenkopf retired in January 1989, he had served as chairman of the Republican National Committee longer than any person in the 20th century (and second-longest in the history of the party) and led the party through two successful presidential campaigns in 1984 and 1989.
He has been a frequent commentator on political and gaming issues on such network television programs as Crossfire, Inside Politics, Meet The Press, Hardball, Face the Nation, The Today Show, This Week and Good Morning America.
Fahrenkopf continues to serve in a variety of political capacities. He presently is co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates, which conducts the general election presidential and vice presidential debates in presidential election years. He co-founded the commission in 1986 with Democratic National Committee chairman Paul Kirk. Additionally, he serves as a board member of the International Republican Institute (IRI), which he founded in 1984, and as a member of the adjunct faculty of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Services Leadership Seminar.
Previously, he served as chairman of the Pacific Democrat Union and vice chairman of the International Democrat Union, a worldwide association of conservative political parties from the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Japan, Australia and 20 other nations. He also was a founder of the National Endowment for Democracy, where he served as vice chairman and a board member from 1983 to 1993.
Prior to becoming the AGA’s first chief executive on June 1, 1995, Fahrenkopf was a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Hogan & Hartson, where he chaired the International Trade Practice Group. Fahrenkopf specialized in regulatory, legislative and corporate matters for multi-national, foreign and domestic clients. His early legal career included 17 years of practice as a trial and gaming lawyer in Nevada, his home state. In that capacity, he represented clients before Nevada gaming regulatory authorities. Fahrenkopf served as the first chairman of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Gaming Law and was a founding trustee and president of the International Association of Gaming Attorneys, a worldwide organization of government gaming regulators and private attorneys acting on behalf of licensed gaming enterprises.
Fahrenkopf has held various positions relating to his legal background. For many years he was a member of the board of trustees of the National Judicial College, the American Bar Association (ABA)-sponsored judicial education center for federal and state judges; chairman of the Coalition for Justice, a group coordinating the ABA’s initiatives to improve the American justice system; and chairman of the Legal Policy Advisory Board of The Washington Legal Foundation. He was a member of the Nevada State Board of Bar Examiners, president of the Washoe County Bar Association and vice president of the Nevada Trial Lawyers Association.
Fahrenkopf also sits on the board of directors of four New York Stock Exchange public companies: First Republic Bank, Gabelli Equity Trust, Inc., Gabelli Utility Trust and Gabelli Global Multimedia Trust.
His civic involvement includes service as chairman of the board of governors of the City Club of Washington, a member of the board of trustees of the E.L. Wiegand Foundation, and a member of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, The Economic Club of Washington and the Federal City Council. Fahrenkopf also served as a co-chairman of the Rivlin Commission, which investigated and reported on the government of the District of Columbia. He has been honored for his contributions, receiving the Junior Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award in 1973, the Nevada Lung Association “Man of the Year” Award in 1983 and the National Humanitarian of the Year Award from the National Conference on Christians and Jews in 1985. He is a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Fahrenkopf is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno (1962) and the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley (1965).
He and his wife, the former Mary Bandoni, have three daughters: Allison, a Washington, D.C., attorney; Leslie, a New York City attorney; and Amy, a medical student at Yale University School of Medicine. He is an avid golfer, tennis player and sports enthusiast. Fahrenkopf is a member of the Burning Tree Club, the Washington Golf and Country Club, the George Town Club, the City Club of Washington and the Prospectors’ Club in Reno, Nev.