December 19, 2008
Gov.-elect Nixon Names Karen K. Mitchell Designee for Director of Department of Revenue
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov.-elect Jay Nixon today announced his intention to appoint Ms. Karen K. Mitchell, of Columbia, Mo., to the position of Director of the Missouri Department of Revenue. In that position, Ms. Mitchell will be instrumental in carrying out Gov.-elect Nixon’s plans to streamline and modernize the Department’s operations.
“During these challenging economic times, we must have a Director of Revenue who understands state government and has fresh ideas about how to make the Department more efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of Missourians,” Gov.-elect Nixon said. “I’ve worked closely with Karen Mitchell for the past 16 years, and I couldn’t ask for a better manager and professional to assume this important position in my administration. As Governor, I plan to revolutionize how the Department of Revenue does business, ending the system of political patronage for license fee offices and bringing many motor vehicle transactions online. Karen has been instrumental in developing these plans, and I know she’ll do an excellent job putting them into action. Together, we’re going to save money and improve service for Missourians.”
“Gov.-elect Nixon is committed to moving the Department of Revenue and the entire state government in a new direction, and I’m honored to have this opportunity to help bring about real change for Missourians,” Ms. Mitchell said. “From Day One, we’re going to hit the ground running. We’ll start the process of competitively bidding all the state’s license fee offices and expanding online services. As the national economic crisis continues, we’re going to use taxpayer dollars responsibly, and we will look for additional opportunities to save time and money for Missouri families. I look forward to continuing my career in public service under Gov.-elect Nixon’s administration.”
Ms. Mitchell, 50, who has spent her entire career in public service, has been Missouri’s Chief Deputy Attorney General since February 1999. In that position, she has been responsible for supervising, hiring and training more than 200 attorneys and handling or overseeing many of the most complex legal cases in the Attorney General’s Office. She also has administered the state’s Legal Expense Fund and provided legal advice to statewide elected officials, legislators and judges upon request.
Prior to becoming Chief Deputy Attorney General, Ms. Mitchell was State Solicitor, handling or supervising all civil appeals involving state interests, from January 1996 to January 1999 and Chief Counsel of the Attorney General’s Governmental Affairs Division, the largest division in the Attorney General’s Office, from February 1993 to December 1995. Additionally, Ms. Mitchell was a unit leader in the Attorney General’s Office from February 1991 to January 1993. She joined the Attorney General’s Office in May 1987 after serving as Assistant Regional Counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from July 1986 to April 1987.
A 1984 graduate of the law school at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, Ms. Mitchell clerked for Judge Fernando J. Gaitan of Missouri’s 16th Judicial Circuit and for Judge Charles B. Blackmar of the Missouri Supreme Court. She is a recipient of the Missouri Bar Foundation Award for Outstanding Appellate Advocacy and the Ray Marvin Award, which recognizes outstanding assistant attorneys general nationally. She earned her bachelor’s degree, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Missouri - Columbia in 1981.
Established under the state constitution in 1945, the Missouri Department of Revenue is the central collection agency for all state revenue. The Department’s primary responsibilities are to collect taxes, title and register motor vehicles and issue driver’s licenses. The Governor appoints the Director with the advice and consent of the State Senate.