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Archdiocese of Chicago Names William R. Kunkel General Counsel

Chicago, IL (November 14, 2016) – The Archdiocese of Chicago today announced the appointment of William R. Kunkel as its General Counsel. Prior to this appointment, Kunkel served as Executive Vice President-Legal and General Counsel of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company and as a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.  Kunkel also currently serves on the Board of Directors of American Equity and is the Chair of the Board’s Risk Committee.

“Bill’s impressive background and reputation in the corporate sector is but one of his many assets; he is also a product of Catholic education in Chicago and has carried this foundation through his family life and considerable service to the community.” said Archbishop Blase J. Cupich. “We are proud and happy to welcome him to the Archdiocese staff and look forward to the future.”

Kunkel began his legal career in 1981 and worked as a corporate attorney and partner at Skadden, Arps from 1984 until his retirement in 2012. For more than 25 years, his practice concentrated largely on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and other corporate governance and securities matters.

During his three years at American Equity, Kunkel was part of the senior executive team of the NYSE listed insurance holding company with over $53 billion in assets and responsible for all legal, compliance and regulatory matters. Additionally, he was a member of their Enterprise Risk Management committee.

“This is a very exciting time in the mission of the Archdiocese and I am extremely pleased to have the opportunity to serve in this capacity.  I look forward to working with the excellent team of lawyers and staff at the Archdiocese,” said Kunkel.
Kunkel has been recognized by Chicago Lawyer, Leading Lawyers Network, Chambers Global and Chambers USA for his work. He also served on the Board of Trustees of St. Ignatius College Prep for nine years; the last three as board chair. More recently, Kunkel was on the Board of Trustees of Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory as vice chair.

Kunkel, a native of La Grange, Illinois, holds a BS degree from Creighton University, and is a graduate of Harvard Law School where he served as editor-in-chief of the Harvard Environmental Law Review. He graduated from St. Ignatius College Prep. Kunkel and his wife are parishioners of St. Francis Xavier Parish in La Grange.