WASHINGTON — Robin Cook, longtime counsel for special projects for Credit Union National Association, is leaving CUNA for the American Bankers Association.

Cook's last day at CUNA will be April 24. His title with the ABA will be vice president and senior legislative counsel.

According to an e-mail written by Ryan Donovan, CUNA's chief advocacy officer, Cook has been a "critical part" of CUNA's advocacy team for the last several years.

"Robin has worked on a number of projects during his time at CUNA, but his work to get CUNA's legal advocacy function off the ground, including his recent work to develop and draft an amicus brief that CUNA submitted to a Federal Court of Appeals in a surcharging case, is particularly noteworthy," Donovan said. "He also has led our efforts on payments, data security and patent reform. We are very appreciative of his contributions, we look forward to working with him in his new capacity, and we wish him the best going forward."

Jillian Hitt, Donovan's executive assistant for the last three years, also is leaving the trade group. Her last day at CUNA will be May 8. Donovan credited Hitt with contributing "significantly" to several projects, including the Charter Review and Enhancement Task Force and the recent Compendium Review. "We wish her well and we will miss her greatly," he said.

New Additions

CUNA will be adding two new members to its advocacy team: Elizabeth Eurgubian as deputy chief advocacy officer for regulatory and executive branch relations and senior counsel, and Leah Dempsey as senior director of advocacy and counsel.

Eurgubian, who starts with CUNA April 27, formerly worked at the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), where she has served since 2009 as vice president and senior regulatory counsel. Prior to working for ICBA, she was assistant general counsel at Sallie Mae (2007-2009) and an attorney in the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs at the Federal Reserve (2002-2007).

Donovan said Eurgubian will help CUNA "remove barriers for credit unions to better serve their members" by leading the trade group's regulatory advocacy function. The regulatory attorneys on the advocacy team will report to Eurgubian, and she will be responsible for leading CUNA's interactions with independent regulatory agencies, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and NCUA, as well as the executive branch and the Department of Treasury.

"Elizabeth is a talented and top-notch attorney with significant experience in the regulatory burdens facing community financial institutions," Donovan said. "She will be of tremendous value to CUNA and the credit union system in our advocacy before policymakers in all areas of government. I'm looking forward to her leadership on the advocacy team."

Dempsey comes to CUNA from the Community Financial Services Association (CFSA), where she has served as policy director since 2013. Her first day at CUNA will be May 4. Prior to her work at CFSA, Dempsey worked as legislative counsel for the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals.

"I am looking forward to drawing on Leah's experience working on payday lending issues and working with the CFPB, in addition to the communications skills she has developed from having worked for two associations and studying journalism," said Donovan.

According to Donovan, CUNA is "not quite done" with its advocacy team "evolution." It will be welcoming additional team members in the coming weeks, and still is recruiting for a regulatory attorney. He expects to begin the search for Cook's and Hitt's successors "soon."

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