Khachigian, Kenneth
Ken

Deputy Special Assistant to President Richard Nixon (1970-1974)

Chief Speechwriter and Senior White House Advisor, President Ronald Reagan (1980-1984)

Issues Director, Chief Speechwriter and Senior Political Advisor, to Reagan-Bush re-election campaign (1984)

Senior Staff Advisor, Bush-Quayle campaign (1988)

National Senior Advisor, California statewide campaign manager, Bob Dole's presidential campaign (1996)

National Senior Adviser, John McCain (2000)

Advisor, Bush-Cheney campaign (2000)

Senior Advisor, Senator Fred D. Thompson campaign (2008)

Individual Practice (1979-2007)

Founding Partner, Smiland & Khachigian (1994-2007)

Ken Khachigian's practice includes a range of high-level environmental and government relations matters, particularly where legal, government and public issues intersect. Ken possesses more than 35 years of strategic expertise in governmental affairs, complex business litigation and public service. He has represented companies in diverse industries including energy, telecommunications, transportation, water systems, private equity, real estate, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and waste management as well as several public agencies. Ken is widely regarded throughout California for providing exceptional counseling in government relations, crisis management and strategic problem-solving. He has led successful negotiations of major litigations and disputes for private and public agency clients.

Ken began his distinguished public service career in the White House immediately after law school, rising to Deputy Special Assistant under President Richard Nixon. President Ronald Reagan commissioned him Special Consultant to the President in 1981, where Ken served as Chief Speechwriter and senior White House adviser. Beginning with President Reagan's first inaugural address, Ken collaborated on dozens of major and historic political and policy speeches throughout the President’s two terms in office. Ken served the Reagan-Bush campaign as Director of Issues and Research, senior adviser and chief campaign speechwriter and was one of only two campaign aides who accompanied President Reagan aboard Air Force One throughout his 1984 landslide re-election effort.

Ken was also a key adviser and strategist for President George H. W. Bush’s successful 1988 election campaign, for California Governors George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson, California Attorney General, Dan Lungren, and Supreme Court Justice, Ming Chin, as well as directing several other statewide campaigns. He served as national senior adviser and California campaign director to presidential nominee Robert Dole in 1996 and to Senator John McCain in 2000. He is widely quoted in state and national publications, has appeared on prominent cable and network television programs and frequently lectures before businesses and associations on government affairs and politics.

Previous Experience

Deputy Special Assistant to President Richard Nixon (1970-1974)

Chief Speechwriter and Senior White House Advisor, President Ronald Reagan (1980-1984)

Issues Director, Chief Speechwriter and Senior Political Advisor, to Reagan-Bush re-election campaign (1984)

Senior Staff Advisor, Bush-Quayle campaign (1988)

National Senior Advisor, California statewide campaign manager, Bob Dole's presidential campaign (1996)

National Senior Adviser, John McCain (2000)

Advisor, Bush-Cheney campaign (2000)

Senior Advisor, Senator Fred D. Thompson campaign (2008)

Individual Practice (1979-2007)

Founding Partner, Smiland & Khachigian (1994-2007)

Practices & Industries
Previous Experience

Prior to joining Brownstein, Ken Khachigian served as sole proprietor on major U.S. matters in legislation, crisis management, regulatory and litigation. 

  • Counseled senior corporate officers in setting a strategy to assure the successful approval for one of the nation’s largest telecommunications mergers and headed off a costly and potentially crippling antitrust investigation.
  • Secured a favorable settlement on behalf of hundreds of agricultural water users against the U.S. Government – in the process preserving entitlements worth several hundred million dollars.
  • Saved a multinational Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company more than $100 million through advocacy that prevented its principal competitor from achieving unfair market advantages from a federal agency.
  • Served as co-litigation manager in a months-long trial determining the valuation of one of the country’s largest real estate holdings.  Ultimate settlement resulted in billions of dollars of accretive value for owner.
  • Provided management counsel along with a team of specialists to Southern California’s largest electric utility during California’s major energy crisis -- helping to head off a major business catastrophe.
  • Served as a lead negotiator for the Imperial Irrigation District in achieving the historic Colorado River Water Delivery Agreement of 2003, praised by President George W. Bush as an “historic agreement that settles longstanding disputes and improves the lives of citizens in the Western United States.”
  • Played central role in negotiating a favorable settlement for 18 farm families in the largest agricultural water district winning over $120 million in damages for the families due to the failure of the district and the Federal Government to provide drainage services to remove contaminated water on their farms.
  • Served as co-counsel for a major U.S. corporation in successful defenses against two hostile takeover attempts.
  • Worked to maintain a favorable tax treatment for offshore manufacturing facilities of American companies resulting in multimillion savings over multiyear period. 
Representative Matters
  • Represented Orange County toll road agency in seeking State and Federal Coastal permits to complete construction of State Route 241.

News & Events
Community

Board of Regents, The Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America 

Editorial Advisory Board, Campaigns & Elections Magazine

Advisory Board, Armenian Eyecare Project

Board of Directors, California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance

Director Emeritus, Richard Nixon Foundation

Publications & Presentations
Education
  • J.D., 1969, Columbia University Law School
  • B.A., 1966, with honors, University of California at Santa Barbara
Admissions
  • California, 1970
  • Supreme Court of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
Recognition

Number 25 on the "100 Armenians Who Changed the World" list, 100 LIVES, 2015

Distinguished Alumni Award, University of California, Santa Barbara

Lifetime Humanitarian Award, Armenian Eyecare Project

Lifetime Achievement Award, Armenian National Committee of America

Membership

California Bar Association

attorney-5917