Dallas, Texas - The American Heart Association, the world's leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke, has named attorney M. Lewis Kinard as executive vice president, general counsel and assistant corporate secretary for the organization at its international headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Kinard succeeds Lynne M. Darrouzet, who previously announced plans to retire and who moves into a special project role - of counsel - to Association executive management.

Kinard has more than three decades of strategic legal, business, public service and change management experience. He has been a key leader in the Association's staff legal team since 2013. His portfolio includes expertise forming and closing legal entities, experience with commercial and real estate transactions, litigation, government grants and contracts, as well as with private equity funding, and regulatory compliance.

"Over the past four years, Lewis has proven himself to be a resourceful and innovative legal advisor, dedicated to the lifesaving mission of the Association," said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown. "As the Association continues to flourish and we expand both our domestic and international business models, I am excited to have him help lead the organization to new levels of success and toward our goal of a world free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke."

Kinard joined the American Heart Association in 2013 as a senior attorney and was promoted to assistant general counsel in 2014, and vice president, deputy general counsel in 2016. Prior to working with the American Heart Association, he spent more than 20 years in private law practice, as well as serving in management roles for non-profit organizations and multi-national technology companies. Kinard's additional leadership experience includes business process improvement, operations, and federal forensic program fraud investigations.

An acknowledged leader in his profession, Kinard is a member of the Texas Access to Justice Commission's Rules and Legislation Subcommittee and has served on the boards of other non-profits in Texas and Colorado. He was also just appointed by the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas as the first chairman of the Committee on Disciplinary Rules and Referenda, recently created by the Texas legislature.

Kinard earned his Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University and hold legal licenses in Texas and Arkansas.