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Chief Counsel

Kathleen Kotula

Kathleen Kotula was appointed Chief Counsel to the Department of State in January 2023. In that role, she serves as counsel to the Secretary of the Commonwealth and executive and senior level officials on matters affecting the Department of State. She oversees a team of nearly 75 attorneys and more than 50 other personnel who provide legal services to the various bureaus within the Department of State as well as the 29 professional licensing boards and commissions.   

Prior to her appointment, Kotula served as Executive Deputy Chief Counsel with the Department of State’s Office of Chief Counsel since July 2018. Before that, Kotula served as a Deputy Chief Counsel and an Assistant Counsel with the agency. She has been with the Department of State since 2007. 

In 2012, and again in 2016, Kotula was awarded the Governor’s Office of General Counsel Certificate of Excellence, and in 2020 she was named an Unsung Hero by The Legal Intelligencer, the nation’s oldest daily legal newspaper.  

Prior to entering Commonwealth service, Kotula worked as an associate in a general practice law firm.  

Kotula received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Lehigh University and her Juris Doctor degree from the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University. She served as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. F.P. Kimberly McFadden, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County. 

Kotula is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and in various federal courts, including the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.