There will soon be a new leader sitting at the helm of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

The 13,000-member PBA announced this week that its Board of Governors has chosen Mark A. Tarasiewicz as the association’s new executive director effective Jan. 1, 2014.

Tarasiewicz, 45, who most recently served as the organization’s associate executive director, is replacing current Executive Director Kenneth Shear, who will retire at the end of the year after more than three decades as the director of the 211-year-old group, billed as the oldest association of attorneys in the country.

During his role as associate executive director of the PBA, Tarasiewicz, who is the past president and chairman of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association, has directed the group’s internal and external communications, according to a PBA news release.

Tarasiewicz, who previously worked as senior communications manager for the global law firm Dechert LLP and also served as managing editor of the Pennsylvania Law Journal, first joined the PBA in the mid-1990s in the role of senior public relations associate, according to the PBA.

Tarasiewicz is a three-time recipient of the National Association of Bar Executives Luminary Award and the Philadelphia Public Relations Association Fast Track Award, according to the PBA’s news release.

The Temple University graduate, who currently works as an adjunct professor in the school’s Strategic Communication graduate program, has lectured for the National Association of Bar Executives, the American Society of Association Executives, the Public Relations Society of America, both Pennsylvania State and Villanova Universities, and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, his bio states.

In a statement, Tarasiewicz said he looks forward to working with the PBA’s leadership, its members and the group’s “talented staff to continue the Philadelphia Bar Association’s great work and to prepare the Association for both the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Kathleen D. Wilkinson said in a statement that the group, which has a national reputation for service to the “public and the profession,” was dedicated to choosing a leader who would help carry out the PBA’s proud tradition.

“Our Board of Governors approved the recommendation of Mark by the Association’s Executive Director Search Committee with an eye on the future to help us continue to meet the needs of Philadelphia lawyers and the clients they serve,” Wilkinson stated.

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