Atlantic Legal Foundation 2015 honoree: former Governor Frank Keating

Atlantic Legal Foundation will honor Governor Frank Keating (ret) at its annual dinner on March 22, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Read about it here.

The Honorable Francis A. “Frank” Keating

Former Governor of Oklahoma Frank Keating retired on December 31, 2015 as president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, a 135 year old association that represents banks of all sizes and is the voice for the nation’s $14 trillion banking industry and its two million employees. Keating became ABA’s president and CEO on January 1, 2011, following seven years of service as the president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers, and after serving two terms as Oklahoma’s 25 governor.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Frank grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and his law degree from the University of Oklahoma. Frank’s 30-year career in law enforcement and public service included service as an FBI agent investigating terrorism incidents and other duties, U.S. Attorney appointed by President Reagan, state prosecutor, and Oklahoma House and Senate member and minority leader.

Frank Keating, General Counsel, Housing and Urban Development, 1990

He served Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush in the Treasury, Justice, and Housing Departments. His Justice Department and Treasury Department service gave him responsibility for all federal criminal prosecutions in the nation and oversight of agencies such as the Secret Service, U.S. Customs, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Marshals, the Bureau of Prisons, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and all 94 United States Attorneys and the U.S. role in Interpol. As Assistant Secretary of Treasury, and General Counsel and Acting Deputy Secretary of HUD, Keating worked on financial sector issues that are demanding attention today — including housing finance, lending practices, securitization and Bank Secrecy Act issues. He was the highest ranking Oklahoman during the Reagan and Bush administrations.

In 1993 Keating returned to Oklahoma to run for Governor. He won a three-way race by a landslide and was easily re-elected in 1998, becoming only the second governor, and the only Republican, in Oklahoma history to serve two consecutive terms.

 Tulsa World file
Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating and Tulsa World Executive Editor Joe Worley at the bombing site.

As the Governor of Oklahoma, Keating won national acclaim in 1995 for his compassionate and professional handling of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Governor Keating and his proactive wife Cathy raised more than six million dollars to fund scholarships for the nearly 200 children left with only one or no parents. His accomplishments as Governor include winning a public vote on right-to-work, welfare and tort reform, the largest tax cuts in Oklahoma history, environmental protection, public-private partnerships and major road building without increasing taxes, and education reform including impetus for charter schools – one of the pillars of the Atlantic Legal Foundation’s mission. His work on welfare reform was a first in the nation and served as a model for bipartisan welfare reform during the Clinton administration.

Frank Keating, Chair, BPC Board, President and CEO, American Bankers Association; Former Governor of Oklahoma

Keating recently served on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force, a group of former cabinet members, elected officials and key stakeholders of both parties that recommended a series of tough measures to address the nation’s fiscal challenges. Currently, he is Chairman of the broadly respected Bipartisan Policy Center. He also served on the BPC’s Housing Commission. He has been Chairman of the Advisory Board of Mount Vernon and President of the Federal City Council, and has served on the boards of the National Archives and the Jamestown Foundation.

Honorable Governor Frank Keating resigned from National Review Board
sourced from:
Spotlight is a 2015 American biographical drama film directed by Tom McCarthy and written by McCarthy and Josh Singer.


From June 2002 to June 2003, Keating (a practicing Roman Catholic) served as Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops National Review Board examining sex abuse by Catholic priests. This was the subject of the popular movie “SPOTLIGHT” in theaters this year.

Upon resigning from the Review Board days after Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony criticized Keating for comparing some church leaders to the Mafia, Keating commented:

“My remarks, which some Bishops found offensive, were deadly accurate. I make no apology. . . .To resist Grand Jury subpoenas, to suppress the names of offending clerics, to deny, to obfuscate, to explain away; that is the model of a criminal organization, not my church.”

Keating also is the author of four award-wining children’s books – biographies of Will Rogers, Theodore Roosevelt, George Washington, and Standing Bear, the Ponca Indian chief who argued Native Americans deserve the same rights as white Americans.

George: George Washington, Our Founding Father by Frank Keating 
Will Rogers by Frank Keating
The Trial of Standing Bear by Frank Keating
Theodore by Frank Keating

He is the recipient of six honorary degrees. Frank and his wife Cathy live in McLean, Virginia. They have three children and ten grandchildren.

Frank and Cathy Keating
sourced from:
Inside Oklahoma State Capitol Building, Martin Bredel, 2012
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