Governor’s Office of General Counsel Attorney Jonathan W. Kunkel to Receive Pennsylvania Bar Association Award for Leadership in Administrative Law

HARRISBURG, Pa. (April 30, 2024) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Administrative Law Section will present its James S. Bowman Award to Jonathan W. Kunkel, an attorney for the Governor’s Office of General Counsel, Harrisburg, at an awards ceremony on May 9 during the PBA Annual Meeting in Hershey.

The James S. Bowman Award honors a lawyer who is making a significant impact on the practice of administrative law and who is demonstrating leadership in mentoring administrative law practitioners.

Since 2018, Kunkel has been assigned to the Pennsylvania Office of Administration. In his role as senior counsel, he litigates employment cases before the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, State Civil Service Commission and Unemployment Compensation System. Previously, he was assigned to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for three years and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections for 19 years.

Active in the PBA, Kunkel serves as chair of the Government Lawyers Committee, council member of the Labor and Employment Law Section and member of the Membership Development Committee. He is a Zone 3 Delegate to the House of Delegates and a council member and past chair of the Administrative Law Section. Since 2000, he has been a scoring judge for the championship rounds of the PBA Statewide High School Mock Trial Competition sponsored by the PBA Young Lawyers’ Division.

One of his nominators said: “While his leadership roles clearly distinguish him, his most impactful actions are perhaps his efforts to connect to fellow members of the bar on a social level. Jonathan is an excellent example of bar association leadership and epitomizes the camaraderie that bar associations seek to build among members of the bar.”

Active in the Dauphin County Bar Association (DCBA), Kunkel is a past president, member of the Board of Directors and chair of the Government Law Section and Social Committee. Twice, he received the association’s Angelo Skarlatos Memorial Award presented by the DCBA Young Lawyers Section. He is also a Master in the DCBA William W. Lipsitt American Inn of Court and a Master and past president in the James S. Bowman American Inn of Court.

In addition, Kunkel has served as a board member of the American Red Cross of the Susquehanna Valley, board chair of Theatre Harrisburg and president of Friends of the State Museum. He received an Outstanding Service Award by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission for his volunteer service to The State Museum of Pennsylvania. Kunkel also has been an instructor for the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program at Widener University Delaware Law School and presented numerous continuing legal education programs on administrative employment law for the Governors’ Office of General Counsel, Dauphin County Bar Association and Pennsylvania Bar Institute.

Kunkel received his Juris Doctor from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland, Ohio, and his bachelor's degree from New York University, New York City. Prior to attending law school, Kunkel worked as a researcher in the Political Operations Unit for ABC News in New York City, covering the 1988 presidential elections.