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Mayor-elect's gatekeeper

| Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Councilman Bill Peduto and his future chief of staff, Kevin Acklin, joke with members of the media at a news conference on Wednesday Nov. 6, 2013, at the City Council Building in Downtown on Wednesday. Peduto sipped coffee through the meeting, saying he only got a couple hours of sleep after the election on Tuesday.

Who: Kevin Acklin

Age: 37

Residence: Squirrel Hill

Position: Impending chief of staff to Pittsburgh Mayor-elect Bill Peduto

Influential because: Acklin will hold the top administrative position in Peduto's office and essentially function as the mayor's gatekeeper. He also will oversee development bodies such as the Pittsburgh Planning Commission, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Sports & Exhibition Authority and Stadium Authority.

Influential background: Acklin comes to city government from the Downtown law firm Saul Ewing. He also has worked locally for the law firms of Kirkpatrick and Lockhart (now K&L Gates) and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

Influential education: Graduated from Harvard University and earned his law degree from Georgetown University.

Influential family: Wife, Erica; sons, George and Teddy; and daughter, Caroline.

Influential political chameleon: Acklin ran unsuccessfully for Allegheny County Council in 2007 as a Republican, ran unsuccessfully for Pittsburgh mayor in 2009 as an independent and has been a Democrat since 2010.

Influential Internet clutterer: Acklin has yet to take down the campaign website from his failed mayoral bid.

Influential moonlighter: Acklin is executive director of Renew Pittsburgh, an all-volunteer organization that works with community leaders and residents to promote city revitalization efforts.

Influential boyhood neighbor: Acklin grew up in South Oakland across the street from NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino.

Influential lineage: Acklin's grandfather, Chuck Harris, was a battalion chief for the city fire department and the head of Engine Co. 14 in South Oakland. His great-grandfather worked for the city Public Works Department.

Influential former employer: Acklin once worked in the Washington, D.C., office of former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge.

Influential office holder: Acklin is the past president of The Economic Club of Pittsburgh.

Influential generosity: Acklin has taken on pro bono cases for community groups, small-business owners and victims of domestic violence.

­— compiled by Trib Total Media staff

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