Joshua E. Doyle, a Tallahassee-based special agent for the FBI, will be taking the reins from John F. “Jack” Harkness, Jr. as the next executive director of The Florida Bar, according to a Tuesday press release.
Harkness, who’s been with the Bar for 37 years, will shift to an “ongoing consulting role.” They’ll start a six-month transition in July.
The Bar is charged with regulating the state’s 104,000 licensed attorneys.
Doyle, 37, who has spent seven years with the bureau, previously was a lawyer-lobbyist for Metz, Husband & Daughton in Tallahassee, including serving as an outside legislative consultant to the Bar, the release said.
Leading the Bar “is his dream job,” said name partner Jim Daughton. “It’s the only job he would have left the FBI for.”
“After spending hundreds of hours and reviewing dozens of applications including from appellate judges and senior government officials, we ultimately found what we were looking for, which is embodied in the character and credentials of Josh Doyle,” said Scott Hawkins, past president of The Florida Bar and chair of the Executive Director Search Committee.
Doyle, who grew up in Tallahassee, received his undergraduate and law degrees from Florida State University.
His mother is former Tallahassee Democrat business editor and Capitol bureau reporter Judy Doyle; his father is P.J. Doyle, a law enforcement consultant and retired Florida Department of Law Enforcement official.
Before law school, Joshua Doyle served as a special assistant to Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Graham. He was also special assistant to Tallahassee attorney Martha Barnett when she was president of the American Bar Association in 2001.
“Josh is one of the most ethical people I have had the fortune to know and treats everyone with respect, whether it is the building maintenance staff or a Supreme Court justice,” Barnett said. “He also has a keen ability to process information quickly and stay one step ahead of what’s necessary to fulfill common goals.”