McGuireWoods Consulting Senior Advisor Congressman G.K. Butterfield Awarded the North Carolina Award for Public Service

November 3, 2023

McGuireWoods Consulting is proud to announce that Senior Advisor G.K. Butterfield has been named the recipient of the North Carolina Award for Public Service, the state’s highest civilian honor.

The award was created by the General Assembly in 1961 to recognize significant contributions to the state and nation in the fields of fine arts, literature, public service, and science and has been given to more than 250 men and women. It will be presented to six distinguished North Carolinians by Governor Roy Cooper on Thursday, November 9th.

“With his distinguished record of public service, it is a fitting honor that G.K. will be given the North Carolina Award. His dedication to the people of North Carolina has been a great benefit to the state. MWC is proud that the state government has chosen to recognize his long record of achievement,” said Paul Reagan, director of McGuireWoods Consulting’s federal public affairs team.

Before coming to McGuireWoods Consulting in 2022, he represented the constituents of North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for more than 18 years. For most of his congressional career, Butterfield served on the influential Committee on Energy & Commerce. Congressman Butterfield served as Senior Chief Deputy Whip under the leadership of his lifelong friend, Congressman Jim Clyburn. In 2014, Congressman Butterfield was unanimously elected Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 114th Congress. As chairman, Butterfield worked with President Barack Obama and his administration on legislation to address poverty, income inequality, and other economic justice issues.

“Whether it is fighting for civil rights, his tenure as a judge or his long record battling for the state and the nation as a whole in Congress, G.K. has proven to be one of North Carolina’s truly consequential public servants,” said McGuireWoods Consulting Chairman Mark Bowles.

Former South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges, MWC president, echoed Bowles: “With his distinguished record of public service, G.K. has set a mark of leadership in this country. It is a fitting honor that G.K. will be given the North Carolina Award.”

Born and raised in the heart of Wilson, N.C., G.K. Butterfield’s journey from a family rooted in service to a distinguished career in law, politics, and advocacy is a testament to his unwavering commitment to his community and the principles he holds dear. Butterfield completed high school in Wilson before earning both a bachelor’s degree and law degree from North Carolina Central University in Durham. In 1975, he cofounded the first minority-owned law firm in eastern North Carolina. Butterfield was elected as Resident Superior Court judge in 1988 and later served briefly as Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, a total of 15 years in the North Carolina judiciary.

“After having the privilege of serving my beloved North Carolina as judge and congressman for a total of 33 years, I am humbled and honored to receive this distinguished recognition,” said Butterfield.

The full list of 2023 honorees include Honorable David Price for public service, Honorable G.K. Butterfield for public service, Fred A. Whitfield for Public Service, Marsha White Warren for literature, Patrick Dougherty for fine arts and Mandy K. Cohen, M.D., M.P.H., for science.