Elected to the Mesa City Council in June of 2008 and re-elected in August of 2012, Dennis Kavanaugh serves as the councilmember for District 3. Kavanaugh is the founder of the law firm Dennis Kavanaugh, P.C., one of Arizona's leading social security and worker's compensation law firms. His term on the Mesa City Council runs until January of 2017. Kavanaugh was also a member of the City Council from 1996 to 2004, serving as Vice Mayor from 2002 until 2004.
Kavanaugh sits on several different committees and boards, including serving as the chairperson of the Council Public Safety committee. He currently sits on the Mesa Community College Commission on Excellence in Education after serving as Chair and is the Vice Chair of the Valley Metro Rail board and the chancellor of the Arizona Society Sons of the American Revolution, of which he is a Palo Verde Chapter member. He is a member of the Council Community and Cultural Development committee, the Council Sustainability and Transportation committee and is one of the Council representatives to the West Mesa Community Development Corporation. He sits on the board of the Mesa United Way, the Mesa Preservation Foundation and College Bound Mesa. He also sits on the Benedictine University at Mesa Advisory Board and the Upper Iowa University Mesa Center Advisory Board.
Nationally, Councilmember Kavanaugh is very active with the National League of Cities. He is a member of the NLC International Council, the NLC Advisory Council and the Audit Committee. He also served on the NLC Board of Directors.
Kavanaugh is the Vice President of the Child Crisis Center and formerly served on the board of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Mesa Historical Society, Dobson Ranch Home Owners Association, A New Leaf, East Valley Senior Services, West Mesa Community Development Corporation, Arizona Museum For Youth Friends, Arizona Museum of Natural History Foundation, Mesa Symphony, Arizona Commission on the Arts and Foundation for People With Disabilities, Mesa Arts Center Foundation and Mesa Community Action Network.
He began his legal career in 1978, serving as a staff attorney for the Arizona Legislative Council for six years. In 1984 he became the Attorney and Chief Counsel of the Industrial Commission of Arizona, a position he held until 1988, when he joined Stephens, Watts, Day and Brown, P.C. as an associate attorney. In 1990 he became a founding partner of Day Kavanaugh, P.C., where he has practiced law for the past 21 years. He is a member of the Workplace Injury Law and Advocacy Group, the East Valley Bar Association, the State Bar of Arizona workers compensation section and the National Organization of Social Security Clamaint's Representatives and is a certified specialist in workers compensation by the State Bar of Arizona. Kavanaugh owns an "AV Preeminent" rating in the Martindale Hubble national attorney directory.
Kavanaugh was the 1999 recipient of the Mesa Symphony Executive Director's Community Service award, the 2008 Arizona Arts Advocate of the Year and in 2008 was awarded the Cox/East Valley Partnership Dwight Patterson Lifetime Achievement award. He was honored by Mesa Community College in 2013 for his service to the Commission on Excellence in Education. He received his J.D. degree in 1978 from Arizona State University and a B.A. in Political Science (magna cum laude) from St. Louis University in 1975. Mr. Kavanaugh was awarded memberships in Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Sigma Nu (National Jesuit Honor Society).