Karen Barr, general counsel of the Investment Adviser Association for nearly two decades, was named Wednesday to succeed David Tittsworth as the organization's president and CEO.

The affable attorney has served side by side with Tittsworth for the entire time.

Her gregarious soon-to-be predecessor has been instrumental in the growth of IAA from 200 firms with $1 trillion in assets under management when he came on board in 1996 to more than 550 financial services companies managing more than $11 trillion.

A former U.S. House aide, Tittsworth has been the face of the advisor industry in Washington for years.

He has testified before Congressional panels (notably during the development of the Dodd-Frank Act) and the Securities and Exchange Commission numerous times.

In February, IAA announced Tittsworth would be leaving in early 2015.

He has not said what he will be doing next, but in speeches he has been visibly uncomfortable talking about his departure from an organization he helped build.

Barr has her law degree from the University of Michigan and a bachelors from the University of Pennsylvania.