Underwood has been serving as deputy commissioner of the Department of Public Protection since June 2005 and as acting general counsel for the KHRA.
"The racing authority has made tremendous strides the past two years under Jim Gallagher's leadership," said Gov. Fletcher in a released statement. "Lisa Underwood's experience with the Racing Authority will ensure a smooth transition and continued effort to grow our signature industry."
As general counsel, Underwood drafted new, comprehensive regulations for Thoroughbred drugs and the associated penalties for violations. She also drafted emergency regulations for the new Breeders' Incentive program for Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds.
"It has been a pleasure to have worked as general counsel with the racing authority and Jim Gallagher," said Underwood. "I appreciate Gov. Fletcher's constant support for the racing authority and look forward to continuing his goal of creating jobs and maintaining our status as the horse capital of the world."
Underwood earned a bachelor's degree from the University of the South and a law degree from the University of Kentucky. Prior to joining state government, she was senior corporate counsel for Mason & Hanger Corp., Lexington, and a partner for the firm of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP.