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Alumnae Leading as General Counsel in the Corporate World

Photo by Samuel Stuart

From Amazon to Papa John’s, These Women Lead Legal Departments in Business

Katherine J. Brennan '03Katherine J. Brennan ’03

New York
Deputy General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer, Marsh & McLennan Cos.

  • Works on quarterly earnings, employment law matters, cybersecurity, privacy, corporate finance transactions, M&A, trade sanctions and preparing for meetings of the public company board.
  • Previously served as secretary, senior vice president and deputy general counsel at S&P Global.

Eileen BrumbackEileen Brumback ’86

Cincinnati
Vice President and General Counsel, GE Aviation

  • Previously worked as senior vice president and general counsel for GE Sub-Sahara Africa and GE Capital Real Estate.
  • Serves on the boards of several nonprofits that help underprivileged women and youth.
  • Former managing partner for King & Spalding’s Global Real Estate Practice Group and hiring partner for the firm’s New York Office, and member of the firm’s Global Operating Committee.

Eileen Brumback '86Kay Lynn Brumbaugh ’92

Allen, Texas
Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, GIACT Systems

  • Partner and chair of the Andrews Kurth Kenyon Antitrust Practice Group prior to joining longtime client GIACT, an industry leader in payments and identity fraud prevention, in 2017.
  • Co-chair of the Consumer Protection Committee of the ABA Antitrust Section.

Hilary DessoukyHilary Dessouky ’97

Ventura, Calif.
General Counsel, Patagonia

  • Advocate for benefit corporations and their commitment to prioritizing social and environmental considerations over financial return.
  • Beneficiary and champion of workplace policies that blend work and family to support all employees through programs like paid leave and onsite child care.
  • Previously chief counsel of brands and retail for Levi Strauss & Co.

Emily EpsteinEmily Epstein ’04

New York
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Nielsen Holdings

  • Responsible for the corporate law and compliance function for S&P 500 company that does business in 100-plus countries.
  • President and executive director of the Nielsen Foundation, a $36 million company foundation that makes grants in the areas of education, hunger and nutrition, and diversity and inclusion.
  • President of the New York chapter of the Society for Corporate Governance.
  • Served as vice president of corporate governance and assistant corporate secretary at American Express.

Vanessa Forsythe ’95

McLean, Va
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Sunrise Senior Living

  • Responsible for leading the Sunrise legal department in the areas of operations, M&A, litigation, employment and labor relations, corporate governance and regulatory matters across the company.
  • Oversees compliance and internal audit, and serves as corporate secretary.

Grace FuGrace Fu ’09

New York
Executive Vice President of Human Resources, General Counsel and Secretary, Barneys New York

  • Oversees all legal and HR functions at New York City-based retail company.
  • Serves as secretary of the board of directors and board member of the Barneys New York Foundation.
  • Former chief compliance officer and deputy general counsel at Tiger Management, and M&A attorney at Skadden Arps, both based in New York City.

Erin HawthornthwaiteErin Hawthornthwaite ’97

San Francisco
Director, Legal, Google

  • Joined Google in 2004 as corporate counsel before serving as senior corporate counsel and then managing counsel.
  • Previously corporate counsel and then senior counsel at Turner Broadcasting.

Elisha KingElisha King ’97

Washington, D.C.
General Counsel, DLA Piper

  • Oversees the firm’s legal department and advises on firm governance, professional responsibility and other legal matters.
  • Serves as an elected member of the firm’s Policy Committee and on the board of the DLA Piper Foundation.
  • Previously served as the firm’s deputy general counsel.

Deborah Platt MajorasDeborah Platt Majoras ’89

Cincinnati
Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, Procter & Gamble

  • Leads nearly 500 lawyers and professionals in P&G’s corporate responsibility efforts.
  • Established both global and local pro bono programs for P&G’s legal team, and serves as executive sponsor of the GABLE (Gay, Ally, Bisexual, Lesbian and Transgender Employees) resource group.
  • Former chairman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
  • Serves on the USGA Executive Committee.

Lauren G. McGinleyLauren G. McGinley ’01

Reston, Va.
Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Noblis

  • Chief legal and compliance officer of a science, technology and strategy company focused on bringing innovative technical solutions to the federal government’s defense, intelligence and civil sectors.
  • Responsible for all legal matters including corporate governance, M&A and intellectual property, as well as the industrial security, and ethics and compliance functions. Noblis has been named one of Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies for eight years.
  • Former assistant general counsel of Airbus North America and senior associate at Hogan Lovells.

Paula McGlarryPaula McGlarry ’97

New York
General Counsel, Oliver Wyman Group

  • Oversees all legal and compliance matters globally for Oliver Wyman, a global management consulting firm that operates in 29 countries.
  • Joined Oliver Wyman in 2003. Appointed deputy general counsel in 2010 and general counsel in 2012. Also served as the company’s chief risk and compliance officer in 2011.
  • Advised senior leaders on a wide range of business matters, including firm acquisitions, strategic hires and geographic expansion.

Diane MusiDiane Musi ’95

Boston
General Counsel, ezCater

  • Has more than 20 years of corporate legal experience, including over 10 years as general counsel at both public and private companies.
  • Leads the legal office of ezCater, an online marketplace for businesses to hire local caterers.
  • Previously general counsel at Care.com, closing multiple venture capital financings and M&A transactions, leading the company through its IPO and facilitating international expansion.

Lauren NeiswenderLauren Neiswender ’00

Seattle
General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Compliance Officer, Blue Nile

  • Started in the legal department of Blue Nile, the largest online retailer of diamonds and fine jewelry, in 2004 following its initial public offering. Took the company private upon Bain Capital’s acquisition of Blue Nile in 2017.
  • Serves on the National Association of Corporate Directors’ GC Steering Committee, a committee of general counsels.
  • At Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, represented public and private companies, venture capital firms and investment banks on corporate and securities matters.

Michele NelsonMichele Nelson ’95

Reston, Virginia and Atlanta
Executive Vice President-Legal, General Counsel and Secretary, Premiere Global Services, Inc.

  • Has served as PGi’s general counsel since 2016, after PGi was acquired by Siris Capital Group in a transaction valued at roughly $1 billion.
  • Leads PGi’s global legal services team and oversees all aspects of PGi’s corporate governance and legal matters, including M&A, strategic alliances, IP, real estate and employment.
  • Previously served as PGi’s assistant general counsel and assistant secretary.
  • Formerly legal counsel to several software, interactive and technology companies, and began her legal career with Alston & Bird in Atlanta.

Caroline Miller OylerCaroline Miller Oyler ’90

Louisville, Ky.
Chief Legal and Risk Officer, Papa John’s International

  • Has global responsibility for legal and risk matters for the world’s third-largest pizza delivery company in 50 U.S. states and 46 countries. Helped lead the company through a major public relations crisis in 2018-19.
  • Oversees internal audit, risk management, security and safety, and heads up enterprise risk management for the company. Served as the head of human resources twice during her 20 years at the company.
  • Previously a senior attorney at Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs in Louisville.

Tracy PrestonTracy Preston ’91

Dallas
Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer, Neiman Marcus Group

  • Responsible for all legal operations for the Neiman Marcus Group.
  • Has served as senior vice president and general counsel since 2013 and corporate secretary since 2016, and chief compliance officer since 2018.
  • Previously served 11 years at Levi Strauss & Co. as associate general counsel and then holding multiple positions (held concurrently) as chief counsel for global human resources, supply chain and litigation, and chief compliance officer.
  • Former partner, Orrick.
  • Serves on the board of directors of the Alzheimer’s Association, National Capital Chapter, and is a member of the American Bar Association.

Christa RapoportChrista Rapoport ’92

New York
Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Chief Compliance Officer, Insurance Care Direct

  • As first general counsel and chief compliance officer, leads the company’s legal and compliance functions and oversees all legal matters, in addition to strategically expanding and strengthening the company’s compliance program.
  • Previously worked as a regulatory affairs and compliance consultant at Nelson, Taplin, Goldwater Consultants.

Faye RicciFaye Ricci ’94

Seattle
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Zipwhip

  • Oversees all the company’s legal activities, including the legal aspects of strategic transactions, business development and enterprise sales.
  • Has over 20 years of transactional, operational and risk experience at major national law firms, as in-house counsel and through other in-business roles.
  • Previously vice president at both Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan Chase Bank.

Kathryn SheehanKathryn Sheehan ’96

Seattle
Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Business Conduct & Ethics, Amazon

  • Leads the team responsible for the design and administration of Amazon’s anti-corruption and legal compliance and training program.
  • Responsible for monitoring, supervising and independently conducting internal investigations of fraud allegations and other potential legal and regulatory issues.
  • Lead lawyer responsible for advising on and helping formulate Amazon’s information security policies and practices across all U.S. and international business lines.

Rhonda M. TaylorRhonda M. Taylor ’92

Nashville, Tenn.
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Dollar General

  • Leads the legal, risk management, internal audit, government and public relations, and global compliance functions for Dollar General, a Fortune 125 retailer with more than 16,000 stores in 44 states, over 16 distribution centers, and sourcing offices in Hong Kong and China.
  • Promoted to executive vice president and general counsel in 2015.
  • Led the labor and employment legal team for Dollar General until her promotion to senior vice president and general counsel in 2013.
  • Former employment litigator with Ford & Harrison and Ogletree Deakins before moving in-house at Dollar General in 2000.

Carolyn TillmanCarolyn Tillman ’84

Houston
Managing Counsel, Occidental Oil and Gas

  • Supports multiple aspects of domestic and international oil and gas operations.
  • Provides legal support for commercial transactions, intellectual property projects, regulatory matters, ethical business conduct compliance and antitrust compliance.
  • International practice includes short- and long-term assignments in United Arab Emirates, Libya, Oman and Qatar.

Wilma WallaceWilma Wallace ’89

Seattle
General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Vice President, REI

  • Leads the teams responsible for all legal and compliance matters.
  • Previously interim general counsel for Enveritas, and deputy general counsel and vice president of global sustainability at Gap Inc.

Media Contact

Mike Fox
Director of Media Relations
mfox@law.virginia.edu / (434) 982-6832

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