Congratulations Mary Jo White
I’m delighted that President Obama has nominated the fabulous Mary Jo White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mary Jo is not only an incredibly talented and accomplished attorney — having put away mob boss John Gotti and the WTC bombers back in the ’90s, among others — but she’s also dedicated to helping women advance in the legal profession. Mary Jo joined a rock star panel of women attorneys for an incredible discussion of women and leadership that the ABA’s Woman Advocate Committee put on at the annual ABA meeting several years ago. The group included Stanford’s Deborah Rhode, New York’s former Chief Judge Judith Kay, Pillsbury’s then-chair Mary Cranston, and Michele Coleman Mayes, then the GC of Allstate, and currently GC of the New York Public Library. As the incoming co-chair of the Committee, I was allowed to join the group’s dinner the night before, and it was an evening I’ll never forget, with stories and laughter and encouragement. Would that we are all so lucky to spend time informally with mentors and trailblazers like these. Some common themes? Don’t be afraid to take risks. Know what you want, and keep after it until you get it, no matter the obstacles in your path! And don’t forget to laugh some along the way. Words to live by.