U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris on Monday announced additional members of the Office of the White House Counsel.
Under the direction of White House Counsel Dana Remus, “they will help restore faith in the rule of law and the accountability of government institutions,” the Biden team said in a statement received by Today News Africa in Washington D.C.
Those named on Monday include Nigerian-American Funmi Olorunnipa Badejo as Associate Counsel.
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Others are Samiyyah Ali as Deputy Associate Counsel; Tona Boyd as Special Counsel; Megan Ceronsky as Associate Counsel; Martine Cicconi as Associate Counsel; Sean Crotty as Associate Counsel; Ashley Deeks as Associate Counsel and Deputy Legal Advisor to the National Security Council; Erica Songer as Associate Counsel, Jennifer Sokoler as Associate Counsel; Reema Shah as Deputy Associate Counsel; Larry Schwartzol as Associate Counsel; Maury Riggan as Associate Counsel; Michael Posada as Associate Counsel; Lauren Moore as Associate Counsel; Caroline McKay as Chief of Staff to the White House Counsel and Deputy Associate Counsel; Jaimie McFarlin as Deputy Associate Counsel; Ephraim McDowell as Deputy Associate Counsel; Janet Kim as Associate Counsel; Paige Herwig as Senior Counsel; Neha Gupta as Associate Counsel; Justin Dews as Deputy Associate Counsel.
What they are saying:
President-elect Joe Biden: “My administration has no greater task than restoring faith in American government. Our White House Counsel’s Office will be built upon a foundation of integrity and honesty. This qualified and crisis-tested legal team will ensure that this administration is accountable and always operates in service of the American people.”
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris: “The American people deserve a government that is open, honest, and transparent. These dedicated public servants will help us meet the unprecedented challenges facing our nation while upholding the highest standards of ethics and integrity.”
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain: “Today’s brilliant and skilled appointees in the White House Counsel’s Office will be integral in building back better and restoring fair, lawful and ethical governance across all corners of the federal government.”
Read the extended biographies of the appointees
Samiyyah Ali, Deputy Associate Counsel
Samiyyah Ali recently served as a trial litigator at Wilkinson Stekloff LLP. Previously, Ali served as a law clerk to Judge Amul Thapar of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Judge Sri Srinivasan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to her legal career, Ali worked as a student affairs administrator at The Ohio State University. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Ali earned her bachelor’s degree from Duke University, her master’s degree in higher education from The Ohio State University, and her law degree from Vanderbilt Law School.
Funmi Olorunnipa Badejo, Associate Counsel
Funmi Olorunnipa Badejo was General Counsel of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, chaired by House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn. Her prior government service includes serving as Counsel for Policy to the Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Ethics Counsel at the White House Counsel’s Office and Attorney Advisor at the Administrative Conference of the United States during the Obama-Biden administration. Olorunnipa Badejo began her legal career as an associate with the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP and was Legal Counsel at Palantir Technologies Inc. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the University of Florida. Originally from Florida, Olorunnipa Badejo lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and son.
Tona Boyd, Special Counsel
Tona Boyd was Chief Counsel and Senior Legal Advisor to Senator Cory A. Booker on the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, where she advised him on criminal justice and police reform, civil rights, election integrity, and nominations. Before joining Senator Booker, Boyd spent eight years investigating and prosecuting law enforcement misconduct and hate crimes as an Honors Trial Attorney at the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Criminal Section. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Boyd clerked for the Honorable Roger L. Gregory on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Originally from Ohio, Boyd is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Law School. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband.
Megan Ceronsky, Associate Counsel
Megan Ceronsky was Executive Director of the Center for Applied Environmental Law and Policy, an organization dedicated to advancing environmental and energy law and policy. During the Obama-Biden administration, Ceronsky first served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Energy and Climate Change and then as Special Assistant to the President and Associate Counsel to the President. Previously, Ceronsky was Director of Regulatory Policy and Senior Attorney with the Domestic Climate and Air program at Environmental Defense Fund and before that practiced energy and environmental law at Van Ness Feldman, LLP. She clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for Judge M. Blane Michael. Born in Minnesota, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas, Oxford University, and Yale Law School.
Martine Cicconi, Associate Counsel
Martine Cicconi serves as Deputy Solicitor General for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Previously, Cicconi was counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. During the Obama-Biden administration, she served as Associate White House Counsel and as an Attorney Advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. Cicconi clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Merrick B. Garland on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She was born in Newton, MA, and is a graduate of Stanford University and Stanford Law School. Prior to matriculating at Stanford, Cicconi spent several years as a professional ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet.
Sean Crotty, Associate Counsel
Sean Crotty is the Deputy General Counsel for the 2021 Presidential Inaugural Committee and served as a legal consultant on the Biden-Harris Campaign. Prior to the campaign, Crotty worked as a solo practitioner in Washington, D.C., advising clients on issues of political law, government ethics, and corporate compliance. Crotty has also served as in-house counsel at a large government relations and public affairs firm. A native of Missouri, Crotty is a graduate of the University of Missouri and the Indiana University School of Law.
Ashley Deeks, Associate Counsel and Deputy Legal Advisor to the National Security Council
Ashley Deeks was a Professor at the University of Virginia Law School, where she taught national security law and international law and directed the National Security Law Center. She served on the Boards of Editors for the American Journal of International Law and the Journal of National Security Law and Policy and on the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Law. Deeks also was a senior fellow at the Lieber Institute for Law and Land Warfare at West Point and at UVA’s Miller Center. She was a senior contributor to Lawfare, a national security blog. Before joining UVA, Deeks served for ten years in the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser, including as the Assistant Legal Adviser for political-military affairs and the legal adviser to U.S. Embassy Baghdad. Raised in New Jersey, Deeks is a graduate of Williams College and the University of Chicago Law School.
Justin Dews, Deputy Associate Counsel
Justin Dews is an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel for the Biden-Harris Transition. Before joining the transition, he served as Senior Counsel to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. Previously, Dews was a litigation associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. He clerked for the Honorable Judge Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Before his clerkship, Dews was an associate in the Political Law Group at Perkins Coie. In 2012, Dews was a researcher on President Obama’s re-election campaign. Originally from New Jersey, Dews is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School.
Neha Gupta, Associate Counsel
Neha Gupta is an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel for the Biden-Harris Transition. Prior to that, Gupta served as a Deputy City Attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, where she was general counsel to several city agencies, litigated constitutional and statutory challenges to city laws and administrative decisions, and participated in the office’s affirmative public protection advocacy. Previously, Gupta clerked for Judge Michael Daly Hawkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Judge Richard Seeborg of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. A New York native born to Indian immigrants, Gupta is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School.
Paige Herwig, Senior Counsel
Paige Herwig serves as the Deputy General Counsel for the Biden-Harris Transition. During the Obama-Biden administration, Herwig served as Counselor to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Associate Counsel to the President, and Chief of Staff of the Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice. Herwig previously worked as Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives at Facebook, Deputy Chief Counsel at Demand Justice, Deputy General Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee for Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, and Chief Counsel to Senator Amy Klobuchar. She clerked for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Originally from Iowa, Herwig is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School.
Janet Kim, Associate Counsel
Janet Kim served as legal counsel to the Biden-Harris Campaign. Prior to that, she served as Chief Counsel for Investigations on the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. During the Obama-Biden administration, Kim served as Speechwriter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and at the White House as Deputy Associate Counsel for Presidential Personnel. Kim was also an investigations lawyer at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, and clerked for Judge John D. Tinder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Born in Michigan, Kim is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her wife and daughter.
Ephraim McDowell, Deputy Associate Counsel
Ephraim McDowell served as a legal volunteer on the Biden-Harris Campaign. He recently worked as an associate at O’Melveny & Myers LLP. Prior to that, McDowell served as a law clerk to Justice Elena Kagan on the U.S. Supreme Court and to Judge Merrick Garland on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Born in Massachusetts, McDowell is a graduate of Hamilton College and Harvard Law School.
Jaimie McFarlin, Deputy Associate Counsel
Jaimie McFarlin serves as an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel for the Biden-Harris Transition. Before joining the transition, McFarlin worked in a legal and operations role for a fashion start-up. Prior to that position, McFarlin was an associate at Sidley Austin LLP and clerked for Judge Paula Xinis of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. McFarlin was also an associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Originally from New York, she graduated from Harvard Law School, where she was a NAACP Legal Defense Fund Earl Warren Scholar. She received her Bachelor of Arts as a John B. Ervin Scholar and her MBA as a Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Fellow, both from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to law school, McFarlin played professional basketball in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Caroline McKay, Chief of Staff to the White House Counsel and Deputy Associate Counsel
Caroline McKay served as staff counsel on the Biden-Harris Campaign. McKay previously worked as a member of the founding team of Protect Democracy and a legal assistant in the White House Counsel’s Office during the Obama-Biden administration. During law school, McKay was a law clerk on the Democratic staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a summer associate at Morrison & Foerster LLP. An Atlanta native, McKay is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.
Lauren Moore, Associate Counsel
Lauren Moore served as General Counsel to Senator Kamala D. Harris on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she advised on nominations, criminal justice reform, civil rights, and voting rights. She previously served as Deputy General Counsel to Senator Harris. Before joining Senator Harris’s office, Moore practiced at WilmerHale, where she maintained a broad litigation and government enforcement practice. She also clerked for the Honorable Rosemary M. Collyer on the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Originally from California, Moore is a graduate of the University of Southern California and Harvard Law School.
Michael Posada, Associate Counsel
Michael Posada was Senior Counsel for Labor and Employment for the Biden-Harris Campaign. Previously, he was a counsel at WilmerHale. In that role, he advised a variety of clients on criminal investigations, civil litigations, and regulatory matters. He also served as a law clerk for Judge Analisa Torres of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and Judge Margaret A. Ryan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and he was an associate at Davis Polk. Posada graduated from The George Washington University and the New York University School of Law, and he lives in Washington, D.C.
Maury Riggan, Associate Counsel
Maury Riggan currently serves as an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel for the Biden-Harris Transition. Previously, she was a counsel in the Strategic Response group at WilmerHale, where her practice focused on crisis management assistance. She also served as an associate trustee for the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. Riggan holds a B.A. from Wake Forest University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Originally from Kansas, she now lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and husky, Misha.
Larry Schwartzol, Associate Counsel
Larry Schwartztol is counsel at Protect Democracy, where he manages legal and policy advocacy on democracy reform and voting rights. Prior to joining Protect Democracy, Schwartztol was the Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Policy Program at Harvard Law School, a research and advocacy center focused on criminal justice reform. Before that, he was a staff attorney in the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program, where he led complex litigation on a broad range of civil rights issues. He was also a Liman Fellow in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. Schwartztol clerked for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Originally from Florida, Schwartztol attended the University of Chicago and Yale Law School. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife and two children.
Reema Shah, Deputy Associate Counsel
Reema Shah served on the debate preparation team for President-elect Biden on the Biden-Harris Campaign. Prior to that, she was an associate at Latham & Watkins and a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General at the Department of Justice. She served as a law clerk to Justice Elena Kagan on the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Sri Srinivasan on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Originally from New Jersey, Shah is a graduate of Harvard College, Cambridge University, and Yale Law School. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband.
Jennifer Sokoler, Associate Counsel
Jennifer Sokoler serves as a counsel to the Foreign and National Security Policy team on the Biden-Harris Transition, a position which she has held while on leave from O’Melveny & Myers LLP. During the Obama-Biden administration, Sokoler served as an advisor to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power. Earlier in her career, she served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Robert Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Judge Denise Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Originally from Delmar, New York, Sokoler is a graduate of Barnard College and Columbia Law School.
Erica Songer, Associate Counsel
Erica Songer serves as a senior counsel in the Office of the General Counsel for the Biden-Harris Transition. Songer previously served as Chief Counsel for Senator Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Songer’s portfolio included civil rights, criminal justice, immigration, bankruptcy, intellectual property, and judicial and Department of Justice nominations. Before working on Capitol Hill, Songer was a litigation partner at Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C. Songer also served as a law clerk for Judge Cornelia Kennedy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Born in Nebraska and raised in Illinois, Songer is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Harvard Law School. Songer and her husband live in Washington, D.C.