ChIPs is delighted to announce its 2019 Hall of Fame honoree, Jamie Gorelick, one of Washington’s best-known lawyers, whose career has spanned the legal, government and corporate landscape and who is expert at solving difficult issues at the intersection of law and policy.
Gorelick is a partner at WilmerHale, the international law firm where she has practiced since 2003. She chairs the firm’s Regulatory and Government Affairs Department and co-chairs its Crisis Management and Strategic Response Practice.
Gorelick was among the longest serving deputy attorneys general, the second highest position in the US Department of Justice (DOJ). Serving from 1994-1997, in the Clinton administration, she supervised the entire Department, including its litigation and law enforcement divisions and the United States Attorneys’ offices.
For her career of extraordinary accomplishment, Gorelick has received numerous honors. Most recently, she was named a 2018 “Lifetime Achiever” by The American Lawyer and a “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America.
ChIPs created the Hall of Fame program in 2013 to recognize exceptional individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to the ChIPs mission of advancing women in technology, law and government. Gorelick is the ninth Hall of Fame award recipient and will be honored at an induction ceremony at the ChIPs Global Summit in Washington, D.C., taking place September 25-27. Previous Hall of Fame recipients include US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, entrepreneur and former US Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, ChIPs co-founder and former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Michelle K. Lee and US Senator Mazie K. Hirono.
Gorelick attended Harvard College and continued to Harvard Law School, where she received her J.D. degree. Her experience growing up in a family of immigrants and as a woman in a male-dominated academic setting informed her experiences at Harvard and gave her extra motivation to succeed.
“I came to college thinking I had something to prove because I was the child of immigrants, the first in their families to go to college, and the first in their families to even approach being middle class…Being a woman just adds to that. Many places that would be foreign to me because of my background would also be so because they were previously male bastions,” Gorelick says.
Gorelick began her legal career at white-collar litigation boutique Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, where she practiced for 18 years. There, Gorelick developed an in-depth knowledge of grand jury practice, internal investigations, white-collar criminal defense, and civil enforcement-oriented litigation.
Gorelick first became involved in government service during her third year as an associate. She was recruited by a woman who was then general counsel at the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to be vice chair of a commission at the Pentagon. Later, as DOD’s general counsel herself, Gorelick helped structure the department’s involvement in the consolidation of the defense industry in the 1990s. She was awarded the Secretary of Defense Distinguished Service Medal for her service.
In 1994, she was appointed deputy attorney general. In that role, Gorelick led an effort to improve coordination among intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, reorganized the DOJ’s approach to crisis management, and supervised major criminal cases, including the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, brought by the department’s prosecutors.
Gorelick has served on numerous government boards and commissions, particularly in the national security arena. She is a current member of the Defense Policy Board and a former member of the Defense Legal Policy Board at DOD. Gorelick was a member of the influential bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the “9/11 Commission”) whose recommendations were adopted by Congress.
She also was a member of the CIA’s National Security Advisory Panel, President Bush’s Review of Intelligence Committee and President Clinton’s Advisory Committee to the Presidential Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection (which she co-chaired), among others. She maintains a strong interest and expertise in cybersecurity and other aspects of national security. She was a member of the Commission on Science and Security at the Department of Energy and the Continuity of Government Commission.
Gorelick chairs the board of the Urban Institute and has served on the boards of the National Women’s Law Center, Harvard’s Board of Overseers, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and many others. She currently serves on the corporate boards of Amazon and Verisign and previously served on the boards of United Technologies and Schlumberger.