The New York State Bar Association honored Mary Jo White with its highest honor, the Gold Medal Award, on January 28 during its Annual Meeting in New York City.
“As the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Mary Jo White prosecuted complex security fraud and international terrorists. As Securities and Exchange Commission chair, she oversaw record enforcement actions and implemented investor protection reforms,” said New York State Bar Association President Claire P. Gutekunst. “We are honored to award her our Gold Medal for her lifelong service to the public.”
White left her position as chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at the conclusion of the Obama Administration. She was appointed to the position in 2013 after spending decades as a federal prosecutor and as a private securities lawyer with Debevoise & Plimpton.
As SEC chair, White implemented the commission’s first-ever policy to require admissions of wrongdoing, resulting in admissions from about 80 defendants. Also under her leadership, the commission saw three consecutive years of record enforcement actions and dozens of reforms to protect investors.
Previously, White served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1993 to 2002, focusing on complex securities and financial institution frauds, and international terrorism cases. Under her leadership, the office convicted the terrorists behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the bombings of American embassies in Africa.
White, the only woman to hold the top position in the 200-plus year history of that office, also served as an assistant U.S. attorney and chief appellate attorney of the Criminal Division.
The 72,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.
Contact: Christian Nolan