A Conversation with Erin Nealy Cox
Erin Nealy Cox, former U.S. Attorney and partner at Kirkland & Ellis, was interviewed by Angela Styles, ’94, partner at Akin Gump and former Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy.
During this conversation, they explored Ms. Nealy Cox’s career journey, and the two discussed the practical challenges and opportunities of navigating public service and private practice. They addressed adding value to clients and maintaining ethical standards. The discussion also addressed political appointments and apolitical job duties and the ethical questions posed by these roles, especially prosecutorial independence and the impact of political appearance on reputations and careers.
A recording of the webinar can be found here.
Viewing the webinar can be claimed as 1.25 hour of self-study CLE credit with the State Bar of Texas. Self-study is optional and 3 of your total 15 hours can be completed in the form of self-study activities. Contact your State Bar with any questions. If you watched the webinar live on November 2nd and need CLE information, please contact us here.
Erin Nealy Cox
Erin Nealy Cox, is a partner at Kirkland & Ellis and practices in the Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations Group. She is a former high-ranking U.S. DOJ official and utilizes her deep experience in complex investigations to counsel boards of directors and executives from the world’s top companies.
Erin most recently served as the 35th U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, only the third female U.S. Attorney in the District’s 142-year history. While in that role, she chaired the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC) — a group of 15 U.S. Attorneys selected by the Attorney General to advise on national priorities — being only the eighth female U.S. Attorney to serve in that capacity. During this time, she led the committee’s task force on domestic violence and firearms crimes and also co-chaired the task force on violent anti-government extremism, served on the religious liberty task force, and was one of five U.S. Attorneys advising the DOJ’s China initiative, a group of senior officials combating state-sponsored economic espionage.
In addition to her background leading complex DOJ investigations, Erin also has substantial experience in board governance and cyber issues, having previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting cyber and white-collar crimes; a senior advisor in McKinsey & Co.’s cybersecurity and risk practice; and an executive managing director at cybersecurity and investigations consulting firm Stroz Friedberg.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Sally Beauty Holdings, Inc., a large retailer listed on the NYSE, and previously served on this Board prior to her appointment at U.S. Attorney.
Erin clerked for Chief Judge Henry A. Politz of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Honorable Barefoot Sanders, U.S. District Judge in the Northern District of Texas. She attended Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.
Angela Styles is a partner with Akin Gump in Washington, DC. She served during the George W. Bush presidency as Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy within the Office of Management and Budget, a position that required Senate confirmation, and in the GSA’s Public Buildings Service.
Ms. Styles has testified about complex federal procurement issues at more than 30 congressional hearings, including before the Senate Armed Services, Senate Government Affairs, House Armed Services, House Veterans’ Affairs, House Small Business and House Government Reform committees. For eight years, she also served in the role of executive director of the Defense Industry Initiative on Business Ethics and Conduct.
Ms. Styles sits on the board of governors of UChicago Argonne, LLC, where she chairs the audit committee, and the board of directors of the Texas Historical Foundation and the Das Leben Foundation. She also serves as a Champion at the Center for Women in Law.
Ms. Styles received her J.D., Order of the Coif, from the University of Texas School of Law and her B.A., with honors, from the University of Virginia.
The Susan Blount Power Lunch Series is supported by the generosity of the Hortense Ward Speakers Fund.