Member Spotlight

WHF is pleased to feature the WHF Member Spotlight. Each month we will feature a different WHF member.


WHF Member Spotlight – August 2021
Partner, K&L Gates, LLP

Bethesda, Maryland

Fun Fact
For three decades, I have worked to broaden the base of the Republican Party to better reflect Ronald Reagan’s “big tent.”  Toward that end, in 1992, I co-founded and organized the Maryland Republican Coalition for Choice.

Describe your journey in the financial services industry and how your career has evolved to your current position.
At the University of Maryland, I studied finance, policy and law because I have always been interested in markets, the capital formation process, and the regulatory framework that makes it all possible. After graduation, and a short stint as counsel to the Montgomery County Delegation to the Maryland State Senate, I spent 8 years on Capitol Hill, ultimately becoming general counsel to then-Speaker Newt Gingrich.  In 1999, I was hired to manage government relations at the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD n/k/a FINRA) which, at the time, owned the NASDAQ Stock Market, the American Stock Exchange and NASD Regulation.  After the spin off of NASDAQ into a separate company, I established and led the NASDAQ government affairs operation, where we worked on exchange registration and regulatory approval for the next generation of trading technology known as Super Montage.  During this period, I had the opportunity to work with visionary financial industry leaders including Frank Zarb, Rick Ketchum, Mary Schaprio, John Hilley, Ed Knight, Wick Simmons, Adena Friedman and many others.

In 2003, I was recruited to lead the government affairs effort at the Investment Company Institute (ICI) at a time when the mutual fund industry was faced with high profile political challenges and, soon thereafter, the late trading and market timing scandal.  Over the next five years or so, I worked to defeat legislative efforts that would have adversely impacted the funds industry, and to advance policy preferences including 529 permanence, 401(k) auto enrollment, etc.  After running the tables on ICI’s legislative priorities, I resigned in order to establish a financial services policy practice.  Around the same time, I was approached by another head hunter about joining the product of a recent merger between Kirkpatrick & Lockhart and Preston Gates Ellis.  The newly branded firm, K&L Gates, had the unique benefit of a truly global platform (i.e., a single profit & loss statement, globally), a leading financial services and investment management practice, and a leading public policy practice.  I joined the firm on September 15, 2008, the same day that Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy.  We immediately became engaged in lobbying with respect to the policy responses to the Credit Crisis of 2008-9, which ultimately resulted in enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act and promulgation of the ensuing regulations.  Since then, we have worked to establish what is now one of the premier law firm practices of its kind, representing clients in Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Tokyo, Washington, DC and other key financial policy centers.

What do you love most about what you do?
The chance to have meaningful impact on favorable policy outcomes for the benefit of our clients.

Horses, shooting, swimming, gardening, traveling, cooking, politics.

How long have you been a member of WHF?
Since 2000.

Please describe your involvement with WHF
I regularly attend WHF events, many of which are held at K&L Gates.

What have you gained from being a member?
Regular access to current and former financial regulators and other public policy opinion leaders in a collaborative, informal setting.

How do you make the best use of your day? (think techniques to enhance productivity, time management, time out, meditation/prayer, etc.)
Empty every email inbox every day.

Who or what inspires you?
The increasingly rare political leaders who sometimes set aside partisanship in collective pursuit of a positive vision for the country.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
“After law school, go get a job on Capitol Hill.”

Who do you look up to the most and why?
God.  As with any good investment, the potential upside significantly outweighs the downside.



July 2021 - Kathryn Rock, Partner, Financial Services, Guidehouse 

June 2021 - Miriam Smollen, Deputy General Counsel, Litigation for the Federal Housing Finance Agency

April 2021 - Michael Briggs, General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Mortgage Bankers Association

March 2021 - Tara Sugiyama Potashnik, Chief of Staff and Partner, Venable LLP

February 2021 - Catherine Galicia, Chief of Staff, National Credit Union Administration

January 2021 - Amy Friend, Senior Advisor, FS Vector 

December 2020 - Keith A. Noreika, Partner, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP 

October 2020 - Tiffani Moore, Senior Policy Analyst, Division of Housing Mission & Goals, Federal Housing Finance Agency 

September 2020 - Allyson Baker, Partner, Chair, Financial Services Practice, Venable LLP

August 2020 - Katie Wechsler, Partner, Barnett Sivon & Natter, P.C. and Of Counsel, Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP.

June 2020 - Sydney Garmong, Partner in Charge of Regulatory Matters & Office Managing Partner, Crowe LLP

April 2020 - Donna Howell, SVP, Customer Success, Ampcus

March 2020 - Julia Tishman, Director, Federal Government Relations, TIAA

February 2020 - Tim McTaggart, General Counsel, Forethought Advisors LLC & Partner, McTaggart Law Office 

January 2020 - Elizabeth M. Young LaBerge, Senior Regulatory Compliance Counsel at the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU)

November 2019 - Peggy Twohig, Assistant Director for Supervision Policy, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 

October 2019 - Peter Judge, Manager of Government Relations, Crowe LLP

September 2019 - Kris Kully, Partner, Mayer Brown 

July 2019 - Kristin McGovern, Managing Director, Fannie Mae

June 2019 - Jenny Menna, Senior Vice President, Business Security Solutions, U.S. Bank

May 2019 - Nancy Weissgold, Partner and Co-Leader of the Consumer Finance Team, Alston & Bird, LLP

April 2019 - Chastity Abrom, Mortgage-Backed Securities Specialist, Ginnie Mae, Office of Securities Operations

March 2019 - Gisele Roget, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Single Family Housing, Federal Housing Administration

February 2019 - Monda Raquel Webb, Consultant, Monda Media LLC 

January 2019 - Jonice Gray Tucker, Partner, Buckley Sandler LLP 

December 2018 - Alma Angotti, Navigant, Managing Director, Co-Head of Global Investigations and Compliance

November 2018 - Michele Lieber, President, BluePoint DC

October 2018 - Dionne Joemah, Deputy General Counsel, District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development

September 2018 - Lindsey Johnson, President, U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI)

August 2018 - Bernadette Kogler, Co-founder & CEO, RiskSpan; Co-founder, SmartLink Lab

July 2018 - Lawrence Kaplan, Chair, Bank Regulatory Practice, Paul Hastings LLP

April 2018 - Dina Ellis Rochkind, Of Counsel, Paul Hastings LLP

March 2018 - Marti Tirinnanzi, President and CEO, Financial Standards, Inc.

February 2018 - Janis Smith, Board of Governors, National Housing Conference

November 2017 - Mary Pat Denney, Managing Director, Risk Initiative Vertical, The Oakleaf Group

September 2017 - Joanna Girardin Shapiro, Managing Director, Global Client Management, Bank of New York Mellon

July 2017 - Mary Martha Fortney, President, The Fortney Group

June 2017 - Kris Kully, Partner, Mayer Brown

May 2017 - Lee Ann Hoover, Financial Services Advisory and Compliance, Navigant Inc.

April 2017 - Faith Arnold Schwartz, Chairman, HLP, Principal, HFSS, LLC, Advisor to Accenture Credit Services

March 2017 - Debbie Matz, Board Member, Mutual of Omaha Bank; Advisory Board OpenDoor Trading LLP