If you had asked me at graduation what my career trajectory after law school would be, there’s no way I would have predicted the path I’ve taken. I’ve followed the Yogi Berra approach: when I come to a fork in the road, I take it.
In 2014, I was practicing at Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C., when I got a serendipitous call from a mentor asking if I’d like to come to the State Department to help the agency navigate the so-called Benghazi controversy. I arrived in August 2014 and soon afterwards the Department was faced with the Hillary Clinton email issue. Over the next two and half years, I was honored to help more than 60 public servants– most of them career employees– testify before Congress and answer questions from the press, inspectors general, and others.
My appointment lapsed at the end of the Obama administration. I was going to be quite happy to return to private practice, but an opportunity arose in the weeks after the election when so many people were raising alarms about potential threats to our democracy. Based on my experience inside the government navigating investigations, I was asked to lead a new group, American Oversight, to conduct investigations of the new administration from the outside. Using transparency tools like the Freedom of Information Act and public records research, we seek out and expose corruption in the government. It’s been busy, to say the least. We have been responsible for shutting down President Trump’s voter fraud commission, exposing Ivanka Trump’s extensive use of personal email for government work, and forcing the Department of Justice to admit the president lied when he tweeted President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.
Running a government watchdog isn’t where I thought I’d be 10 years after BC Law, but I feel privileged to be fighting back at this moment in our history.