When Donald Remy joins the NCAA this month as its new general counsel, he will be combining two of his great interests–complex legal issues and youth sports. With a background in coaching amateur basketball, a love of college football and more than 20 years’ experience in litigation, policy-making and internal investigations, Remy has found himself in the quintessential dream job.
Remy, currently a partner at Latham & Watkins in Washington, D.C., says the high-profile job befits the myriad interests and experiences his legal career has spanned, and he is particularly excited to move back to an in-house position.
“I think that I am at my best when I have management responsibility and I am working with good people, dealing with interesting and impactful legal and policy issues, and advancing the agenda of an organization with a mission I value,” he says.
After graduating from Howard University School of Law in 1991, Remy served as the assistant to the general counsel of the U.S. Army. Positions at the Department of Justice and Fannie Mae bolstered his experience in combing through a wide range of complicated litigation and policy issues, governmental oversight, and juggling the interests of multiple parties. In 2009, President Obama nominated Remy to serve as the general counsel of the Army.
Remy says he looks forward to working with Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, to “create a better experience for the student-athlete.” But he expects his greatest challenges will involve managing the numerous litigation battles, media rights agreements and policy decisions the organization regularly handles.
“It can be challenging to convince the public and the courts that these decisions are not based on rigid application of complex rules,” he says, “but also follow one simple principle: Always attempt to do the ‘right’ thing.”
As he transitions out of his current role at Latham, Remy will leave behind a number of pro bono and volunteer projects. Remy has also coached youth basketball for years. “While I look forward to weighing in on these important policy questions,” he says, “I will miss the regular interaction with these boys who have become well integrated into my life.”