GC Appointments

Audrey Anderson was named general counsel of Vanderbilt University. Anderson most recently served as deputy counsel of the Department of Homeland Security. Before entering the public sector, she spent 17 years as a partner at Hogan and Hartson.


Ogletree Deakins promoted Chris Mixon to the general counsel spot. Mixon previously was a shareholder at the firm’s Birmingham office, where his practice dealt primarily with employment-related matters. Before joining Ogletree Deakins in 2003, Mixon was the campaign manager for the Committee to Re-Elect Justice Harold See Inc.


Elan Corp., a biotechnology company, hired John Given as general counsel. Given comes to the company from A&L Goodbody, where he was a senior corporate partner and head of the firm’s mergers and acquisitions practice for nine years. While in private practice, Given served as Elan’s lead external counsel for more than a decade.

Kim Rhodes is now vice president, general counsel and secretary of Quintiq, a provider of supply chain planning and optimization software. Rhodes comes to the company from Fiberlink Communications, where she was senior vice president-strategic initiatives, general counsel and secretary. She also has held in-house positions at Citi Prepaid—a subsidiary of Citigroup—and Primavera Software, now Oracle.


Cellular Sales, the country’s largest Verizon Wireless retailer, appointed Reese Thomas general counsel. Most recently, Thomas practiced corporate law at Egerton McAfee for three years. He previously served as the chief operating officer and—more recently—chief executive officer of insurance broker TIS Insurance Services.


Hospira Inc., a medical device company and the former hospital products division of Abbott Laboratories, promoted Royce Bedward to corporate vice president, general counsel and secretary. Bedward has worked at Hospira since its founding in 2004, serving as vice president of litigation and, most recently, deputy general counsel and secretary. He previously was senior counsel, litigation at Abbott.


Otter Tail Power Co. named Jennifer Smestad general counsel. Smestad previously was senior associate general counsel at Otter Tail Corp., her new employer’s parent company, which she joined in 2001. Prior to that, she was a partner at Pemberton Law Firm in Fergus Falls, Minn.

Janna Sidley is now general counsel of the Port of Los Angeles. Sidley has worked in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for the past decade, most recently at the Department of Water and Power. Before joining the city, she was an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles from 1998 to 2002.

Charlene Ripley was appointed executive vice president and general counsel of Goldcorp Inc. Ripley joins the company from Linn Energy, where she was senior vice president and general counsel. She previously was vice president, general counsel, secretary and chief compliance officer at Andarko Petroleum.

Other In-House Moves

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced the resignation of general counsel Dan Berkovitz. Berkovitz, who joined the agency in June 2009, has worked for the federal government for 30 years. Some of his roles during that time include counsel to the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and deputy assistant secretary for planning, policy and budget in the Department of Energy’s environmental management program.

Barry Burgdorf, vice chancellor and general counsel of the University of Texas System, will step down from his position after seven years on the job. Before joining the university, Burgdorf was a partner at Vinson & Elkins, where his practiced focused on matters including private equity and venture capital financing, mergers and acquisitions and securities offerings. He previously was the first general counsel of Samsung Austin Semiconductor between 1996 and 1998.

Law Firm News

Former Arizona Senator Jon Kyl joined Covington & Burling as a senior adviser in its global public policy and government affairs practice. Before his January resignation, Kyl was the second-highest ranking Republican in the Senate, having served in Congress for 26 years. He is expected to become senior counsel after he is readmitted to the bar.


Sidley Austin hired former Adobe Systems Inc. general counsel Karen Cottle as senior counsel in its technology practice. Cottle served as Adobe’s senior vice president, general counsel and secretary from 2002 until last summer. She previously was GC of public software company Vitria Technology Inc. and global manufacturing company Raychem Corp.

Gary Graphia rejoined Kean Miller as a partner. Graphia previously was a partner in the firm until 1999, when he left to become chief legal officer and corporate secretary of The Shaw Group Inc. He later served as the company’s executive vice president for corporate development and strategy and, from 2008 until May 2012, its chief operating officer. He most recently was executive counsel for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.