Mary Jo White has been in the news quite a bit since taking over as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2013. She may be small in stature, but her presence looms large, and she has spoken at numerous events, explaining her vision for the SEC, what the Commission has accomplished under her guidance and what still needs to be done. 

Among her speaking engagements in her first year in office was a keynote address at the first ever Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) conference in Washington, D.C. in October 2013. White, with her customary humor, spoke about the SEC’s role during the government shutdown, the successes of Dodd-Frank enforcement and its whistleblower program. She had the full attention of a large crowd of women attorneys, both inside and outside counsel, who had gathered for the event.

In addition to White, the keynote speakers featured Martha Coakley, attorney general of the state of Massachusetts and candidate for governor of that state. Coakley spoke about working with other state AGs on a variety of topics, and interfacing with federal regulators.

But, while the keynotes were strong, attendees of the event were just as enthusiastic about the breakout sessions, which covered a range of topics, including governance and compliance, litigation, intellectual property and more. The event also gave attendees a chance to meet, bringing inside and outside counsel together to discuss topics of interest and network about future business.



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With the success of the first event, the WIPL conference has become an annual affair. This year’s event, which will take place on Sept. 17-19 in Washington, D.C., will provide the same opportunities for networking and dynamic breakout sessions, but will include a new slate of keynote speeches.

US Steel GC Suzanne Rich Folsom will speak on a panel with her company’s CEO, Mario Longhi, about how they work together on important matters. The attorney general of Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto, will speak on the growing prominence of state AGs, and Peggy Foran, chief governance officer, vice president and corporate secretary of Prudential Financial, will talk about interfacing with corporate boards.

More keynote addresses will be announced soon, as will the agenda of panels and breakout sessions. Early bird registration for the event ends on July 18, so if you are interested in attending, click here for more information or here to register.