(Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi / NLJ)

A former White House official praised by President Barack Obama for her “brilliant legal mind” and “mastery of complex policy” has joined O’Melveny & Myers as a litigation partner.

Danielle Gray, who left the White House in January as Obama’s chief liaison to his cabinet, will split her time between O’Melveny’s offices in New York and Washington starting in May, the firm said.

Gray will focus on complex regulatory problems and litigation for financial and health care companies, and she will also work in the firm’s appellate, white-collar and corporate-investigations practices. She’s tasked with developing high-impact pro bono legal service projects for the firm.

Out of several firms, Gray said she chose O’Melveny because of its litigation practice, collegial atmosphere and pro bono work. “On all three of those conditions, O’Melveny obviously scores very high,” Gray said. She was formerly an associate at the firm. She later clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

Gray was one of the principal lawyers who advised on the Affordable Care Act as an associate counsel to the president in the Office of the White House Counsel. She defended the health care law and other civil legal challenges as a senior counsel in the Civil Division at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Gray also played a lead role in judicial selection and confirmation proceedings, including the successful confirmations of Supreme Court justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. She worked on key economic policy decisions as deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the National Economic Council.

When she left the White House in January, Obama said he “will continue to rely on her counsel.”

“Ten years ago, Danielle Gray put a promising legal career on hold to join my campaign for the U.S. Senate—and I will always be grateful that she did,” Obama said then.

Contact Todd Ruger at truger@alm.com. On Twitter: @ToddRuger.