Awards Program

2024 WWCDA Awards Gala  

The Awards Gala will be held December 3, 2024. This spectacular event will honor champions elevating women + promoting diversity in the white collar field. See the 2023 highlights!

The WWCDA Awards Program recognizes women, men and groups who have championed women while making outstanding contributions in the White Collar area, including Defense, Government Enforcement, Investigations, and Compliance. The program also supports the legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by recognizing a law student who best exemplifies Justice Ginsburg commitments and tireless efforts. The awards program is a cornerstone of WWCDA's mission to promote diversity in the legal and compliance profession. 

This awards program provides a vital platform for elevating public awareness of women in the field of white collar and compliance. Winning an award from WWCDA is an achievement that lasts a lifetime and commands wide admiration.

The WWCDA Awards are presented annually at the WWCDA Awards Dinner Gala held in Washington, D.C. on the first Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgiving.  Previous Galas have featured three U.S. Attorneys General, former Solicitor General, former Chief of the DOJ Criminal Division, former Chair the SEC, former SEC Chief of Enforcement, the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the CEO and GC of Goldman Sachs, Google's Chief Legal Officer, the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Salesforce, the NFL's General Counsel, Merck's General Counsel, Novartis General Counsel, the Chairs of several major law firms, NPR's Nina Totenberg, a tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and a performance by Elton John’s keyboardist. The Gala has has also included WWCDA Chapter Roll Call with greetings from chapter members from around the world and recognition of WWCDA Trailblazers. 

Questions? Contact

Award Categories

WWCDA Champion Award

The WWCDA Champion Award is given to an individual who has made a profound impact or achieved significant success in the white collar field while advancing opportunities for women. This award honors women and men from the private sector, government, and academia who have made a difference in the white collar area while promoting gender diversity. We honor trailblazers and those who use their own platforms to help women in the profession.  We applaud these great lawyers and other professionals as true champions for pursuing a successful path that advances both the white collar practice and women in the field.

WWCDA Laurie A. Miller Leadership Award for the Advancement of Women in White Collar Defense

In honor of the late Laurie A. Miller this award is given to a current or former member of WWCDA for her achievement in the white collar field, her trailblazing or tireless support of women in the practice and her leadership in moving WWCDA forward in its mission to advance women in law around the world. This award was created in memory of Laurie A. Miller, a groundbreaking leader and brilliant practitioner in the white collar defense and government investigations field, who was unyielding in her advocacy of women practitioners around the world. 

As one of the few women white collar defense lawyers practicing in Washington, D.C., in 1999, Laurie immediately gave her support when presented with the idea by Karen Popp and Beth Wilkinson to launch a women’s white collar defense group. Karen and Beth had just left the government and Laurie was instrumental in helping them move the concept forward in Washington, D.C., and beyond. Laurie attended the first meeting in 1999 and thereafter attended many more while lending her guidance as the group grew.

WWCDA Group Award

The WWCDA Group Award is an innovative award that honors outstanding team achievement in the white collar field while advancing women. The winning team can be comprised of lawyers or other professionals of any gender who have collaborated on a project or projects that have an impact in the white collar field while highlighting and promoting women.

This award can honor teams from companies, law firms, government, academia, nonprofits and other organizations. This award emphasizes the power of teamwork and the importance that work can have in white collar and promoting gender diversity.

WWCDA Catherine M. O’Neil Mentoring Award

In honor of the late Cathy O’Neil  this award is given to an aspiring junior member of WWCDA in honor of the late Catherine M. O’Neil, and in commemoration of her excellence, integrity, grit, and tenacity in her legal advocacy; her enthusiasm and optimism for life and the law; her boundless energy and creativity; her dedication to mentoring young lawyers; and her generous and tireless donation of her time and talents for the public good, including the WWCDA.  Cathy was the founding leader of the Atlanta Chapter of WWCDA and one of the forces behind the early growth of the global organization. 

This award will include a continuing education stipend of $2,500 that has been fully funded by the law firm of King & Spalding, where Cathy was a partner in its Special Matters and Investigations practice group. The stipend will be used to continue to develop the legal and leadership skills of the award recipient through, for example, trial advocacy courses, white collar conferences, executive coaching, or other leadership or management training sessions. 

A nominee for this award must be a junior member of WWCDA who is engaged in WWCDA activities and displays the potential to be a future leader of WWCDA, is a rising star in the white collar defense bar with up to 10 years of experience and embodies the spirit and characteristics that made Cathy O’Neil such a beloved friend, mentor, advocate, and leader in WWCDA, her firm and the wider legal establishment.

WWCDA Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Outstanding Law Student Award

In honor of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we established the WWCDA Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Outstanding Law Student Award to be given to a woman in the final year of her legal education who best exemplifies the Justice’s commitment to excellence, perseverance, resilience, extraordinary work ethic, and/or tireless efforts to ensure justice for all.

The WWCDA Justice Ginsburg Student Award commemorates the Justice’s extraordinary life, her powerful advocacy for gender equality, and her significant impact on American jurisprudence, particularly in the area of civil rights. She was a role model to women of all ages, and particularly to the younger generations. The Award celebrates those characteristics for which the Justice was best known, including her outstanding legal scholarship and expertise, her relentless optimism and commitment to social justice, her advocacy for women, and her tenacity and resilience in the face of obstacles (both personal and professional) to become one of the most effective and consequential lawyers and jurists in American history. The Award celebrates the Justice’s commitment to helping those who came after her to surmount similar obstacles in their own endeavors and to participate in the legal process and increase access to justice for all. Finally, the Award celebrates Justice Ginsburg’s ability to win the respect, loyalty, and even affection of others with whom she did not share the same background, gender, legal philosophies, or social views. Honoring Justice Ginsburg

Previous Winners

WWCDA Champion Award

  1. The Honorable Beryl A. Howell '23
  2. Lisa O. Monaco '23
  3. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson '22
  4. Lisa Osofsky '22
  5. Sally Yates '21
  6. Loretta Lynch ‘20
  7. Mary Jo White ‘19

WWCDA Laurie Miller Award

  1. Patricia Brown Holmes '23
  2. Leslie Caldwell '22
  3. Jamie Gorelick '21
  4. Karen Patton Seymour ‘20
  5. Joan McPhee ‘19
  6. Karen Popp ‘18

WWCDA Group Award

  1. Microsoft '23
  2. Novartis '22
  3. Merck & Co., Inc. '21
  4. Salesforce ‘20
  5. Olympus Corporation of the Americas ‘19

WWCDA Cathy O’Neil Award

  1. Alyssa Hughes '23
  2. Emily Agnoli '22
  3. Jillian Trezza '21
  4. Aviva Gilbert ‘20
  5. Emily Ward ‘19

    WWCDA Justice Ginsburg Award

    1. Swapanthi Mandalika '23
    2. Nancy Eriksen, Stetson Law School '22 
    3. Sara Wood, Tulane Law School '21

    More Information

    For more details about the Awards Program, the Gala, submitting a nomination, or being a Sponsor, please send an email to

    In honor of WWCDA and our mission, Elton John's keyboardist, Kim Bullard and his wife, Cece Bullard, wrote and performed a song for the 2020 WWCDA Awards Gala.  Entitled, "I'm With You," this song has become WWCDA's theme song. 

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