Awards Program

About WWCDA Awards Gala

Recognizing 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. 

We believe 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 Nina Totenberg, 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 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, the Chairs of several major law firms, a tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and a performance by Elton John’s keyboardist. The Gala also includes a WWCDA Chapter Roll Call with greetings from chapter members from around the world and recognition of WWCDA Trailblazers. 

Award Categories

WWCDA Champion Award

This award recognizes an individual who has made a difference or achieved significant success in the White Collar area, while advancing justice in enforcement or positively impacting defense investigations or compliance.  Nominees will have supported women in the field or been a trailblazer as a woman in the field.  There are no WWCDA membership or gender requirements for this award.

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 will be given to a current or former member of WWCDA who best exemplifies Laurie’s groundbreaking leadership in White Collar defense and in advancing women in the practice. Laurie was a founding member of WWCDA. This award was launched in 2018 when WWCDA surprised Co-Founder and Global Chair Karen Popp as the first recipient. 

WWCDA Group Award

This award recognizes a group from a company, firm, or other organization that has demonstrated achievement in the White Collar area, while advancing or supporting women in the field. There are no WWCDA membership or gender requirements for this award.

WWCDA Catherine M. O’Neil Mentoring Award

In honor of the late Cathy O’Neil and in commemoration of her leadership, dedication and success, this award will be given to 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 such a beloved friend, mentor, advocate, and leader in WWCDA, her firm and the wider legal establishment.  Cathy was the founding leader of the Atlanta Chapter of WWCDA and one of the forces behind the early growth of the global organization.  To symbolize Cathy's devotion to mentoring and the advancement of women in the field, this award will include a continuing education stipend that has been fully funded by the law firm of King & Spalding, where Cathy was a partner in the Special Matters and Government Investigations Group.    

WWCDA Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Outstanding Law Student Award

In honor of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this award will be given annually to a female law student in the final year of her legal education who best exemplifies Justice Ginsburg’s commitment to excellence, perseverance, resilience, extraordinary work ethic, and tireless efforts to ensure justice for all in the eyes of the law. Honoring Justice Ginsburg

Previous Winners

Champion Award

  1. Sally Yates '21
  2. Loretta Lynch ‘20
  3. Mary Jo White ‘19

Laurie Miller Award

  1. Jamie Gorelick '21
  2. Karen Patton Seymour ‘20
  3. Joan McPhee ‘19
  4. Karen Popp ‘18

Cathy O’Neil Award

  1. Jillian Trezza '21
  2. Aviva Gilbert ‘20
  3. Emily Ward ‘19

Group Award

  1. Merck & Co., Inc. '21
  2. Salesforce ‘20
  3. Olympus Corporation of the Americas ‘19

Justice Ginsburg Award
  1.  Sara Wood 

More Information

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

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

Sponsor the Awards Gala

Visit the link below to learn more about sponsoring the WWCDA Awards Gala.

Sponsor Information


Nominations for 2022 awards are now closed, thank you for your submissions. If you have any questions please contact us at

2021 WWCDA Awards Gala

2021 WWCDA Gala

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2020 WWCDA Awards Gala

Sally Yates

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2019 WWCDA Awards Gala

Attendees sitting at conference tables

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