Women Worth Watching 2015

Danielle Gray

O’Melveny’s Dynamic Partner Tackles Legal Issues and Public Policy


web OMelveny_GrayAfter several years in the Obama Administration, where she held a number of senior legal and policy roles, most recently as President Obama’s chief liaison to his cabinet, Danielle Gray returned to O’Melveny last year. She represents financial institutions, health care companies, and other consumer financial-services companies on complex regulatory problems and litigation. In an increasingly challenging regulatory environment, her wealth of knowledge and experience in a range of policy areas—including health care, consumer financial services, innovation and technology, labor, and energy and environmental—is of tremendous benefit to the firm’s clients.

“…plans are overrated.”

Her tenure as one of President Obama’s principal advisors on matters of national importance prepared Danielle to advise business leaders on critical issues, including cybersecurity and compliance with the Affordable Care Act. She was also recently a lead member of an O’Melveny team that conducted a high-profile investigation and review of allegations of sexual violence at the University of Virginia, following a Rolling Stone article that reported alleged sexual abuse on campus.

“I think the one piece of career advice I’d give my former self,” said Danielle, “is that plans are overrated.”

Danielle regularly works on pro bono matters, including joint efforts with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice on civil and voting rights. Still frequently tapped by the Obama Administration for her outstanding leadership and judgment, she recently served on an independent panel tasked with reviewing the Secret Service’s protection of the White House compound in the aftermath of recent breaches, and is active in driving President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative led by an outside council of private sector leaders focused on improving opportunities for boys and young men of color. Additionally, Danielle serves on the boards of the Center for Employment Opportunities, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and other influential organizations.

Education: AB, Economics/Public Policy, Duke University; JD, Harvard Law School

First Job: Cashier at West Marine

What I’m Reading: “The Lowland “by Jhumpa Lahiri


The most important quality a woman leader should have is…

… the same one any leader should have: integrity

The career advice I’d give my former self:

Plans are overrated.

The one thing I would differently in my career, knowing what I know now, is…

…I have no regrets.

When I really need to focus on a project, I…

… listen to jazz.