Award Winner Biographies 2023

WWCDA Awards Gala 2023 taking place at the Conrad Hotel on November 28

Congratulations to the 2023 WWCDA Award Honorees 
Find their full biographies here.

WWCDA Champion Award

The Honorable Beryl A. Howell, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
The Honorable Beryl A. Howell
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Judge Beryl A. Howell was appointed by President Barack Obama to the District Court for the District of Columbia on December 27, 2010. She served as Chief Judge from March 2016 until March 17, 2023, during which period she also served as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

She received her B.A., with honors in Philosophy, in 1978 from Bryn Mawr College and her J.D. in 1983 from the Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Following law school, Judge Howell served as a law clerk to Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise in the District of New Jersey and then as a litigation associate at the law firm of Schulte, Roth & Zabel.

From 1987 until 1993, Judge Howell served as the deputy chief of the Narcotics Section and an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York, where she was awarded the Attorney General’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance and multiple commendations from the U.S. Attorney and Federal and local law enforcement agencies for her work on international narcotics, money laundering and public corruption cases.

From 1993 until 2003, Judge Howell served on the staff and as general counsel of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. In 2004, she was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a Commissioner on the United States Sentencing Commission for two terms, until January 2013. During her tenure, the Sentencing Commission took steps, first in 2007 and, after passage of the Fair Sentencing Act, again in 2010 and 2011, to reduce the crack-powder penalty disparity by reducing penalties in the Guidelines Manual for crack cocaine, and making those changes apply retroactively.

Following her service on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Howell also worked, from 2003 until 2009, as executive managing director and general counsel of a cybersecurity and digital forensics consulting and technical services firm, for which she headed the largest regional office in Washington, D.C. While at the firm, Judge Howell was awarded a Director's Award by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for her “valuable contributions” to the successful investigation and prosecution of a cyber-extortion case. She was a member of the Commission on Cyber Security, sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which issued, in 2008, a report titled “Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency,” with recommendations on a comprehensive strategy to improve cyber security in federal systems and in critical infrastructures.

Among her other awards, Judge Howell has been inducted into the National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame and is the recipient of the 2004 First Amendment Award by the Society of Professional Journalists. Judge Howell has taught Legal Ethics as an adjunct professor at American University’s Washington College of Law and is a member of the American Law Institute.

Judge Howell previously served, from October 2013 until March 2016, as a member of the Judicial Conference Committee on Information Technology and has been appointed by the Chief Justice to serve on the Judicial Conference Committee on Criminal Law, beginning in December 2023. 

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco
Lisa O. Monaco
Director, U.S. Deputy Attorney General

Lisa O. Monaco is the 39th Deputy Attorney General of the United States. As the Deputy Attorney General, she is the Department’s second-ranking official and is responsible for the overall supervision of the Department. The Deputy Attorney General serves as the Chief Operating Officer, and the Department’s litigating and policy components, law enforcement agencies, and 93 U.S. Attorneys report to the Deputy. The Deputy Attorney General advises and assists the Attorney General in formulating and implementing the Department’s policies and programs.

 A veteran of the Department of Justice, Deputy Attorney General Monaco served as a career federal prosecutor and in several leadership positions across the Department. She began her Justice Department career as Counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno and went on to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the District of Columbia, where she was a member of the Enron Task Force and received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the Department’s highest award. She thereafter served in several leadership roles: Chief of Staff at the Federal Bureau of Investigation to then Director Robert S. Mueller, III; Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General; and Assistant Attorney General for National Security, the first woman to hold that position.

From 2013-2017, Deputy Attorney General Monaco was the Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor to the President. In that role, she coordinated the Executive Branch’s policy and response to a wide range of security issues – including the response to international and domestic terrorist incidents, cyber threats, and natural disasters – and advised the President on all aspects of counterterrorism policy and strategy.

Deputy Attorney General Monaco has served in private practice and taught national security law. She was born and raised in Massachusetts and is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Chicago Law School. 

Patricia Brown Holmes, Managing Partner, Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP
Patricia Brown Holmes
Managing Partner, Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP

Patricia Brown Holmes is a highly respected and accomplished lawyer who focuses her practice on high-stakes, “bet-the-company” commercial disputes and litigation; class actions; investigations and white collar criminal defense; environmental, social, and governance issues (ESG) such as diversity audits; and risk, reputation, and crisis management counseling for her wide range of public and private corporate clients. Patricia is the first Black woman to lead and have her name on the door of a major law firm that is not women- or minority-owned. As a former state court judge and experienced prosecutor and defense lawyer, she brings a unique variety of capabilities to her practice. Patricia’s comprehensive trial experience, coupled with her deft management abilities, position her as a valuable advocate and trusted adviser to her clients.

Prior to serving as an associate judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Patricia was an Assistant U.S. Attorney and an Assistant State’s Attorney. She is one of only a handful of attorneys in the State of Illinois who has tried cases in state, city, and federal court as well as state appellate, federal appellate, and state supreme courts.

Patricia has practiced in courtrooms from all sides of the bench – as a prosecutor, defense attorney, and as a judge. Given her familiarity with sensitive legal matters, she is also especially qualified to conduct internal investigations and assist clients in managing their most critical “bet-the-company” crises. She is keen on business continuity, media and public relations, risk assessment, conflict resolution and recovery, and recurrence prevention. Every matter ends with lessons learned. Applying sound judgment, creative strategies, and common sense, Patricia navigates complicated and delicate legal matters with appropriate discretion and poise.

Patricia is widely recognized as an engaging speaker having presented to both corporations and law firms on a variety of continuing legal education topics, including ethics and diversity and inclusion. She has won many awards and accolades for her involvement in the legal community, mentoring successes, and efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

WWCDA Group Award

Microsoft is a global technology company whose mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. They create the platforms and tools powered by artificial intelligence, that deliver better, faster and more effective solutions to support small and large business competitiveness, improve educational and health outcomes, grow public-sector efficiency, and empower human ingenuity.  Microsoft does business worldwide and has offices in more than 100 countries.

Microsoft is singularly committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.  In 2008, Microsoft launched its Law Firm Diversity program to incentivize diversity in the law firms that it partners with.  The LFDP is an incentive-based program that provides bonuses to participating firms for achieving and/or exceeding diversity representation goals.  It has expanded the program over time to accelerate progress with respect to acute representation in African American/Black and Hispanic/Latinx communities.  Since instituting the program, diverse lawyers working on Microsoft matters increased over 30 percentage points overall.

Microsoft has also deep and well-established commitment to hiring and promoting women and lawyers of color.  There are a number of women in key leadership roles, and their teams are made up of incredible women attorneys.  These attorneys manage some of the company's most critical cases as this is a core value and an initiative that the company has been dedicated to supporting.  Microsoft has a reputation of fostering and promoting women and racially diverse outside counsel.  It partners with a number of organizations focused on improving diversity in the legal profession and has funded a number of programs to increase diversity in law schools across the country.

WWCDA Catherine M. O’Neil
Mentoring Award

Alyssa Hughes, Associate, Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Alyssa Hughes
Associate, Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Aly Hughes focuses her practice on investigations, white collar criminal defense, and general commercial litigation. She brings superior organization and communication to create clear, well-developed paths forward for her clients, ranging from individuals to large corporations. She specializes in assisting clients in the healthcare, higher education, government contracting, and financial industries.
Aly is experienced in virtually every phase of government investigations, from proffers to trial, with clients of all sizes. She has represented clients facing investigations involving multiple federal agencies including the Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and others, as well as smaller scale investigations with clients under investigation by local law enforcement and state Attorneys General.
In addition, Aly advises and represents clients in their most sensitive internal investigations, moving efficiently to learn the facts, understand the business, identify legal implications, and recommend next steps. Through internal inquiries, voluntary disclosures, interaction with federal or state agencies, and related civil matters, Aly guides her clients at each step of the process.
Aly is a quick study and has experience in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the False Claims Act (FCA), the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Sherman Act, and more.
She also has monitorship-focused experience. She is a member of the team assisting the Special Compliance Coordinator appointed by the U.S. Department of Commerce to monitor, assess and report on the U.S. export control compliance of Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation, of Shenzhen, China, and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. of Hi-New Shenzhen, China (collectively, ZTE).
Aly thrives handling the less glamorous day-to-day minutiae that come with a criminal or civil matter, always cognizant of the need to keep the trains moving forward. Clients and colleagues alike trust Aly, valued for her honest and down- to-earth communication style accompanied by a healthy sense of humor.
Honors; The Best Lawyers in America Ones to Watch, 2023-2024; Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Program of Study in Criminal Law; Notre Dame Law School, 2017 

WWCDA Justice Ginsburg
Law Student Award

Swapanthi Mandalika, Candidate for Juris Doctor, 2023, University of Alabama
Swapanthi Mandalika
Candidate for Juris Doctor, 2023
University of Alabama

Swapanthi Mandalika is a second-generation immigrant born in San Jose, California. Deeply influenced by her Indian heritage, she spent her early years learning both South Indian classical dance and Carnatic music. She graduated with a degree in Political Science from San Jose State University in 2017 as the valedictorian of her major. Prior to law school, she worked in the District Office of Congressman Ro Khanna as his Director of Constituent Services.
Swapanthi received a full tuition scholarship to the University of Alabama School of Law and is expected to graduate in 2024. Upon graduation, she has clerkships planned in the Northern District of Alabama and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. She has also been invited to join the D.C. office of Latham & Watkins as an associate after her clerkships. Long-term, Swapanthi hopes for a career in public service in the executive or judicial branch of government. Swapanthi and her husband currently reside in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where they enjoy exploring landmarks in the deep south. 

Master of Ceremonies

Loretta Lync
Loretta Lynch
Former U.S. Attorney General
Partner, Paul Weiss

Ms. Lynch was honored by the WWCDA in 2020 as the recipient of the WWCDA Champion Award.

Former Attorney General of the United States, Loretta Lynch advises clients on complex government and internal investigations and high-stakes litigation matters, including those that implicate significant regulatory enforcement issues, that involve substantial reputational concerns, and that are international in scope. Loretta chairs the Civil Rights and Racial Equity Audits practice. Clients note that Loretta "is flawless in presentations and brings gravitas and experience to any situation" adding "people go to her for her extraordinarily broad experience and truly unique service - she is phenomenal."


Since her return to private practice in 2019, Loretta has helped lead several of the most sensitive investigations and reputation-threatening litigation and regulatory enforcement matters in recent years. BlackRock retained Loretta to help lead an internal investigation into former staffers’ allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. She has also recently co-led representations of Syracuse University in an independent review of its Department of Public Safety’s handling of bias-related incidents raised by students during the 2019/2020 academic year; North Carolina State University in an NCAA investigation concerning money and other benefits allegedly offered to a former student-athlete in violation of NCAA regulations; and a Fortune 50 energy company in an internal investigation regarding discrimination and retaliation claims. Loretta is currently representing the McDonald’s Corporation in three high-profile racial discrimination lawsuits. She also counsels a number of prominent companies on ESG-related matters.


Loretta is also frequently retained for high-profile public advisory roles. She was appointed as a Special Advisor to the N.Y. Attorney General’s Office as part of its investigation into issues arising out of the conduct of New York City police officers during protests related to the death of George Floyd; and by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to mediate a dispute between the Federal Defenders of New York and the Federal Bureau of Prisons concerning issues of attorney access to their incarcerated clients during the COVID-19-related suspension of in-person visits at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.


Loretta served as U.S. Attorney General from 2015 to 2017, becoming the first African-American woman to hold this office. In that role, she oversaw more than 100,000 employees across numerous agencies and offices, including the 93 U.S. Attorneys; major investigative agencies, including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Bureau of Prisons; the National Security Division; and the Office of the Solicitor General, among others. She also supervised the DOJ’s major litigating divisions, including Antitrust, Civil, Civil Rights, Criminal, Environment and Natural Resources, and Tax.


Loretta served under Presidents Obama and Clinton in a number of senior roles for over 15 years, including three Senate-confirmed roles.


Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice (2015-2017)

U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of New York (1999-2002, 2010-2015)

Chief Assistant to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York (1998–99)

Chief, Long Island Division, United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York (1994-1998)

Deputy Chief, General Crimes Section, United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York (1992-1993)

Assistant U.S. Attorney, United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York (1990-1992)

Loretta has been recognized as a “Distinguished Leader” by the New York Law Journal and has been named one of Benchmark Litigation’s “Top 250 Women in Litigation.” She has been recognized as a Band 1 practitioner by Chambers in the Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (New York) and Crisis Management categories.


Loretta received her J.D. and her B.A. in American Literature from Harvard University.

About The WWCDA Awards

The prestigious WWCDA Awards recognize the legacy of trailblazers and their tremendous contributions in support of women and diversity in the white collar field of law. Learn more about these distinguished awards, including prior recipients.